Quality Saga pt 1

The IBS has written to the BBC Trust Chairman, Lord Patten of Barnes on the subject of lack of training and falling operational standards in sound. The chain of correspondence which followed is posted here in the interests of wider dissemination. The initial contact was a covering letter from  Simon Bishop, IBS Chairman. Read on…


PO Box 208 Havant Hampshire PO9 9BQ

12th August 2011

The Lord Patten
Chairman BBC Trust
180 Great Portland Street

Dear Lord Patten,


I am Simon Bishop and am currently Chairman of the Institute of Broadcast Sound (see www.ibs.org.uk). The IBS is a UK based organisation promoting interaction, standards, and education for those who work professionally in audio, in TV, radio, and many other areas of the sound business.

We at the Institute have been becoming increasingly concerned about the decline in technical standards that seem to be becoming more prevalent in the UK’s broadcasting, and in particular with output from the BBC. The BBC has until now been lauded as a centre of technical excellence, and yet we, highly trained professionals, notice more and more occasions where it could have been done better, or rather more correctly.

In your role as Chairman of the BBC Trust, you are tasked as the ‘champion of viewers and listeners’. Our members, as well as being highly trained and skilled technicians, are also viewers and listeners, only with more than a passing interest in what they are listening to. I enclose a letter written by Louise Willcox, a member of our Exec Committee. It encapsulates the thoughts of many of our members, and we would appreciate it if you could spare enough time to read what I realise is a not insubstantial tome.

Our aim is to raise the profile of sound in broadcasting generally, and we wonder if there is any way that you might use your position at the BBC Trust to help us to do this. Thank you for your time, and remember, without the words, most TV and radio is not just quiet, but plain boring, causing people to switch off.

Yours sincerely,


Simon Bishop, FRGS, MIBS, AMPS

P.S. – Whilst we have been compiling this letter, we have heard that the BBC is to make just about all of their most accomplished and skilled Trainers at Wood Norton, their prized Centre of technical learning, redundant. Another centre of world excellence compromised out of existence no doubt.

pt 2 next – The Letter >>>