Facts That Matter

10 06 2011

Category; Media, Middle East

Facts are relative to context. No news report can be encyclopaedic enough to encompass every view and every nuance. Broadcast media especially are broad-brush and, at their best, leave an impression rather than swamping the audience with facts.

But news must be anchored in facts, and sometimes it seems the distance to that anchor is so great that the report becomes adrift.

Take the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 on 10th June 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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Headlines or Progress

31 07 2010

Category; Politics

Diplomatic instruction manuals will need a new chapter after David Cameron’s speeches in Turkey and India. He has introduced an entirely new diplomatic gambit.

It’s a curious way to behave – you criticise your ally on the soil of another that ally they are in dispute with.

No doubt Pakistan is worthy of criticism for links between the Taleban and ISI; that criticism could have been made in a speech in the UK, in a neutral space like the UN or even in Afghanistan.

To go out of your way to do it on the territory of their traditional rival India may be bold, but it doesn’t seem very constructive. The main thing you succeed in doing is putting their backs up and making them act defensively rather than in an engaged and constructive way.

Is he seeking to make headlines or progress? Read the rest of this entry »