BBC Scotland: ‘Do your job, do it well, do no harm’

The above quote comes from Jo Healey, author of “Trauma Reporting: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering Sensitive Stories” (Routledge) 

Do your job, do it well, do no harm 

These BBC Scotland reports do harm.

Rather than foregrounding the professional evidence of what happened and in particular the lack of certainty in cases where several factors were contributory to a death or to harm, BBC Scotland has foregrounded, headlined, the traumatised outbursts of a statistically tiny group of parents, understandably broken by the experience but not, in any way, reliable opinion for any news report.

One says:

She said she believed NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board should be punished. My view is that the hospital should be closed. I don’t think it’s safe,” Ms Darroch said. I feel like the health board need to be punished for all of this. In my eyes, what happened to my daughter is murder. She should still be here and I am trying to come to terms with that, after coming to terms with losing her initially.

The parents have not so much been given a voice as having had their wounds re-opened and used for cheap journalistic measures of success. If these parents have become unable to ever come to terms with their loss because of media and opposition politicians feeding upon their grief, then BBC Scotland has done harm to them.

Those who read these headlines, see these images, have not been informed usefully of the extent to which these hospitals are incredibly safe places but so large and complex that things will sometimes go wrong. If the audience has been scared off attending hospital because of statistically incredibly rare events, then BBC Scotland has done harm to them too.

Worst of all, this has been done in an attempt to harm a political movement. How do I know? I only have to look to those parts of the UK with no or a less tribal underlying constitutional issue, where the BBC is not fighting for Britain.

For example:

More than 100 baby deaths but no foregrounding of outbursts of anguish or calls for punishment from parents, just information on what happened.

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10 thoughts on “BBC Scotland: ‘Do your job, do it well, do no harm’

  1. Wrong ideas
    Wrong thoughts and views

    Wrong Speech
    Wrong actions
    Wrong efforts
    Wrong work
    Wrong actions
    And all conducted in a state of mindfulness of They Do Know of What they Do
    Therefore I find ABC (BBC ) & The MSM Guilty as charged
    I now rest my case

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed, to lose a child, must be absolutely heartbreaking. It sounds like the parents are still grieving which is normal, but there is a process to that and as you say it seems the media are not allowing a normal grieving process for the parents, by dragging this on and on, a tragic event for their own gain. I hope the parents are able to access support it sounds like it would be essential to their own wellbeing.

    ‘Murder’ is a strong word to use and of course, media interference is not helping the parents to rationalise as far as possible under the circumstances. Altogether a horrible time for the parents, their grief exacerbated by the BBC. The BBC should leave the family alone and if any investigation is requested that is a matter for the parents, or was that already held?

    Yes, the BBC is for sure a sinister organisation, worse that it’s publicly funded.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Art, seventy years ago my parents lost a child – their first, a son. They never did get over it. More than thirty years later my mother (who died in 1985) was playing with our son (aged 2) and in the course of a stupid childish game called him using my late brother’s name – our son never noticed and it was an accident, but more than 30 years later…… My younger brother and I grew up in a house where there was at least one picture of our late brother in every room (sometimes more than one), but we never found it strange. This was how it was.
      My mother and father dealt with it in different ways. My father, I realise now, disappeared into himself. My mother did better but as the above example shows never got over it either. Her neighbour – who she had lived beside for 35 years before her death, told me “your mum came through here from time to time to have a wee bubble about her Billy”.
      My point? I dont suppose my parents’ reaction to the death of their first son was all that different from the reaction of poor Milly Main’s parents. The difference is that my parents didnt have some politician on the make coming round to convince them that someone had to be to blame (I never heard my parents blame anyone – not one time) and that they should be punished. Like my own parents Milly Main’s parents will carry the death of their child round with him to the day they themselves die. But does anyone feel any sense of conscience that their grief has been held open for the community to gawp at, and even worse for political advantage?
      Lets not forget that her death certificate said the primary cause was Subarachnoid haemorrhage – the BBC has the certificate on their website – they know. The chances of a child who has had leukemia and the grueling treatment that involves is unlikely to survive that – 50% dont.
      Even if we assume that someone is found to “blame” and put in the media stocks to be pelted with the media’s rotten tomatoes (preferably I suspect Humza), will this give the parents peace, give them closure, help them to come to terms with the death of their daughter. On the basis of my experience, I doubt it very much indeed.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Indeed, though I certainly wasn’t implying anyone could ‘get over’ the death of a child, not at all. My parents lost a child a few days after her birth in the 1950’s, as kids we always wished we could have met our sister, but, also, couldn’t understand why there was no grave for her, my parents had no explanation either.

