Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How Stern was spun - free debate crushed by Labour

Actual journalism and from the BBC ! ( Well done ). Here it comes ....

Buried deep down in the BBC news web site is this report from Sarah Mukherjee which explains how the government has controlled the launch of the so called Stern report. (Read all of it - I've just quoted from its end.)

The moments of freedom did not last long, though, as we were herded back together for the Blair/Brown/Stern speeches and what we were told was a question and answer session. (We did get our phones, though.)

It was, according to one colleague, "one of the hardest listens of my life".

As the speaker tag team continued with international co-operation targets and commission announcements, I began to feel like I was having a sonic hole drilled in my forehead.

But it would be worth it, to get a question in to the Chancellor - an opportunity rarely, if ever, given to environment journalists.

As last. Speeches over.

The questions. "We will not be taking questions from the press..."

Spun? More like boil washed - and hung out to dry.

If Climate Change is such a challange to the world - why is no scrutiny allowed or questions allowed in the press conference ? ( A point picked up in passing in Today's Telegraph. See below )

"If we members of the press had actually been allowed to ask questions of Tony, Gordon, chief number-cruncher and the rest we were not: 'a sign of the times' — we might have asked Sir Nicholas how exactly many fewer degrees of global warming we and the world might have had if Labour had continued Mrs Thatcher's's lead in the world, as it promised in 1997, instead of losing the plot."

The only spinning surely should be done by the Earth.

The press must make this sort of manipulation the headline every time the government tries it on - otherwise we will forever just have to accept what we are told.

Tags BBC, Sarah+Mukherjee

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, poor Sarah, how very frustrating for her, and it's not at all on with a major announcement like this, she could have written it all from a press release. I have spoken to Sarah in the past and she lives nearby in Cambridgeshire, she is very good at her job. No wonder journalists can't stand politicians.