When we started WHYS we were determined that we should be open and transparent.
A programme that was shaped by the community around it, a courteous forum where people around the world could converse.
A place with clear rules both on the blog and on the radio. A place where we tell you about ourselves– we’re not just faceless MSM producers. (that doesn’t mean you’ll like our faces, but we do have them ).
Where the community are welcome to take part in the editorial meetings – by phone or in person. Where we even allowed the blog to be moderated by that community – ok it didn’t work but it was still an exercise in democracy i don’t regret.
You’ll sense a “but” coming on . Here it is . But we still get regular and sustained criticism from some of the community usually along these lines – and i’m paraphrasing :
– every time we even mention Israel – in almost any form – we are “Israel-bashing ” (Steve and others) ..
– we “censor” comments we somehow don’t agree with or are just too “dangerous” for our lily-livers..( Jim Newman mainly)
– we are some kind of left-wing , liberal cabal there to promote some sinister BBC agenda which are we sneakily trying to get past you.. (VictorK and others)…
– we make the rules up as we go along…(i’ve lost count)..
It doesn’t matter what i say – please go and start your own blogs if we’re so rubbish….., please read the rules etc etc , some of you won’t be shifted, whatever we do.
So here’s a thought for the wider WHYS community – i.e not just the same serial complainers : should we set up a WHYS watchdog ?
A small group of you who can listen to complaints – and make recommendations ( i won’t say rulings because we are employed by the BBC and rightly governed by their editorial guidelines) – which we’ll put on the blog if any of you are unhappy with the way you’ve been treated ?
I’m willing to listen to any ideas to break this rather boring cycle- both for the team who are moderating and for some of you who’ve contacted us to say it’s putting you off the blog to hear the same old negativity you can find elsewhere.
Shall we try it for a short period ? Any volunteers ?