St Helena Online

St Helena Online

The St Helena report and the gap in media

BBC slideshow paints a bleak picture of a beautiful island

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BBC Africa’s online slideshow on the first commercial flight to St Helena might be felt to misrepresent the island’s beauty. It opens with Gianluigi Guercia’s striking image of the aircraft wing, with the looming bulk of The Barn in the background.

A few airport shots follow, and then the piece closes with the gloomiest possible quotation from Napoleon, whose view of St Helena was hardly going to be positive:

“In this accursed island… there is neither sun nor moon to be seen for the greatest part of the year. Constant rain and fog. It is worse than Capri.”

And that’s the end of the slideshow. No jaw-dropping images of the island’s green heartland, or the spectacle of Sandy Bay, or the colonial charm of Jamestown. None of the BBC’s famous “balance”.

Many of the media reports dwelt heavily on the reasons for the long delay in opening the airport, with very little description of the island.

Mail Online and a few others carried spectacular photographs, which went some way to telling readers why they might actually want to visit.

The Travel Pulse website was one of the few to devote any words to the island’s attractions, including Napoleana, hiking, stunning landscapes and “interactions with marine life”.

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