Posted by: Andrea Day | August 15, 2011

A travellers view of the #ukriots


There has been all sorts of coverage of the riots in the UK over the past week or so, but having been abroad throughout the whole time, it’s been interesting to see what coverage the story has got from foreign places.

Currently, I am in Costa Rica so I get local TV from Central America and also ABC from the Florida area. Local TV here, understandably didn’t cover the story, but ABC did.

From their coverage, I doubt that I would really want to be heading home soon. As ever, the Americans are very good at sensationalising a story; plenty of talk of the number of deaths, truely hideous montages of footage and interestingly, comments about the number of Police dogs that have been injured during the outbreaks – I thought that we were meant to be the nation of animal lovers?

Although the possibility of switching off social media networks reached ABC, there was little talk about the clean up operations that were being organised through Twitter and Facebook.

It was concerning that ABC linked the UK riots with a phenomenon which is spreading across the USA; flash mob theft and anti social behaviour. Unlike the flash mobs that you may have seen before where people just stand still all at the same time, or break out into spontaneous dancing, these are more sinister. Organised in the same way through social media, groups plan to attack a store and loot it on cue. Hopefully, the next step isn’t that this crosses the pond, but invariably these things tend to do so.

Unsurprisingly most of the coverage of the UK riots on ABC was focused on London; when Twitter told me that the riots were breaking out in other locations, I turned to UK local radio, using the TuneIn app. The app is great and meant that I could switch from one station to another in seconds across my iPad, iPod touch and Blackberry.

I’m six hours behind here, so while getting ready for dinner I often listened to the overnight coverage of the riots on:
– BBC London
– BBC Manchester
– BBC Merseyside
– 5 Live

This was the best way I found to get an accurate picture of what was going on nationally and the additional details from back in home in the north west. Sadly I knew that it was unlikey for many local commercial stations to come out of automation.

The coverage was spine tingling at times; something that radio is able to do to me above any other medium.



  1. Good points

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