Friday 6 July 2018

The BBC's 'Everywhere Correspondent'

Still catching up...

I've previously (and repeatedly) quipped about the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse, now one of Newsnight's main reporters, being the BBC's 'Everywhere correspondent'. 

That was because the BBC kept on - and keeps on - parachuting him into Everywhere to be their instant expert reporter on any major foreign affairs story. 

As I previously said:
....he pops up everywhere, always sounding authoritative, whichever country he's reporting from.
My sceptical note there possibly tells you what I think about Gabriel's reporting: It sounds good and he's a charismatic reporter and he may very well be an excellent reporter but I still have my doubts...

And this week provided another example of just why I have my doubts about Gabriel's on-the-hoof reporting:

Here he was on Monday's Newsnight talking about the German migration situation (which, by the by, he insisted - in true impartial BBC fashion! - isn't a crisis):
The irony of the situation is this: The number of migrants crossing into Germany are tiny compared to what they were. This country no long faces an actual migration crisis. This is political. The parliamentary elections in September, the anti-immigrant AfD party became the second largest in the Bundestag, putting nationalist politicians in Parliament for the first time in more than half a century. 
Now, I'm only a mere blogger and very far from being a high-profile, probably-award-winning BBC reporter with plenty of Newsnight off-camera support and bags of BBC editorial oversight, but even I knew, straightaway, on hearing that that the BBC's 'Everywhere correspondent' had got his facts wrong and that not one of the Newsnight team had spotted his mistake before broadcasting his report. In last September's parliamentary elections AfD became the third largest party in the Bundestag, behind the CDU/CSU and the second-placed SDP. 

Seriously, shouldn't the BBC's 'Everywhere correspondent' have known that? And shouldn't at least one of the many best broadcasters in the world in the Newsnight team that evening have spotted that before sending his loaded report out into the world? 


  1. Yes, wrongish. AfD are the second largest bloc in the Bundestag (and he did reference the Bundestag) since the Grand Coalition of CDU, CSU and Social Democrats. ...If you were talking about parties, you'd have to separate CDU and CSU as they are completely separate parties, and I don't know what that would do to the figures. Merkel has nothing to do with the CSU.

    Anyway, I think we can find Gabriel (who is probably my favourite Newsnight presenter as occasionally being quite truthful) guilty of sloppy phrasing.

  2. It is also a constant of BBC reporting that they make no distinction between the state of something, its rate of change or even its rate of rate of change.
    Unless something major, (and unreported by the BBC), has happened Germany must have a million or so immigrants of whom only 69 have found jobs with Germany's top ten companies. That is the state of immigration. It might be that the rate of immigration isn't increasing, it may well be decreasing, but Germany will still have an immigration problem.
    just because the plumber has fixed my leaking tap doesn't mean that my flooded basement is empty of water and its contents magically repaired.


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