Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Panorama on the binge-drink crawl again

One-sided and distorted image
of drinking in northern town

Panorama, once the BBC's flagship, serious news programme, has an obession with binge drinking. Last night's programme (10 August) was the third one it has devoted to the subject. It featured Oldham in Greater Manchester -- or rather just one street in Oldham. The image of drunken young people behaving badly was an unappealing one but it was not true of the whole of the city. The constant refrain that "this will soon be happening in your town" was not backed by any evidence and was weakened by the admission that this type of behaviour did not happen to such an extent in neighbouring Manchester.
The street in question was packed with bars and nightclubs. There was not one single traditional pub shown. The bars and clubs competed by offering heavily discounted drinks, an activity that is not followed by most pubs.
But at least there was one step forward in this programme. For the first time, Panorama got stuck into supermarkets and admitted that it was their policy of selling massively discounted vodkas and other spirits that encouraged young people to "front load" before heading off to clubs and bars.
But in general there was no balancve to the programme. Panorama could have shown last week's Great British Beer Festival in London, attended by a record 64,000 people. There was no drunkenness, no fighting and no occasion to call the police.
But why let the truth interfere with a good distortion?


Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

The way the BBC just bangs on about it. Why cant the police just sort them out and leave the rest of us alone.
Dont drink, dont smoke, dont use the car,dont fly,dont use a plastic bag, dont have buy one get one free offers, dont drive the wrong car, dont eat a burger, dont take salt. I am just about sick and tired at this Labour Government/BBC telling us how to live our lives.

How many more donts can you think of.?

13 August 2009 at 00:21  
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Anonymous Richard English said...

The problem with the media, including the Beeb, is that they are doing less and less proper reporting and relying more and more on press releases. The very effective and powerful lobbies of the three main anti-alcohol organsisations are doing a tremendous job right now, taking full advantage of the lack of real news to plug their half-truths and misinformation.

Once upon a time it was the travel industry that received the lion's share of misreporting with all the "holiday horror" stories during the medias' "silly season"; now it's the licensed trade. Hopefull this nonsense, too, will pass.

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