Tuesday 30 November 2021

''Fact check please?''

Robert Poll of the Save Our Statues campaign noted another BBC headline:
One line in it reads: 
Roads such as Canning Street, Cannon Hall Road, Dundas Road and Havelock Street were named after people who were heavily involved in slavery.

Robert tweeted: 

BBC says historic street names are racist. Despite most people disagreeing, it's reported without quotation marks, so clearly represents BBC News's own view. They also say Havelock was "heavily involved with slavery" despite zero connection. Fact check please? 

Indeed, Major General Sir Henry Havelock (1795-1857) wasn't involved in slavery in any way, shape or form.   

Robert has now asked the BBC to change the headline and correct the article: 

Could you please add quotation marks around that very much non-factual and highly contentious description? Could you also please correct the sentence on Havelock, who had no connection with slavery. This is precisely how fake history spreads.

Update: The Times uses this headline, with appropriate use of quotations marks (and doesn't get Sir Henry wrong]:

It's also notable that The Times mentions the public's anti-change take on the matter in its opening paragraph. The BBC only mentions that in the third paragraph from the end of their piece. 

It's as if what the ordinary people of Sheffield think isn't something the BBC considers particularly relevant or important. 

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