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23 May 2014

Telegraph pot calls BBC kettle “white, middle class”, BBC responds in style

It's fair to say that the Telegraph is never normally a big fan of the BBC, which makes this riposte all the more satisfying.

By media mole

On 21 May, the Telegraph ran one of its usual BBC-bashing pieces – “BBC bureaucratic and a white, middle class organisation, say employees” – based on a survey from Glassdoor, the employment website which sells itself as offering the behind-the-scenes reality of working somewhere based on real employee testimony.

According to the Telegraph:

The BBC has been described as “bureaucratic”, “Orwellian” and a “holiday camp” by its employees in a series of anonymous reviews of the corporation.

Staff criticised the layers of management and hierarchy at the BBC saying a lot of people remain in the organisation too long making it difficult to get promoted.

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More than 130 reviews of the corporation were submitted to the Glassdoor website, which aims to give prospective employees an insight into companies.

The BBC scores 3.5 stars out of five from employees, with 78 per cent recommending it to others as an employer.

It goes on to say that employees generally love the work-life balance that the BBC offers, but decry the bureaucracy and nepotism that haunts upper management.

In contrast, it scored worse than Channel 4 (4.6, but from only seven staff reviews) and better than Sky (3.2), ITV (3.1) and ITN (3.0). There was one media organisation conspiciously absent from the Telegraph‘s coverage, however.

The BBC’s official response to the piece consisted of one line and one line only:

We’re pleased that so many people enjoy working at the BBC and note that we scored 3.5 out of 5, compared to the Telegraph Media Group’s 2.7 out of 5.”

The press office notes, too, that the Telegraph only printed the first 11 words of that response, which is, in a journalistic terms, very cheeky indeed – especially as Glassdoor’s Telegraph Media Group reviews feature damning lines like “awful senior management”, “incompetent individuals”, and “the drive to increase website traffic clouded editorial decisions.”