Monday 12 August 2013

Handbags at dawn

It was only yesterday that I was complaining again about the BBC's tendency to binge on a story for a day and then move on, forgetting to follow it up - even when a dramatic new development occurs in that story. There's another example of this today - though it concerns a more trivial story. 

You can hardly fail to have heard about Oprah Winfrey's alleged racist treatment at the hands of a shop assistant in Switzerland. The papers and the BBC website were full of the story on Friday (9th August), and I remembering hearing it discussed on both The World at One and on PM on Radio 4 - and being tied into the issue of discrimination against illegal immigrants in the country. 

Well, now the shop assistant has given her side of the story, and it's a very different story she's telling. She's accusing Oprah of lying, of feeling 'powerless' and in the eye of a 'cyclone'. "I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl," she says. 

Well, we weren't there and there's no way of knowing who's telling the truth, but at least we've now got both sides of the story. We've heard Oprah's side; now it's the shop assistant turn. 

Except you won't find a mention of it on the BBC News website. 

Now, it's not only the BBC that's falling into 'been there, done that' trap. Some other media outlets are just as guilty. 

Why are they failing to follow the story up? If the Times, the Mail and the Mirror can do it, then so can they.

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