back to article Sky wins TV riot battle

For years Private Eye has been making fun of 24-hour rolling news, and its pointless obsession with Going Live! It documented how this crept into scheduled bulletins – reporters standing pointlessly in front of empty buildings or roundabouts, where nothing at all was happening. The internet seemed to make rolling 24-hour news …


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  1. Tom Chiverton 1


    Video already unavailable.

    1. Dotter

      Not so fail.

      Works for me.

      1. Jeremy 2

        Re: Not so fail.

        It was replaced with a different vid (presumably a copy of the same).

        Here's another of note:

        Thief: "Are you a journalist?"

        Stone: "No, I live here. I'm just astounded at what you're doing..."

        Theif: "Well we're getting our taxes back, innit?"

        Ugh....... She's probably not paid a penny of tax in her life.

        1. BorkedAgain

          "Waterstones... not touched..."

          Says it all, really...

        2. XMAN

          'The only people hurt are insurance companies"..

          Some idiot commented on the video that this is only harming the insurance companies. What a load of nonsense.

          Firstly, an increase in claims will cause a small increase to everyones insurance premiums. As we all know, nearly all forms of insurance provide a discount based on you having no claims. If you claim on your insurance this year, you can bet that your renewal price is going to be much higher.

          Aside from your renewal costs going up, insurance premiums in general will increase as the level of claims increase, so it will also affect other businesses.

          Many insurance companies will exclude glass cover (ie. windows) after 3 or 4 claims. That may sound like a lot of claims but that's not per year, that's overall. If you have a business in a busy high street (especially anywhere near a drinking establishment) then you'll know it's not uncommon to have your business' windows damaged.

          Aside from insurance costs, because of this damage, a lot of businesses will be closed for a certain amount of time. That means staff won't get paid and the store will lose money. It also means that I can't walk down the road and buy a fucking scart cable (I don't want one, but you get the idea).

          So please, don't be so naive to believe that the only people being harmed are insurance companies.

        3. goats in pajamas


          Cus she never bought anything in a shop and paid 17.5% - 20% VAT.

          People like you are worse than the rioting kids - at least they're bright enough to know they're being stupid.

          1. BorkedAgain

            @Goatse - you're trolling, right?

            Is it official now that JD Sports and Dixons are the places to go for your VAT rebate?

            "Gettin our taxes back, innit" is a shit excuse, and I rather suspect the scrote in question knew this herself. She was stealing. She's a thief, not a freedom fighter. A criminal, not a crusader.

            'bout time we shipped some water cannon over from NI. Just saying.

          2. Jeremy 2

            @goats in pajamas

            You're right, of course, just what is the duty on White Lightning and cheap fags these days? Assuming she doesn't just nick that too, of course...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    [utterly pointless title field]

    I'm generally a supporter of the BBC and anti-Sky but I have to agree with the article. Sky News last night was vastly superior to the BBC. I was switching between them for a while but gave up on the BBC in the end as they did nothing other than loop one piece of footage and repeat the occasional unconfirmed Tweet.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: [utterly pointless title field]

      Its reliance on Twitter and The Great British Public means the BBC reported riots in Manchester which never happened. That's a Fail.

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        Riots in Manchester...

        ... that were also reported on Sky News a few hours after you posted, because they actually did happen. Here's a link to a story with a picture of Miss Selfridge on Market Street in flames:

        Care to reappraise your assessment of the BBC's fail?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      BBC coverage was dire, Sky's was excellent - I too being normally anti-Sky News. Their reporter in the thick of the Clapham looting was pure balls of steel, and the quality of the reportage throughout the night was pretty sharp. They also could tell the difference between a 'van' and a 'lorry'. Their helicopter also appeared to have a more reliable fuel tank...:p

      Not as great tonight (not as much happening; good news obviously), but still way ahead of the beeb, who're stuck in that never ending loop of recycled content.

      1. G Wilson

        Sky journalists

        I've not been anti-sky news for a while, because I'm often impressed at the nerve of their journalists. I'm thinking Holly Williams in a street in China confronting armed "police" on their behaviour, and Lisa Holland attempting to put herself physically between a rape victim and her Libyan captors.

        Sky journalists act is if they're competing to see who can get the riskiest story. We need more like them, and less of dense journalists reporting what they saw on TV...or just making stuff up to sound important.

    3. Tim Boothby


      Fully agree. The BBC were caught napping big time. Major story going off on their doorstep and they seemed to have nobody on the ground whatsoever.

    4. L.B

      I have been avoiding BBC "News" for more than10 years.

      BBC "News" has been crap for years.

      Nothing gets reported unless there are pictures for the idiot masses to oggle at.

      Nothing gets researched to verify that its not a load of tosh.

      The level of understanding by the BBC's own self proclaimed experts is minimal at best.

      Any loon can claim to be an expert if they have a friend at the beeb, and talk complete cobblers with no counter argument (see Panorama's repeated abuses).

      SkyNews is not perfect, but compared to the BBC it is excellent and it has been for decades. Although many refuse to try it simply because the dirty digger owns 39% of the company, it is amazing how balanced there reporting is, even when their chairman/owner is in the spot light.

      You don't have to be a Sky subscriber to watch it, it is free on Freeview.

      For those people with an attention span of more than 30 seconds and who are interested in what is actually happening around the world; I would also recommend they try watching France24, NHK and some of the other foreign (Non-US) news services available on Sky. It will take you back to the good old days when the BBC News reported what was actually happening, even when that meant having the presenter reading a report and showing a map on screen.

      Those real news channels also never spend hours reporting the moronic twaddle of some halfwit who just happens to be passing the camera crew or sent in an email/Twitter.

  3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Google says it's "Imodium" (I was with you, I mean,stands to reason), and: really?

    It is described as an opioid, but, if that's what you're into, it's not a very good one. Except for what it's for. Presumably. But not for infants, it's killed some.

    Wikipedia says it's also the original title of a song by Nirvana. Wiks apparently misspells it as well, there[*], but I'm not going to change it because I don't know whether it was in fact the band's misspelling, deliberate or otherwise. It definately may be. :-)

    According to critics, with Nirvana it's about the noise they make rather than the lyrics, and I suppose titles are just so that you can tell when one song ends and another starts. In fact you have to look twice to decide it's not a shopping list. Territorial WHAT - well, maybe it's "to dos".

    Sherlock Holmes for The Seven Per Cent Solution.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since you mentioned a band and mind altering substance,...'s some music for the occasion:

    2. Dave Walker 1

      @Robert Carnegie

      Thats Imodium, the anti-diarrhea drug...

      You have to wonder what on earth they were thinking...

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        @Dave Walker 1

        I'm guessing that when putting yourself on the receiving end of a Riot Police baton charge you probably need something to avoid crapping yourself....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          I bet they needed it

          when the Jankels bore down on them! Those things can properly shift...

  4. Captain Black
    Thumb Up

    Sky was good but didn't anyone see Al Jazeera?

    I was flicking through the foreign news channels to see their views (whilst Sky News showed adverts, and continued to repeat it's aerial view of the fire in Croydon) and there was a bloke with some body armour on, and some sort of riot helmet, standing outside a fence of Morrisons car park while people were looting the place, then they all started throwing things over the fence as the police turned up!

    Now I dont know if this was another channels feed, or Reuters or something, but if not then I think Al Jazeera did a fab job with that report.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't see Jazeera, but

      It was on CNN Worldwide, live.

    2. Mayhem

      Al-Jazeera was brilliant

      Posted this yesterday, but still applies.


      What I found really fascinating last night was watching Al-Jazeera on the London riots, as compared with Sky News and the BBC.

      Sky had the usual talking heads, half of whom regularly demanded the police bring in water cannons, despite being told repeatedly that they are illegal for use on mainland Britain, the nearest available ones are in Northern Ireland or France. Only one person really had a clue, and their reporter was great.

      The BBC had one talking head who spent most of the time saying he had no idea what was really happening, he was drowning in information from twitter, eyewitness reports and overhead footage but it was very very hard to find the story amongst the clutter.

      Most people phoning in were very much 'disgusted of tunbridge wells' types, more interested in saying how much they hated what was happening than in describing what was happening.

      Al-Jazeera had several strategic reporters, all of whom were superb at relaying useful information about their areas. They brought in two different advisors who were deeply familiar with the subject of rioting and uprisings. The most interesting was the observation that it was *only* young people - 14-22yr olds. Unlike many other places, the older people were not involved, and the organised criminal elements were not visibly involved. Which suggested that they were selectively turning over the quieter parts of town while the police were otherwise occupied. The main mass of problems was randomised peer-group oriented destruction. One kid starts, the next follows, and then they're all into it. What was clear was that many of them had no idea what to do with their loot once they had nicked it, there were anecdotes of kids carrying large TVs a half mile or so down the road, then realising that a TV is *heavy* and that they weren't having fun any more, so they'd dump it in a garden, and go back for more mayhem.

  5. 100113.1537
    Thumb Up

    Continuous loop...

    Thanks Andrew for a very insightful piece. I live in Canada and get BBC world news which I hardly ever watch if something is breaking because of their ridiculous addiction to a continuous loop - sometimes with as little as 30 seconds (the Oslo bombing for example). Not that anything else I can get here in North America is much better - I have pretty much given up on broadcast news and only watch TV for entertainment - news is better online.

    I remember a long long time ago when TVAM lost all of its engineers during/after a strike - the managers and admin staff who took over to run the show would try anything (broadcasting live over satellite phones of dubious quality, for example - remember this was pre-smartphones) which they would never try with "real" engineers.

    In addition to the 'Elfin Safety' issues, I wonder if there is still too much of a perfectionist culture to allow a journo to use in iPhone.....

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Frank Drebin

    BBC's coverage on Sunday night reminded me of Frank Drebin; "Move on. Nothing to see here";

  7. Anonymous Coward


    What it highlighted to me was just how awful the iPhone (I assume 3GS) camera really is...

    1. XMAN

      Not that bad really :/

      I'm not an apple fanboi but I'd have to disagree with you. Considering it was dark outside, its pretty good quality. My nokia would give me a nice big black blob if I tried to record under those conditions.

  8. LPF

    @Robert Carnegie

    Seriously WTF are you going on about??

    1. yoinkster


      There's a button clearly marked "Reply to this post"

      I wonder what it could possibly be for?! Your comment is entirely wasted because the person you are talking to is miles up the page. The button is there for a reason. Learn to use it,.

  9. 5.antiago


    I hated the whole Mark Stone contribution, it was far too loaded with his own personal opinion on things. He kept asking leading questions, clearly pushing his own "clever" analysis. The question "Is this fun?!?!?!" was the only attempt to speak to any rioters throughout the whole evening and was clearly never intended to elicit a response.

    His interview with the two Clapham residents (after the police turned up) also irritated me for the same reason. They kept on giving him answers that didn't fit his theory: *yes* there were locals present, *yes* there was a clear political under-current, *yes* it's a lashing out of some kind, *yes* it's more complicated than mindless robbery, and finally *yes* you could go and speak to the rioters if you want. Stone kept on twisting and turning to shoehorn in his ideas even in the face of contradictory eye-witness testimony. Finally, he actually put it down to a difference of opinion, and Sky didn't show the last part of the interview again.

    The visuals were excellent, but I wish the news would fuck off with their bundled simpleton views. I only watched Sky because I wanted to follow what my FB friends were watching

  10. Anonymous Coward 101

    I watched BBC news early on Sunday morning...

    ...and the BBC were there 'on the ground' filming some youths smashing the shite out of a police Astra with bricks and stuff. Some youths then blocked the camera and eventually pushed over the cameraman and the reporter. After this, could the BBC then have taken a firmer 'elf n' safety' stand to prevent employees going there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pushed over! LOL

      That's terrible. Give them the Victoria Cross!

