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The role of Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

 
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David C
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The role of Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

Email to nick.robinson@bbc.co.uk
Friday, 22 October 2010


Nick Robinson: "I am a great believer in free speech but I also care passionately about being able to do my job reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years."

You may be convinced in your own mind that you are "reporting and analysing one of the most important political stories for years". But this is delusional; you are essentially a propaganda mouthpiece reporting what those in power say and do. You've admitted as much:

"In the run-up to the conflict, I and many of my colleagues, were bombarded with complaints that we were acting as mouthpieces for Mr Blair. Why, the complainants demanded to know, did we report without question his warning that Saddam was a threat? Hadn't we read what Scott Ritter had said or Hans Blix? I always replied in the same way. It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking [sic]. Elsewhere on our bulletins we did report those who questioned the truth of what we were being told.

"That is all someone in my sort of job can do. We are not investigative reporters. We do not have expertise in weapons systems or intelligence. We report on politics. Yet we are imbued - rightly or wrongly - with authority to speak on a vast range of subjects. Now, more than ever before, I can see why my reporting angered those who opposed the war. Now, more than ever before, I will pause before relaying what those in power say. Now, more than ever, I will try to examine the contradictory case."

(' "Remember the last time you shouted like that?" I asked the spin-doctor', Nick Robinson, The Times, July 16, 2004; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,482-1180654,00.html)

Your problem is that you carried on regardless: you did not "pause before relaying what those in power say." This is not journalism; it's stenography. People can see that; the people who pay your salary. Perhaps you'll bear that in mind the next time you encounter someone making a protest while you act as an echo chamber for power.

David Cromwell



Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2010/10/last_nights_six_oclock_news.html
Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:37 pm
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