Racist Murder And The BBC

(Apologies for linking to many of my own blog’s postings, but I have been following this story since it first broke).

Last Wednesday saw what I believe was a first for BBC news. A racist murder featured as the main story on the PM Radio Four five o’clock bulletin. The same murder featured in subsequent bulletins and was the top story on the BBC UK News website the same afternoon. Only the Rumsfeld resignation knocked it off top spot on the six o’clock news – and the murder was discussed on Radio Five that night and again the following day.

What’s so unusual about that ? The perpetrators were not white. Previous coverage of such murders have been low-profile to the point of invisibility, in stark contrast to the BBCs coverage of racist murder where the perpetrators, or alleged perpetrators, were white.

Six examples, in chronological order, will illustrate. The 1993 murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence (830 BBC news search results) will be well-known to anyone living in the United Kingdom. No one has been convicted of his murder.

The racist murder of Ghanaian Michael Menson in 1997 – 25 results. Initially thought to have been the work of white racists, three people of varied ethnicity were convicted.

The racist murder of teenager Scott Parker (7 BBC news search results) in September 2001 will be less familiar. Unusually, the BBC have accepted, in a piece by TV editor Jon Williams, that ‘in hindsight, it was a mistake not to report the case of Ross Parker more extensively’.

The reason the murder slipped under the BBC radar ?

On the same day that Shied Nazi, Ahmed Ali Aswan and Sarris Ali were jailed for the murder of Ross Parker, another murder dominated the headlines.

The uncle of Danielle Jones – a schoolgirl who disappeared in Essex — was found guilty of killing her. The search for Danielle had been extensively covered. The conviction of Stuart Campbell closed a chapter on a continuing mystery.

Add to that the build up to the war in Iraq and Hans Blix’s verdict on Iraq’s weapons dossier, and you begin to see how a newsworthy story about the murder of a teenager – in appalling circumstances – might be squeezed out by other stories.

The murder of Ross Parker took place ten days after the September 11th attacks – at a time when the BBC had all antennae alert for attacks on Muslims, not by Muslims. On the day he died this is what the BBC were reporting. I’d respectfully suggest that, had a 17 year old Muslim been chased and butchered in Peterborough on September 21, 2001, it would have not only have been reported on BBC news – it would have dominated BBC news – Hans Blix or no Hans Blix.

The third murder is the one the BBC are now covering, that of Kriss Donald, the 15-year old schoolboy, snatched from the street by strangers and held captive overnight before being slaughtered in the most appalling fashion. At the end of the first trial (of one of his killers, at the end of 2004) there were 36 BBC news search results. The verdict was covered in one report on the Today programme and one report on the PM news.

In June 2005 student Anthony Walker (127 BBC news search results) was killed in a racist attack in Liverpool. In their own words : The BBC has given a lot of national coverage to the murder of Anthony Walker, the 18-year-old boy killed with an axe in Merseyside last Friday. It made the One, Six and Ten O’Clock News bulletins; there were constant live updates on News 24; and it led the UK index of the BBC News website.

Why did the Anthony Walker murder get such coverage ? BBC News editor Amanda Farnsworth said “It is this racial element to the crime that makes it different …In addition, there was a planning and premeditation in the murder of Anthony Walker that was also particularly shocking. Anthony had walked away from the man racially abusing him but the man appears to have gone to find his friends, and an axe, and chased and killed the 18-year-old.”

And in October 2005 Isiah Young-Sam (16 BBC news search results) was killed in a racist attack in Birmingham.

830 reports, 25 reports, 7 reports, 36 reports, 127 reports, 16 reports.

In two racist murders the victim was non-white, the alleged perpetrators white. 957 reports.

In two racist murders the victim was white, the alleged perpetrators non-white. 42 reports.

In two racist murder both victim and alleged perpetrators were non-white. 41 reports – and of the 25 Michael Menson stories, several relate to the claim that his killers were a white gang (Mr Menson was actually killed by a Mauritian, a Turkish Cypriot, and a Greek – a Mr Hussein Abdullah was also convicted of perverting the course of justice).

Do we see a pattern here ?

It can be argued that the Lawrence case was an exceptional one, because of the response which the campaign of the Lawrence family engendered from government, the enquiry which was convened, and the effect of the enquiry upon society in general and government in particular. There is some truth in this. People will have to judge for themselves. It could also be said that some alleged racist murders where the alleged perpetrators were white, such as the killing of 80 year old Akberali Tayabali Mohamedally, receive little coverage. As the BBC did not report the trial, if indeed there was one, it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions either way.

The most telling contrast is between the coverage of the Anthony Walker and Isiah Young-Sam murders. Both were bright young black men from similar churchgoing backgrounds and loving families – yet the coverage ratio (127 stories to 16) is remarkable – especially when you consider the nature of the attack.

All murders – including racist ones – are abhorrent, and difficult to rank in order of ghastliness. The victims are just as dead. Yet the Young-Sam murder was particularly vile in that, like the murder of Kriss Donald, it was targeted rather than opportunistic.

The murderers of Anthony Walker and the alleged murderers of Stephen Lawrence were thugs with criminal records and histories of violence against people of all races. They met their victims by chance in the street – the Walker murderers were actually on their way to commit a robbery. Although it is impossible to be sure, it is unlikely that either set of murderers had planned the killings.

