Thursday, 12 January 2006

Amateur journalism and the Outer Hebrides

North Tonight, a regional news programme on ITV, did a report from Benbecula today. This concentrated on the damage caused by the hurricane of this day last year, and the repairs (perceived, actual and lack of) to the infrastructure.

The report was dire. Most of the time was spent by the reporter spinning off a stream of cliches that could be applied to any place that had suffered a natural disaster. The rest of the time was spent in superficial interviews and discussion, which didn't touch on most of the options available e.g. tunnels, ferries, strategic barriers, tidal/wave strings that also reduce erosion. Instead, it was a tiresome "government is bad for not supporting" "government is good for supporting" black hats / white hats knockabout, with a lack of factual information.

Sometimes, it grates that there is little about the Outer Hebrides mentioned in the media. But it's probably better to have no mention, than shallow, dumbed-down, simplified-to-the-point-of-misleading reporting such as this. There are courses and academic training centres for journalists now; you wouldn't think it, watching local news reports such as these.

As a side point; there are many days of great weather here. Have a look at the gallery in the Berneray Community website for examples. But every news report I have seen for the last five years from the Outer Hebrides has footage of miserable weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment