Friday, August 03, 2007

BBC Then And Now ...

Nick Ross in Thursday's Times remembers his early BBC days in Belfast :

Before that, he had been on The World Tonight, where he reported in some detail on army brutality in Northern Ireland. He was summoned by the managing director of radio. "I thought I was going to be congratulated and I got the most terrible dressing-down: I was unpatriotic. I was putting soldiers at risk."

They were right, whoever his bosses were. I disapprove of brutality by police or soldiers against unarmed or disarmed people. But although you can't count the bodies, there's no doubt that, say, the reporting of Abu Ghraib has had negative consquences for the US military. The only way the snaps should have been published was if the top brass was aware but took no action.

"Anyway, I don’t think things are worse. I just think there are different pressures now." Ratings, he means. "Oh, you’d put that story out without a thought now. There’s no way that the MD of television or the Director-General would pull it. They’d say ‘great story’."

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