05 November 2005
Is Paris Burning?
Why is the BBC failing to properly report this major story? Yesterday BBC World ran a typical half-hour news programme that started with a ten minute report on the effects of the earthquake in Pakistan and then gave just two minutes to Paris - something is clearly wrong with their priorities.
As I write this the Beeb's website leads with a story about foxhunting, and the Paris riots get joint second place, along with a report about an attack by pirates on a cruise ship off the Somali coast. Now, if you go into the Paris story, then sure enough there are a few links to some video and other reports, but that is not the point, is it? The point is that parts of a major world capital have been in a state of insurrection for over a week and is this all Auntie Beeb can find to say about it? Why has normal programming not been suspended, where is the analysis and the wall to wall filmed reports?
It is not as if the French government was keeping journalists out of Paris as the CNN coverage shows. CNN is doing a decent job of reporting all this, both on their U.S. website as well as the international version. Both pages lead to a long article about the riots and both have enough links to graffics, video and other articles to keep the readers reasonably well informed.
So why is the BBC's coverage so bad?
The BBC is now leading with the story on its news programmes. A cynic may wonder if this is due to the fact that rioting has spread to other cities and the country is facing a crisis of monumental proportions. The question of why the events were played down for over a week is still awaiting an answer.