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.


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:

Anonymous said...

The correct story is here:


Nick Reynolds (BBC)