Subtle Difference between the Internet and the Web

Analyse this paragraph from The Independent:

“While ITV has floundered the BBC has marched on. The dear old corporation was first with a 24 hour news channel, first to brand its classic repeats, first to see the value of the Internet as a seamless link between television, radio and the web”

This does not make sense in any way, shape or form. Let’s dissect this. Slowly. Firstly an excellent mixed metaphor, floundering relating to swimming and marching to walking. I would suggest “Whilst ITV has flagged…”.

Secondly, ‘the dear old corporation’. Well, this was on the front page of the ‘Review’ section, rather than the media, although it’s listed there on their website, so I don’t expect everyone would realise that ‘the corporation’ is the BBC; even though it is strongly suggested by the prior sentence. I’ll allow them the contrast of ‘the dear old corporation’ and the BBC’s cutting edge innovations for the implicit sense of drama.

Thirdly, the 24 hour news channel. Oh how the worm has turned! The Independent was one of the strongest critics of News24 when it was first launched, branding it a waste of money. Now it is one of the jewels in the crown. I happen to like News24 and think it far superior to the Sky News or CNN pap but it is interesting that costs aren’t mentioned in an article criticising a commercial broadcaster.

Fourthly, these ‘classic repeats’, exactly what are they? The could mean BBC Knowledge (soon to be renamed BBC 4), but this is much more than classic repeats covering the proms, documentaries and a regular ‘kino’ strand covering foreign language or art house films. They could also mean UK Drama which provides a daily diet of classic repeats, yet UK Drama is only partly owned by the BBC being a channel of UKTV it’s joint venture with flextech.

Finally the most bewildering statement of them all: “first to see the value of the Internet as a seamless link between television, radio and the web”. Now, if most of the above has been nitpicking this is serious. I can see his point, the BBC, with their excellent BBCi initiative is attempting to cover their public service obligation over as many media as they’re allowed. And they do this very well, it’s one of the reasons why the BBC domains are among the top-10 visited in most categories. However what the writer, I think unintentionally, asks is: What’s the difference between the internet and the web?

Well, quite a lot. Because the a seamless link between different types of media is the promise of the digital age where everything flows in one fat pipe and out, via wireless networking onto your radio, television, newspaper. Everything. So unless the BBC plans to get into ADSL then I fear all this ‘bind’-ing will have to wait. Unfortunately