I find it very interesting when watching the news on TV to see just how the different stories are prioritised. To what extent are the compilers just following their own agenda is a question I ask myself sometimes. Or perhaps they really think that the order of news items reflects the view of Mr and Mrs Average as to the importance of the stories to them.
The reason for raising this subject now is because of, in my opinion, the unnecessary prominence given to the inquest of Diana. In a piece I wrote on the first of September headed 'More thoughts on the Diana Memorial Service' I concluded with the sentence "My hope now is that we can move on and cease to be absorbed with Diana, but that might be wishful thinking on my part". Wishful thinking is right!
Take tonight's 6 o'clock news on BBC1. First item was as expected David Cameron's speech to the Tory faithful in Blackpool. Correct I would say. But then they moved on to the inquest of Diana. This on a day when a young Polish woman carer got killed in the crossfire between two gunmen in London. This was further down the list and seemed to get less coverage than the Diana story. Now I know that Diana was the mother of a future king of this country and accept that the inquest proceedings should be reported but couldn't they be moved down the order. I saw some of Channel 4's 7 o'clock news and they were just as bad. The inquest is set to go on for many months and it will be fascinating to see whether media interest in the subject shows any sign of abating.
Incidentally the Beeb had a story about North Korea agreeing to disable its main nuclear facility by the end of the year - to me more important than the Diana business. On C4 there was some in depth footage of the continuing atrocities in Burma, again more important.
At the end of the inquest will Mohamed Al Fayed be able to accept that the death of his son and that of Diana was caused by the reckless driving of his drunk employee Henri Paul? I rather doubt it.