Thursday, 3 June 2010
BBC Wrong Yet Again!
One of the items raised at CAMRA's recent Isle of Man AGM was the concern of members, and the Campaign as a whole, over the use of news clips showing a pint of traditional ale being pulled every time there was a news story about so-called "binge drinking". It was claimed that using "library pictures" in this fashion was not only lazy journalism, but also highly mis-leading. To illustrate a news article about a small minority of highly irresponsible people using images of a product that, in the main is consumed by more mature (in both meanings of the word) and responsible adults sends out the wrong message all together.
Those present were urged to complain to the media every time footage of hand-pumps and real ale are depicted in such a misleading fashion, so following Tuesday's 6 o'clock BBC News, when the very same images were used to illustrate the story about possible plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol, here is my complaint to the BBC. (Actually, I was shamed into writing it after reading Eddie Gadd's post here. For those of you not in the know, Eddie is the proprietor, and brewer of the excellent Ramsgate Brewery.)
"On Tuesday's 6 o'clock News, there was an item relating to plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcoholic drinks, in an effort to curb so-called "binge drinking". Yet again the news item featured a clip showing a pint of "real ale" being pulled from a hand-pump. To depict a product which in the main is consumed by more mature, and responsible drinkers in relation to a story relating to cut-price alcohol being sold as a "loss-leader" by supermarkets, is not only mis-leading but is also an example of lazy journalism.
The people we see fighting and falling over outside trendy bars and nightclubs on Friday and Saturday nights, are not real ale drinkers, but are mainly young people fuelled up on a cocktail of cheap spirits and alco-pops. Properly managed pubs, serving traditional ale, are NOT the cause of the problem, so why depict them in this fashion?"
Not perhaps the most erudite piece I have written, but hopefully it will help put the message across. I would urge others to follow Eddie's example. BBC Complaints Form.