      Martin Bell and John Simpson kept on reporting after they were shot. If the student wimps the BBC employs now can't cope with a push, they shouldn't be there.

  11. Northwald


    Immodium is teh trade name for Loperamide Hydrochloride, commonly used to treat sudden short-lived diarrhoea. Usually taken one as and when required, maximum 8 in any 24 hours.

    Therefore, we are looking for suspects NOT on the run.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      That, I repeat, is Imodium. One M.

      If you can't get it then Heroin(TM) has a similar effect. And some other effects. It does say "opioid" on the Imodium packet, I assume, or the leaflet inside, and maybe if you boil it up with, I dunno, vinegar or something... well, I dunno.

      "The Seven Per Cent Solution" is a novel and a film that treat Sherlock Holmes's substance recreation differently to the usual, but it refers to cocaine, although I don't know if anyone else in the world took it that way. Moriarty as criminal mastermind and arch-enemy is a delusion, for instance, but the former arithmetic tutor is persuaded to help out by leading the demented Holmes to the one doctor in the world who can help him, Sigmund Freud of Vienna, and, look, if you aren't going to believe me then just Google it.

  12. Anonymous Coward 101


    What did the youths in the video expect to loot from Wimpy? Tasty food?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Tasty Food??

      Er, I know they're stupid, but even they wouldn't have been expecting to loot tasty food from Wimpy!

      1. Ru

        Think laterally

        Fuel's expensive these days... clearly there's value in looting fast food outlets for their cooking oil!

  13. TIMMEH

    At least someone is trying to do their job

    Looking through news from the last couple of days, I have read one speculative opinion piece after another. It seems journalism these days largely consists of sitting in an office checking Twitter while waiting for your Private Investigator chum to access someone's voicemail.

    Hats off to Sky for having some actual, well, coverage, in their coverage.

  14. Ian Ferguson


    If BBC funding wasn't being repeatedly cut, and journalists/editors being constantly laid off, maybe they'd have the resources to properly cover this kind of event.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      but then...

      how would they fund 20 antiques programs a day? :)

      the beeb gets plenty of money, it just spends it badly. look at how much the radio 1 DJs earn from TV tax....

    2. Anonymous Coward


      What do the 400 BBC staff we paid to go to Glastonbury this year do the rest of the time? Some of them must style themselves "journalists", surely?

      1. Jim Bobble

        Cuts, my arse.

        Yes. Because clearly, a corporation that spends £1.4bn of the telly tax on BBC One, spoonfeeding us Hole In The Wall and Strictly Come Dancing, is in the doldrums.

        The World Service does a far better job than its domestic cousin and on a much tighter budget. Which leads me to the point that Sky News also has a significantly smaller set of resources than the BBC - so shouldn't their ouput have been poorer than the BBC's infinite loop?

    3. Tim Boothby


      The BBC is the best funded broadcasting organisation in the world. It doen't necessarily need a lot of money as demonstrated by a lone Sky reporter who happened to live in the area going out on his bike with his iPhone and doing a better job.

  15. kempsy

    More info than just Sky

    Seems this website has some useful info on this - I suspect on this basis the Sky reporter was lucky...

  16. Eponymous Howard

    What a thoroughly odious anti-BBC rant

    Chasing the flames may make great drama, but it makes shit journalism.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      That's odd.

      There was me thinking that going out on the ground and getting the story was what made good journalism and that sitting in a studio pontificating with your mates was the shit stuff.

      The Beeb do a very good job at the traditional news bulletin format, but I am afraid that Sky have them nailed to the cross when it comes to the 24hr rolling stuff.

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        Only in video

        Around 0030 the BBC had live audio reporting from a Guardian reporter who was not only on the ground but undercover among the rioters and looters, calling in what he was seeing from his mobile. When it comes to big swinging balls of steel, that guy made the robot in Transformers 2 look like two peas at the foot of Nelson's Column. If he'd been caught out, I wouldn't give a tuppenny damn for his chances.

        1. Mme.Mynkoff

          I saw that...

          And thought, the BBC employs 2,000 reporters and has to ring up somebody else's to get the news?


      2. Eponymous Howard


        ...if you learned the difference between reporting and journalism that would be a start.

  17. CADmonkey

    What BBC were you watching?

    I was up till the wee small hours last night listening to a constant stream of harrowing live reports from Clapham, Ealing, Croydon, etc. on the BBC.

    I'm out of the country, reliant on a crappy 3G dongle for my access. Sky is not an option b/c of all the bandwidth-hogging ads.

    BTW, where the fuck were you? It's not as if there's no IT angle on this (Blackberry, google maps etc.) but all you seem able to do is suck up to News Corp's agenda......from a VERY safe distance, I might add.

    And I agree with the critisism of Mark Stone - getting beaten up for the sake of a news story is not original (Cook Report) , but it is doubtless lucrative.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Stone was brilliant, shame there weren't more of him around London last night.

      You sound like an envious BBC reporter to be honest. Try and turn up for the story next time!

      1. CADmonkey

        Re: Envy

        Who are you? His mother?

  18. Dotter
    Thumb Down


    BBC News - passing on conflicting Twitter reports and 'expert' opinions from reporters who say what could have happened, but they don't know for sure (this is what happened just after the events in Oslo)

    Sky News - Let's see the highlights of an hour of a bus burning down on various stages of destruction.

    Good old 24-hour news...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Who needs bbs?

    Just find out where the trouble is on the rolling news...

    Look mum, I iz famous!

    Mawkish car crash TV, no thanks.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    That's a nice hazard worksheet there...

    ...Let's see... what have we here...

    Slips, trips, falls... Temperature... Spillages... Water... Body waste... Bacteria... Gas.. Fumes.. Vapour... Confined spaces... Poor body posture... Manual handling... Insufficient supervision... Lone working... Work related stress...

    And that's just my bathroom!

  21. FreeTard
    Thumb Up

    +1 on Aljazeera

    Aljazeera,they rock. I hate sky with a passion, but good on them for the reporting.

  22. Citizen Kaned


    we are now feeling the affects. a little company in lincoln

    we are due to do some work in debenhams in nottingham and its now been cancelled.

    its now affecting small businesses.

    and to the guy on bbc news saying 'we are only stealing from rich people' fuck off. everyone is paying for your lack of brains. cant you even see the repercussions of your actions?

    you live in a shithole, and now you made it 100x worse. do you want me to feel sorry for you?

  23. geekclick

    err, need a title, cant think of one....

    I did watch the Sky reports over the BBC. But I have to say that Mark Stone although fahooking brave, is a tool of unimaginable proportion! The guy makes me want to throw things at the TV, someone touched on it earlier with the Clapham residents (neither of which were from Clapham, but hey-ho) was dreadful and hurt to watch!

    1. Robert Baker


      Why do those talking about the rioting keep referring to events in "Clapham"? It wasn't Clapham, it was bloody Clapham *Junction* — a well-known misnomer, the Junction is actually in Battersea, nowhere near the real Clapham. Everyone knows that Chelsea FC is in Fulham and always has been (to site a soccer ground in Chelsea would cost a fortune, even if it were allowed), so why do they make the same mistake here?

      I live in Clapham so I know where it is.

      1. stu 4

        London pish

        ' Everyone' doesnt know mate because most of us - brace yourself here - don't live in London.

        Yup I know - difficult concept for a londoner to grasp.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC vs. Sky

    I didn't think there was much between the reporting on the two channels, but what was noticeable was that Sky were much slicker at switching to a breaking story or a team on the ground. The BBC was having real trouble linking to crews at the location or even lining up interviews.

    The both did well under the circumstances of a massive story breaking across a huge area.

  25. Peter Fox

    Missing the whole point

    The more exciting the video the more coverage. This means that it pays to have your peaceful (boring), private negotiations (no constant outrage) turned into a colourful carnival of chaos for the TV. (Oodles of vicarious viewers) If it can't be shown on the telly then it's not news. PS I don't have a telly and have so far managed to survive without pictures - perhaps I'm super-human - or perhaps those that do watch it haven't got any better entertainment.

  26. Leeroy
    Thumb Up

    BBC News @ 1953 hrs

    Reporter on the phone in Manchester : "OMG the police are running at us with battons"

    Reporter in the office :" if you can wait there we are going to look at some pictures of smoke" cuts audio.

    Looks like they are on the ground somewhere :)

  27. Anonymous Coward


    While Sky were replaying aerial view of Croydon ablaze , BBC were showing even bigger blaze in " Sainsburys, Waltham Abbey, Buckinghamshire". After an hour or two they did finally decide it was Sony, Enfield.

  28. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    What's a riot?

    Doesn't look like one to me.

  29. Sklar

    letters and/or digits

    I think it's safe to say Channel 847 - Sangat TV on Sky win the news battle.

  30. Unkown cow heard

    Birmingham trouble

    It has to be pointed out that the Birmingham trouble happened (amongst other places) downstairs in the mailbox (an up-market shopping and eating area). Now the BBC have most of the top floors, including I believe some studio space there, you'd have thought they could have nipped downstairs...

    I agree, too much re-reporting of twitter on the bbc, it hadn't until this point occurred to me to check sky or al-jazera

  31. Wize

    I stay clear of Sky news since...

    ...the Japanese tsunami. They tried to big up their coverage of the disaster with some dramatic music. The same music they used to advertise a fictional was drama.

  32. The Mighty Spang

    hate to tell you this

    but news should never be entertainment. if sky were embedded with the looters it probably made it look cool and maybe some people went out on the strength of it.

    but i'd like to know how much they paid the said looters for safe passage. we've all seen the vid of the injured youth being mugged. you telling me that a gang of these peeps are going after trainers and crappy tellys when the cameraman has close to £100k in gear on his shoulder?

    pull the other one. expose sky for paying money to criminals.

    1. Trygve

      Of course they are going to go for trainers and tellies....

      Because they can either keep them for their own use, or flog them easily for cash/drugs/top-up cards. What the hell are they going to do with a piece of specialty broadcast gear?

      Use it to realise their lifelong ambition of making a TV cameraman? Start hanging out Clerkenwell winebars to hook up with someone who wants to branch out into video adverts and is willing to hand over £20K in used notes? Charge munters £50 a go to record audition pieces for Nonebrity Stars in Their Ringpiece on Ice?

  33. Sarah Davis

    Sky News Wins over Riots,...

    well it's nice to know someone is winning, and profiting from it to i should imagine,...

    who is it owns sky again ?...

  34. Dugstor
    Thumb Down

    Hugely disappointed by the BBC.

    am incredibly proud of the BBC and normally very supportive of their commitment to quality programming.

    However, I have to agree that they have completely and totally failed the public in their coverage of the riots. Ill informed, slow and totally incapable of covering such a fluid situation makes the BBC look like a behemoth when compared to the coverage from Sky. I have never been a fan of the content spewed from Sky, but pains me to say this, they have covered the continuing disturbances in a compelling and factual way.

    I honestly thought that Auntie armed with some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world would have had the ability to provide much better coverage, overseas warzones no problem, 5 miles from Television Centre no chance.

    I’ve also been incredibly disappointed by the unreliability of the BBC News website during this incident, not acceptable.

  35. Jim 59

    Good article

    I saw Stone's report, and it does indeed stick in the mind. A noticeable feature was the quantity of consumer goods stewn all over the ground. He picked up a brand new trainer at one point.

    Interesting comments about the beeb. The bit about anchors interviewing reporters for opinion is spot on. It can be quite interesting to hear opinion from somebody on the spot, but actual news would be better, and confine the opinion to another show.

    I agree that the beeb and other news organisations initially wanted (or expected) the riots to be about some leftish cause, but they changed their tune quick enough when it emerged it was more about the latest Nikes. Maybe they watched Stone's report ?

    The beeb has evolved into a strange monster over the decades. It is is self-preoccupied. Switch on Radio 4 and you will typically hear an advert for a later program on Radio 4, about Radio 4, in which some famous people (ie. BBC employees) talk about The Archers and how it has affected their blah blah blah). It also suffers from gene depletion. Everyone connected with the BBC holds (apparently) the same opinion about everything, and the organisation won't employ or deal with anyone who doesn't. The resulting weight of advocacy inflicts great tedium on the listener.

    They still do many things well though: Royal Wedding, Wimbledon, the Boat Race, Just a Minute.

  36. Dr Gerard Bulger

    BBC lost the plot

    I am in Australia. I found Oz Sky a bit OTT... it gave impression whole of UK was ablaze. However Sky was better. What is SO depressing out here is to see Al Jazeera replace the BBC reporters in the news over here, on SBS at least on terestial channels. because their reports are better and more varied, that's why.

    BBC World Service news is shameful, a disgrace. It often just have ony four (boring) items to report, squeezed between adverts and jingles, where as Al Jazeera has many many different NEW stories from everywhere, and old fashioned reporting (longer, calmer) with lovely camera work. The anchors and reporters getting out of the way.... using mainly British speaking or ex-pat staff so it sounds authoritive. It may have another agenda, but is gives more news without never ending jingles, adverts for itself and spinning f*ing logo. It's better on the eye. BBC world service TV is just awful.... I suggest the FO subcontracts it to Rupert Murdoch.... anything would be better than what is does now.

  37. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Up


    Yep, got all my info from Sky and Twitter last night. The BBC were useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Useless maybe because ....

      a BBC radio reporter and cameraman were attacked in Salford and their car over-turned and set on fire?

      Doesn't fit with the "Where were the BBC?" tone of this article.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Useless maybe because ....

        That incident took place many hours after the article was published. Maybe somebody sent them it? :-)

  38. Anonymous Coward

    The Bolshevik Brainwashing Corporation

    And we pay for them to rewrite history, twist every story to their politically correct rubbish and NOT report the truth in an unbiased fashion (or just not report it at all as in this instance). No wonder they have no facility for comments on their websites or Iplayer, they have got their heads firmly stuck in the ground. They are multi-culti middle class left wing prats and don't want to hear the truth, let alone listen to those who pay their wages. They are disgustingly blatant propaganda merchants who refuse to accept the fact that their utopic idiotic ideals have resulted in this terrible mess.

    I am considering an e-petition to get rid of the license fee and force the BBC to be run as a business rather than the nepotistic gravy train that it has become.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky was good for london

    I was disappointed with Sky's coverage last night - they seemed to have reverted to bbc standard of only having a few clips of not much happening which they showed repeatedly. They were also entirely focussed on Manchester.

    Sangui TV on I think it was sky 847 however had excellent coverage of Birmingham. Two guys litterally in a car driving around looking for the problems and on occasions hurding the rioters towards police.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And now that they know how to win BBC viewers over...

    ...they wouldn't resort to inciting more 'entertainment' themselves, would they.

  41. Tim Jenkins

    Give your eyes a rest

    and try Radio 5 Live instead (also available online)

    broadcast from Manchester, so on-the-spot. They had a journalist in their own buildings porch watching the fun outside and relaying news upstairs, relevant interviews with actual locals, and a really excellent presenter (Irish accent) who did his shift calmly and insightfully, and then spent the rest of the night walking (!) around the streets and phoning in reports. Well worth that days licence fee, IMHO.

  42. ElNumbre

    Best Coverage So Far.

    The best 'in the mix' coverage so far has been Sangat TV on Sky (Up in the 800's somewhere). Basically these guys going round Birmingham and filming events and speaking to the communities to understand what's going on.

    Not sure how technically they're doing the OB, but it works well and is good. Best bit last night was them giving a copper a lift to chase down a hoodie.

