Wednesday 1 December 2010

"BBC News opinion" on Wikileaks

Regular readers will be aware that one of my interests on blogging and the BBC has been the existence of a grey area between "personal opinion" and "professional judgement".

If you are really underemployed it could form part of a wider exploration of the blurring of news, opinion and analysis.

Here is another little example.

If you ask somebody at the BBC about Jonathan Marcus's latest online article on Wikileaks, entitled 'Bumpy ride for U.S. diplomats', they will tell you that the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent has written a piece of analysis based on the evidence in which he has exercised his professional judgement. It is his "expert view".

The Small Wars Journal, however, has categorised the article under a section headed "Editorials and Opinion" in its excellent list of links on Wikileaks. In fact, the article is labelled "BBC News opinion" suggesting that one person's "analysis" and "professional judgement" is another's "personal" or "news opinion".

Even if you can demonstrate that the Small Wars Journal is wrong to categorise it as such, it suggests that some audiences are not aware of any distinction.


Anonymous said...

Is there a category that says "piece written just after midnight after we've done Radio 4, 5 Live, several 2-ways for World TV and the News Channel and a piece for the morning bulletins" (and my producer is knackered and has to take his 4 year old to nursery in the morning). Because JM's copy slots neatly into that category!
Stu H

Daniel Bennett said...

Not last time I checked! I think JM needs a blog as well - he clearly doesn't have enough outlets for all his journalism...

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