The announcement of Prince Philip’s death shook British television and radio broadcasts: in the wake of interrupted events, a moving presenter and “God save the Queen”. So much so, that the esteemed BBC accused some people of doing too much.
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On Friday afternoon, BBC News, the British public service’s news channel, interrupted its programs. Presenter Martin Croxall, wearing a black jacket, sternly staring down her throat, announces the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband His Royal Highness Prince Philip (99).
The national anthem, “God Save the Queen”, is then displayed as a photo of the Duke of Edinburgh, smiling in uniform adorned with a medal.
The British Audiovisual Group has aired its programs, such as BBC One and BBC Two, as well as BBC 4 and 5 Live radio stations, alternately broadcasting information and moving retrospectives. The BBC Fourscreen displays a message explaining that its broadcast has been suspended.
The Master Chef final was also canceled to the disappointment of fans of this successful culinary competition.
All of the channel’s journalists are broadcasting in black.
These tributes follow long-established policies for the deaths of royal family members, during which the number of channels is very limited. With the reality of the age in which viewers are accustomed to choosing, especially with digital platforms they appear to be somewhat old or phased out.
The ubiquity of these programs in all antennas is therefore not to the liking of all televizers. The BBC has set up a special form on its website to register these complaints.
“We have been receiving complaints about the high television coverage of the death of his Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Please enter your email address below to register a complaint – we will send you the BBC’s response as soon as it becomes available,” the public broadcaster said.
Former BBC presenter Simon McCoy on Friday questioned the ance of broadcasting the same channel on different channels.
“BBC1 and BBC2 broadcast the same thing. And maybe even the news channel. Why? I know this is a huge event. But is it certainly worthy of public choice in programs? He tweeted.
“If they did the opposite, other people would criticize them,” said Jean Seaton, a professor of media history at the University of Westminster who was interviewed by AFP. “It made the BBC reflect on a really important moment in the life of the country”.
Public Channel 4 has also been criticized in part, but with the exception of a few documentaries on the Duke of Edinburgh, which have largely followed its schedule.
With The Mirror, Channel 4 defended itself, explaining that it was “its duty to provide an alternative (chain) for others”.
Jean Seaton emphasized the “special relationship between the BBC and British companies”.
“The BBC is a British national organization that shares some of the characteristics of the monarchy in a sense that it has a duty to the British people, not that everyone should be given what they want at all times, but that it is both a duty to represent and serve the British people,” Ms Seaton said. .
The BBC is currently at a critical juncture looking to save hundreds of millions of pounds when modernizing.
Attacked on the right and left for its coverage in the context of Brexit’s power, the public group is adapting to new public habits and challenging the success of payment platforms such as Netflix.
In September 2020, his employer, Tim Davy, warned on Twitter that he would not hesitate to crack down on employees of the impartial British Public Broadcasting Group until they were fired. He is also committed to promoting diversity in the public audiovisual group.
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