Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Seeing for yourself

Whilst others were watching a hospital doorway in Paddington, Sir Cliff Richard v The BBC continued.

Evidence from Gary Smith, the Corporation's UK News Editor back in August 2014, was submitted. After being told a BBC reporter had received a tip-off that police were investigating the singer, Mr Smith wrote: "Congratulations and jubilations, I want the world to know I'm happy as can be." Mr Smith told the court it had been a private communication that was not meant for publication.

He said the decision to use a helicopter to cover the search of Sir Cliff's apartment in Sunningdale was “made along usual reporting lines. The use of the the helicopter and its camera allows us to see what’s going on. Without it we would have had to rely on what we were being told by South Yorkshire Police. One of the key principles of newsgathering is to try to find out for yourself what’s happening.”

He added: “A basic principle of television reporting is that you need pictures to accompany a story to tell an audience what is happening.”

Clearly, if Mr Smith had still been in the same post yesterday, we'd have had cameras zooming through labour ward windows; you can't take anything Kensington Palace says for granted.

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