Anorak News | Reporters on pilgrimage to meet Greta Thunberg

Reporters on pilgrimage to meet Greta Thunberg

by | 29th, December 2019

Greta Thunberg

Pilgrims to the Greek Cycladic island of Tinos in the Aegean Sea venerate the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven at the Feast of the Assumption, by crawling on hands and knees to an icon of the Virgin stood in a church atop a hill. “Some slither the half-mile on their bellies, poling themselves forward with their elbows in the manner of besieged soldiers creeping through underbrush, ” writes Rosemary Mahoney. “Some lie across the street and, like horizontal dervishes, roll themselves slowly up the gradual incline across stones baked torrid by the August sun. As they proceed they pray for miracles and for mercy… Once before the icon they prostrate themselves in a rapture of spiritual desire.”

Back in the UK, the Guardian tells its readers: “BBC put presenter on a plane to interview Greta Thunberg – Sarah Sands, editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, admits it ‘felt awkward’.” So how should you journey to meet the globe-totting teenage climate evangelist who avoids even the occasional use of aviation fuel?

Thunberg was a guest editor on the Radio 4’s Today programme. The BBC dispatched presenter Mishal Husain on a return flight to Sweden to interview her. Programme editor Sarah Sands tells the Sunday Times: “We did discuss that among ourselves. It felt awkward but we did not have the time for trains or boats.”

Sands then delivers the kind of line the Pope would consider a bit pious: “Greta is not actually judgmental towards individuals, accepting that other people will not all conform to her high standards and asking only for people to do what they can.”

We don’t know if Thunberg or her people enquired how the BBC would be getting from the UK to Sweden, and if the mode of transport met with their approval. And we also don’t know if BBC reporters will be required to adopt the tastes, beliefs and prejudices of their subjects or explain further in the press if they were not met – but maybe in the purist of truth and objectivity, they should.

Posted: 29th, December 2019 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink