Saturday 11 July 2015

"Allahu Akbar"

It's often noticeable that different news organisations will weight particular elements of a new stories differently, sometimes suggesting their respective biases.

Take for example the breaking story about the attack on the Serbian PM at the commemorations of the Srebreneca massacre. 

Sky News begins its report like this:
Serbian PM Stoned At Srebrenica Ceremony 
Serbia's Prime Minister has been chased from a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre by an angry crowd. 
Aleksandar Vucic had just  laid a flower at a monument to thousands of victims buried there when the crowd started to chant 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great.)
They then hurled stones and other objects, forcing Mr Vucic to run for cover shielded by his bodyguards. 
Serbia's Tanjug state-run news agency said he was hit on the head by a stone and had his glasses broken. 
The country's interior minister has described the attack as an "assassination attempt". 
BBC News begins its report like this:
Srebrenica massacre anniversary: Crowds chase Serb PM away
Thousands have gathered at a graveyard in Bosnia-Herzegovina to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. 
About 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys died at the hands of Bosnian Serb forces amid the break-up of Yugoslavia. 
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic - whose country backed the Bosnian Serbs - was chased away from the ceremony by a crowd throwing stones. 
On Wednesday, Russia vetoed a UN resolution calling the events as genocide - a term that angers Serbia. 
The Bosnian War saw Bosnian Serb forces, backed by Serbia, fighting the Muslim-led Bosnian government. 
In July 1995, thousands seeking shelter in what was supposed to be a UN refuge in Srebrenica were shot dead. It was Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.
Only in the sixteenth paragraph (almost two-thirds of the way down the page) do we read about those cries of "Allahu Akbar":
However, later the Serbian leader was heckled by crowds shouting "Allahu Akbar" as he entered to lay flowers. As some chanted "responsibility" and "genocide", others proceeded to throw objects - reports suggested stones, water bottles and a shoe were among the items used.
Sky chose to put that detail in the second paragraph of its report; the BBC chose to place it in its sixteenth paragraph. Very different decisions.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, a very good post. Tells you a lot about the BBC's refusal to see the world as it is.


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