In contrast, the murderers of Isiah Young-Sam, like those of Kriss Donald, were cruising the streets looking for someone of the right race to attack. The murder took place at a time of heightened tension and street clashes between Asian and Afro-Caribbean Britons in Birmingham. So why did he get so much less coverage than Anthony Walker, despite ticking all Amanda Farnsworth’s boxes for a ‘racial element’ and premeditation ?

The coverage fits a pattern. It’s exactly what you’d expect to see from people who have been taught and believe that –

a) racism by the majority community against minority communities is widespread and is a major social and cultural problem

b) racist murders by members of the majority community are the most striking expression of this racism

In other words, anyone who’s studied politics or social science in a British university in the last thirty years.

Anthony Walker and Stephen Lawrence are important in this context not so much as individuals but as icons. It’s because their murders resonate with assumption a) that they get big air. The stories fit into an existing, larger narrative.

There’s nothing wrong, of course, with assumptions a) or b). They are legitimate views to hold. The problem comes when you pick and choose news stories on the basis of how well they fit into and illustrate it. You run the risk of being perceived as grossly unfair – racist, even – when almost identical stories get different levels of coverage.

Unstated – and until recently, maybe even unthought, are two other assumptions.

c) racism by minority communities against the majority or any other community is not widespread and is not a problem

d) what racist murders ?

I can quote statistics from the BBC News pages forever, but it’s easier to give examples of c) and d). You’ll find a number of stories on BBC news where a member of a minority community has died and (far-left) campaigners are convinced a racist murder has been committed. The deaths of the McGowans in Telford or Ricky Reel come to mind. They’re reported because they fit assumption a). You won’t find any stories where a member of the majority community has died and (far-right) campaigners are convinced a racist murder has been committed. Protests about the killing of Gavin Hopley went unreported. The story doesn’t fit the narrative.

And “what murders ?” On 1st December 2005, the day when the Walker killers were sentenced, Jane Garvey of BBC Radio Five’s Drive programme interviewed Peter Fahey, Chief Constable of Cheshire and race spokesperson for ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and asked him :


“Has there ever been a white victim of a racist murder in this country ?”

If the regular presenter of a daily BBC three-hour news and current affairs show is unaware of such murders what does that say about the coverage they get ?

At the time Ms Garvey asked her question BBC researchers must surely have been aware of the 2004 Home Office data (p20) which states : “Over this three-year period, the police reported to the Home Office 22 homicides where there was a known racial motivation. Twelve victims were White, 4 Asian, 3 Black and 3 of ‘Other’ ethnic origin. There were no current suspects identified for 5 of these victims, 3 of who were White, 1 Black and 1 ‘Other’.” Anyone whose only news source was the BBC would be amazed to learn from the same Home Office figures (Table 3.6) that for every non-white person killed by a white person in England and Wales, two whites are killed by non-whites.

But it all changed last week. Kriss Donald Trial 2 got the full treatment denied Trial 1. An extended seach returns 82 stories – the majority dating from after the first trial. Why ?

Everyone will have their views on this – mine are not relevant here. I’m just grateful that victims are starting to be treated more equally, no matter what their skin colour. More rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, and all that.

But the BBC’s Mark Eason does attempt an explanation-cum-justification for this sudden about-turn – which is unintentionally revealing (although yet again poor Isiah Young-Sam is ignored).

Racism was once defined as “prejudice plus power” – a definition which, in a British context, has tended to exclude all but the white population.

Yes, racism was once defined that way – in left-wing sociology and social services departments between, say, the Brixton riots and the 7/7 bombings. And “tended to exclude all but the white population” boils down in practice to “only whites can be racist“. In other words, the attitude underlying the BBCs discriminatory reporting up until last week. Mr Easton’s rather let the cat out of the bag there. Thanks for being so upfront about it.

To everyone else the definition of racism remained what it had always been – judging someone on the colour of their skin rather than the content of their character.

PS – Mr Easton’s piece is worthy of a full fisking, but I’ll just take one small poke :

“The far right has tried to exploit what it claims is the untold story of racial attacks on white people. On the National Front website they feature a long list of “The Fallen”, white people they say were killed by non-whites.”

It is absolutely true that the paucity of coverage of the Kriss Donald murder – arguably by far the worst racist murder ever committed in Britain (at least since the sectarian barbarities of the Shankill Butchers), has been a propaganda gift to parties like the BNP. But it’s a gift that was handed them by the BBC. If the BBC doesn’t report something which is of interest to large numbers of people, other organisations will attempt to fill the void. There are some murders which are only documented at various far-right sites – and it is a disgrace that the BBC don’t report them, leaving such sites as literally the only sources of information. I’ll be interested to see if the BBC cover the Charlene Downes murder trial next year.

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161 Responses to Racist Murder And The BBC

  1. Ralph says:

    Another pattern is that the media quickly ‘determine’ that murders like that of Stephen Lawrence are racist while if the victim is white they don’t.

    It is these patterns that the BNP ‘exploit’ to create a perception that in the media a white life is worth less than a black or brown one.

    Then just to put the icing on the cake the BBC tries one to get the BNP leader put in gaol and fails, and two does a massively onesided report on the people they think are guilty of Stephen Lawrence’s murder.

       0 likes

  2. Banned in Britain says:

    The BBC feeding racism “it’s what we do”.

       0 likes

  3. Abandon Ship! says:

    Excellent Laban. Good to see serious, well argued and detailed analysis on B-BBC. Beeboids can spin but they can’t deny the facts.

