. A commenter on B-BBC, Thomas, aka Grumpy Troll, has got a result from BBC Newswatch regarding the now more widely known BBC omission of coverage concerning Iran’s condemned-to-death rape victim (please check out the horrific details if you haven’t yet heard about it properly- we’re not talking about something in doubt here)
I notice that Mr Jolly (the BBC Newswatch man who responded) tries to excuse it by saying the story broke over the weekend, and then says effectively that failure to cover a story initially is reason enough for ignoring it permanently. Another interpretation is that the Beeb ignores stories that are presented to it by the online rabble (stories, in other words, that the Beeb are late to, ignorant of and culpable for omitting from their coverage).
It’s preposterous. Whatever happened to ‘the public interest’- or even a young girl’s? The coverage cited by the Newswatch man is just one instance of BBC coverage, five months back, reliant on one of their beloved transnationals, Amnesty, who voice ‘growing concern’. The rest (following links) tends to be generalised, infrequent, involving criticism mostly by proxy – and they turn up their nose at a specific example!
The Beeb’s Newswatch response:
I don’t think we have covered this story and to be honest, there’s no one reason why that’s the case. For one thing it became known on a weekend, and might not not have got picked up as quickly as it might have done during the week. Also, try as we might, it is impossible to cover every story, and we try to avoid running items simply because they have already been covered widely elsewhere.
To be fair, this particular story seems to have been covered largely on blogs and specialists websites, so may never have made it into mainstream media. However, the fact it isn’t running shouldn’t be seen as an act of censorship – we have covered the issue of Iran’s human rights in the past:
I hope that goes some way to answering your question. I’ll pass your
e-mail on to our Middle East editor so he can check what the latest
‘In the past’- oh, ok, we only bother with Iran as a kind of academic, history exercise. It’s not like their business is news or anything. And it was the weekend- the three billions of public money just couldn’t cover that
Thomas’s initial comment:
Sent: 24 January 2006 16:06
To: News General Feedback
Subject: Feedback [NewsWatch]
COMMENTS: I am writing to ask why the story of a 17-year-old Iranian girl sentenced to death by hanging for having caused the death of one of her three rapists has seemingly not been covered by BBC News, at least not on the BBC News website.
(Story reported at the following URL:
I would appreciate an answer and do excuse myself should the story have been covered and missed by my searches.