The BBC has been getting some flak for describing the evacuation of British citizens from Beirut as being akin to Dunkirk. Amanda Farnsworth, editor of daytime news has the job of explaining the crass analogy on the beeb’s Editor’s blog. The explanation: A government minister made the comparison first.
Kim Howells, a foreign office minister Talked about there being at least 22,000 British people in the Lebanon. “If these numbers have to be evacuated, it becomes the biggest evacuation since Dunkirk,” he said.
Besides the huge difference in size — 340,000 at Dunkirk — the evacuation from France was under heavy fire, as the BBC Middle East editor told his colleagues this morning.
Farnsworth says: “Some have asked if we are doing too much on the British evacuation and not enough on other aspects. We are constantly asking ourselves this question and at the moment I think we’re getting it about right – but we need to keep asking.’
It is good to have this transparency from the BBC. I would love to see similar explanations of some of the Sun’s headlines and stories from Rebekah Wade.