    When will the BBC realise that we aren’t a bunch of racists but ordinary people who are tired of BBC PC-ness and spin? However it won’t stop the BBC viewing us as mostly Daily Mail readers with BNP sympathies.

       1 likes

  4. archonix says:

    It’s obvious from the occasional troolling that occurs here what the BBC, and others with the same mindset, think of b-bbc posters. According to them, posting hre doesn’t give you mere bnp sympathies but makes you a full-on, race-baiting, “ethnic” hating nazi intent on sending all those poor muslims and other races to the gas chambers in a new holocaust…

    I’m sick of racial politics. If race is really only skin-deep, as the slogan goes, then why are the media so obsessed with it? Oh, but of course, the media and certain personality types who tend to gravitate there never get past superficial appearances…

    I’m also sick and tired of the BBC’s acting as judge, jury and executioner. “J’accuse!” they cry, pointing a slightly shivery finger at anyone they don’t like or anyone who, god forbid, doesn’t like them. “We must have a debate, you racist mudering scum!” they scream, before charging you guilty without even referencing a court. They are the worst epitome of hatred and bigotry, made worse because they are believed by most people. The worst part is, those people trust them implicitly. My own family trust them, and dismiss anything on the internet as “just something written by people”, as if being in the media somehow makes you better than everyone else.

       1 likes

  5. Richard says:

    “Has there ever been a white victim of a racist murder in this country?”

    A friend of my sister had her boyfriend killed in front of her, in a murder that, had he been of Bangladeshi descent and the attackers white would have been called racist. Of course it was the other way round, so the case never made the national headlines, even though the lad who actually killed him was helped to run to Bangladesh by at least one member of “the Bangladeshi community” in Reading.

    I don’t know if it was a racist murder, but there is as much evidence that it was as there was in the case of poor Stephen Lawrence.

    Jane Garvey is clearly either naive, bigotted or an idiot, in any case unfit for her job. There is good evidence that a far higher proportion of non-whites are racist than whites. What possible excuse can there be then for her revolting question?

    “… exclude all but the white population”

    This is a direct, absolute admission of racism!

       1 likes

  6. John Reith says:

    Laban

    If you were indeed following the Kriss Donald case as you claim then you would be aware of the following facts:

    1. The Court originally imposed a flat ban on ANY reporting of the first trial.

    2. Far from ignoring this case because of some alleged ‘worldview’, the BBC (along with STV, the Herald and two other newspapers) mounted an action to have this ban lifted.

    3.The BBC et al were temporarily able to report the first trial, but very quickly a second ban was imposed radically curtailing any reporting of certain facts to do with the case.

    4. This second reporting ban specifically prevented the BBC from disclosing or discussing the ethnicity of the three suspects who remained at large along with their ‘ names, nicknames, gender, whereabouts past present or future, previous convictions or alleged criminal acts.’

    This caused real problems in reporting ANYTHING much between the two trials.

    The BBC took advantage of whatever loopholes there were to report the extradition proceedings from Pakistan – but was very circumscribed in what it could report.

    Once however, the second trial started, the BBC reported it almost every day and reported in some depth what transpired. (see next comment)

    …..contd.

       0 likes

  7. John Reith says:

    BBC reporting of the second Kriss Donald trial which began on Monday 2 October and finished on 8th November:

    trial begins: Monday 2 October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5400138.stm
    4th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5406912.stm
    5th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5409734.stm
    6th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/5413510.stm
    9th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6033503.stm
    10th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6037107.stm
    11th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6040392.stm
    12th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6044474.stm
    13th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6048974.stm
    16th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6055446.stm
    18th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6062384.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6061434.stm
    19th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6067118.stm

    20th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6069954.stm
    23rd October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6076884.stm

    24th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6080850.stm

    26th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6087918.stm
    30th October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6099380.stm
    31st October
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6103574.stm
    1st November
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6106146.stm

       0 likes

  8. joe says:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2449490_1,00.html

    The hidden white victims of racism

    An extensive search of national and regional newspaper reports, however, shows that cases involving black and minority ethnic victims are widely reported, while there is an almost total boycott of stories involving the white victims of similar attacks.

       0 likes

  9. John Reith says:

    Laban

    As well as failing to disclose the legal restrictions operating on the BBC during this period, your post is also wrong in what it says about the early reporting on the case.

    Before any restrictions were imposed, the BBC was covering the Kriss Donald case on national media.

    For instance:

    On 17th March 2004:

    BBC 1 1.00pm News
    ‘Glasgow Youth Killed by Asian Gang’
    filmed report including interview with Detective Superintendent Elliot Mackenzie of Strathclyde Police.

    17 March 2004:

    BBC 1 6.00pm News:
    Filmed backgrounder plus interview with Superintendent Kenny Scott.

    Radio 4 News 1800: James Shaw report plus interview.

    18th March 2004

    Radio 1 Newsbeat 1245 : Nicola Pearson Report

    Radio 1 Newsbeat at 17.45: Catherine Burns report

    On 2nd April 2004 Radio 4 1800 News reported the arrest of the defendants in the first trial.

    Thereafter Contempt of Court restrictions applied.

       0 likes

  10. Pete_London says:

    John Reith

    Thanks for that extensive list of links. One request – do you have any links which aren’t restricted to the Scotland pages?

    BBC reports regarding Stephen Lawrence and Anthony Walker, pre- and post-trial, weren’t restricted to regional webpages or news bulletins.

       0 likes

  11. John Reith says:

    Pete-London

    We’ve been here before.

    If you look at the Walker coverage – it’s labelled England – Merseyside.

    Check it out here:

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?as_q=&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=anthony+walker&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=news.bbc.co.uk&as_rights=&safe=images

    Nothing is ‘restricted’ simply by being labelled.

       0 likes

  12. GCooper says:

    John Reith writes:

    “Nothing is ‘restricted’ simply by being labelled.”

    Codswallop. Disingenuous codswallop, too.

    Try ‘labelling’ US financial news ‘fashion tips for the Outer Hebrides’. You can guarantee a small, baffled audience.

    Effectively, it has been buried.

       0 likes

  13. dave t says:

    Still waiting for the BBC to do extensive undercover filming and investigations of the like of Finsbury Park mosque or those in Bradford and elsewhere and then scream for trial after trial until the terrorist supporting imans are jailed. So far as I am aware it wasn’t the BBC that finally nailed Captain Hook and others….

    JR: Again you are trying to claim that everyone in the UK knows all about the Kriss Donald murders and have done so for ages. Wrong. In Scotland maybe but certainly not elsewhere in the UK. My English and Welsh relatives hadn’t a clue about this story even after the so called national exposure because it was not wall to wall unlike some other cases.

       0 likes

  14. Ritter says:

    JR writes:

    Before any restrictions were imposed, the BBC was covering the Kriss Donald case on national media.

    For instance:

    On 17th March 2004:

    BBC 1 1.00pm News
    ‘Glasgow Youth Killed by Asian Gang’
    filmed report including interview with Detective Superintendent Elliot Mackenzie of Strathclyde Police.

    17 March 2004:

    BBC 1 6.00pm News:
    Filmed backgrounder plus interview with Superintendent Kenny Scott.

    Radio 4 News 1800: James Shaw report plus interview.

    18th March 2004

    Radio 1 Newsbeat 1245 : Nicola Pearson Report

    Radio 1 Newsbeat at 17.45: Catherine Burns report

    On 2nd April 2004 Radio 4 1800 News reported the arrest of the defendants in the first trial.

    Thereafter Contempt of Court restrictions applied.
    John Reith | 12.11.06 – 12:07 pm | #

    JR – whilst I have no reason to doubt your claims that the BBC reported as above, you have not provided any links so that I can verify and see for myself. Please can you provide the links to the BBC News & radio stories you mention above. I will then watch/listen for myself.

       0 likes

  15. jx says:

    ritter i think you are out of luck. these are radio and TV articles that were filed over 2 years ago -hencce will not be online. Reith clearly has the complete BBC internal news archive at his disposal here.

       0 likes

  16. Ritter says:

    jx – you sprung my (not so subtle) trap for jr. Firslty, the fact that I cannot verify his claims means I take them with a pinch of salt. Secondly, jr has claimed before that he does not have the resources of the BBC at his/her/their disposal (jr may be a ‘team’ of people).

    How then does jr explain the access to Radio 1 ‘Newsbeat’ stories from 2004 that non-bbc employees will not have access to?

    The ‘evidence’ before me strongly suggests ‘jr’ is a team of paid bbc researchers who have current live access to bbc archives. I am waiting to be corrected.

       0 likes

  17. Pete says:

    Each of the BBC’s employees is engaged in an internal, petty struggle to prove they are more politically correct than their fellow employee. They do this for their own enjoyment, gratification and self-esteem, and presumably to boost their chance of a pay rise. If I wasn’t forced to pay for the dreadful news coverage that this silliness causes I’d find it amusing. As it is, it’s a disgrace.

    Keep Salford BBC free! Scrap the licence fee.

       0 likes

  18. joe says:

    guess which is the only political party who pledge to scrap the tv tax?

       0 likes

  19. DFH says:

    After some of the reporting restrictions of the first trial were lifted the BBC’s national TV bulletins continued to ignore it. Even Peter Horrocks, head of television news, concedes this was wrong:

    (NewsWatch 27 October)

    Ray Snoddy: But you also didn’t cover the first trail.

    Peter Horrocks: Yes, and we should have done.

    Re John Reith’s list of links for the second trial:

    (NewsWatch 27 October again)

    Ray Snoddy: But while it has been covered on the news in Scotland, radio news, and the BBC’s website, until this week not one word had appeared on network TV bulletins. Viewers have been asking why.

    Peter Horrocks (after denying any racial bias): I do wish we had covered the trial on its first day.

       0 likes

  20. MisterMinit says:

    “Good to see serious, well argued and detailed analysis on B-BBC.”

    This is certainly much better than most of the rubbish that gets written on this blog.

    However, Laban has failed to contrast how the BBC dealt with these matters with how other news outlets dealt with them. I know that we don’t have to pay a license fee for the other outlets, but this context is still important.

    Biased-BBC and only half a story it would seem.

    GCooper: “Try ‘labelling’ US financial news ‘fashion tips for the Outer Hebrides’. You can guarantee a small, baffled audience. Effectively, it has been buried.”

