Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai Attacks - When Radio Fails

I must confess I switched the radio off this morning and came downstairs to consult the webpages of the same station. It was truly an awful story out of India today. But the reporting and analysis on the radio was truly awful too.

I have seldom heard so much muddled story-telling and pure speculation. There was even a piece about the possible effects on the entire Indian business community. The context to the disaster was totally lacking on the radio and they were spinning out 4 minutes of news into an entire half hour. Yes, I learned they had a reporter outside one of the hotels and no, he didn't know any more than the agencies that there were people inside who'd been taken hostage. But I wasn't told how this had affected travel in(to) the city. All the other news didn't exist in the hope that there would be more breaking statistics to "switch live to". There was so much confusion on the wireless, I switched it off.

In contrast the web gave relevant facts about previous incidents of this type, all the statements from international leaders, maps, and travel advice from people in the region.

Al Jazeera English has the best TV coverage out of the region at the moment. Again, context is so important. Radio used to have the best "pictures" and analysis. Not any more.
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