Our satirical writer Edwin Phillips reads a press release from Cardiff’s St David’s Hall repeated in today’s South Wales Echo, proclaiming that audiences should hear Stacey Dooley talk about how ‘investigative journalism is evolving’, even though a terrible mistake was made in one of her programmes and she was described as “lazy” in another.
FROM: StDavid’s Hall Information Team (SHIT)
TO: All Regional Staff Editorial (ARSE)
TIME: Before audiences cotton on.
Tonight we urge audiences to hear Stacey Dooley talk about investigative journalism.
Suspension of disbelief is vital at this performance, and her fans should put aside the facts that a serious error was made in a BBC TV Panorama programme she presented, as well as her being called “lazy” and “insensitive” by a disadvantaged family that she had staged staying with in one of her films, ‘Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over’.
As The South Wales Echo put it so correctly: “In this rare live appearance, Stacey, … talks about her career so far, where she’s headed next and how news and investigative journalism are evolving”.
It is obvious that one of those evolutions is how glamorous this industry is now.
In the excellent Cardiff Life pushed through doors in the city containing advice about nail varnish and weddings, she was asked journalistic questions such as: “What is your fondest memory of Strictly Come Dancing?”.
In the magazine she was also questioned about her ‘career highlights’ but she justifiably didn’t include one ‘career highlight’ being when she was accused of being “lazy” and “insensitive” in ‘Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over’.
Another ‘highlight’ which she was also quite properly silent about was how the BBC had to apologise and edit out her incorrect commentary in a Panorama programme which professed to portray the truth about Islamic State’s (IS) treatment of women.
A further one she correctly excluded was how her programmes have been accused of being “poverty porn”.
Our audience will be delighted to hear Stacey talk, as she has in the past, about the fact that not being a trained journalist is a positive advantage.
One of her subjects in ‘Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over’, Adele Allen, regrettably said: “In the whole 72 hours she was here I did three early morning dog walks at 6am with the baby and she didn’t manage to make it out to one. She couldn’t get up with me – so there’s the lazy one”.
It was plainly absurd that she and her partner Matt claimed Ms Dooley didn’t join in enough with their family life in Brighton on the show.
Matt allegedly said: “She’s lovely but there’s not a lot of depth to her. There’s a fantastic moment (in the programme) where she is with me in the allotment and I say: ‘Come on then Stacey, what herb is this?’ and I tell her it begins with the letter O and she says: ‘Olive oil’”.
It seems that BBC officials have found it hard dealing with the aftermath of Ms Dooley’s engagement in journalism, so perhaps she will wow the audience with those details!
Unfortunately, apart from her programmes being described as “poverty porn”, in one UK newspaper they were also called “patronising and condescending to the people they’re trying to help”.
It is obvious that media outlets find it hard to ignore her.
After presenting ‘Blood, Sweat and T-shirts’ (which investigated the working conditions of Indian sweatshops), Ms Dooley received a call asking her to appear on BBC Newsnight to discuss her experience and importantly told a magazine: “I didn’t even know what Newsnight was”.
Audiences will be fascinated to hear that just a few weeks before ‘Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over’ The BBC had to apologise and edit out her inaccurate commentary in a Panorama programme which claimed to portray the truth about Islamic State’s (IS) treatment of women.
The programme was called ‘Stacey Meets the IS Brides’ and Ms Dooley’s voice over had understandably said: “We saw women raising their index finger in an IS salute”.
Several viewers who had seen the trailer about it regrettably complained, criticised Ms Dooley’s comment on Twitter, and explained that Muslims often use this gesture while praying.
Sadly one said that a complaint had also been made to the broadcast regulator OFCOM.
BBC journalist Anisa Subedar tweeted: “Raising the finger is NOT an IS salute. Does #StaceyDooley know us Muslims raise it everytime we pray (that’s 5 times a day) to remind us of the oneness of God?”
Writer Steve Rose apparently said: “Skip to 1:35 to see Stacey Dooley perpetuate this ignorant falsehood, referring to the raised finger of Tawhid as an ‘IS salute’”.
The television ‘Loose Women’ star Janet Street Porter also condemned the programme it seems, and the BBC News Press Team rightly said the criticism was “disappointing”, as is any condemnation of Stacey.
After a so-called ‘deluge’ of complaints the BBC announced that the episode was to be re-edited before its broadcast.
The News at Ten bulletin, which showed the trailer, was also removed from iPlayer.
The BBC said: “We wrongly described a gesture made by women filmed in a Kurdish controlled detention camp in Northern Syria as an ‘IS salute’. While IS have attempted to adopt this for their own propaganda purposes, for accuracy we should have been clear that many people of Muslim faith use this gesture to signify the oneness of Allah. We apologise for this error and have removed this description from the footage”.
The BBC’s supposed error committed by Stacey was then featured in most of the UK newspapers, showing how savvy she is about gaining media attention.
Perhaps the same will be said about the audience tonight who will hear a celebrity journalist talk about her investigative stories, and ignore the fact she made a small mistake condemned as “ignorant” in one programme as well as her being called “lazy” in another…
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his astonishing lengthy award-winning career in another kind of journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!