“When Sky’s Jeremy Thompson started broadcasting live from Phuket the day after it all happened, we knew the game was up,” one BBC news producer told me wearily this week. It’s a pretty sure bet that Royal Television Society awards will not be weighing down the mantelpieces at White City this year.
“Some of the most over-the-top, Drop the Dead Donkey-style reporting has been seen on Sky News in recent days; Kay Burley wearing lip gloss in Sri Lanka seems desperately inappropriate; Alex Crawford’s report at the opening of Sky’s first bulletin produced for Channel Five, in which she personally intervened in a mother’s search for her child, was was terribly misjudged.
Sky’s “missing persons” website initiative backfired when a hoaxer emailed families to say their loved ones were dead, and the mawkish tone of some of ITV’s coverage seems in poor taste.
Sky News and ITV displayed blinkered western prejudices by anchoring their coverage from Thailand, by no means the worst affected country but where most Britons died. The BBC’s exemplary reporting from Aceh ran rings around everyone else.”
I could not agree more – Sky news pandered to the “little britain” mentality – Burley only saw a chance of getting a Bafta or Royal society award and the Sky news in principal was only interested in sensational stories – the latest lead “Paedophiles are stealing our children” when if you look at depth in the story the “Child welfare groups have warned that orphaned youngsters from the tsunami disaster may be preyed on by child-trafficking gangs. – sky news web site – “Rumours about possible trafficking are widespread in Indonesia, but officials concede they have little hard evidence of specific cases yet.” sky news web site – Yet again SKy news doesn’t let facts get in the way of a good story. Miserable !!!!
“Terribly misjudged”!! Such Brit understatement…The less said about Alex Crawford’s “reporting” style – presumably encouraged by her bosses? – the better. Imo sets a whole new, LOW, benchmark. Put that with her antics in her surgical gown and shower hat in Iraq handing out ointment to injured kids (instead of reporting on the main stories of the day in Iraq) and you have someone who should…well, stay there please. For good. Work for an NGO on one of their salaries, really helping to find people, instead of a Sky salary.
Rant over. Re the child trafficking angle – UNICEF’s director was interviewed on French TV. He said that this was one of their biggest challenges right now. One of the things they were most concerned about. Fake relatives have been appearing…the mafias will turn up for sure as there are no western babies to adopt (see Bertrand Tavernier’s latest film Holy Lola…). Fair enough to report that I think.
As for awards – well maybe. But Sky News resoundingly ‘won’ the war in Baghdad – and the same ‘this will win awards’ stories hit the mediagraun site etc – but the RTS/BAFTA are so anti Sky, they weren’t even nominated, let alone won anything. So don’t count your chooks just yet.
I fear that without these sensationalist stories the amount of cash donated to the DEC (http://www.dec.org.uk) may very well be less than it is now. If Sky & other news corporations did not use sensationalism in there reporting, it may not have had the impact that it has had. That may sound controversial but its a feeling I have, however please please don’t misunderstand me, I do feel that this is the worst natural disaster seen on earth for a very many years. I grieve for all the victims of this terrible event.
fear that without these sensationalist stories the amount of cash donated to the DEC (http://www.dec.org.uk) may very well be less than it is now. If Sky & other news corporations did not use sensationalism in there reporting, it may not have had the impact that it has had. That may sound controversial but its a feeling I have, however please please don’t misunderstand me, I do feel that this is the worst natural disaster seen on earth for a very many years. I grieve for all the victims of this terrible event.
I agree 100% with that. The stories on Sky News are what first moved me into giving donations to the Red Cross.