Saturday 25 May 2013

Breaking news...

And on the story goes...

The Daily Telegraph (online) is now leading with a story it first reported an hour ago:
French soldier stabbed in neck while patrolling Paris business district
Man of North African origin flees scene after soldier patrolling area of Paris stabbed, raising fears of a Woolwich copycat attack.
The Daily Mail has the same story:
French anti-terror soldier has throat slashed in Paris by 'jihab-wearing man of North African origin in Woolwich copy-cat attack'
The Sky News website has it as one of its top stories:
French Soldier Stabbed In Neck In Paris
The French president says authorities are investigating any possible links with the attack on Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.  
As does ITV News:
French authorities investigate soldier stabbing
French authorities are investigating any possible links with an attack a soldier near Paris with the Woolwich attack on Drummer Rigby.
Google News shows that media organisations from the Independent to the Daily Mirror, from the Belfast Telegraph to the Irish Independent and from the Washington Post to the Herald Sun are also reporting this major breaking story, and have been doing so for some minutes. 

Remarkably, the BBC News website is not yet carrying the story - as of 21:25 BST. What does that say about the reporting of the BBC?

UPDATE (21.35): Ah, here it is:

25 May 2013 Last updated at 21:24

French soldier in uniform stabbed near Paris

The story hasn't appeared on the BBC's Home page yet, merely appearing on its World page (as the third-placed story). Why not?

UPDATE (21.39): It's now flashing as one of the 'breaking news' banners at the top of the BBC's Home page, behind the football. Still no article on the Home Page. Even weirder, the BBC article on the World page gives none of the information given elsewhere about the attacker's appearance:
He was attacked from behind by a man wielding a knife or a box-cutter. The assailant, whose identity is unknown, ran away and is being sought by police.
No motive has been established for the attack.
Isn't that odd?

UPDATE (21.50): Compare the above with ITV News, who (over 2 hours ago) informed their readers:
French daily Le Parisien cited police sources as saying the suspected attacker was a bearded man of North African origin about 30 years old, and was wearing an Arab-style garment under his jacket.
ITV, like Sky and most of Britain's leading newspapers, has it as a top story.

And the Independent is more informative too:
Breaking: French soldier stabbed in the neck in Paris
Police are seeking a suspect of North African origin
UPDATE (22.00): Switching on the TV, Sky News is leading with the news of the stabbing of the French anti-terrorist soldier. "A bearded man of possibly North African appearance", said the Sky newsreader. An update from a CBS correspondent follows.

The BBC News Channel is not leading with the story. The story is mentioned in the running thread at the bottom of the screen, but the story is not being being drawn attention to by the newsreader. No reports, no interviews. Silence. Extraordinary.

UPDATE (22.14): The BBC is definitely downplaying this story. The News Channel mentioned it at 22:11, passing over in just over 20 seconds, making no mention of any description of the attacker(s), not reporting the intent to kill (which Sky reported a French minister as stating), saying the injuries weren't life threatening...and then moving quickly on.

UPDATE (22.30): OK, a final sum-up. Sky News is still leading with this story. The BBC News Channel is still barely reporting it. (Their half-hour headlines failed to even mention it). The Sky News and ITV News websites have it as a lead story on their home pages, while the BBC News Channel had opted not to feature an article about it on their home page. The main British newspapers (excepting the Guardian) are making it a main story too. The BBC's online article, already slipping down the agenda on the World page, has been updated to include the information that "France is on high alert following a threat from the North African wing of al Qaeda, related to the country's involvement in Mali" - though it leaves its readers to infer why that might be of any relevance to the story at hand. 

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