One of the major problems with the BBC’s reporting of the ‘Trojan Horse’ story has been the failure to provide historical context, a lack of reference material that allows you to judge current events and put them in perspective, the lack of crucial information about people, their actions and beliefs, and finally a lack of a coherent analysis that ties all that together to bring the audience a genuine and informative picture of events….one look at Panorama’s film about Islamic extremism in schools in 2010 would have confirmed a lot about the Trojan Horse allegations and answered questions about whether or not Gove knew about, and was tackling, extremism in schools….which you might suspect is why the BBC seemed to have ‘forgotten’ that past film of theirs and not used it to judge events now.
Today though at least one BBC journalist showed what can be done, how it should be done, giving a clear, unprejudiced analysis of events leading up to a current political storm in a teacup.
The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, claimed Michael Gove had previously rejected the idea of snap inspections of schools.
The BBC were revving up to make this a big story, it leading the news bulletins…but John Mannell on World at One (10 mins 50 sec) scotched that attempt by digging back through the archives and coming up with material and an analysis that suggests Gove is, once again, innocent of the charges laid against him.
All good stuff, clearly and simply presented.
However Emily Maitliss undoes the good work and manages to mangle the story by doing the usual BBC thing of adding in her own opinions and suggestive words and phrases that have little bearing on the truth and seems to relish sprinkling a little vitriol and doubt over things.
Personally I’d prefer the unadorned truth as provided by John Mannell.