Don't paint our island in a negative light - cancel "The Jews of Canvey Island"
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The BBC have announced that they will be broadcasting a documentary about the Chasidic Jewish community that has recently set up on Canvey Island. It promises to explore the new Jewish community, and the reactions of local residents.
We believe that the BBC will not present our island in a positive way. We see the BBC picking this as one of their five "Faith and ethical issues" for their series, because the BBC can misrepresent the story and make our community look bad. The BBC have found a non-issue, and they have every reason to make a controversial story out of it.
We can cover this story in two minutes flat - some Jewish people have moved to Canvey, they've got their own community, there's been no violence or hate speech or marginalisation because the people of Canvey aren't racist bigots. In fact, this exact story was already covered by the Guardian last year.
So what does the BBC plan to fill the remaining 38 minutes of their documentary with? Perhaps a bunch of interviews with councillors jostling for screen time on the telly? Or some cherry-picked, out of context quotes from local residents? Or a two hour walk through the high street looking for someone who is unprepared to appear on TV, who will then get a 20 minute interview, mixed in with some clips of the boarded up Admiral Jellicoe pub?
Rest assured, this documentary will not paint Canvey in a positive light. As we are learning to adapt to the presence of a Chasidic Jewish community, the last thing we need is the BBC hunting around for a story that doesn't exist and bringing negative press coverage to our island.
So how about the BBC shelves a documentary that will bring nothing but resentment and leave nothing but a sour taste for the residents of Canvey Island?
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