Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The BBC Panorama vs. Scientology - WHY?

John Sweeney - a week of branding has given his photo
and name (and the BBC's) a whole new view in the eyes of the public.

Why would the BBC Panorama show do a documentary on Scientology, knowingly making it mainly or entirely negative when they know Scientology will never let that go down without notice?

Answer: Panorama needs more viewers.

How to get more viewers, get in the media. How to solve getting in the media - get some big controversy going and start being in the news.

How to get controversy - religion is always a great place. Taking on Islam is a little too dangerous, the Danish newspaper did that last year and some of their staff are still hiding. So they take Scientology.

Scientology is doing pretty good in UK with two new centers opened in October 2006 and lots of expansion. They are sure to get a pretty big reaction to that. How to do it? Put the roughest journalist you have on the case and be 90% smear. Result, the Scientologists will do something and media will follow.

You saw the part in between.

The viewers on the show increased. Sandy Smith delivered to his bosses.

The flaw, BBC Panorama didn't know how bad their roughest journalist would mess up and didn't know how far the Scientologists would take it AND forgot to enter in the fact that YouTube and the Internet exists and they no longer have a monopoly on the news.

Result, yes they got more viewers that night but they've also spent a week with a branding iron stuck to them. BBC, Panorama, John Sweeney, Sandy Smith and the rest of the team have become synonymous with: exploding tomatoes, Banorama, yelling, loosing it, lame journalism and plus some.

The idiocy is as Sandy Smith said in his interview on the BBC the only positive on the show that he had included was going to be a few interviews with some celebrities. So he admits that it was going to be a big smear. Things like that are better left unsaid, at least not on TV. It makes me wonder what the qualifications are for working at the BBC - or maybe those are the people Sweeney talked about in his description of the BBC? but then two of them on the same team?

Enough said
(note these are just a bunch of opinions from seeing these stories :0)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have shown the Panorama Exposed DVD to several friends and they were pretty amazed at Sweeney's conduct. Not just the rant - that is a give-in, but more importantly the documentary shows how a major Current Affairs show actually stages events in order to portray Scientology in a negative light. This informative documentary is a well written and directed exposure of what is wrong with these types of shows - they pretend to present the truth, but instead are in reality a slanted distortion with re-creations of events and staged incidents to create a negative impression on the audience. If anyone would like to see this DVD you can order it at I would recommend it. This whole episode will be studied in journalism classes and by PR experts for years to come.

JJT htt://