Monday, July 30, 2007

End of an era


With the sort of reckless abandon not seen since the Los Angeles' DMV gave driving licences to Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, the BBC has suddenly decided to stop making its slate of video podcasts. As of last week, these free, excellent, downloads are gone - evaporating into the ether without so much as a bye or leave (incidentally, what does this phrase even mean?).

According to the man in charge, some of the "vodcasts" may reappear later in the year, but others may not.

I don't really get it. Why spend a year courting your audience, only to dump them on your doorstep while secretly hoping they'll get back together with you in October? Why couldn't the "evaluation" of this trial have run simultaneously with the trial itself? It seems a particularly perverse way to carry out your business. But, hey, that's the BBC for you.

Chief among the losses is Storyfix - the corporation's sarcastic look at its own news coverage. I understand the weekly download was roundly hated by the very presenters it lampooned. For that reason alone it was a marvellous and excellent invention. The music wasn't bad, either. (I wonder which gifted genius of modern composition was responsible...)

But sources on the Storyfix team tell me that it won't be one of the shows making a return later in the year. Apparently, budgetary constraints mean it is finished, kaput, no more, the end, annihilated, broken, gorn, dead and buried. Fin.

If you want to see what in the name of heck you were missing, here is the excellent last episode: A compilation of the best bits of the last 12 months of news aimed at a viewer with the attention span of a goldfish raised on MTV and red bull.

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