Apartheid in South Africa | Living under racial segregation and discrimination

Letter from a Cameraman About 'Panorama'

A South African cameraman describes his reaction to press reports on 'Panorama'.

BBC ARCHIVE
WRITTEN DOCUMENT 1964


newsair inc., radio and television news.


June 28, 1964.

Mr. David Wheeler,
BBC 'Panorama',
LONDON.

Dear David Wheeler,

Please excuse the belated reply to your, much appreciated, letter of June 18.

I am pleased indeed that you were happy with the film. I look forward to receiving
the copy. I am enclosing a cutting from the Johannesburg 'Star'. It comes from
their London office. The Afrikaans (Nat) 'Vaderland' also played back a report
from their London based man. The headline read.'The BBC can-not find anything
to slate South Africa with.' It refers to the poisonous Robin Day and goes on to
say that the film falls flat...'and at times even comical, like the shot of a
young man who walks up and pulls a face into the camera'. It did not say that
that man was a Nat thug who kicked over my camera or that he was hit very hard
on the jaw by the cameraman. I must be getting old, I could hit and they would
take a long time to rise. Well maybe it is his thick skull that saved him. I have
had no word from the Nats over the programe. It is very kind of you to be
concerned with any repercussions the show may have on the local 'powers that B'.

Thank you for the technical dope. I am having the camera checked. The last time
I used it was on story with Revel.

I look forward to the opportunity of working again for you on 'Panorama'. I
would like to suggest the odd story from time to time that maybe of use to you.
Apartheid in sport, if shot in time for the IOC's decision on Sudafricas
participation in the Olympics, may be useful. How?.

My very best regards.

Sincerely,

[Signed]

Ernest R. Christie.


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Document Type | Letter

28 June 1964

Document version

Writtenin

1964

Synopsis

Cameraman Ernest Christie fills the Panorama series producer David Wheeler in on the South African press reaction to the recent programme 'Panorama: Race Problems Around the World'
, on which they had both worked. In the South African segment of this programme Ernest Christie had filmed Robin Day reporting from outside the court on the day that Nelson Mandela and his co-defendants were sentenced. In the programme a white youth can be seen trying to disrupt the filming and Christie elaborates on this incident.

Did you know?

Christie refers to the 'Afrikaans (Nat) Vaterland', by which he means that the 'Vaterland' newspaper supports the ruling National Party. 'Nat' and 'Nats' were derisive ways of referring to the National Party that also had aural connotations of the word 'Nazi'.

Contributors

Ernest R Christie
Writer
Recipient

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