Some of the 15 released UK soldiers have been condemned for selling their stories to the media for large sums of money. Some apparently chose not to. Many people have appeared on the media condemning them, their employers, the government etc for allowing them to give their stories. I notice two guilty parties missing from the targeting sights.
The public who are demanding to know what happened (in their own words…if you can believe it’s not been edited to portray a set position)
The media who work on a “profit seeking” basis, like any other business (excluding the BBC who live by their own rules). They want the stories because people will buy the newspapers or watch the show with the stories on them. This will make them more money. The fact that it’s “in the public interest” is a side effect.
When these soldiers were returned to UK soil, the BBC had a 30 minute “news special” on BBC1 where they showed (for most of that time) …..a runway……just a runway. With the occasional panning shot of a military helicopter waiting to whisk these soldiers away for debriefing. They made a point in their coverage that these soldiers would NOT be doing ANY media interviews at that point……..so why the news special?
They were part of the media scrum all fighting each other for standing space, trying to get a decent angle for a shot…shouting questions at the soldiers knowing that they wouldn’t get any answers, Has their reputation for truth gotten so badly dented that we need to see a live news special showing the plane arriving and showing the soldiers walking onto the runway before we believe it’s happened? Another way to put this is if the BBC decided to just announce it…would we believe it had happened without video footage to back up the statement? Are you as stupid as they clearly think you are?
The BBC are only part of this….the other news networks all clambered to do something similar. They have been camped outside the homes of these soldiers; their families, and friends……hounding them with questions, throwing money at them for information. I see no news media condemning the media for this, while the soldiers and their employers have been blamed for everything. I guess it’s easier to take the high ground when you’re not criticizing yourself…..or your viewers.
If the public refused to watch these interviews when they’re broadcast….the producers would be scratching their heads in wonder as the viewing figures plummet on something that should have made them rise. If the public refused to buy the editions of the newspapers carrying these interviews, the same will happen. The editors will wonder why a no-brianer left their newspapers to be pulped, losing them lots of money.
It will cause them to rethink the next time if it’s worth paying out so much money for. We all know that’s never going to happen……we are hypocrites. We like to condemn if they do publish, yet we reserve the right to buy or watch…..which is EXACTLY where they want us. They don’t care what we think or feel when reading or watching……only that we ARE reading or watching…..and of course paying for it within their own business model.