The way strikes are reported
Obviously a lot of coverage this morning of the potential strike by BA Cabin Crew and what struck me (again) is how strikes are reported by the media. Coverage of strikes usually contain some of, and often all, the following three ingredients;
1. Interviews with members of the public inconvenienced by the strike in question. Obviously and understandly these people are pretty annoyed, but I wonder do all of them instinctively blame the union and workers as those featured in news programmes always do?
2. Interview with the relevant manager/company CEO who is rarely asked just how they’ve managed to get themselves into a situation where staff are so annoyed at their treatment by the employer that they’re prepared to lose pay and risk the ire of the public to register their anger.
3. Interview with the relevant trade union officialwho is always only ever asked to speak about the inconvenience/disruption the strike will cause and rarely given the chance to explain the background to the strike.
The report on this morning BBC Breakfast News was a master class containing all of these ingredients with a few new ones thrown in. For instance the unfortunate reporter who was sent to comment on the strike from just outside the perimeter fence at Heathrow airport included in his report the comment that the union appeared to have the support of the cabin crew; as if the union had announced the strike and then frantically tried to get members to vote for it. The fact that on an 80 per cent turnout, over 90 per cent of the cabin crew balloted had voted in favour of the strike managed to escape his report. Apparently there’s no story in finding out just what is going on within BA to make staff so angry.
More details of the BA: United we stand campaign HERE