01 July 2007

Paris and Glasgow

Stand up and give Mika Brzezinski a round of applause. If only more journalists would take a principled stand.

I am fed up of this constant blurring of the boundaries between news and entertainment. Paris Hilton has never done a proper day's work in her life and should never be the lead story on any news bulletin, just for being released from jail. The media coverage of the whole saga was saturated - and infuriating. She got drunk, she drove her car, she got nicked, she tried to wriggle out of it (several times) and it's been splashed everywhere.

Why? Every time I trawled the BBC News Online website, Paris was there. Unavoidable. Well get this - she is not news. She's just another "poor little rich girl" doing what other "celebrities" do. It's not interesting and it's certainly not news. If you want to read about celebrities buy a gossip rag. But stop clogging up our mainstream news outlets with their antics. And well done, Mika, for caring enough to make a public protest.

Yesterday's BBC News 24 coverage of the terrorist attack in Glasgow showed that live broadcasting has sunk unbelievably low. There was very little solid news, so instead we got endless stills of the burning car and incomprehensible interviews with eyewitnesses who hadn't actually seen very much at all. The anchors had clearly been instructed to scrap all other news and resorted to speaking to an outraged person whose parents were stranded on a Glasgow-bound plane at Stansted airport that wasn't flying anywhere.

Mr Outraged was furious that his parents hadn't been told anything. I burst out laughing as he ranted about this - in such a situation, even Glasgow Airport would have known very little while the police took control of the situation and would have been able to tell other airports almost nothing beyond they were closed and didn't know when they would reopen. If I'm tuning in for live coverage, I really do not want to be forced to listen to such inane reportage as the anchors desperately struggle to fill the airwaves.

The live coverage on Thursday of the London bombs was far superior, so just why was the Glasgow report so dreadful? Perhaps we will never know, but BBC bosses should note that if you haven't got any new news, it's best to return to scheduled bulletins and interrupt them when you actually have something to report.


Anonymous said...

Well said, Mika.

As to the passengers on planes - I'm sure the last thing a pilot wants to do is tell his passengers there's been a terrorist attack at an airport Panic would surely ensue.

Unknown said...

The point was not that the passengers SHOULD have been told, but that there was probably nothing to tell them...

See Me Repeat Me said...

Everybody say hallelujah to Ms. Brzezinski for saying what needed to be said. Hallelujah!

The thing that's really irked me about the way that the recent UK terrorist bombings are being reported on Stateside is that hardly anyone knows how to correctly pronounce "Glasgow". Practically everyone pronounces it "glass-go" when even I know it's really "glaz-go". Other than that, even if we were getting as bombarded as you are by those news reports, it still wouldn't be enough for me. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, it took me five days of absorbing anything and everything about that unfortunate event for me to say, "Okay, enough news for me there."