From the Allan King review of GBC
WHAT'S WRONG WITH GBC
|The Main Findings and Recommendations of the King Report:
• GBC is demoralised and suffers a beleaguered atmosphere, but there is a desire to improve through major change and to create an organisation to be proud of.
• Individual departments are operating in isolation and there is friction between them.
• There has been a serious breakdown in line management, human resources management and financial and sales management. This leads to lack of accountability. There is a lack of respect for management. The prevailing culture has eroded respect for management to the extent that it is virtually nonexistent. In many cases this also applies to colleagues and other departments.
• There are unacceptable restraints on management's ability to manage, due to informal inflexibility based on alleged historical rights, e.g. Shift changes, slot changes and working hours.
• There is an exceptional level of talent at GBC. It is important that creative and technical people are nurtured, properly trained, and that they realise that their abilities and contributions are valued. Sufficient core talent and enthusiasm exists to make the necessary changes.
• With the right business model, premises, training, equipment and strong leadership, GBC will succeed to offer a first class service.
• There is a job for life mentality, something that has no place in broadcasting. A small number of employees go to work to earn a living, with no interest in what they are producing. They are not held to account for their failures and shortcomings. There is undoubtedly some 'dead wood' amongst the staff, just marking time until retirement and this needs to be eliminated.
• A balance must be found whereby GBC is an efficient, lean operation, without being under staffed. Inadequate staffing levels lead to inferior programming. Sufficient staff levels are essential to produce a good quality product, and also maximise advertising revenue. Sufficient staff should be employed to cover programme, production and administrative tasks.
• An enhanced level of multi tasking would help to keep overall staffing within manageable levels.
• Working practices are, in many areas, poor. A fundamental change in attitudes and working practices is called for.
• There is a need to review job descriptions, grades and salaries. There are inconsistencies in many areas in relation to pay structure.
• Roles do not directly relate to BBC Regional Stations so there is no exact template on which parity could be based, even if it were desirable. GBC employees should be appropriately but not excessively remunerated.
A process fair to both staff and GBC should be undertaken to establish remuneration, but pay scales should take account of pay scales operating in Gibraltar, UK rates cannot simply be transposed.
• Additional funding should be provided to compensate staff who have genuine grievances, and draw a line under all the problems of the past, to facilitate a fresh start. Redundancy packages would also need to be discussed at Government level.
• Radio suffers from trying to be all things to all people, targeting too wide an age range.
• Radio should broadcast via two stations to enable better audience targeting. One - Radio Gibraltar - as a news, current affairs, speech station and music aimed at older audiences, and another as a separate music station catering for younger audiences.
• Excessive allocation of frequencies to BFBS (1000 target audience) compared to GBC (whole community). This must be rebalanced to enable GBC to operate two stations.
• Radio should consider Digital broadcasting. "Digital Radio Mondiale, or "DRM".
• GBC TV must convert from analogue to digital broadcasting technology by 2012. Only around 35% of existing equipment is suitable for digital broadcasting.
• GBC currently transmits in Standard Definition (SD) and in 4:3 aspect ratio. The new technology should broadcast in a 16:9 ratio (widescreen) and HD (High Definition). New premises must be wired accordingly.
• GBC should have back-up generator so that it can continue to broadcast through any power cut affecting the area of its premises.
• Outside broadcasting of events needs to be better equipped and resourced.
• The current premises are unsatisfactory, due to: - Structure being shabby and run down with untidy and exposed wiring. Serious issues with building fabric.
- Vehicular access is severely restricted.
- By Gibraltar standards the location is too far from the main centre of activity.
- Facilities for staff are poor.
• A high standard of on-going training covering all creative and technical operations is a key requirement of any broadcasting organisation. This is especially vital to GBC, due to its geographical isolation and lack of migration of staff between broadcasting companies.
• Politics are of great interest and importance to the people of Gibraltar, and this is an aspect of Gibraltarian life that should be covered regularly, frequently, and in detail. It is vital that coverage is scrupulous in maintaining absolute independence, and is demonstrably unbiased.
• But Public Service Broadcasting is about far more than politics; it must cover all aspects of its audience's life and interests.
• News is often the same on a Monday as on the previous Friday, because it is not updated over the week-end. This is unacceptable.