Thursday, October 4, 2012
BBC's Newsnight, wrong on Catalonia
Yesterday Newsnight offered a 10 minutes report by Paul Mason on the increasing demands for independence in Catalonia. Unfortunately, the report was one-sided and did not reflect the usual standards of the programme. I doubt that if Jeremy Paxman had been doing a similar report about a part of Great Britain, he would have been so one-sided. The only interviewed politician was Oriol Pujol, secretary general of the ruling party Convergence and Union. Newsnight failed to note that Mr. Pujol is himself under investigation for corruption allegations (as other members of his party), and it failed to interview any other representative of a political party or coalition. It would have been easy to find one who spoke better in English than Mr. Pujol, the son of a former Catalan president who has seen how two of his regional Finance Ministers spent time in prison for corruption allegations. Catalonia is a plural and complex society, where more than half of the population speak Spanish as first language and have links with the rest of Spain. Many Catalans do not favour independence but federalism, and that was never mentioned in the report.