Saturday, February 23, 2008

An insight into how we get our news

Just watched the BBC's high-profile (Not) mea-culpa progamme, Newswatch.

Moderated by 'Uncle Ray' Snoddy, there was a lady viewer/scientist on with one of the customary cabal of defensive News editors.

Boy, was she focussed. And boy, was he inadequate.

The issue was the reporting of a Govt. report on dealing with the health consequences of a warmer climate (different to 'global warming'). Bascially the BBC had managed to get this as two completely differing takes, depending on when and where one looked.

Ignoring the actual ramifications of basic premise this lady had, that it would be nice to hear some good news as we all know the bad stuff, I was frankly appalled at this editor's explanations and excuses.

For a start he seemed pretty clear that the BBC will mess with facts in any way it feels necessary, and somehow it's all OK as the viewer needs to flit between headlines and subsequent text, but also what's on broadcast screen and online, to try and arrive at what the actual situation is/might be.

Frinakly I am getting to the point that news has about as much value as fiction, let alone reasonable debate. As a public service they are totally compromised.

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