Monday, December 22, 2008

Bangkokbitch complains to the BBC

I had always found that the coverage on the newswires in general was a bit too much on the sensational side, never really saying that in general this city is safe and that if gatherings and demonstrations are omitted, there is zero danger for the public, especially for foreigners.
however, when I watched the news before and the bbc's jonathan head was speaking about the new Thai government and simultaneously, the PAD siege of the airport was shown, I felt that this was entirely unfair coverage. Thailand doesnt need hundreds of additional people thinking that the airports are closed and Bangkok is at war. Please stop showing these pictures BBC, they are amazing pictures but the airport seizure is part of the past and will not happen again for sure (at least in the near future).

Here's my letter:

Dear BBC,I would like to comment regarding your coverage of the Thai political crisis especially the recent siege of the airports by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). Overall, I have found your coverage accurate, informative and well-worth watching. The comments by your correspondent Jonathan Head deserve special praise.

However, I would like to criticise you on two points.

Firstly, the coverage, especially accentuated through repeated pictures of people shooting, throwing objects and being armed, created an image of a dangerous city nearing a civil armed conflict. In fact, only very isolated violent incidents did happen but only in designated areas and not involving foreigners. I live in Bangkok and through these days, would I have not watched television and read the news, I would not have even known about the conflict. I also had received many enquiries from friends and family about my well-being. I believe that the BBC has failed to emphasise that at no point was there a danger to the general public and that violence and unrest was only confined to very few areas.

Secondly, I have just seen a short news article on the new government here in Thailand and while the correspondant was speaking, pictures of the airport siege were shown. I believe that this is utterly unnecessary and again distorting the image of Bangkok. To the unsuspecting viewer, these pictures suggest that right now, there is a violent protest going on in Bangkok and that Bangkok as well as Thailand in general is an unsafe destination.I can see every day here how slow business is for thousands of people and how few tourists have made their way to Bangkok. This is of course not the BBC's fault but I wish the BBC would stop conveying the image of an "unsafe" Bangkok.

Thank you for your otherwise very reliable reporting.

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