The Mid-Atlantic Blog

January 24, 2006

BBC & Death Penalty

Scott Callahan at The American Expatriate does great stuff. Look at the response he's extracted from the BBC here over their disparate coverage of the death penalty in the US and China.

Key facts from his previous coverage...


So, 3,400 executions in China merits only 2 stories on the death penalty in general, and zero stories on any specific execution, while 60 executions in the US merits 7 stories in general and 21 stories about specific executions. Or, put another way, executions in the US, which total only 1.76% the number of executions in China, get 1,400% of the amount of coverage given to executions in China. And the 1,000th execution in the US since 1976 is, for the BBC, a "landmark" and "milestone" requiring 3 stories, while the 1,000th (and 2,000th, and 3,000th) execution in China since January 1 last year passes by entirely unremarked upon.

And the BBC's response? Illiterate piffle, suggesting that it'll all come out OK in the end, and suggesting that he writes to a show called "NewsWatch" with his complaint.

Take this sentence, for example...

I note your objections to the BBC reporting on significantly more to aspects of the death penalty in the US rather than China where more executions take place.

I'm not sure which language that's in, but it certainly isn't English.

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