    As you can see from the below, all of the sample of Anthony Walker pages I got from the BBC search were filed under England, more specifically “England | Merseyside”:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4787123.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/5216236.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4437320.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4435338.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4486394.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4471440.stm

    That means that by your logic these particular stories have been buried too, right? I did a more in depth Google search (entering the string ‘site:bbc.co.uk “Anthony Walker”‘) and I think that I managed to find two articles that were filed under ‘UK’ rather than ‘England’ (I don’t know exactly why they chose to do that) but the VAST MAJORITY were ‘UK | Merseyside’.

    And they didn’t label ‘US financial news’ ‘fashion tips for the Outer Hebrides’ – they labelled news that happened in Scotland in the ‘Scotland’ category. I would hardly say this is likely to create ‘a small, baffled audience’.

    “BBC reports regarding Stephen Lawrence and Anthony Walker, pre- and post-trial, weren’t restricted to regional webpages or news bulletins.”

    Well in the case of Anthony Walker, they (apart from a couple) were. And just because a story is labelled ‘Scotland’, does that mean that it is less likely to be given prominence on the BBC web page? Looking at the Anthony Walker articles, it would appear not as the Beeb can hardly be accused of trying to bury his murder.

    archonix: “According to them, posting hre doesn’t give you mere bnp sympathies but makes you a full-on, race-baiting, “ethnic” hating nazi intent on sending all those poor muslims and other races to the gas chambers in a new holocaust…”

    According to whom exactly, do you have specifics?

    Pete: “Each of the BBC’s employees is engaged in an internal, petty struggle to prove they are more politically correct than their fellow employee.”

    Each of them? From this can I assume that you are saying that every single BBC employee is like that? That’s a pretty significant statement wouldn’t you say? What are you basing it on?

       0 likes

  21. Laban says:

    John Reith – the Scottish press covered the murder itself and the first trial extensively – and I’m aware that the BBC was one of the parties to the injunction to have reporting restrictions lifted.

    The details reported in the Scottish press by November 2004, including the manner of his death, were sufficient to make it plain that this was Britain’s worst racist murder. The BBC news site coverage was poor, that on radio and television news almost non-existent. Which is why Jane Garvey (whose show I enjoy btw) had never heard of it.

    I’m aware the BBC’s coverage of trial 2 was greatly improved – that’s what half the post was about. Have you read it all ? No need to post each link – I believe the BBC search engine will suffice.

    Any comment on the contrast between Walker and Young-Sam while you’re in a commenting mood ?

       0 likes

  22. John Reith says:

    On this ‘burying’ issue, Mr Minute is quite right.

    By GCooper’s logic the Democrats’ victory in the US Congressional elections was ‘buried’ by being labelled WORLD NEWS – AMERICAS

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?as_q=&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=democrat+gains&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=news.bbc.co.uk&as_rights=&safe=images

    ALL stories are labelled in a way that reflects their ‘origin’ and genre. But all are accessible in exactly the same way.

    Commenters here seem to find stories labelled WORLD – MIDDLE EAST perfectly easily every day of the week.

    What is particularly striking about Laban’s post (one of the longer ones on this blog) and of the many previous comments accusing the BBC of ignoring this story – is that not once, ever did any B-BBC poster/commenter mention three facts that would seem to any reasonable outsider pretty significant:

    1. The total ban imposed by the court on reporting the first trial.

    2. The BBC going to court to get that ban lifted.

    3. The second ban prohibiting the BBC from mentionning – inter alia – the ethnicity of the suspects.

    Instead this blog chose to allow itself to become an unquestionning echo chamber to BNP propaganda memes.

       0 likes

  23. John Reith says:

    Laban

    Our comments crossed. So you WERE aware of the injunction and the BBC’s legal battle to get reporting restrictions lifted.

    Why then did you never mention that there were any reporting restrictions?

    Why – when making comparisons between coverage of the Kriss Donald case and others – not cite the big distinguishing factor that might go a long way to explaining to those who didn’t follow the legal background – why the coverage was so circumscribed?

    As for Jane Garvey – do you really imagine that when BBC presenters ask questions it means they don’t know the answer?

    I’ll get back to you on the other case.

       0 likes

  24. GCooper says:

    If the tag-team of MisterMinit and John Reith are to believed there has been no downplaying of this notorious case.

    How, then, do they acount for Ray Snoddy’s remarks, as quoted by DFH? Clearly, even within the corporation, not everyone is holding the party line, are they?

    In passing, I do wish Reith would drop his BNP smears. It’s a puerile tactic, redolent of the glory days of Time Out.

       0 likes

  25. John Reith says:

    MisterMinit | 12.11.06 – 3:49 pm |

    “Laban has failed to contrast how the BBC dealt with these matters with how other news outlets dealt with them.”

    Indeed he has.

    I just did a google search on “Kriss Donald” limited to dailymail.co.uk

    It returns just 6 stories – ALL of them SINCE the end of the second trial.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?as_q=&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=kriss+donald&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=dailymail.co.uk&as_rights=&safe=images

    To check if the print edition did any stories that weren’t on the website I also did a cuttings search through factiva.

    2 stories.

    This one – the day after the body was found:

    RACE THEORY AS BOY OF 15 IS MURDERED.
    Daily Mail – 18/03/2004 (557 words)
    POLICE were last night trying to find a motive for the abduction and murder of a 15-year-old boy. Kriss Donald was attacked in the street and bundled, screaming, into a car by a gang of men of Asian appearance.

