I know this has been mentioned in two other topics but I thought it deserved it’s own if we are serious about these forums.
David Chater to head up the Africa Bureau – personally I think this is a waste of probably SKY’s best foreign correspondent. In all fairness I don’t think he will feature as much on our screens, apart from when he starts and produces a few packages and again on the odd weekend or around the holidays when they need the packages to fill the bulletins. Obviously the Mark Thatcher story will be of interest too. I really do hope that this appointment for David is a short-one (maybe after Iraq and all he feels he needs a rest!) and that he ends up back in London or as the roving foreign correspondent, going from story to story pretty soon.
Stuart Ramsay as Five’s Chief Correspondent – a bit of a strange one – yes he’s been around the world and reported from many corners, but to me he’s not a heavy-hitter – I’m sure he has covered great big stories, but being honest none of his reporting really stands out to me. This to me seems to signal SKY’s dominance over the Five team – I would have thought that Chief Correspondent would have gone to one of the current line-up, a face and name that Five viewers know or have identified with. But I suppose he’s a good reporter and we’ll just have to see how he performs from January 3rd on.
I know my views are known, but I couldn’t agree with you more. Africa correspondent these days is a nothing really, for young wannabe foreign correspondents starting out. The BBC’s correspondent there is in his early 30s and hopes to move on to bigger things.
David must have chosen it as there IS no other Sky foreign correspondent posting currently available. Yes, it’s a huge waste of talent. Personally I think he will be bored – JHB is materialistic, shallow, glitzy – nothing like the centuries of interesting history and culture that both Russia and Jerusalem presented. You are 100% right in that Sky have always, and will always, use Africa stories as “fillers” for slow news days.
It would have made sense to give the India job to David Chater.That would have suited him perfectly i.m.o.
I think Stuart Ramsay is very good but DC is a one off and perhaps the Chief Correspondent role/s should have been reversed! (then again, what is Five News going to be like?). If it’s just a break from the incessant awfulness of Iraq style reporting (understandable, I agree) for a year or so, then we’ll see – although it’s not the most relaxing place I personally can think of, with the lack of personal security! – and I really hope that he’s not being ‘put out to grass’ by ageist bastards at Sky HQ because he’s 50ish. Remember how many viewers he alone brought to Sky during the Iraq war coverage – he “won” the media war for Sky News. I’m very disappointed as I love his reports and he’ll hardly ever be on the TV.
Sky News do big, dramatic events like wars, bombs, attacks, etc etc not analysis. The type of reporting from Africa is more analytical ie “what is happening now in SA post Mandela; what is happening in Zim; Darfur; (they totally ignored the Congo); the type of news, in other words, that Sky doesn’t cover. I missed Paxman’s BEE (black economic empowerment/enrichment!) programme on the BBC, but that kind of thing.
Perhaps the decision is for personal reasons and I wish him well. I hope he’s listening carefully to Ramsay’s tips on how not to be hijacked, how to do the ‘proper’ new SA handshake (etc etc) and how to avoid the huge pitfalls of the stiflingly politically correct ethos.
This is a country that drove out Nobel Laureate writer JM Coetzee for writing “Disgrace”, a fine but un-PC novel. He was castigated as a racist and upped and offed.
Sorry to rant, but this is not good news for those who want to keep seeing the best intl broadcast reporter on Brit TV at work. What did you make of Sky’s press release? They put the two together, with Ramsay’s appointment very much in the lead, which I also think is an insult to DC…
I just posted in the DAvid Chater forum but I think that you are right and he is the best foreign correspondent that there is. I hope that Sky will use this to run Africa stories but I doubt it.
Imagine if the Darfur war and refugee crisis was in Europe how much coverage it would get.
STuart Ramsays good but not in David’s class. Can someone tell me how long this appointment has been known at Sky as I do log in here and someone was saying just a month ago that young female reporters had all applied for the Africa job.
A Sky reporter called Eve Richings has written a good story on the forgotten (as per normal re Africa for First World TV!) 18 yr plight of abducted kids in northern Uganda and the war there. On today’s Sky News site. I’ve never heard of Eve Richings (sorry). Maybe some of our comments re Africa coverage are having some effect, albeit temporary no doubt.
David Chater should be able to pick whatever foreign news jobs he wants at Sky by now with what he’s done. His fantastic use of language in his reporting just leaves me feeling bereft at the thought of hearing it only about twice a year, if I happen to be watching at some odd hour when some news ed decides it’s time to run the ‘Africa’ filler. PAH.
“…….if I happen to be watching at some odd hour when some news ed decides it’s time to run the ‘Africa’ filler. PAH…..”
Hopefully, Mr Chater will be there live to cover the ritual eating of Thatcher’s testicles in Equatorial Guinea
Mr Chater will be there live to cover the ritual eating of Thatcher’s testicles in Equatorial Guinea
Sorry to go off topic but do I feel a bit of anti-thatcherism coming from Rob? I’m no fan of the old bat but the son is a gentleman. He tried to take over a country, fair play to him. I have a lot of respect for that honourable noble gentleman, regardless of any bad opinions he may have of the Irish.
Personally, i think that was the first good thing Mark Thatchers ever done.
There’s alot of words i could use to express my feelings towards Mark Thatcher and “gentleman” is definately not one of them.
I have one thing to say about David Chaters move and that is ” I’m choked”.
Well, Mark Thatcher’s in raaaather a nice little pied a terre in Cape Town. In the unlikely event of him being extradited to Eq Guinea, it might just become available. Should be a snitch for Sky for their foreign correspondent!
I’m feeling faint – David Bowden’s in Zimbabwe according to the SN website. Is this a New Trend? How long will it last? (and what time was his footage shown – isn’t the cricket tour still on or has that finished? )
Anyhow, that’s TWO Africa stories in two days!
I hope David does manage to cover Zim’s elections. Mad McGabe (own castle and kilt in Scotland) is now 80. The SA govt angle vs the Zim people’s angle could be very interesting if they’ll give it airtime.
I don’t really like these new arrangements.
I’ve been a little slack in putting my views across on this, so apologies for the delay.
WHAT THE HELL IS DC DOING GOING TO AFRICA FOR?
WHO THE HELL MADE THAT DECISION?
..sorry for shouting. As much as I’d love to be proven wrong, I think this is a huge mistake.
David Chater added: ?I?ve reported from across the world and from the frontline of all the major conflicts in recent years. I am absolutely delighted to be heading up the Africa Bureau and look forward to the challenge.?
Interpreted, David Chater added: “They’ve sent me to godawful places like Beslan, been shot in Kosovo & can’t work in Iraq as we’ll be killed. Therefore, I’m pi**ing off to Africa to get away from the knucklehead management of Sky News & the boredom of standing outside the MoD for 10hours. I’m also delighted to have the challenge of getting Africa stories on SN in any form except time filling – even though the stress of this may encourage me to take a payrise from CNN.”
I’d love Sky to change its whole outlook – give real time to foreign news & actually appreciate their single great correspondent – i find this hard to believe and I’m presuming he’s peeved at not getting the India job and has made it clear he’ll be taking the next available post or go elsewhere. He’s been treated like crap recently and is doing what he wants to do.
As a viewer, I can’t think of the Iraq elections and continuing coverage with anyone but DC. It’s a shock to think we, the viewers, will not get that combined experience and knowledge on the ground reporting on the next phase of this massive event.. Who else in this organisation will be able to take the pulse of baghdad & tell us what is really going on & the background to it.
…if they’re looking for something different, send Marshall over there if he thinks he’s so great. ..take Boulton with you & all the fancy graphics with exit polls, continuing coverage, returning officers, grumpy MPs etc. Let’s see how they cope with it.
So, in my opinion – the man will produce fantastic coverage of anything he puts his hand to but I’m sure the top bods are annoyed that can’t send him anywhere they fancy and take advantage of him. I agree completely with EagleEye’s analysis of the situation – and everyone else seems to be confused or disappointed about this. …I would like like to be wrong & everything’s happy at Sky Towers, they’ll give DC all the airtime he wants & Africa is really important to Sky & not just an expensive nuisance to cover.
I can’t wait for his first report, it’ll give a good idea of how things are going to be. Although all the things I’m about to mention will be covered very well, if DC does it, Dc covering the trial of a nobody like Thatcher doesn’t interest me – DC covering Blair’s Africa commision won’t be fun, as I presume Boulton will fly over on the Presidential Jet with the Dear Leader. ..DC on the football worldcup in 5 years? Oh I can’t wait for that – that really befits a man of his experience.
…I’m going on a bit long now but finally, Mr C will make all the events above come to life with his reporting, which is always excellent.. it’s just everything else about it seems wrong.. an up&coming reporter should be there, sky haven’t done africa well, historically (i agree the spurt of stories in th last few days have been encouraging, but it’s not the type of place you get a live, continuing news story coming from..) ..it’s not even a focus of any attention, really. Russia is interesting, Laurence Lee isn’t. India/Asia is interesting, Bestic is worth falling asleep to. The Mid East is interesting, EmmaH is too ..but has it covered. Africa? It’s a footnote. (for sky) They could have a great report on suffering in Darfur, Gadaffi’s ramblings at the AU from DC running.. ..if ANYTHING else happens, something they can cover live – they’ll bump it down the list faster than a nanny’s visa application. I like all the live stuff, I just want to see DC do it too. ..Seeing him stuck there with no action won’t be exciting. ..but if anyone can prove me wrong, please do DC. We, the public love you. Even if they dont.
Enough now? Get your act together Sky – and give this man his dues.
He’ll only be there a year, in my opinion – at this time in 2005, we’ll be watching the buildup to the war in Iran. ..DC will be needed again, I believe…
sorry for the length of my rant, it probably didn’t make sense.. i dont like it, but i hope to be proved wrong is my point, i think.
I agree with (almost) everything Kevin has said (please leave poor old Boulton alone, he does a fabulous job in his political coverage). I am astounded as to why David Chater would be sent to a non-assignment location like Africa. How often did we see Stuart Ramsey on our screens in the past few years? David Chater is an extremely talented journalist, and in my opinion, he is being wasted being sent to SA. Although I think that Andrew Wilson and Ian Woods are very good at what they do, I think David would be ideal as the US correspondent in Washington.
It will not surprise me if we hear that CNN or BBC World snap him up. It is obvious that Sky are oblivious to his skill and talent, and also to his appeal to the viewers. I have a feeling Sky will live to regret not utilizing this journalist in a high profile position when they had the chance.
Sky News, get your act together and give your paying public what it wants, i.e., journalists with knowledge, insight, impartiality and intelligence to report on major news events at home and abroad. So why is David Chater going to South Africa?
Give me a drink!