  43. Yet Another Commentard

    grumble ... BBC ... bah ... Twitter ... bah ... not like when I was a kid ... grumble

    I have to agree with Andrew’s analysis here. I didn’t think to look at Al-Jazeera or the other one people are on about up in the 800s.

    The BBC seems to report “some bloke on the internet said…” I don’t recall during the Brixton riots years back John Simpson asking some guy in a pub in Walthamstow what he thought about the riots in Brixton.

    Is there any financial connection between the BBC and Twitter? It seems it can barely report a story without referencing a Twitter comment (no matter how dubious the provenance or inaccurate it may be). With the riots it seemed obsessed with saying there was a Twitter angle (all for good in the cleanup) but the evil Blackberry was to blame on the rioters’ side. As it has to crowbar Twitter into every story (by company name, not just the name of the Twitterer) does it get paid advertising?

    As for memorable broadcasts – Brian Hanrahan saying (something like) “I counted them out, and I counted them back” felt real. He was there, on an aircraft carrier. The radar(s) bleached the signal on each revolution. He was a voice I trusted, giving facts, not opinions.

    We have drifted to the point where journalists interview journalists, with a rather pointless image montage over the top of them. Last night, an interview of Nick Robinson telling me what he thought David Cameron was thinking. Not “I asked Cameron and he told me XXX”. That is not news – it’s current affairs. Why is it in the news?

    Private Eye (again) mentioned this a few weeks back – because it is a visual medium producers are obsessed with putting pictures on the screen. Whether it’s Brian Cox on a mountain or a 30 second loop of a fire in Manchester.

    The other useful thing Sky has is the HD news. The bigger screen allows for a few useful throw-out boxes, and the pictures showed the whole area, not just a window of a burning building.

    I used to love the BBC. I loved the intelligent Horizon programmes I had to think about, or go and read up on later. I loved the news and Panorama type programs. Now Horizon seems to be “celeb investigates in a really simplistic way how temperature is measured” or Ragi Omagh walking in a desert, or some other nonsense. I seem to recall that over 20% of the country has a degree – can you make 20% of your programmes at degree level or above please?

  44. b-a-r-k-i-n-g-m-a-d

    Media fanning the flames!

    Pretty certain the media made all this 'worse' - how many extra people went along to spectate or join in 'as it was on telly' and not once did I hear a newsreader calling them "a mob of miserable, thieving scumbags who should all be dumped on Svalbard (with no weapons and sprayed with polar bear pheremones)".

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Kate Adie and the Health and Safety man

    Kate told me an excellent anecdote about when he came to call on her.

    "Are you in a position that threatens you with danger of injury or death?...

    Remove yourself from the situation"

    She roars with laughter and tells him to get lost.

    I suggested that the only way for the H&S man to fully understand the H&S issues was to accompany her to the next war!

  46. grem

    And another thing . . .

    Never been a fan of Murdoch but, times may have to be a-changing. Here in my hotel in Delhi, I'm not blessed with Sky so it's BBC World News or bust. They keep running a report (no surprise there) about the arrest of a man in connection with "phone-hacking". The backdrop being the gates of News International in Wapping.

    Sorry, that's library footage of NI in Wapping (as opposed to news). The NoTW sign is long gone (well, it wasn't there on Saturday).

  47. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    Unfortunately for all that we might say here, the thieves are even looking - let alone taking note.


    Sky wins riot battle. Are you Joking?

    Not our experience. Kept trying Sky, so amateurish and disjointed. Returned to professional BBC for real news of the YOB mob. Couldn't call it a riot could you?

  49. Lamont Cranston


    I get my news from BBC radio - mostly Today and The World Tonight - and the coverage has been excellent: reporters on the ground, interviews with those involved, etc. 6Music's obsession with the Sony warehouse fire seemed a little strange, but made sense in context.

  50. Dave Wray

    Woolwich doesn't exist in BBC land.....

    I watched Woolwich getting torched on Twitter without so much as a mention on the BBC. Then, 4 hours later when they did show the video they labbelled it as Liverpool.

    This is fine because if SE18 doesn't exist, they can't chase me for my license fee!!!!

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