Monday, November 12, 2007

Has the BBC turned a corner?

The BBC's Jim Muir has a lengthy report on the improving situation in Iraq. Towards the end there are the inevitable points about the relative lack of political progress and reconstruction, and questions about what will happen when the US begins to withdraw its forces; but the thrust of the piece is extremely upbeat, and contains examples of progress, and optimism from Iraqis, that all too often go unreported.

I'm often critical of the BBC's coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but my beef is rarely with the reporters on the ground, and I've always found Muir's reporting to be well-balanced: when things were going badly he said so, and now things are improving he's reporting the good news. The problem tends to be with the editors in London who dictate the general tone of BBC's coverage, and who give undue prominence to negative stories coming out of the war zones that are often provided by the wire services rather than the BBC's own journalists.

Stories like Muir's are generally confined to conservative magazines or blogs. To see reporting like this from a source as influential as the BBC suggests that the MSM may be beginning to realise that it can't continue to ignore the progress that's being made in Iraq.

1 comment:

Dinah Lord said...

It must just KILL the BBC to have to admit that things are getting better on the ground in Iraq...

Now why does the thought of that make me smile?