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    Monday, 14 May 2007

    Trial by new media? Ofcom, the BBC and the Church of Scientology

    The BBC is to air a Panorama programme at 2030 this evening which focuses on the Church of Scientology, and perhaps unsurprisingly the Church is hoping to get its defence in first. It has posted plenty of footage on YouTube of the BBC reporter - John Sweeny - 'losing it' and otherwise acting in a purportedly outlandish / inappropriate manner during his investigation. It has also alleged that the BBC breached the Ofcom Code on more than 100 separate occasions. This link brings you to an excerpt from BBC News24 which shows the footage and in which the editor of Panorama sets out to explain and defend the programme. You'll also find plenty of the other material linked.


    Anonymous said...

    The story has been picked up in Broadcast, see here

    Andrew Scott said...

    There's an interesting piece with comments on this Panorama programme by Mick Hume in The Times - see here - which reminded me a little of Chomsky's 'propaganda model' in the (implicit?) suggestion that the programme serves a window-dressing / screening / attention diverting purpose.

    Ultimately, the 'message' of the programme was that Scientologists are 'wierd', 'different', 'creepy', 'cabalistic', and - perhaps - 'dangerous' to 'us'. Is this sophistication?

    Andrew Scott said...

    Sweeney offered an interview to the Guardian in August - see:

    'I can never again lose my temper on TV'

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