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Host Host | 12:23 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2007

On this week's Newswatch, the programme which discusses viewers' complaints about BBC News, Peter Horrocks, head of TV News, defends the decision to report the release of navy personnel by Iran so prominently, at a time when four British soldiers had been killed in Iraq.

You can watch the programme by clicking here.


  • 1.
  • At 02:09 PM on 16 Apr 2007,
  • PeeVeeAh wrote:

One minute and 52 seconds into that clip said it all, from Mr Horrocks' angle: The Freudian slip when he said "hostages" and then quickly modified his terminology.

I'm not saying the abduction was not a serious miscalculation by Iran, but Mr Horrocks' certainly aligned to the tangent of his outputs 'spin' on the story. Everywhere else in the clip, the terms 'detainee' and 'captive' were used, but an objective line was crossed when the emotive - and unsustained - term 'hostage' came into the viewfinder (or rangefinder?) of his defensive strategy.

The relative demerits of the contrasting stories is bizarrely highlit by the BBC: People die in war - it's tragic, but that's what war takes from people. Of course it must have been awful for the folk who lost relatives in the near-coincident bombing - but it is war! Perhaps the real problem is that we - the folk back home - are seeing it all played-out near-instantaneously in our homes, because media is so available at all points, in all formats. :-/

If we have the freedom to see everything as-it-happens, then there will be some friction in 'breaking news' content! That's IT! :-/

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