Friday, 23 October 2009
Doncaster and the National News
OK, I've had another experience of deja vu. Once again I'm at University down south and have stumbled upon a link to a news item, from the BBC News at Six, about Doncaster on the BBC. Experience has taught me to quell my hopeful optimism for a positive story of any sort - it won't be about a child who has learnt to walk on a prosthetic limb, a tale of a dog that rides the bus every day or about the town's new ranking as the Cosmopolitian Town of Culture. Nothing positive.
Since my being at university, Doncaster has been in the national news for these things. Peter Davies - a controversial English Democrat (?) who is seen to oppose the rights of homosexuals, who is against diversity and is concocting a war on politial correctness - was elected as mayor. Two boys aged 10 and 11 tortured, attacked, sexually abused and left for dead two other boys aged 9 and 11. A drug addict father murdered his baby daughter by snapping her spine over his knee. Doncaster Children's Services were rated among the very worst in the country, as bad as Haringey, home of Baby P, and it has since been taken over by the central government.
All chirpy stuff I'm sure you'll agree...
But what I think now, is that the BBC may possibly be constructing a misleadingly negative view of our town. Nobody is saying Donny is the Garden of Eden, but it's not quite as bad as recent news items show it. Today for example, the BBC chose to show a piece about the Question Time with Nick Griffin from Doncaster, with its reporter roving around the town's particularly bad shit holes. The BNP have never been elected in Doncaster... why Doncaster? Because the media is appropriating Doncaster to become its symbolic town of decay? Maybe?
Every time I see this happen, I'll do another post like this one.
These are the images from today's piece - I don't think I need to say too much about the images themselves, but for a piece which lasted little over 2 minutes, there was a high density of pushchairs, prams, boarded up shops, mud and grey. The first image below shows a social club with the camera shot taken through a muddy puddle - Buckingham Palace would look pretty dirty if the image was taken with the lens placed by a strategically chosen lump of dogshit. Shots like this are really misrepresenting Donny. Doncaster really isn't great, but it's not like this...