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Previous | Next :: Not You Too Justin? : Justin Webb BBC Anchor Man Today Program R4 : London | November 4, 2010, 11:09 pm

Not You Too Justin? : Justin Webb BBC Anchor Man Today Program R4 : London
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Depressing to hear my fave BBC person speaking in the classic way that people do about a persecuted minority group......... I know Justin Webb would never slip into assuming that the standard thinking including all sorts of vile prejudice about an often excluded outsider group like say the Roma in France were automatically true......... so its depressing to hear him do that over the discussion of the often vilified minority group ...... photographers.........

Why would he or anyone assume that historic photography is so loaded and political that it can and should only be financed by a political party......... its odd that anyone would do that in my view......... but especially a publicly sponsored journalist claiming to work for a neutral news organization........ he is managing to do his broadcasting without being in the pay of the Conservative Party or the Labour Party....... he is of course assuming he is able to broadcast in a professional way from his supposedly neutral publicly financed perch at the BBC and that we should take that for granted.......... while he assumes that any photographs made for and of the British Government by a publicly financed photographer would be so toxically political that it is laughable that the photographer might be paid for out of the public purse.

He went on to say that he received a photograph of himself with the President of the USA from the White House photography service. Then say erroneously that that photographer must be paid for by the Democratic Party. No.... he is financed by the White House. Because in case you hadn't noticed Justin.......( by the way the photo of you and Obama looks fab on your mantle piece)........ the grandeur and authority of office has an attraction and a historic value to the people who meet the President........ its part of the service to the people..... that when they meet with their President the moment is recorded for posterity (and of course for their mantle piece)..... by the photography staff at White House paid for out of public finance.

Above the general photographic staff on call to do all the shots of the visiting worthies and BBC Anchor men is the Chief White House Photographer whose task it is to make a historic record of the days of that Presidency. A record for the American people after all they regard their democracy as the shining light on the hill..... a beacon to the world. Why would they not want to have and to pay for a visual record that speaks to the historic moments those Presidents faced and of their lives as human beings in high office.

Why would we Brits not want to have some insight into our own government........ why would we not want engaging historical images of our leaders from inside Number 10........ ?

I notice it was not thought worth mentioning the videographer also hired at public expense on the same day ......... no photography has its own special witch hunt......... there is something specifically happening....... especially in Britain around still photographers and photography.

In Britain the witch hunt against photography is in full cry....... try and take a photo of your child at school........ try and take a photograph as professional photographer in the streets of Britain......... what was once fun and special to the general public....... to say have your picture made in the street by a professional photographer ....... is now normally labelled fully as abuse........... this is now the received thinking....... it is endemic thinking in Britain.......... it actually endangers the safety of photographers....... and damages our democracy....... public sponsored broadcasters perhaps have a duty above others to make sure they are not reinforcing ignorance and prejudice in their listening public....... they should at least attempt to recognize their own prejudice........ and make sure they are not spreading illogical hatreds, ignorance and just plain untruths.

Im saddened but not surprised to hear this on The Radio 4 Today Program ....... I hear it everywhere........ sad to hear it from me old mate Justin Webb who remains my friend and fave daily BBC radio broadcaster......... But I say to you Justin and all written, speech and even TV journalists you should think about this slide away from the freedom just to make photographs ......... and the slide towards a moral panic about photographers......... maybe even try and address it......... partly because we are all losing something in our democracy........... by vilifying photographers..... moving to banning photography or having permission only photography...... permission only....... like they have in North Korea........... you should address this because its important in our society........ but also because there is some self interest in this......... how does that thing go..? : "When they came for the photographers....... I said nothing........... because I was not a photographer.......... "

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Here is the link to the Today Program discussion : http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9158000/9158475.stm ........ thanx for this Harv :-)

www.jezblog.com

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