The death of news management

On Saturday, we see a carefully choreographed, dignified procession of a condemned man to the gallows. Neatly edited news footage, crucially without a soundtrack. On Sunday, we see a very different perspective, courtesy of a mobile phone. Posturing, bickering, chanting of rivals’ names… it comes across like a penalty shootout rather than an execution.

The world of news management is dying. Too many people, with too much kit, in too many places.

Incidentally, well done to the BBC for publishing its policy on images of the execution. But it implicitly sets an interesting precedent. If we can show gruesome images on News 24 because it’s an active choice, an opt-in thing – and incidentally, I think that’s the right approach – then it becomes harder to justify not publishing the most gruesome images (if you have them) in the ultimate opt-in medium, namely video-on-demand. Genie, bottle, etc.