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VMPhil10,402 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Those of you who are interested in how TV and radio cover breaking news probably know of one of the most famous, the death of Diana in 1997. The fascinating page on MHP covering the at times surreal ("BBC Television from London") news coverage, just a few months before the launch of News 24 and Online, has long been the best place to experience how it happened despite its age and the outdated RealAudio files.

I decided to recreate the page in order to fix two issues, the audio files that were in an obsolete format, and the layout of the page (centred text!), to hopefully work nicely and look a bit better on our modern mobile devices.

I haven't tried to change too much, the colour scheme is still the same for better or worse, but I hope at least someone else out there appreciates this.

http://telly.site/diana/

More details: http://telly.site/diana/about.html
Last edited by VMPhil on 19 March 2016 10:30pm
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VMPhil10,402 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
A thoroughly interesting page hindered by how old it is, so it's nice to see it fully functioning. Your efforts are much appreciated. Very Happy

It's fascinating how much audio MHP was able to get hold of at the time.

It is, the clips of the BBC1 non-closedown going into BBC World, for example, I don't think have appeared anywhere else since. Someone did upload the even earlier first news report during the late film to YouTube but they haven't uploaded anything else. Would love to know what happened to the tapes that the MHP sourced their clips and screenshots from. What makes the MHP page slightly unusual for the time is that they have clips and screenshots from all of the major channels, BBC, ITV, C4 and even C5. I do wonder why C5 were so late to the game, and could they not have rebroadcast ITN's coverage at least until GMTV came on air?

Apart from that, much of the rest has appeared on YouTube. I'll probably compile them and add another page to the site, along with other recommended links such as the TV Forum thread from the 10th anniversary, which is well worth a read for members' personal recollections of the event and the TV coverage.

(As you can tell, I'm fascinated by the TV/radio coverage surrounding this event, nothing like it before or since!)
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Neil Jones6,479 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Appreciate the effort you've put in. Maybe I'm missing something but last I checked, the audio files as presented on MHP are not in an "obsolete" format.

Okay it may have dropped out of fashion and been overtaken by other technologies but it is still playable by the likes of VLC or (if you must) the abomination that is RealPlayer so it can't be "obsolete". Ironically, the MP3 format is even older than the RealAudio format Wink

But don't let my nitpicking put you off. Great job, well done Smile
London Lite11,468 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
The original MHP Diana page is one that I have visited from time to time, but that was the first time I could read it on a smartphone without zooming.

The Mike Dickin aircheck still gives me a chill up my spine as I was listening to Talk Radio at the time.
VMPhil10,402 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Appreciate the effort you've put in. Maybe I'm missing something but last I checked, the audio files as presented on MHP are not in an "obsolete" format.

Okay it may have dropped out of fashion and been overtaken by other technologies but it is still playable by the likes of VLC or (if you must) the abomination that is RealPlayer so it can't be "obsolete". Ironically, the MP3 format is even older than the RealAudio format Wink

But don't let my nitpicking put you off. Great job, well done Smile

I admit, it's not a completely accurate description, in the same way that Flash player is not obsolete, but it's no longer a format that is readily used for audio streaming. The HTML5 audio tag only supports MP3, Ogg Vorbis and WAV so I wouldn't be able to use it if I wanted to.


The original files are still available, of course, and VLC happily plays them - it's what I used to covert them! The conversions actually sound slightly better than the originals.
VMPhil10,402 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
You should modernize the whole site in this way. There are also dead links in the homepage... you might want to either make your own pages for those or find some way to copy the pages and put them on your server...

Well the reason I did the Diana page is because I thought it was such an engaging and well made page, regardless of its age, and it would be a shame to have the audio clips hidden behind RA files. Much of the rest of the site is available elsewhere, and the clips in higher quality in more accessible format.


I'm not sure how I would feel duplicating someone's entire website on my server either, even if it hasn't been modified in 16 years!
Neil Jones6,479 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today

I'm not sure how I would feel duplicating someone's entire website on my server either, even if it hasn't been modified in 16 years!


*cough* Wayback Machine *cough*

Regardless, its pretty obvious by now MHP isn't going to receive any more attention at least sixteen years down the line, and site mirrors can be seen as an endorsement but if its something you think of doing it would be courteous to send Darren an email before doing it. It is a fascinating snapshot of websites of 2000 though as it stands and how we shared video/audio in an era before YouTube and super-fast internet Very Happy
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VMPhil10,402 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
In my effort to compile a playlist of YouTube videos, I've come across another recently uploaded video of one of the early news reports. It's even rarer because it's from BBC2 Wales, or 'BBC Wales on 2' as the announcer puts it, introduced by a static and silent version of 'Water'. The script appears to be the same but Martyn Lewis takes a much calmer tone than the rather urgent tone he has in the first news report during the late film on BBC1:



Would this have been a separate newsflash for BBC2? In the first one he refers to the fact that they are "interrupting this film" - the fact that this is the same script makes me wonder if this was the first news report that was broadcast on BBC2.

Full playlist now available here - I don't expect anyone to watch all the videos, it's obviously more and more repetitive the further you go in, but I was surprised how much is available now: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLl7q4cV6sXIzcdqoUDrFBHe8VPjpkDAgA
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