The BBC's official policy on "entertainers" who commit child rape is to post articles in the "Arts & Entertainment" section

(153 Posts)
StewiesBack Mon 16-Jun-14 18:38:56

I've been complaining to the BBC for months about their coverage of the trials of Stuart Hall, Max Clifford, Gary Glitter and all the other male celebrities investigated, charger and/ or convicted as part of the Yewtree operation into Jimmy Savile's systemic sexual assault of children whilst working at the BBC. I've had a number of utterly ridiculous emails from them claiming that it is totally appropriate for coverage of the trials of "entertainers" to be placed as both "news" and "arts and entertainment" on the online sites.

I've started a petition to have the BBC change their official policy so that articles referencing child rape, sexual abuse or exploitation not be placed under the heading of "arts and entertainment" online. I'm not sure what the MN policy is on petitions anymore but I've written it up for my blog.

scallopsrgreat Mon 16-Jun-14 22:42:50

Annoys the fuck out of me too. Signed and shared.

Bleugh, this is so creepy.

How have they never thought that just a teeny tiny few readers might feel quite sick to click on 'entertainment' and be faced by that?!

StewiesBack Tue 17-Jun-14 07:25:58

Thank you!

I'm so very angry by this and it really isn't something that is difficult to fix. All they need to do is just stop doing it FFS

Signed and shared. 85 so far.

CaptChaos Tue 17-Jun-14 09:01:09

Signed.

Just bleah.

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Jun-14 09:26:28

I don't understand the issue. If they were politicians it would be under politics, teachers under education, scientists under science and environment.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Jun-14 09:29:23

They are/were prominent names in arts/entertainment. It's relevant.

Ok, put it this way.

Are you 'entertained' by the thought of someone raping someone?

Of course not.

If you clicked on 'entertainment' as, say, a rape survivor or someone whose family had been affected by child abuse, might you not feel slightly sick someone else had categorised that topic as 'entertainment'?

I can't really imagine anyone who's interested in the Rolf Harris case struggles to find where the stories about him are being reported.

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Jun-14 09:48:08

But it's Entertainment and Arts related news.

So, it could be in 'News', right?

Why would that be a bad thing?

Do you honestly believe there are large groups of people out there thinking 'darn, I really wanted to read up on Rolf Harris's trial, the really funny bit where he started singing, but it's not in Entertainment and I can't imagine where it would be?!'

I just don't really believe that. I do think (and know) there are people who'll flip to 'Entertainment' expecting to be entertained, not triggered.

CaptChaos Tue 17-Jun-14 09:56:57

No, it is child rape and abuse news.

Just because the perpetrators were famous doesn't make it about them, it should be about the victims, their voice, their needs.

If the perpetrators were scientists, it would not be appropriate for it to be in the science section, if they were teachers, it wouldn't be appropriate for it to be in the education section.

Given how many more cases are going to be brought, maybe the BBC could have an 'Ex employee who abused or raped children' section.

Child abuse isn't entertainment, or science, or education. It doesn't belong in those sections of the BBC websites.

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Jun-14 10:01:54

It's on the BBC news website, entertainment and arts section. There are also several other articles about Gary Neville's monotonous football commentary, swearing on the Politics show and JK Rowling being abused online.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Jun-14 10:03:46

If you want 'entertaining' you way/read/listen to something designed to do that. The news is designed to do as it says on the tin - relay the news. Under the appropriate headings, which this is.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Jun-14 10:04:19

Sorry that should be; watch/read/listen.

I guess it depends on what you think is more important. The desire of the BBC to categorise a story on a website as entertainment if it relates to someone who used to work in the media or how the victims of abuse feel about the language to describe their fight for justice.

I think it's better that abuse victims / survivors feel that their court cases aren't 'entertaining' for people.

I can see how it might be suitable to put a teacher's abuse trial in Education if there is something to say about how teachers behave towards pupils or anything related to, well, education generally in light of the case. Don't see how these Yewtree trials are going to have anything relevant to offer the entertainment industry (other than reporting and discussing them, obviously).

Cocolepew Tue 17-Jun-14 10:09:04

Signed.

I agree that's it's in the right place - it is news which pertains to people in Arts and Entertainment. Same as when recently a rapper got shot, that was also under this heading.

Would you like them to section their news by type-of-crime categories?
So "Burglaries and Muggings", "Fraud and Deception", "Sexual Crimes" etc?

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Jun-14 10:18:05

Are you guys really suggesting that the BBC should be covering up a news story relating to entertainers ?News stories that have only recently come out because people used to think that abusing women and children was a perk of being powerful and famous?

It makes little sense to argue in favour of one set of arbitrary categories using another set of arbitrary categories to show how arguing against the first set of arbitrary categories is foolish.

<shrug>

Entertainers are accused of sexual abuse. This should not be presented as entertainment (even though this is why most people read news sites, I would imagine).

Who said anything about covering it up? The problem is with categorising it as 'entertainment', not with running the story in the first place. It could be categorised as plenty of other things less likely to trivialise it.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Jun-14 10:26:37

But that's the whole bloody point! It's not categorised as 'entertainment'! It's appearing in the news pertaining to the world of entertainment. Completely different thing!

HaroldsBishop Tue 17-Jun-14 10:27:14

In what way does classifying a news article by it's content trivialise child abuse?

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Jun-14 10:27:58

Cyril Smith is in the Politics section because he was a politician. Rolf Harris is in the Entertainment & Arts section because he is an entertainer. Oh and an artist too!

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 17-Jun-14 10:30:57

It's even more relevant because it has been discovered/outed that it's been endemic in the entertainment industry. If that's not relevant news god knows what is.

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