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Andrew Dickens: Why did so many mainstream outlets miss the point of the coronation?

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2023, 2:12PM
AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Andrew Dickens: Why did so many mainstream outlets miss the point of the coronation?

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Mon, 8 May 2023, 2:12PM

So why are so many mainstream media outlets so poor at telling the news?

I say this after tuning into One News coverage of the coronation only to blunder into a 5 minute piece about Harry, followed by how to cook coronation quiche.

Maybe they thought they were being entertaining, but instead they came off as infantile.

So I tuned over to BBC World. There, they were talking about the King’s involvement in the arts and they followed it with more details about the ceremony.

The story was about the King and his country, not his errant son.

In fact, Harry arrived on a commercial flight, gave no interviews, joined the rest of the family, sat with other retired or non working royals (which is what he is), and afterwards he went to the airport to go home to see his own family. No fights, no showdowns, no dramas.

Yet the Mirror alone, over the week ran 100 articles about Harry, mostly derogatory. People have described the onslaught as 'hate for hire'.

Even when Mike Hosking wrote 1000 words about the Coronation for the Herald the paper chose to highlight one sentence in which he said Harry looked alone and a little lost as the headline.

I actually thought Harry seemed relaxed and chatty, but who cares.

It's only the media that was so obsessed with Harry.

Today they've moved on to another royal cliché. The breakfast show on TV1 was covering whether it was time for New Zealand to become a republic. Too soon and too stupid in my book. I don't believe it will happen in my lifetime. Particularly after the success of this weekend.

The reason the British monarchy the most successful monarchy on Earth is that they have spent hundreds of years slowly backing out of the day-to-day affairs of state so that today they are purely performative and symbolic. No one is feeling oppressed or ruled by this family.

This story was not about the King, or his son, or the institution of the constitutional monarchy. It was about the British nation.

It's about their capability and their spirit.

In the past year the Brits have seen three historic royal events - the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen’s funeral, and now the King’s coronation.

And they’ve all been faultless triumphs of organisation, story telling and co-ordination involving thousands.

This was not live coverage of an old toff sitting in a chair in a church and having someone put a fancy hat on his head, as some critics portrayed it.

This was a nation showing the world what it can do and that it's the best in the world in doing it. It was a show of strength and order and no-one is cancelling that any time soon.


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