    And this one reporting the outcome of the second trial:

    MURDERED JUST FOR BEING WHITE
    Daily Mail – 09/11/2006 (2022 words)
    THREE British Asians were beginning life sentences last night for the ‘savage and barbaric’ race-hate murder of a white schoolboy.

    http://www.factiva.com/

    NOT a WORD about the first trial ….or anything else.

    Perhaps this can be explained by the Daily Mail’s underlying ‘assumptions’ about multi-culti, eh Laban?

       0 likes

  26. boy blue says:

    The brutal torture and murder of a 15 year old boy, snatched at random from the streets, would under any other circumstances have been major news, its subsequent trial covered in great detail all over Britain by the media.

    Britons will draw their own conclusions as to why it wasn’t.

    But the suspicion must be that the media, either through some warped gentlemen’s agreement amongst themselves, or from direct pressure above, decide not to give too much prominence to cases such as this.

    It might adversely effect “social cohesion” and all that sort of thing.

       0 likes

  27. alan says:

    Right we’ll see then, if Mark Easton’s volte-face will mean anything different in the future to the BBC’s
    way of reporting race crimes.

    In his speech/article of 8 Nov., he apparently said: ” Racism, prejudice and bigotry are not defined by the colour of someone’s skin.” But the BBC are still reluctant th publicise non-white racist crimes in their headlines.
    Compare these two headlines of the same story on 9 Nov.,the day after his remarks:-
    1.) BBC: ‘CARTOON PROTESTOR FOUND GUILTY’

    compared with this more incisive and explicit headline from another source about the same criminal, Mizanur Rahman-

    2.)’MUSLIM PROTESTOR GUILTY OF INCITING RACIAL HATRED’
    http://www.inthenews.co.uk

    Old habits die hard.

       0 likes

  28. MisterMinit says:

    GCooper: “If the tag-team of MisterMinit and John Reith are to believed there has been no downplaying of this notorious case.”

    When have I ever said that this case shouldn’t have received more coverage?

    I think that the only points that I have made are:

    * I think that it is important to analyse the BBC’s output in the context of the rest of the British media

    * Putting a story in the Scotland catagory is not in itself ‘downplaying’ the importance of it, and seems to be consitent with the BBC’s handling of similar stories. You seemed to be under the impression that the BBC were trying to sneek the Kriss Donald murder into the lower profile areas of the site while with Anthony Walker, they didn’t. In fact the articles for both cases were filed under their respective regional categories (apart from the two or so in the Anthony Walker case).

    This murder was terrible, and I am surprised that this didn’t get as much media attention as say the murders committed by Ian Huntley.

    However, to have a frank and honest discussion about the BBC’s coverage of the matter, it needs to be done sensibly, logically without basing opinions on our pre-existing BBC prejudices, and in possesion of the full facts including (but not limited to):

    * The coverage of non-BBC British media.

    * The legal details surrounding the reporting of the trail.

    And both of these points Laban failed to discuss in his original post.

       0 likes

  29. John Reith says:

    In passing, I do wish Reith would drop his BNP smears. It’s a puerile tactic, redolent of the glory days of Time Out.
    GCooper | 12.11.06 – 4:42 pm

    GCooper – back during the local elections there was a smallish BNP contingent posting comments on this site.

    Natalie saw them off. I seem to remember at the time she said that it would be playing into the hands of anyone wanting to rubbish B-BBC if it were to be a mouthpiece of the BNP (I paraphrase).

    The meme that the BBC was under-reporting the Kriss Donald case was developed by the BNP and is a staple of their website and others associated with British neo-fascism.

    The family of Kriss Donald have sought to distance themselves from the BNP’s attempt to exploit their son’s death.

    By failing to note the legal context (a TOTAL BAN, followed up by what were the most tightly drawn reporting restrictions since Spycatcher) B_BBC has peddled – over a period of months – the BNP propaganda smear.

    I genionely thought B_BBC were doing this through ignorance.

    In a number of comments I gave Natalie a heads-up and alerted this blog to the fact of reporting restrictions.

    Today Laban publishes what is one of the longest posts seen here but finds no room to mention the reporting ban or subsequent restrictions.

    Later, he acknowledged that he knew about them.

    Had the BBC behaved in such a calculatedly mendacious manner, there’d be loud indignation from you. I’d imagine.

       0 likes

  30. On my way down to Arbroath at the weekend, I popped in to a friend’s for a visit; he and family stay about 18 miles north of Dundee. It had been reported in the Dundee Courier that a prominent muslim in Dundee had called on fellow muslims NOT to co-operate with police engaged in anti-terror activities. My friend was upset about this when he read it because it was also reported that the muslim in question had been a candidate for the SNP: my friend is (now ‘was’) a supporter of the SNP. Coming in a week where the murder of Kriss Donald was finally fully reported, and the nature of the trial of the BNP’s capo, my friend said he’s agreeing with the BNP! Then his wife went off on one about muslims in general coming to this country with their culture of sh*t and their hatred for us etc. “It’s our country. If they don’t like it here they can f**k off back to the s**t-hole they came from”.
    My friends are just ordinary, normal people, the kind of people of whose existence JR and the rest BBC are unaware and have no concern for. Such people are below the BBC’s radar.
    The BBC: the BNP’s friend.

       0 likes

  31. John Reith says:

    GCooper

    …sorry…I forgot to add that whereas there were only two or three BNP commenters during the election, they are back with reinforcements. There are currently about 5 or 6 BNP members/supporters daily active on this blog.

