30 June 2011

Strike News: speeches inside, cameras outside and a reporter gives us a lecture...

There was time when you could expect to see some rather good speeches from trades union leaders, especially when speaking to supporters during industrial action. And, for all I know, there may well have been some rather good ones at the meeting in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster earlier today when demonstrators assembled after their march through London.

Given my blogging about the reluctance of British television news companies to broadcast anything much from speeches (e.g. HERE), you'd think that I'd know better than to start switching between Sky News and BBC News 24 at around the time the teachers' and lecturers' union leaders were speaking - on the off-chance of seeing, and perhaps even recording, some of them in action.

But old habits die hard and it was not to be: all we got to see was exactly what I should have expected to see if I only I had enough sense to take notice of my own blog posts.

Both our 24 hour news channels had positioned their cameras on some sort of platform outside Central Hall, from where we could see lots of people milling about and, crucially, listen to one of their reporters who had just been inside giving us a two and a half minute lecture on what some of the speakers had been saying - even though other speeches were apparently still going on.

It may be, of course, that they did have a camera or two inside. Maybe, by the time we get to the prime-time news programmes later this evening, they'll have singled out a few sound bites for us. But I'm not banking on it.

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