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Topical

In which we are overtaken by events


It’s nice to be topical, even if it is entirely by accident. Earlier, I complained about the rather unbalanced media coverage following the recent hit-and-run deaths of Sam Riddell and Troy Atkinson. Three or four hours after I published that post, the BBC briefly announced that the city magistrates have remanded someone to await trial for Troy’s death.

It’s good news that the hunt for his alleged killer has barely taken a couple of days longer than it took the police to find Hannah Saaf. It was probably a trickier job, too; unlike the Riddell/Saaf case, the chap in question wasn’t the registered keeper of the car. He’s not the man police arrested shortly after the incident, and he’s also been charged with taking the car without permission. It’s quite possible, to be fair, that the police kept the Atkinson/Ahmed case out of the media for investigative reasons; it was presumably thought to be in their interest to broadcast pictures of Hannah Saaf far and wide in the hope that somebody would spot her.*

There’s still something about the relative treatment of the cases in the media, though, which leaves a slightly nasty taste in my mouth. The police might have now brought both cases to the same stage, in roughly the same time; but one of those stories has been all over the media in the past few weeks, and the other has been hardly mentioned. This isn’t any sort of class war: it’s just a comment on the type of people who have easy access to the media. If you want to get your story out there, you need to have either a good publicist or a story that fits the media’s mould.

* which they did, although she hadn’t actually got that far out of Bristol

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5 comments on “Topical”

  1. SteveL says:

    I believe the driver who -allegedly- killed Troy turned himself in. Whereas the driver alleged to have killed Sam Riddell -from a nicer part of town, I note- had to get caught. The investigation to see what to charge him with has taken time, but they need to get their case together.

    The hunt is one of those stories press like, building up to a climax when the target is apprehended. A good chase sells papers. This doesn’t mean that the E.P. enjoyed having to talk about the kids dying, any more than we in Bristol Traffic did. I found the Troy one harder, actually, because his friends were all down there, showing photographs of them with Troy, writing his name in chalk -they all missed him and were really upset.

    Incidentally, both drivers appear to not have been legally allowed to drive their cars. One: stolen. The other: “not according to the license”. Provisional, maybe? Either way, it implies that they made a conscious decision to drive illegally, which is not “an accident”

  2. Forest Pines says:

    What upsets me is: Troy’s friends seem to have been just as upset as Sam’s, but Troy’s friends don’t know how to put out a press release or talk to the media.

    I remember noticing that Saaf had apparently been driving illegally, but I’d forgotten that since.

  3. Tina says:

    “Forest Pines” … i fear you may well be blinkered or looking for an argument that is not there.

    “Troy’s friends don’t know how to put out a press release or talk to the media.” … i think you will find that two press releases by friends and family were made and as for talking to the media .. the BEP has run a multitude of stories covering this from both a “request for info” and “family/lifestyle” angle. Friends have conacted the paper about the fun run and the sponsored rugby match. The supposed friends let both Troy and his family down by shoplifting immediately after the fun run … if someone is trying to say there is a divide between classes and news coverage, the actual people involved did not help with their actions, while they were in effect representing him !

    I have been following both stories and i must say i felt that the “Troy” story got far more coverage then the “Sam” story and certainly from a more compassionate angle. The majority of “Sam” stories were information seeking and sightings, where as we were (and still are) being bombarded with a miriad of “Great Guy” stories about him.
    I think Sam and his family faired worse in this instance.

  4. annonymous says:

    The police didnt ask for witnessess of sams incedent as i know of the only two wittnessess. The police did not even make contact with them and the dad didnt care that sam was under a car, he only cared that his shoes were in the middle of the road. so the polie amuse me with there false claims. and the witnessess tried to contact the police but they didnt seem to wnt to know. britian has gone downhill as has its civil servents.

  5. annonymous says:

    well i dont know of them personally, a fiend of a friend f a friend (or something)did. this is just been chained so dont do any press or anything coz its most likely not true

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