Sunday, July 30, 2006

BBC4 vs Channel 4 News vs More4 News

Why is Channel 4 News quite so bad nowadays? Reporters making points as they report. Their coverage of the crisis in Lebanon now seems to be even worse than what they did over Iraq.

Friday (28 Jul), after watching their evening bulletin, I turned to More4 News. More of the same. The same hysterical report by Jonathan Rugman from Washington on the Bush-Blair meeting. Then a piece about why the US gives such unconditional support to Israel: is it the Jewish lobby or the Christian fundamentalists? In other words, Israel (and the US) is the problem. That was as much as I could stand.

So I switched over to the news on BBC4. This was more in the style of what C4 used to do 15 or 20 years ago. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer it: reporters report, then you get a couple of 'experts', of different viewpoints, to analyze. I was in time to catch a discussion with Dennis Ross and Lord (Donald) Anderson. Anderson described some of the calls for an immediate ceasefire as 'facile'. They then had a report about 'end time theology': I've not got a problem with that (I mean with them reporting it). If it wasn't for the fact that I prefer to watch the TV news at 7:00 PM rather than 8:00...

For the benefit of readers from outside the UK, BBC4 is a digital service, free-to-view, but you need a set top box at a cost of around 50 Pounds (translate that into dollars? I'm not going to go that far.) Incidentally, C4 news introduced a broadband streaming service a month or so ago. They also have an MP3 that can be downloaded in the morning, though I haven't tried that yet. Again, for readers outside the UK, it might be worth trying these, just as an exercise....

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