MoD restricts ITV News reporters in row over injured soldier

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Oct 24, 2006.

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  1. The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn facilities for ITV News to embed any of its reporters with the army, following a row over footage of injured soldiers returning home from Afghanistan.

    Last week ITV News screened a series of reports examining the care given to wounded servicemen returning to the UK. The coverage angered officials at the MoD, who complained that the footage was both inaccurate and intrusive, and that it had tried to imply the MoD was seeking to hide casualties by returning them to Britain under the cover of darkness.

    After news of the dispute in today's Times newspaper, the MoD added that it was extremely disappointed to have been forced to conduct the argument in public. "The dispute could have been resolved in private." Defence officials contested any accusation of censorship...............they said that the restrictions were a simply a temporary measure .............................. until they are given a satisfactory explanation as to the tenor of the ITV reports.

    In full,,1930066,00.html

    Looks like the MoD is fighting back after being embarrassed by Media exposure of how they treat British Soldiers, some letters of support to ITV from serving or ex serving would not go amiss.

    Also the MoD’s press office is being even more inept than usually if they think that the Press will back off after this, they will ALL pile in now, you never do this to a major network and get away with it.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  2. I've got doubts, the MoD would never be this bold publically over PR issues. They obviously have a real grievance, it may well just be it also happened to provide them a good opportunity to be rid of ITV.
  3. Don't know where they filmed from at Birmingham , but it must have been a hell of a Lens.
  4. They did not go public, they attempted to apply back door pressure on ITV to tone down the injured Soldiers being treated badly angle, which is upsetting their career prospects, the MoD were then surprised when ITV leaked it to the Times. This one will run for at least a week.

    The MoD were attempting to do a 'Don Rumsfeld' in media denial only not on a docile US press corps but on the glorious, vicious free for all that is British Media.

    The clowns at the MoD have only underlined that they have no understanding of media handling at all.
  5. To be honest I did actually feel that the ITV stories were a bit sensationalist in their manner of reporting but ITV in general have become rather redtop these days or is it just me?

    Then again any opportunity to give the govt a kick in the goolies re soldiers welfare shouldnt go astray!
  6. Right on Taz_786!

    its the Labour Govt with Alistair Campbell who created the 'communication rules' now in use for this Country, they have to take it on the chin when spin is used against them (they won't they will squeal like b1tches).

    Personally I find the current situation of the Media siding with the Army very, very refreshing, I scan the dailies these days with glee.

    Journos (as well as SFO investigations) are the only thing that the current crop of Politicos are scared of.

    Boot to head and repeat.
  7. "You're not playing with my ball because you wont do as I say".
  8. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    If ITV had anything to really gripe about would they not have been clever enough to have it as a lead story on the morning news?
  9. The Times's article is pretty balanced. The point I take from it is that the MOD bent over backwards to give access to Headley Court and other rehab institutions which were not used in the ITV reports, which as a series were probably balanced, but as one-off evening slots were not balanced.

    Times Online

    Some issues:

  10. So what? ITV is simply engaging in journalism that reflects the public mood ie Soldiers are hard done by, it is not a PR vehicle for the MoD spinning Tonys line that everything is clap happy.

    If the MoD wants balanced documentary style programmes then they should grant access to the reputable film makers who have constantly requested unfettered access (the MoD always refuses such requests). I say again their media handling skills are patronizingly bad.

    No access for Journos in Afghanistan if you please we will tell whats going on - Falklands War style.
  11. AJ,
    I think you are right, ITN dipped into a groundswell of feeling when it broadcast those features. Very powerful they were too. I am not sure about this. I thought Headley Court came out of it quite well, but much more powerful on the same night was the story of the soldier who had been left to swing in the wind.

    I suspect we will rapidly see a compromise.

    Either way, Blair was forced into agreeing military only wards yesterday, so something good has come from it. The downside from the Govt and MoD point of view is that Afg is headed the same way as Iraq as far as its popularity with the British public goes.
  12. Freedom of the Press anyone?
  13. I don't think ITV intended to imply that MOD were trying to hide casualties by returning them to UK under cover of darkness - they were simply reporting the facts: that some wounded servicemen are returned to UK in darkness. Other facts include: aeromed patients are offloaded in the cargo area at Birmingham Airport; only the most seriously injured are flown to Birmingham - the rest have to endure long road journeys to reach Selly Oak. Perhaps MOD thought they were being accused of a cover up because it's something they regualrly indulge in - guilty conscience, perhaps...

    I really don't understand why MOD, instead of castigating the media, don't just tell the truth and tell us why it's done this way. Otherwise, there could be all sorts of conjecture. For example, that flights arrive at night because landing fees are cheaper then; that most go to Brize because it's cheaper than flying to Birmingham.

    The report on Headley Court reflected the excellent work that is done there; other reports showed that some people continue to be badly failed by the MOD.

    MOD should be directing their energies at correcting some of the many failings of their department instead of taking this ridiculously petulant action against ITV News.
  14. I was talking to a retired copper last week who used to be the Press Officer for Wiltshire Police back in the 80s, when there was a rash of serious crimes going on in the area. He said he had a really good working relationship with the journos, used them very effectively and in fact, by releasing a story early triggered a response from a member of the public that lead directly to the arrest of a man who had kidnapped a woman off the M4, driven her to London, kept her locked in the boot of his car and raped her repeatedly over the course of a week.

    He contrasted that with the Chief Constable of a neighbouring force who assembled the press outside the HQ to brief them (in the rain and cold) and who quipped "stand at the bottom of the steps, in the gutter where you belong..." - needless to say, after an ensuing few weeks of non-co-operation and appalling criticism of the case, he invited them back, into the building, apologised and started again.

    My friend did say, however, that you have to treat the press like a caged tiger - keep them in the cage by constantly feeding them but once you let them out to find the prey(ie, the story that will work in your favour), you have to take the collateral damage.
  15. It makes sense, keep your friends close and your enemies closer!