Sunday 10 June 2018

To cover a protest or not to cover a protest...(2)

'Funtime' Frankie McCamley of the BBC

Returning to the theme of a post from last month, which marches or protests should the BBC cover and which should they ignore? 

I ask again because there have been more marches and protests this weekend (as ever) and the BBC has been all over one of them, sending reporters to cover it and making it BBC News website front page news hours before it even began - namely the marches to commemorate the suffragettes - whilst, at the same time, sidelining other marches and protests, such as yesterday's latest Free Tommy protest in London (by supporters of Tommy Robinson) and today's Al-Quds Day march in London (by haters of Israel), which have barely had a look-in.

This time I'll just throw the floor open to your views (if you're not feeling too hot to think about such things)....

What criteria should the BBC use to judge whether a particular march or protest is worth covering or worth ignoring? 

Is it numbers? Is it topicality? Is it if any violence occurs? Is it about the likelihood of it bringing about change? 


  1. Ay, there's the rub...

    Not easy to come up with coherent and consistent guidelines. But the BBC have a tendency of ignoring all protests and marches that don't originate with the Left unless they can be characterised as "far right".

    I think they are a bit confused themselves. They clearly intended to completely ignore the Free Tommy march but as there was some disorder and violence, they thought it was worth spinning that, but still without mentioning how many people were in attendance. It could have been There must have been several thousand there, despite a media blackout and, it appears You Tube manipulation to prevent notice of the march circulating. All those people must have been there by word of mouth and social media exchanges.

    Have the BBC mentioned the 600,000 plus petition to free Tommy? I haven't seen that anywhere.

    And why has the BBC done no follow up on the Robinson case. Is there not a single human rights lawyer in the land who is concerned that a man can be separated from his family and young children for 13 months at a same day trial? Can you imagine how the BBC would be behaving if this was a left wing activist who had been subjected to such a court process and sentence?

    Here's the BBC report in full:


    "Police officers hurt at 'free Tommy Robinson' protest"

    Five police officers were injured as a demonstration in London in support of jailed ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson turned violent.

    Riot officers were deployed as hundreds of protesters blocked the roads around Trafalgar Square.

    Five arrests were later made after Robinson supporters took over a sightseeing bus, and missiles and smoke bombs were thrown.

    Robinson, 35, was jailed for contempt of court last month.

    Appearing at Leeds Crown Court under his real name of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, he was sentenced to 13 months on 29 May after broadcasting on social media about an ongoing trial at the court.

    A judge told Robinson, from Bedfordshire, his actions could cause the trial to be re-run, costing "hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds". UNQUOTE

    What is interesting about this report are the following:

    1. No mention of protest numbers, which would immediately give the protest legitimacy of a sort.

    2. No mention of who is organising the protest. Why? That's pretty standard.

    3. No mention of the speeches at the protest. Including the appearance of Geert Wilders as well.

    4. No description of the nature of the "contempt of court".

    5. I am not sure they have the sentence described accurately in any case. I have read elsewhere that a breach of licence as well as contempt was involved.

    6. No mention of TR being arrested, charged, sentenced and imprisoned all in the space of 24 hours.

    7. No quotes from protest leaders. How often when there has been a confrontation with police on a left wing demo do we NOT hear from the protest organisers.

    And a last thought did the BBC's ex-revolutionary socialist Andrew Marr or ex-communist David Aaronovitch have anything to say about ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson's arrest and sentencing?

    On the bright side, there's got to be a good chance President Trump will mention the UK's first political prisoner of the 21st that will be fun when that happens. :)

  2. 'BBC editorial integrity means there is not always time or space' for story items that the BBC really does not fancy'.

    In case 'self-censorship' does not cover it.

  3. Interesting to note that Hope Not Hate - not exactly a pro-Tommy organisation - estimate the attendance at the Free Tommy event at 10,000. I reckon a certain formerly smug judge is not so smug now and his mates are p'd off with him for having created a serious problem that threatens PC Multiculturalism.


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