Saturday, June 07, 2008


BBC World weather

One of the many deficiencies of BBC World is its weather reports, in particular its habit of selecting four "representative" regional cities to highlight on screen, thereby hiding most of the map. On the main BBC weather website the Middle East stretches from Istanbul and Baku in the north to Aden in the south. In contrast, BBC World weather highlights are all from places in the lower half of this spread; nowhere north of 25deg is included. BBC World tend to see Middle East and Gulf as synonymous, but it would be nice to see a bit more representative of the variety of the region in its weather report.

As an example, the four places BBC World select for North America are (almost literally) at the four corners, ie widespread. That provides a representative picture. The picture of the Middle East weather is not representative.

For the Middle East the four places - Muscat, Riyadh, Aden et al - are effectively all in Gulf states, all in the south of the region. They are not by any means the four "key" cities of the region, they would certainly include Dubai if so; they do not even cover the BBC's own definition of Middle East. No Beirut, no Baghdad, no Jerusalem, no Amman, no Tehran. For most people the world weather map is one of the few times they get reminded of where places are; this is just one more reason why too little is known about this region.


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