    The character of the comments has changed accordingly. The risk to B-BBC’s reputation is greater now than during the local elections.

       0 likes

  32. will says:

    Apologies if this has already been brought up.

    Is there also a reluctance for the judicial system use the race tag where defendants are not white?

    Who has heard of Tyrone?

    LEEDS, England — By the time the mob was finished with Tyrone Clarke, all that was left of the 16-year-old was what his own mother later described to reporters as “just a bloody pulp.”

    About 30 boys and young men had chased him down, beating him with cricket bats and metal scaffolding poles before he was stabbed three times in the heart on April 22, 2004, in a tough neighborhood of south Leeds known as Beeston.

    Four youths were convicted of Clarke’s murder this year, drawing prison sentences ranging from nine to 12 years. That Clarke was black and the mob was Pakistani did not, the presiding judge ruled, make it a racial killing. More complex factors including drugs and gang rivalries were at play, investigators decided.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/19/AR2005071901784_pf.html

    So not racial, but it becomes so when the Independent reports on the aftermath.

    While many parts of the city enjoy relatively good relations between the white and Asian communities, in Beeston the atmosphere has been soured by the murder two years ago of a mixed-race teenager, Tyrone Clarke. He was chased by as many as 30 Asian youths and brutally beaten. Four people were eventually convicted and given life sentences for his murder. The judge ruled that the attack was not racially motivated, but there were still reprisals.

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050716/ai_n14786223

       0 likes

  33. Ritter says:

    JR – Do you subscribe to ‘Factiva’ or do you access it via your ’employer’……

    Factiva
    http://www.factiva.com/

    Factiva is the number one provider of news and business information to organizations worldwide, delivering essential content via products and services to help you make better decisions faster.

    jr said…

    “There are currently about 5 or 6 BNP members/supporters daily active on this blog.”

    How could you confirm that any commentator here is or isn’t a member of a political party unless they say so in a post? Do you have access to another databse of party memberships you’re not telling us about?

    I’m still waiting for your links to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat reports you quote earlier. Are you ignoring me?

       0 likes

  34. Joe Noory says:

    Imposing race-motives on every interacial murder is no different than trying to impose fractal theory on them. It’s informationally and morally meaningless.

    The news class of this age doesn’t seem to find that the mere fact that people are murdered is enough, or is meaningful were it not for some sort of murky class-struggle linkage.

    Since most murders of all types are over disagreements between people who know each other, reporting a narrow segment of them, (ones that someone will find emotionally loaded) is entirely disingenuous.

    Reporting it means to cause something to happen. It is literally the misfire from the rear that sparks a battle. Except that this is no misfire. It’s the attempted murder of reason in matters of mortal gravity. They are selling their snake-oil over the bodies of the dead.

       0 likes

  35. Jonathan Boyd Hunt says:

    John Reith:
    As someone who spends much of his time involved in research I confess to being impressed by your own efforts.

    Being able to produce such references to BBC web reports in support of your defence of the BBC (notwithstanding the BBC’s admitted failures as pointed out by DFH) is clearly the product of dedication on your part.

    However, in your post of 12.11.06 – 12:07 pm you list the BBC’s reporting of the Kriss Donald case on national BBC broadcast media. Specifically:

    “On 17th March 2004:
    BBC 1 1.00pm News
    ‘Glasgow Youth Killed by Asian Gang’
    filmed report including interview with Detective Superintendent Elliot Mackenzie of Strathclyde Police.

    “17 March 2004:
    BBC 1 6.00pm News:
    Filmed backgrounder plus interview with Superintendent Kenny Scott.

    “Radio 4 News 1800: James Shaw report plus interview.

    “18th March 2004
    Radio 1 Newsbeat 1245 : Nicola Pearson Report

    “Radio 1 Newsbeat at 17.45: Catherine Burns report

    “On 2nd April 2004 Radio 4 1800 News reported the arrest of the defendants in the first trial.”

    Simple question: How did you acquire this information John?

       0 likes

  36. Laban says:

    This whole ‘non-reporting’ thing is a smokescreen.

    I’ll say it again. By Nov 14 2004 all the salient facts (then, of course allegations in open court rather than proven facts) were being reported in the Scottish media.

    The evidence that the attackers were racists looking for a white boy to “chop them up and take their eyes out and stab them”. The heartbreaking forensic evidence about Kriss Donald’s death. These two factors alone should have made it a major story for the BBC. They reported it on the website at the time, albeit removing some of the gory details about arteries etc.

    In what sense were they restricted from making this a major news story a la Anthony Walker ? Did the injunction say ‘report it, but not as a headline ? Give the verdict a mention on Today, but not the trial ?’.

    The restrictions were on reporting details about the other guys who were being sought. The facts – as reported by the BBC at the time – should have been sufficient to make a major story.

    I’m asking why it wasn’t. Mark Easton has kindly answered. And let’s hope that going forward the colour of a victim’s skin will be of no more significance than the colour of his eyes when it comes to the BBC’s reporting.

    Mr Minit – your point about other media and JR’s re the Mail. Dangerous ground. The Mail and co are at liberty to be biased, cherrypick stories etc in whatever way they wish. No-one’s forced to pay for them. If the BBC is simply following the agenda of other, privately funded news organisations, then what’s the point of it ?

    I’ll stop now. Good to see the nerve has been touched. As it should be.

