A counterpoint to media misbehaviour, Wry smile Alastair

Posted: November 21, 2012 by tchannon in Kindness, media, Philosophy, Politics


The recent death of Sir Alastair Burnet leaves a shining example of a quiet light spreading what only genuineness can do.

I never met him but I did know the older regime in broadcasting from my connections in radio and television behind the scenes. Independents really were hard working thoroughly professional and competent crowds, a pleasure to work with.

In contrast the BBC were losing the only marble it had as staff and departments were ejected. BBC Research for example had plenty of live wires, disbanded. I nearly went to work for the company they formed, no, not my style. What was left for today was predatory and horrid. Technically… well why did they pay outside experts? This is fine if there are competent in house overmanagers who know their stuff.

The Alastair’s, I’ve known a number, understated, dedicated, know how to look after people, keep others off your back. This is earnt authority.

Neil mentions a private person. You can’t be friends, a rule broken by poor managers and yet a select circle can exist in a twilight which can blossom later.

Alastair oozed into The Economist, I was a subscriber later on, a weekly newspaper, turning it into highly notable including that lightness which genuine competence brings. After he left, the paper followed a common trajectory of onward before stuttering without a light.

Andrew Neil demonstrates

Andrew Neil’s eulogy for Sir Alastair Burnet

  1. ATheoK says:

    “…The recent death of Sir Alistair Burnet…””

    The title shows Alastair. Which is it?

    Personally, I believe it is Alastair.

    The body of the story has several Alistairs, do a search and replace.

    Great statement of fact in your story!

    When I left my occupation (retired) they were in the process of eliminating in-house experts for many technical fields. Yup, the old, “We’ll hire the finest experts.”. They’re still spiraling downward. Not a warm feeling, it hurts to watch a significant segment of one’s life get thrown overboard like so much jetsam.

  2. tchannon says:

    Apologies, fixed.