BBC 3’s Embarrassing Attempt to Cover the ‘Batman Shootings’

After watching the recent documentary on BBC 3 The Batman Shootings with Amal Fashanu, I came away feeling completely repulsed with the presenter, producer and programmer for BBC3.

Firstly, it is completely disrespectful to produce such a documentary, which intrudes into the lives of survivors so soon after the event, especially when the culprit has still not been sentenced. The choice of presenter mirrored this distaste: Fashanu is anything but an investigative journalist. She is primarily a model by trade (see http://www.amalfashanu.com/) and this comes over in the documentary: in every scene, she is wearing a different pair of designer sunglasses, a new clutch bag, some killer heels and a pout. This unconcealed and unashamed attempt to promote herself and her ‘look’ is distasteful and frankly insulting towards the people she is talking to. In one scene, Fashanu goes to a hospital to ‘interview’ a doctor about the night of the shootings, whilst constantly adjusting her hair and paying much more attention to her appearance than to what is being said.

This is a trend carried throughout the hour-long documentary, in which Fashanu asks inane and irrelevant questions of her interviewees, and seems to totally disregard the answers, drawing completely ludicrous conclusions from what has been said, signifying her total lack of interest in the whole affair. Yes, Fashanu has spoken out against homophobia in football after the scandal surrounding her uncle’s battle with prejudice, but her attempts to be taken seriously as a journalist are falling short.

I would also like to take a moment to address the matter of the editing in the show, which did little to alleviate the embarrassment that was Fashanu’s presenting skills. The documentary jumped around, never taking time to answer the big questions, or propose solutions to gun crime in the US. Facts, statistics and personal stories were thrown about with little regard, and huge questions were raised off-handedly, leaving no time for investigation. On top of this, conflicting views were constantly given, without Fashanu ever giving a personal opinion: I draw the conclusion that she has none.

In one ridiculous segment, Fashanu questioned a whole group of people about whether they were pro- or anti-gun, with a memorable woman declaring her hatred of the weapon; this then lead into a voiceover declaring ‘people here just LOVE guns!’.

Misguided, erratic and frustratingly ‘blonde’, this documentary insulted gun-crime victims, those affected by the ‘Batman Shootings’, and gave a bad name to British investigative journalism.

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About teafortwotalk

Freelance writer @Pickwickmag @Corridor8 @Biennial / Editor @artinliverpool. Available for writing and copyediting.
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