Monday 9 December 2013

South African whispers

Hmm, an article has just (i.e. about thirty minutes ago) sneaked its way onto the BBC News website. (I only spotted it because it popped up on the sidebar here at Is?):
BBC News chief defends Mandela coverage
(By 'sneaked', I mean it appeared in the 'Entertainment' section of the BBC News website rather than on its homepage.)

Breaking news? 

Hardly. It's merely a recycling of a Newswatch interview with BBC News boss James Harding from last Friday. 

Maybe the BBC wouldn't have even bothered posting an online article about it but, five hours ago, the Guardian - also pretending it had 'breaking news' - posted an article headlined BBC boss defends Nelson Mandela coverage after 850 complaints. That would have got the BBC's attention!

Google News is great for allowing you to track the spread of a story. The Daily Telegraph website must have spotted the Graun's piece and posted its own version four hours ago. The Independent joined them an hour ago. 

With the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Independent all after them, the BBC must have reasoned that they'd better publish their own online spin about this three-day old Newswatch interview.

It mostly consists of quotes from Mr Harding. There's very little on the actual criticism of the BBC's coverage from Newswatch viewers - and others. (For that you can read our post from two days ago!)

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