       0 likes

  37. joe says:

    reith

    I’ve noticed that whenever you are losing a debate you resort to smears.
    All over the web there is a lot of support for the BNP due to the actions of the BBC, read some forums and you will find out, or better still have an uncensored HYS.
    I have always been a Labour voter but not any longer due to their contempt for the people they were elected to represent.
    For you to shout nartzi at anyone who has a different opinion to yourself shows what a fascist you are. I have no doubt that there are supporters of all parties that comment here. It is called democracy. That is something you marxists do not comprehend.

       0 likes

  38. Laban says:

    PS – don’t forget Isiah Young-Sam. No second trial for him to get the coverage he should have got first time round.

       0 likes

  39. JR is losing the plot. He is now labelling anyone who disagrees with the evident pro-islamist, pro-EU, anti-British agenda of the BBC as a nazi. Not only has JR lost the plot, he’s lost the argument.
    One point that has been asked again and again is who exactly JR is? Would JR be good enough to tell us who is being him today and how many shifts there are? On the BBC’s timesheets, are hours allocated for ‘being JR’? Is it under-graduates who work as JR or is it more seasoned professionals who do the task of justifying the BBC’s right to jail single mothers while decrying that practice in other spheres?
    If any sympathetic employees of the BBC are reading, please assist.

       0 likes

  40. GCooper says:

    MisterMinit writes:

    “I think that it is important to analyse the BBC’s output in the context of the rest of the British media”

    Why? You make this bald assertion without providing a shred of justification.

    I would suggest it is wrong for two very obvious reasons. First, as others have pointed out, the Daily Mail is a privately owned newspaper, free to be as biased as it likes. The BBC is not in, any sense, comparable.

    Second, the BBC likes to portray itself as Britain’s premier broadcasting organisation. It certainly should be, given its huge resources. As such, it should be judged, not in comparson with a newspaper of your choice, but by the Olympian standards which it claims to uphold.

    Judged thus, it fails.

       0 likes

  41. GCooper says:

    John Reith writes;

    “There are currently about 5 or 6 BNP members/supporters daily active on this blog. ”

    Nonsense. Whether posters are members of the BBC or of the Townswomens’ Guild is something you cannot possibly know.

    Thank you for providing such an excellent example of your smear tactic.

    As to whether people support the BNP, I have seen one or two pretty open endorsements of the BNP here, but considerably fewer than I have seen ritual genuflections of the “of course, the BNP are all racist scum” variety, which has become the shibboleth in polite society whenever anyone expresses an opinon on race, immigration or any other matter ruled specially sensitive by the BBC and its fellow travellers.

    However, what is it that you are suggesting? That B-BBC should extirpate any opinions which could conceivably be held by BNP members? That no opinion shared by a BNP member or supporter could be allowed to dirty the B-BBC doormat?

    I realise this is the BBC way but, fortunately, it isn’t the way sensible people handle things. They prefer to let ideas stand or fall on their merits: which is how the BNP should be opposed – not by hysteria, witch-hunts and the shrill cries of those terrified by points of view they find uncomfortable.

       0 likes

  42. Anon says:

    Laban’s is the longest post I’ve read on B-BBC and has been pretty well Fisked by JR.
    Further to JR’s other point, out of interest will members on here say if they are members of the BNP or not?
    I’ll start the ball rolling. I’m not.

       0 likes

  43. GCooper says:

    Anon writes:

    “Further to JR’s other point, out of interest will members on here say if they are members of the BNP or not?”

    Hang on a minute. Isn’t one the things you left-wingers so hate about Joe McCarthy, the infamous ‘I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist party…’ schtick?

    For some reason the word ‘humbug’ springs to mind. Closely followed by ‘hypocrite’.

       0 likes

  44. Richard says:

    John Reith

    So what about the incredible ignorrance of a BBC reporter asking (years after the murder of the boy my sister knew) whether there had been any racist murders of whites? Is that not bias?

       0 likes

  45. joe says:

    I am not a member of the BNP, not that it should concern you or anyone else. I have until now always voted labour, but as they are destroying the country if UKIP stand in my area I will vote for them. Now what is your party anon:

    Back on topic JR/anon: Can you enlighten me. What are the air times of the news items for the Walker and Donald cases?. I think the answer will confirm that Labans post is correct.

       0 likes

  46. Jon says:

    Are we now to state which political party (or none) that we support before we post any comments? In that case which political party do you support Anon? And likewise JR?

       0 likes

  47. I am not a member of the BNP. However, I do believe that trains should run on time. That should be enough evidence for those who pose as JR or his anonymous collaborators to label me as a nazi.

       0 likes

  48. joe says:

    This is worth a read:

    HATE FEAR AFTER GLASS ATTACK

    COMMUNITY leaders appealed for calm yesterday after an Asian gangster glassed a white teenager on the street where Kriss Donald grew up.

    The attacker struck just days before the schoolboy’s killers were jailed. He allegedy shouted at his victim: “We’re going to murder all the white boys in Pollokshields.”

    http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_headline=hate-fear-after-glass-attack%26method=full%26objectid=18082346%26siteid=64736-name_page.html

       0 likes

  49. Jon says:

    Is it only me or does anyone else find the term “Community Leaders” extremely irratating. Who are these people and who voted for them? From now on I am going to style myself a “Community Leader”. I don’t give a monkies if I am unelected and don’t really represent anyone. But if anything happens in the village where I live I want the BBC to talk to me and get my views.

       0 likes