Sunday, 5 April 2009

The BBC has failed us all

BBC news reporting used to be trusted and reliable - I fear it is no more. As I reported last week, the BBC was gagged (or gagged itself) over the Barclays-wikieak-tax-avoidance debacle. Now, it has bottled it over the reporting of the 'assault' on an innocent bystander by the police during the G20 protests.

Compare these:
  • BBC - "Activists have called for a full public inquiry into the death of a man during the G20 protests".
  • The Times - "Most of all, it is the story of how the police wilfully criminalised and alienated 4,000 innocent people".
  • The Observer - "Police 'assaulted' bystander who died during G20 protests".
So what is going on? How has a reporting service that has been trusted throughout the world become a puppet of our ever encroaching state and corporate machinery? Is there a new Room 101 censoring their reports? Are they under a series of gagging orders as I suspected?

My thoughts - please feel free to disagree

I think they have become ultimately risk-averse, or in common parlance, have lost their balls. They are gagging themselves.

How did this come about?

I will leave you to do the research if you don't know about any of these steps:
  • The Kelly inquiry, following Gilligan's reporting, leaving the BBC reeling and uncertain about its role;
  • The BBC management decides to favour a risk-averse stance;
  • The corporates smell blood and applied pressure in all the right places (ie the BBC management);
  • The advertising downturn leads to the other media giants suffering a squeeze, and becoming even more jealous of the licence fee;
  • Meanwhile, the courts are issuing more and more gagging orders for various media stories, which are themselves unreportable because of the gagging orders;
  • There are a number of minor cock-ups at the BBC, leading up to Brand/Ross one - which was media generated, two weeks after the event...
and now the BBC is scared of everything, and the rest is just a cockspiracy. They dare not report anything that the management feel may upset the government or the corporates.

So, read the Guardian, the blogs, Indymedia and the like, and try not to be too paranoid.

UPDATE: 6th April - At last the BBC is reporting that:
Witnesses have come forward and told the IPCC Mr Tomlinson had "contact" with officers before he collapsed.
The page was updated at 16:19 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 17:19 UK.

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