Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Iran, the green blogopshere and a BBC mystery

UPDATE, 8.20pm

Mystery over. Sulivan writes:

BBC Not Green
They have not changed the color of their news page and the home-page has long been green. Apologies. In retrospect the Beeb would never align itself with one side in an ongoing story. I've removed the post.


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Leading US blogger Andrew Sullivan has been blogging brilliantly on the Iranian protests.

And he yesterday turned his blog green in solidarity - arguing that other bloggers should do the same.

Now, he has posted "the BBC goes green".

And, right now as I post this, the home-page is indeed decked in green.

Is this about the Iranian protests? Sullivan thinks so. I rather doubt it.

The BBC has been doing excellent reporting - and is battling with the authorities over reporting the protests and getting the story out. But the hallmark of the BBC is impartiality and I can not imagine its reporters would want it to take sides in this way.

Green is not about the right to report - on which the BBC must have a view - but the case of the main opposition candidate and his supporters - on which it does not.

So going green for Iranian democracy seems to me a great idea for British, European and international bloggers of left, right and centre and any of the newspaper groups - like the Guardian, Independent, Times or Telegraph - who want to take that up as an editorial position. But not the BBC. (Sorry: I'm afraid I don't have any colour switches for Next Left. Perhaps a colleague does. But I feel we should be green in spirit).

So what's going on?

If it is a coincidence - and the green home-page has as little to do with Iran as with the leading sports story (Tony Mowbray to be new Celtic manager) - then it seems a very strange one. And I imagine conspiracy theorists may have a field day.

If it is a deliberate act of solidarity, then I would be surprised, and I wonder at what level it was authorised.

The BBC may have to clear this up rather quickly.

And I expect it may be out of green ink rather sharpish.

1 comment:

nickreynoldsatwork said...

The correct story is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2009/06/the_colour_green_on_the_bbc_ho.html

Nick Reynolds (BBC)