Friday, November 04, 2005

Thieves shall be shot

I've just finished watching the Culture Show on BBC2. They had a piece about UK hip-hop which looked oddly familiar. As soon as they trailed it, I had the number for Mr. Sue-the-beeb-for-plagiarism QC ready to dial. I thought Auntie had stolen my idea. I contacted the Culture Show some months ago about a hip-hop in the UK idea, but it didn't get approved, because the questions it was asking were already answered in my proposal. If you've already answered the question you'll be posing in a proposal, then it kills the anticipation to watch a compelling piece of tv journalism, not least one about the arts.

I was gonna ask why UK hip-hop sells badly, and posit that competing against the authentic US model has makes it so. ("Make it so" - Jean-Luc Picard). In Western Europe, most countries have had chart-topping rap artists, Solaar, AfroB, Joni Rewind - to name a few. They can't necessarily compete directly with US artists because there's the issue of language, they compete with fellow German speakers etc. In the UK, we have to compete on lyrics, and beats. Double the stress.

Word for journos and media ideas people: don't always conclude that your idea has been stolen by the media devils. A commissioner might receive 10 proposals about a primetime reality quiz show called "how best to put jam on a slice of bread" (I detest jam, btw). The one that will get commissioned (trust me, such a title can get commissioned) is the one which suits the whim of the editor at the time he/she accepts it. You might not be able to spot the subtle nuances in the supposedly similar ideas, but trust me, they exist. The best thing to do is stalk the editor, proposition him/her, this should give you a better idea of how they like their eggs, sorry proposals, in the mornings. In the immortals words of nobody in particular - DO YOUR RESEARCH.

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