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Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction: Read the whole story here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11195595

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One Comment

  1. Comments from Thomas Sutcliffe in the Independent newspaper,
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/thomas-sutcliffe/tom-sutcliffe-when-morality-is-a-moveable-feast-2072231.html

    ETA’s videotape on a plate: the story behind the scoop

    I enjoyed the fact that the BBC kept talking about how it had “obtained” that video from ETA, the verb implying, but never stating, that it had ferreted it out as a result of dogged journalistic work. In fact, as Clive Myrie, the journalist who got the scoop explained on the BBC website, the story was handed to him on a plate, by a contact who first alerted him to the fact that a ceasefire might be in the offing at a meeting in London.

    After a bit of low-level spycraft involving text messages and a rendezvous outside the Gare du Nord in Paris, Myrie took delivery of the “tape” (have ETA still not upgraded to DVD?) and, as Myrie puts it, “the rest was history”, or at least a footnote to Spanish history. It was an excellent scoop for a quiet weekend, and I wouldn’t want to downplay the journalistic skill of keeping contacts in contact. But wouldn’t “accepted” have been a better phrasing – or even “the BBC was given”? Perhaps it was felt that would make it sound a bit too much like a convenient megaphone for a violent group of paramilitaries.

    The BBC shouldn’t be ashamed, though, even if that was a bit closer to the truth. In its own way it was a skewed tribute to the continued international standing of BBC News – still the go-to guys for that really critical press release.


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