Tuesday 15 March 2016

"Desperate refugees"

Emotional language has become routine in the BBC's reporting of the migrant crisis. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard those on the Greek-Macedonian border described as "desparate" by BBC reporters. The opening headlines on yesterday's BBC News at Six gave yet another example of this

Desperate refugees have found another way out of Greece on their journey northwards,


  1. adjective
    feeling or showing a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.
    "a desperate sadness enveloped Ruth"
    synonyms: despairing, hopeless; More
    (of a person) having a great need or desire for something.
    "I am desperate for a cigarette"
    synonyms: in great need of, urgently requiring, craving, in want of, lacking, wanting

    As they passed through Turkey, a NATO member and active EU applicant to get there, as no longer refugees I am going with 2.

  2. It's getting worse at the BBC. On Radio 4's Today of this date, they had a segment which actually used an emotive musical acommpaniment combined with carefully chosen snippets of reports on the Syrian civil war and migration news (all to the sound of a ticking clock representing the number of deaths). This isn't news, this is emotion manipulation. Why not have the whole of the news like that with soaring musical accompaniment? I know in the past the BBC have tried to smuggle in music to the news but I think have been met - rightly - with complaints. But of course, the worse of it is that the incoherent, out of context, report snippets give a very one sided view of the war - I wasn't focussed on it all but I think it (a) failed to put it in the context of the disastrous Arab Spring (b) failed to give it the strategic context (the US and Nato were reckless in fomenting rebellion to begin with, thinking they would get an easy win against the Russians and perhaps create a pathway to peace between Arabs and Israel (c) failed to point out that most of the rebels are one way or another either Islamists who don't want democracy or human rights, or are Kurdish nationalists who don't want a Syrian state.


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