The BBC is one of this country's greatest institutions. Every so often, though, it does something makes me come over a bit Daily Mail.
There are two main areas in which it manages to achieve this. Firstly, BBC Three's programming leaves me, for the most part, baffled and wondering whether it is worth spending the licence fee on. There, however, I am outside the target demographic and would need to step back and look at things in the round in order to make an objective judgement.
The second area is in the reporting of economic news and statistics. This sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, with a tendency for there to be a focus on the negative rather than the positive when such news is mixed (as is so often the way with economic indicators).
There was an example of this a few months ago when some government borrowing figures were released. Two of the three measures showed movement in a positive direction whilst one didn't meet expectations... Guess which one led the article? Yep, the negative news was the headline news.
Now, I'm not suggesting that the BBC or other news organisations should pretend that everything in the garden is rosy - we all know it's not. I'm not suggesting that bad news should be buried either. But in cases like the above a more neutral approach should have been adopted.
They annoyed me again this week when the unemployment figures were announced. Now, again, I don't want to pretend that unemployment levels aren't a concern - they are. And the headline figures disguise a lot of changes in the Labour market - particularly people working part-time or reduced hours when they would prefer to be in full time roles.
A drop in unemployment figures for the first quarter of the year - albeit a small drop and with qualifications - is good news. It also adds to a number of statistics which are at odds with the initial estimate of GDP growth of -0.2 for the same period.
The internet is a visual medium and so BBC Online felt that the story needed to be illustrated. Rather than do so with a generic photo of a Job Centre sign, or something else similar, they chose a picture of a shop with closing down signs in it's window...
Economically, it is all too easy for negative news to become a downward spiral and it's not as if there isn't enough of it around. Using negative images with positive stories is, I believe, unhelpful and disingenuous.
It may be that I over-react to these things but it does get my goat... If you're reading this BBC, sort it out!