Last time we checked, journalism was about truth and facts, not about manipulating the first and creating the latter. BBC decided to go for it and inform Great Britain that death awaits its citizens in Poland and Ukraine.
What you’re reading now is not an article, it is the view of our small StadiumDB.com team and our comment to the repellent material broadcast in BBC’s Panorama. It’s repellent for two reasons.
First, because of the horrible scenes shown. Some of those events we weren’t even aware of beforehand and criticized them on facebook just yesterday. They are surely regrettable and reprehensible. What’s even scarier is the passive attitude of law enforcement. Yes, Poland and Ukraine still have a long way to go to eradicate extremism from our terraces.
But the other, not less repulsive attitude is the one of Chris Rogers, BBC reporter. He had spent a month in Poland and Ukraine, documenting both positive and negative aspects of fandom. As Polonia Warszawa’s press officer Jakub Krupa reported, Rogers was surprised by the positive attitude of Polonia supporters in a very important initiative they launched. BBC crew spent 2 days observing Polonia, but there wasn’t even 1 second about it in their “documentary”. What did find a place, however, was Rogers talking about people being at risk of getting killed for their skin colour or religion.
Even worse, he then shown his “piece” to Sol Campbell (who apparently is an expert on discrimination since he was sworn at in 2008) and asked an emotional question, whether Sol would recommend families (not supporters, families) going to Euro 2012 games. As a reply he heard: - No chance! Stay home, watch it on tv. Don’t even risk it, because you can get back in a coffin.
We don’t blame Sol, we would have responded quite the same if being shown only those signs of hate and without knowing anything about the host countries. We blame Rogers, because that’s not journalism.
And so we wonder, will Chris Rogers give an equally insightful report on London Olympics a week before opening ceremony? You know, about teenagers stabbing each other in London’s worst neighbourhoods. Those are also facts, just like Polish/Ukrainian discrimination problem. And if this will be the only thing shown, he can then ask someone who’s not coming anyway and has bad experiences, whether he would recommend London as a destination. We recon he’d get a quite similar answer.