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The Hypocrisy of Guantánamo

This post was filed under: Notes, Writing Elsewhere.

Stewart’s 9/11 speech, six years on

Ground Zero

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of ‘9/11’. After 9/11, Jon Stewart gave a speech to open The Daily Show, a speech which I posted here back in June 2006.

Such is the power of the speech that yesterday tens of blogs linked to it on this site, providing over 130,000 extra hits, and propelling it comfortably to the top of the ‘most popular posts’ league. When a speech that is six years old can still generate this kind of response, it surely must be a great speech.

What a shame that politicians have moved so far from their people that it was left to a comedy newsreader to truly speak to the nation in the face of its greatest tragedy in many generations.

This post was filed under: Exams, Miscellaneous, Politics.

BBC’s Madeleine McCann coverage indefensible

Peter Horrocks has written an interesting piece on his BBC blog defending the way the organisation has told the story of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. Unfortunately, his defence makes little sense. Some selected extracts…

Often we’re not able to give viewers any new information and that’s one of the things I spend a lot of time talking to my journalists about, to focus on facts … I know that many other TV and radio networks have been absolutely extraordinary, always talking about it in terms of sympathy and their feelings

I am incomplete agreement with Mr Horrocks here: Reportage of the facts, not of feelings, is exactly where BBC News should be focussed in this instance.

Questions have been raised over why we used a helicopter to cover the McCanns’ journey home from East Midlands airport.

An understandable question: Coverage of a car driving from one place to another has apparently little news value, and adds few new ‘facts’. So why did the BBC cover it?

The McCanns’ return was an important emotional moment in this story, and something which we felt we needed to cover for continuous news.

Eh? The BBC, which Mr Horrocks says focuses entirely on facts, and indeed is better than its rivals because of its emotional detachment from the story, felt the need to give continuous coverage to a car journey because it was an “emotional moment in this story”.

I sense a gap in the logic.

This post was filed under: Media, News and Comment.




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