TELEVISION / BRIEFING: Cataloguing hatred

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The Independent Culture
FOR superstitious reasons, BBC- TV reporter Martin Bell only ever walks clockwise around the corridors of the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo. This is just one of the facts revealed in 'Tales from Sarajevo', a strong LATE SHOW SPECIAL (11.15pm BBC2) about coverage of the war in former Yugoslavia. Roland Keating, the producer, has assembled testimony from many journalists who have reported from the front line of this most vicious of conflicts. The combatants seem to have no qualms about firing on reporters. Kate Adie recalls checking to see if her foot was still there after being hit by shrapnel, and ABC anchorman Sam Donaldson laments the death of his producer, David Kaplan, shot in the back by a sniper. Bell himself was shot and had to be flown home. Apart from staying alive, the principal difficulty for journalists in covering such a complex struggle is separating right from wrong. As Adie puts it, viewers want to know 'where are the good guys?'.

This week's ESSENTIAL HISTORY OF EUROPE (8pm BBC2) presents a French view of their traditional adversaries, the British. Patrick Le Gall's documentary, made for the French network France 3, reveals a kingdom disunited over class, gender, race and nationality. John Peel, Stuart Hall and the Duke of Argyll put in their ha'p'orth.

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