Friday, 21 May 2010

News or coloured views

Can news ever be just facts, or is it always a personal view of what is going on around us?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself this week, as I thought I had put out a straight news article about Appleby Horse Fair – but readers from each side of the story have emailed to accuse me of favouring the other side. Have a read for yourself Facebook Group’s anger at Horse Fair blockade.

It is very rare that anyone emails to say I’m bias towards them.

The facts of the article were a Facebook page called Save Appleby Horse Fair had been set up with, then 1,000 members and on it page it claimed that stopping off points had been blocked on the routes to Appleby. The Facebook page does exist, I checked it out and wrote the story.

But I’ve had comments ranging from I’m glamorising the fair and giving a voice to people who don’t deserve it – to I’m always picking on gypsies.

At the end of the horse fair last year, I put together a video of scenes from the event and added a voice over which had the facts about that year’s fair from the police and councils. It was just facts I had been given.

The comments I received have ranged from “Why does the media always paint this romantic image of bow tops and horses when the fairs not like that” to “ thanks for pointing out all the bad things that happened in Appleby”, “I wouldn't comment unless you've been there” to much more colourful language.

I do live in the middle of where the trading goes on during the Horse Fair. But I knew about the event before we moved here, knew what to expect, so I don’t feel I have a right to comment. I chose my location and I’m happy with it.

My reports are given in an impartial way – but it is interesting how the same article or film can be seen from two complete extremes. Maybe we just look for what we want to see in everything. View last year’s video and let me know what you think.
Appleby Horse Fair 2009

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