        There was the case in some areas of NE England (?) where many new born babies died mysteriously, and the whole thing was covered up, I can’t remember the details but there were no graves so it was speculated that the babies’ bodies were used for experiments or something like that, my parents never knew about that thank goodness. It was far too common for babies to die at birth or soon after birth in the 50’s and 60’s it seems…and no parent could possibly get over that.

        Agree with your comment about the BBC and blaming the health secretary, only time and relevant support can help parents at least come to terms with such a tragic death in their family.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wasnt suggesting that you were Art, and am sorry if you felt that I was. My point was that anyone’s death (eg parent, partner, friend) is followed by a period of mourning. However, I feel the death of a child is different. Kids bury their parents – that is something we all have to face up to – but parents should not be burying their kids.
          The death of a child will be followed by a period of mourning, but I wonder whether in any real sense that mourning ever ends? To have it poked about by the media, and used for political purposes by the unscrupulous only makes an unbearable pain more unbearable.


  3. It is right the Enquiry takes evidence from affected parents, that HMS Sarah Smith take such delight in detailing assertions and opinions is obvious, but will they faithfully report ALL the evidence to the Enquiry in such fine detail ?
    Of course not.
    They are only interested in backing up their own version of “the truth” from their scurrilous campaign to unseat Jeanne Freeman. Perhaps for another Enquiry another day to establish, and hold this awful organisation up to much deserved public scrutiny.

    Whatever sympathy I have for the trauma parents and kids have experienced in QEUH, the extent to which this was influenced by the media themselves for naked political purpose undoubtedly the more troubling.
    “Do no harm” ? Aye, right.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. People should be left to rest in peace. Only time is a healer. Death can be a
    relief from pain and misery. If people are suffering. Tragic though it can be.

    The frailty of the human body. The majority die from old age, after a long life worldwide. 80 years on average, Sometimes more. Japan 85 the highest. Spain 84. UK 79. US 76.
    PUS spends the most on redundant weaponry in the world. Killing and maiming people. Nearly 1/3 of all world spend which could be better spent. The US guns laws could be reducing life expectancy. Women live 5 years longer than men on average worldwide.

    Scotland has an excellent health service. Even in a pandemic. Some people do not obey the rules and spread it. Medical science is a wonderful movement but people still should take care not to abuse their bodies, Some people still make some bad choices. Medical science creating viruses and spreading them. Government have to do something to stop it. A vaccine was found in a relatively short time. To stop more deaths, worldwide.

    There are people being seen quicker at clinics etc. Some people are choosing not to attend because of covid. Others are being advised to wait because of underlying conditions. They are being kept safe because of covid. They would be more ill if they caught it.

    Blame the Chinese and US who produced the virus.

    Johnston off making a fool of himself in Washington. US/US now arming Australia with nuclear subs. A complete waste of time and money. What will happen to the waste killing people. Some people never learn. Already wasting £Billions on Trident and £Trns on illegal wars. £55Billion for Defence (attack). The Tories could not even organise a few more flights to get people out of Afghanistan. They are absolutely useless.


    1. I believe they, the Tories, are far worse than useless. As I said to ArtyHetty earlier, when describing the B.B.C, they are evil, pure evil. Opinion polls are a means of forming public opinion, not reflecting it, so we must have another Independence Referendum A.S.A.P, before this corrupt Westminster administration does even more damage to our country, and it’s people.


  5. A grieving parent calls for a hospital to be closed , which at any given time is treating around 250 very ill children .
    No thought is given to the consequences to these children should this grief-stricken call come to pass .
    Where would they go ?
    Who would treat them ?
    How many of them would die ?

    Grief is a debilitating emotion , it often robs one of our sense of perspective – but should NOT be callously used , as it is in this case , by political opportunists and a deplorable media .

    Liked by 3 people

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