Saturday 29 July 2017

An unfolding story

Using the invaluable TV Eyes monitoring tool, it's possible to track how the news broke across several broadcast outlets. 

The story broke mid afternoon yesterday when the BBC News Channel began reporting it. BBC One's News at Six featured it as a 'news in brief' item: 
One person has been killed and four others injured in a knife attack in a Hamburg supermarket. Police said a man was arrested after being overpowered by members of the public and that his motives are so far unclear.
The BBC News Channel continued reporting it like that for several hours, but didn't report it for around two-and-a-half hours from 9.30pm till shortly after midnight and the story didn't feature at all on BBC One's flagship News at Ten

ITV's News at Ten, in contrast, did report it (as they had during their early evening news bulletin) and gave more detail than the BBC had given us so far (as did Sky News at the same time):
A man armed with a knife has killed one person, and injured four others, at a supermarket in Hamburg. A 26-year-old man born in United Arab Emirates has been arrested by German police. Germany has been on high alert in recent months following a number of attacks on civilians last year, including the December attack on a Berlin Christmas market. 
The BBC caught up just after midnight: 
Police in Germany say a man armed with a knife has attacked people in a supermarket in the northern city of Hamburg. Police say one person was killed and four others injured. The suspect is now in detention, is a 26-year-old man born in the United Arab Emirates, though his nationality is unclear. The police say they have no clear idea of the motive and are not ruling anything out. 
...and that's how they've been reporting it throughout the night. 

RT (Russia Today), in sharp contrast to the BBC (and Sky and ITV), began reporting eyewitness statements that the man shouted "Allahu Akbar" before carrying out his attack as early as 5.00pm yesterday evening and has continued doing so ever since, for example at 10.00pm:
Police have spoken about any motive behind the attack. They have said that they're investigating all possible motives, including terror. Some eyewitnesses at the scene said that the man shouted "Allahu akbar", 'God is great' in Arabic, before carrying out his attack, however the police spokesperson did not comment further on that.
Whether the story makes it to BBC Breakfast in any shape or form remains to be seen.

Update: And then, after hanging around the lower reaches of the BBC News website, the story now suddenly rises to become the BBC's 'third story' under the headline Hamburg supermarket attacker 'was known Islamist'. A failed asylum seeker from the UAE, he "was known as an Islamist but not a jihadist," and "suffered from 'psychological' issues". "It is not yet clear what the suspect's motivations were", says the BBC.


  1. How long before they figure out where Dalston is?

  2. Ellie Fant-Indaroom29 July 2017 at 10:14

    This is the BBC rule:

    "If you can't avoid the story, kill it. If you can't kill it, bury it."

    1. It hasn't been reported on BBC TV (including the News Channel) since about 5.20 this morning. It's been well and truly buried.

  3. Q: What's the difference between an Islamist and a Jihadist?

    A: The Jihadist is an Islamist who has acted out.


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