Monday, 21 April 2008

Irresponsible Reporting?

There's a question mark in the title before anyone goes off on one.

The Grangemouth situation. The plant is being closed down while a trade dispute is settled. The BBC (and other media outlets - both print and TV) is reporting that there is huge panic buying at petrol stations across the country. It has pictures - taken on Sunday - to prove it.

Only the reason petrol station forecourts were full on Sunday is that they are always full on Sundays. People fill up their cars for the commute to work all week, making the petrol stations that bit busier on a Sunday. So the pictures they have are of that - people making their regular Sunday trip to the petrol station to fill up for the week.

All these images and the reporting (scaremongering?) does is make people think that there will be a petrol shortage - and then these picture will in fact become a reality across Scotland, and there really will be a shortage. In short, I'm not picking a side in the dispute - its an industrial dispute and requires both sides to sit down and hammer out a deal. What I am saying is that the press are building up the tension in it - making it more difficult to find a solution, and ultimately panicking Scotland's drivers.

Incidentally, while I'm ranting, I saw this on BBC news - it was reported by the BBC's "Scotland Correspondent." No, not BBC's Scotland's reporter doing a slot for the UK news, the UK news sent a reporter - who they've cleverly called a "Scotland Correspondent" to "Grangemouth, in Scotland" to report this to their audience across the UK. Surely it would have been more economically efficient - and environmentally friendly - to use a reporter from BBC Scotland.

So that's what my TV licence gets spent on...


Jeff 22 April 2008 at 13:30  

very good point!

I pass 3 garages on my way to work so given it's Tuesday lunchtime I've passed a garage 9 times and there wasn't a single queue.

The sensationalism of the media is not new but it's still getting very tiring indeed.

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