Ex BBC journo Nick Jones.
If you want to exercise your eyeballs by giving them a good roll around their sockets listen to this from Jones on 5Live (23 mins)
The coal miner’s strike……It was the biggest story of his career and he’s never got over it.
He tells us that broadcasters were in danger of being the cheerleaders for the return to work…..Scargill , in the eyes of the government, had made it a political strike.
Hmmm….no mention that Scargill was at war with the government…and that the miners voted by a large majority not to strike.
He says…..Reporting should have been more in favour of the miners and their ‘plight’….the police and Mrs Thatcher couldn’t have won the war if we’d had Twitter and Youtube in the 80’s….the public would have been shocked by the way the police operated.
In other words we wouldn’t have got the real truth just highly selective, up close videos the truth of which you could never be certain…..
Home Secretary Leon Brittan, said that if there were no violent mass picketing and no intimidation, there ”would be no need for the police to be present.”
Makes sense no?
If only, Jones muses..there had been a negotiated settlement…we might have a coal industry today…who knows, we could be at the forefront of the coal industry now.
Yeah right dream on. Has he never heard of massively cheap coal being imported…and Shale gas in the US has led to even cheaper coal and gas.
The National Union of Miner’s own website says:
Throughout the 1960s, with a Labour Government in office from 1964, the pit closure programme accelerated; it decimated the industry.
During this period, nearly 300 more pits were closed, and the total workforce slumped from over 750,000 in the late 1950s down to 320,000 by 1968. In many parts of Britain, miners now became known as industrial gypsies as pit closures forced them to move from coalfield to coalfield in search of secure jobs.
They were victims of madhouse economics.
Jones makes a career out of these ruminations……
Nicholas Jones reflects on the government misinformation and media manipulation that provided the backdrop to Britain’s longest and most violent industrial dispute. Much of the newspaper and television coverage of the 1984-5 1984-5 miners’ strike, especially over the Battle of Orgreave and the pit-head clashes in mining villages, was in wide shot. Press photographers and television camera crews were not welcomed either by the pickets or the police and there were very few close-up images.
Thirty years later social media including Facebook, You Tube and Twitter have transformed the coverage of public order events and Nicholas Jones suggests that the Police forces of today know that instant reporting on social media has become a great restraining influence on their conduct. He also offers some insights into both his reporting of the strike for the BBC and his own soul searching about the media’s role in the dispute.
Nicholas Jones was a BBC industrial and political correspondent for thirty years. He reported the big industrial disputes of the Thatcher decade for BBC Radio and was named industrial journalist of the year for his coverage of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. But the news media’s role in the conflict, which prompted his first book, Strikes and the Media (1986), troubles him to this day.
Shame the BBC takes him seriously…and it’s not the first time: