BBC criticised over news coverage of Jade Goody's death

Published: Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 16:09 [IST]
 

London, Mar 25 (ANI): The BBC has come under fire over the extensive news coverage of Jade Goody's death.

The broadcaster was criticised over the coverage of the story as 69 official and many online complaints poured in.

Goody, 27, died of cervical cancer last Sunday. Peter Horrocks, the head of the BBC's multimedia newsroom, however, justified the coverage, insisting that it was justified both on the grounds of the level of public interest in the reality star, and the "awareness of cervical cancer" that her illness raised.

But many people felt the story should not have been the lead story on the news bulletin on The Andrew Marr Show and were critical that the story was covered so prominently across all its television and radio networks - and across its international news services including the World Service.

"I'm also extremely sorry that she's died, but I really don't think the BBC should make it their first major story on the News," The Telegraph quoted a comment, as stating.

Another added: "This leads the BBC news page and is the first thing you see when clicking onto the BBC website, it is all rather pathetic.

"She is dead, it is sad, but no sadder than the many young people who died a tragic death overnight."

Horrocks acknowledged that Goody was a "divisive" figure.

Writing in the BBC's Editors' blog, he said: "Goody became a phenomenon, both in terms of the interest she inspired in the public and in the effect that her sad death had on awareness of cervical cancer.

"To make a legitimate news judgement about our coverage, we applied the same criteria as we usually use: should we report this, and if so, how? Knowing that there was a possibility that Jade would die soon, we talked about whether this was a story we would lead on in the absence of other significant news." (ANI)

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