I’m sick to death of maudlin BBC
RMUST BBC TV news be so brutally, relentlessly, grimly, gratuitously bleak about the Covid crisis? Must we be led by the nose into death wards night after night after night? Must we be told, in soft, sonorous tones, that the person we just saw being interviewed on their bed of pain subsequently died, and that their suffering family wanted us to hear their last words?
Are grieving families best placed to make such judgments? In my experience as a news journalist covering tragedies, actually, no, these poor folk are not.
Why do we have to be shown lorry-load after lorry-load of pine coffins being delivered to overstretched undertakers?
It’s OK guys – we get it. Covid makes some unfortunate people very sick and sometimes kills them too (though on the whole it does neither) currently in sufficient numbers to put the NHS under great pressure.WE. GET. IT. But must we have our noses rubbed so relentlessly into sickness and suffering and sadness and raw grief night after night after night?
It borders on the morbid, not to say the sadistic.
Yes, we need the facts. But whatever happened to the national broadcaster’s role in upholding public morale? Mental health is important too. Depression, anxiety and unadulterated fear are prevalent right now. Doesn’t the BBC have a duty to take this into account? (And I don’t mean shoving
another re-run of Mrs Brown’s Boys into the schedules. I’m talking about news programming).
Sometimes it seems almost every “good news” development in the battle against Covid is twisted on its head by BBC correspondents. If today’s doom-laden, in-your-face Covid coverage had characterised radio bulletins during the dark days of the Second World War, we’d probably have chucked in the towel. This is how today’s Beeb might have reported victory in the Battle of Britain on September 15, 1940.
Newsreader: “We go over to our military affairs correspondent, Pugh Hymn, at Biggin Hill… Pugh; a record number of German aircraft were downed today in the skies above Kent: RAF Fighter Command claim a decisive victory. Is this the end of the threat of a Nazi invasion?”
Hymn: “Oh no, it’s far too early to
say that, Sophie. I’ve spoken to observers who say the total of downed enemy aircraft has been greatly exaggerated, and anyway, the German war machine will make good any losses. No victory today.”
Newsreader: “But… this was a major enemy air assault and it was convincingly repulsed. Surely that’s good news, Pugh?”
Hymn (chuckling quietly): “It depends on your definition of good news, Sophie.We lost a lot of Spitfires and Hurricanes today. How much longer can the RAF sustain such losses?What if the Germans switch tactics and start nightbombing? Many believe that today will be seen as at best a stalemate, and more likely a crushing defeat – for us.”
Newsreader: “Thank you, Pugh… coming up: Dunkirk. Deliverance, or disaster? Experts tell us it was actually the day Britain lost the war.”