Watching the Watchdog

Sometimes, what is behind a news report could be more interesting and sensational than the report itself. This is exemplified in an odd incident that took place early this week in the news studio of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Daily Mail Online’s headline on it is: ”Here is the Nudes at Ten: BBC worker spotted watching a VERY inappropriate  video on office computer over presenter Sophie Raworth’s shoulder”.

According to the report written by Abe Hawken, ”Viewers tuning into the BBC’s News at Ten got an eyeful when a woman exposed her naked breasts on a computer screen – just yards behind presenter Sophie Raworth. ”

”A BBC worker, who was wearing headphones and slumped in his chair, was spotted watching the woman remove her bra in the raunchy movie scene.”

”Ms Raworth, 49, was presenting a live piece on the England cricket team’s victory over South Africa, but eagle-eyed viewers noticed the screen over her shoulder.”

”The actress was wearing a black jumper while standing over a man during the clip which could be seen on Monday evening.”

”In what is believed to be an action movie, she then removed her bra to reveal her breasts during the striptease.”

”A television source told The Sun: ‘This has gone down like a lead balloon at the BBC. It is totally unprofessional.  It beggars belief a s*x scene should be played live on air. The employee is on borrowed time when bosses catch up with him.’

”….The BBC said it is investigating the incident.”

BBC news is trusted and highly regarded, worldwide. However, this incident shows that even the best television news outlets still have challenges with the unpredictability of live broadcasts. Sometimes, such broadcasts air slanderous and obscene comments. At other times, violence is inadvertently aired. For instance, on July 15, 1974, Christine Chubbock committed suicide while presenting live news for WXLT-TV in Florida, USA.

Complex Pop Culture’s report on ”The 25 craziest things that have happened on live television” states thus:

”In the middle of her segment, she went off-script and said, with an eerie calmness, ‘In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first: attempted suicide.’ She then pulled out a gun and shot herself behind the ear.

The station quickly went to a public service announcement as Chubbuck died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the floor. Oddly enough, when her notes were examined, Chubbuck had written the whole event out, even writing things such as which hospital she would be taken to and which reporter would replace her after the suicide. As far as we know, all tapes of the event have been destroyed, but if this happened today, it would live on in infamy online. We’re glad it didn’t turn out like that.”

 Surely, that report of Chubbuck’s suicide is more memorable than all the news bulletins that she presented during her lifetime. Similarly, most viewers of Sophie Raworth’s report on England’s victory over South Africa would remember the breasts of that actress more clearly than that cricket match.
– Cornelius Ellah

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