The Nether-World

September 13, 2006

Reply from the BBC

Filed under: Lebanon, Media, Protest — netherworld @ 11:42 am

Last month I complained to the BBC about its awful coverage of the huge demonstration in London in which about 100,000 people protested against the war in Lebanon and Tony Blair’s refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire. You can read the letter I wrote here. I promised that I would publish any response they gave.

Today I have finally received a reply from the BBC and, as promised, here it is.

Dear Mr Simonetti

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the 5 August edition of the BBC ‘Ten O’clock News’.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

I appreciate your concerns that there was insufficient coverage of the Stop The War Coalition peace demonstration in London.

The choice of which news stories to report in our programmes is often very difficult. Editorial staff always have more news reports than can be fitted into the time available. Their choice has to be selective and no matter how carefully such decisions are made, they are always aware that some people may disagree with them. Unlike newspapers, news programmes do not have the luxury of the inside pages or specialist sections that enable newspapers to carry a wide range of reports.

I can assure you that the story was not ignored and was reported in various BBC News reports. One of these reports is still available to view at the following website:

Additionally, we are very grateful for your feedback in this matter. Please be assured that I have registered your complaint and concerns on the daily log, this is an internal document which will be made available to the ‘Ten O’Clock News’ production team as well as the senior management of the BBC.

May I take this opportunity to thank you again for taking time to contact the BBC.

Regards Jonathan Dunlop BBC Information __________________________________________________ – World Wide Wonderland

I am grateful that the BBC took the time to reply to my letter, however, I don’t feel that the points I raised have been addressed. I wasn’t specifically criticising the BBC’s ‘Ten O’clock News’, but also news 24, which has more time explore an issue, and the other news bulletins that the BBC broadcasts (there certainly seemed to be plenty of time to cover the day’s sporting events). I was aware of the coverage on the BBC website as I mentioned in my letter and I found that also lacking in detail and analysis. My point about not showing clips of any the speeches was not addressed either, nor was the important issue of the number of people attending and the lack of aerial shots.

I shall be replying to Jonathan Dunlop shortly and I will mention these points. If anyone thinks that there are other points regarding the BBC coverage of the August 5th protest that should be raised, please get in touch via the comments.

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