On reflection, the BBC got it right during the Proms attack

On reflection, the BBC got it right during the Proms attack


norman lebrecht

September 02, 2011

Many criticsed the BBC last night for stopping the live broadcast of the Israel Philharmonic concert, which was barracked by a handful of well-organised agitators. When the shouting stared, Radio 3 took the concert off air and the announcer made no more than the blandest of references to the disruption, stating neither the cause nor the peaceful removal of the disrupters.

An attempt was made to resume the concert after the interval, only for a second group of objectors to make themselves heard. Once again, the luve feed was taken off air.

Some argued that since this was a news event in a public forum, the BBC should have continued its coverage – but that would only have boosted the aggrandised self-publicity that this tiny minority were seeking. By shutting down the broadcast, the BBC denied them a propaganda coup.

In retrospect, the incident was correctly and ethically handled.

See previously here.


  • Andrew says:

    Shame the BBC let a small group of fascists win, they should have continued the broadcast so that people could hear the outrage of the audience with their behavior and the orchestra refuse to be silenced by these racists.

    • A great shame for listeners that the Prom broadcast was abandoned, but I agree with you, Norman, that this was the correct decision by Radio Three. The BBC must remain impartial: to broadcast the concert, complete with protest, may have been interpreted by some as the BBC allowing the protesters a forum for their views.