The Woolf Out the Door. Channel 4 News – Friday 31 October 2014

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Nothing about immigration, radicalised Muslims or UKIP on Friday 31st. I almost miss it. However, also nothing about the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire. They were keen to report on it when they thought UKIP was in the running but nothing now the Labour candidate, Alan Billings, got nearly twice the number of votes than UKIP.

19.00 – 19.02 Intros

19.02 – 19.15 The resignation of Fiona Woolf from the inquiry into child sexual abuse.

19.15 – 19.17 Crash of the Virgin Galactic test aircraft.

19.17 – 19.21 Overthrow of government in Burkina Faso.

19.21 – 19.23 Two deaths reported in a fire at a fireworks factory.

19.23 – 19.26 Report on the suicide of Rosie Whitaker and bullying.

19.26 – 19.31 US elections

19.31 – 19.35 Feature about the awareness campaign by the Royal Society for Public Health about the number of calories in alcoholic drinks.

I am disappointed that Channel 4 News has not reinforced my prejudice today. At least they are pushing the child sexual abuse inquiry story rather than having John Snow asking “what is it about these Northern cities?”.

I guess my campaign is working. Who would have thought that a nobody in one of “these Northern cities” would have any effect, even without being interviewed by their North of England correspondent and who voted Labour for the SYPCC.


The Woolves of Parliament Square. Channel 4 News – Thursday 30 October 2014

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It has become an enlightening discipline to have to watch the whole 7pm Channel 4 News bulletin without switching it off in disgust. Here are my observations for Thursday 30th October 2014.

19.00 – 19.01 – Intros

19.01 – 19.06 The proliferation of drugs in prisons & decriminalisation.

19.06 – 19.11 Social unrest in Burkina Faso.

19.11 – 19.21 Manchester sex abuse scandal including an interview with Tony Lloyd,Police Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester & Stephen Woolfe UKIP MEP for North West England. Krishnan Guru-Murthy asks “Is there a specific issue with Asians in the North West?”.

19.21 – 19.24 US nurse breaks Ebola quarantine.

19.24 – 19.26 NIBs about Scottish Labour Party, shooting at Al Aqsa and Libya.

19.26 – 19.32 Paul Mason reporting from East coast towns talking to people about UKIP and immigration.

19.32 – 19.34 “Adverts”

19.34 – 19.43 Proliferation of drugs in New England, US.

19.43 – 19.48 Follow-on interviews with UK anti-drugs worker and recreational user.

19.48 – 19.51 New Birmingham sperm bank.

Again, the ad break included the trailer for “Make Leicester British”.

Nothing specifically about British Muslims but the Manchester sex abuse story was given a racial slant, and a UKIP rent-a-gob, although there was a glaring side-step where maybe Krish should have asked “Is there a specific issue with Asians in the North West [and white, privileged men in Westminster]?”.

I’m sure it slipped his mind.

Paul Mason did attempt inject a little perspective in his report from the seaside town they forgot to close down, but it was mostly just giving a voice to people moaning about Poles coming over here, taking the shit jobs we don’t want to do.

So, for Thursday I count only 17 minutes (approximately) out of 51 that was about UKIP & immigrants.

It’s getting a little better as the week goes on but there are plenty of glaring omissions such as Occupy Democracy, Hinkley C, Fukushima, the environment generally etc etc.

More tomorrow.

Who’s afraid of Fiona Woolf? Channel 4 News – Tuesday 28 October 2014

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Although I have been moaning for some time about my perception that Channel 4 News was disproportionately reporting stories about radicalised Muslims and immigration, I was genuinely shocked at yesterday’s calculations of 42 minutes out of 55.

Here are the timings and content for day two to the nearest minute.

19.00 – 19.09 A story about Libyan “migrants” attempting to reach Italy and being rescued at sea by the British Navy, amongst others, and how a new policy is to withdraw support for these rescues and “let them drown” as a deterrent.

19.09 – 19.17 A follow-on story about as many as 2,500 illegal migrants gathering at Calais trying to enter Britain. “Is it really that many?” an incredulous Cathy Newman asks Paraic O’Brien.

19.17 – 19.19 “North of England Correspondent” Ciaran Jenkins reports on the ongoing child abuse scandal in Rotherham and elsewhere.

19.19 – 19.22 A report on LLoyds Bank proposing to close branches and lose jobs, following on to the wider issue of technology replacing jobs.

19.22 – 19.25 A story about a Muslim woman who is believed to have taken her small child to Syria. “Up to 25 British Muslims have been killed in Syria” and as many as “five Britons a week” are going to Syria, “a huge number”.

19.25 – 19.31 Ebola

19.31 – 19.40 A feature about Muslim radicalisation and the attitudes of British Muslims.

19.40 – 19.45 Diabetes

19.45 – 19.49 A report on the soon to be elected new Police Crimes Commissioner for South Yorkshire and Michael Crick managed to put in a special mention for the UKIP candidate.

19.49 – 19.52 New weather forecasting super-computer.

19.52 – 19.56 A story about Sir Nicholas Winton who aided Jewish children to escape persecution in pre-war Czechoslovakia.

The Libyan “migrants” are actually refugees from a country in anarchy after the US / UK / NATO military  intervention. Libya is chaos and awash with weapons and militias. Rather like Somalia. And Iraq. And Afghanistan etc.

2,500 migrant / refugees in Callais is not that many, actually. Sure, it is a problem that has to be dealt with but there was no acknowledgement of what is driving these people out of their own countries, just an attempt to relate it to benefits.

Every time they use the term “North of England Correspondent” it makes me feel warm inside.

I do not dispute that some British Muslims are becoming “radicalised” and, again, I do not claim that it is not a problem that should be addressed, but 25 British casualties when present as combatants in a war zone is nothing compared with the estimated 700,000 killed in the “War Against Terror”, and five a week leaving for Syria is not a “huge” number.

At half-time there was a reasonably substantial feature that at least attempted to give a voice to a number of British Muslims and how they felt in the current atmosphere anti-Muslim paranoia. However, it was still about us and them.

Tuesday’s quota turns out to be only 29 minutes (give or take a minute) out of 56 (and no adverts) on immigration and radicalised Muslims, which is better than Monday but still more than 50%.

Whilst I do not dismiss that both of these are real issues that need reporting and action, what concerns me is the exaggeration and the resulting paranoia, which I believe is a politically-seeded editorial policy in order to make immigration a major campaigning issue in order to push the electorate to the right.

I also watched Al Jazeera for a while today, and it seems that the United Kingdom is not the only country in the world.

And nothing on (ahem) certain issues that might (or might not) have far reaching repercussions in the establishment.