the BBC and DEC


protest outside broadcasting house


Blimey, auntie’s in trouble again. Looking at the Mail’s homepage just now the story falls well below the fold, with Ross’s return much higher up.  I’m sure I’m saying nothing new when I say that this story has done far more than a 10sec trail on BBC One would have done.  What’s interesting is how all the other broadcasters, Five, 4, and ITV all shifted their positions as soon as the story went large, none of those small ships want to get sucked down with the BBC on this issue.

When I was BBC homepage Picture Editor I we did a DEC appeal for Darfur. Even then I remember their were lots of hoops to jump through to get sign off.  I wanted to use this striking image taken by Karel Prinsloo/AP, and was overruled by someone ‘high up’.  I was told “we don’t do fly-covered children”. I’d only been in the job less than six months so capitulated. I can’t remember what we used in the end, and Wayback Machine is v slow this evening, but I seem to recall a dusky shot of a refugee camp or something.


So do different rules apply to the Middle East than to Africa? The BBC has now painted itself into yet another corner, the other broadcasters have done a 180 for either the right (genuinely care) or the wrong (saw an chance to stuff up the beeb) reasons, but it’s hard to see where the beeb will go with this now.  I bet they hold to their guns and try to ride it out, either that or hastily commission a panorama special. Personally, I think it should have broadcast the appeal, however to do so now would put humble pie as the plat du jour in the BBC canteen. We’ll see….

…And yet as stated at the top of the post, the desire is media coverage, and that DEC have had in spades. So much so that for the first time I’ve made a donation to DEC, not to have a pop at the beeb, but because I think it’s a genuine crisis, with a large portion of the blame laid at Israel’s door. I hope that it goes to genuine people that need it. Incidentally DEC have a lovely page up about the BBC still.

0 Responses to “the BBC and DEC”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This blog is no longer being updated

I've left it here for historical purposes. Please visit my new blog at


These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
January 2009

%d bloggers like this: