The Newsroom

September 11th attacks - 19 years ago

BBC News coverage

scottishtv Founding member Central Reporting Scotland
We've had plenty of discussion about 9/11 breaking news coverage on the forum over the years, but I was reflecting on what I was doing in 2001 again today. The first pictures I saw were on a TV at work in a canteen during my break at a supermarket summer job.

Searching on YouTube there isn't that much of the BBC's breaking coverage, but I found a decent quality video uploaded earlier this year of evening News 24 coverage, then the Ten O'Clock News and Newsnight. I thought the Ten was very well put together, so here it is:

It gives a good feel of BBC News at the time. I didn't realise 'big screens' in the studio were so much smaller then...!

I know there's a lot of depressing news around at the moment, so sorry for bringing the mood down further with this topic.
DE88, AndrewPSSP and Brekkie gave kudos
VMPhil Granada North West Today
There was a BBC Choice programme on the first anniversary featuring the News 24 breaking coverage, but it was edited to include pictures they didn’t have access to on the day (and presumably there was some footage they did actually show deemed too upsetting and edited out).

Not that I wish to view any of it at great length, but it’s a little surprising how few clips of the News 24 footage there are online.
BillyH Founding member London London
As a 12 year old (13 days before my 13th birthday, oddly enough) I was off school, saw the ITV interruption into Crossroads, assumed the Queen Mother had died, and when the news was announced put a VHS tape in - the (very disjointed) results can be found here.

The internet was more expensive before 6pm in those days, and I racked up a massive phone bill posting on some website called the TV Home Forum and its associated chatroom. I remember a few pres websites had a dedication to the lives lost, most notably The TV Room.

It’s odd for me to think that my teenage years began and ended with perhaps the two biggest stories of the decade - that to start them, and the global recession as I turned 20 in September 2008. I have friends in their early twenties (born 1998) who don’t remember it at all, which even in my early thirties makes me feel rather ancient...
Member since 26 May 2001
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I didn’t see the attacks as they happened. I heard what had happened on bbc 5 live. It wasn’t until later that I saw the recording.
Here's Sky News' output from the moment Burley broke the news until over 4 hours later. They took live pictures from CBS pretty quickly, and also took studio output from Fox News seemingly.

Inspector Sands has the 9/11 TV coverage of BBC World and a lot of other broadcasters:

It doesn't seem as watchable as it once was, for some reason they've split it up into 30 second chunks (there might be a way to watch it in longer clips)
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Even now 19 years on its one of the few pieces of video that still has the ability to shock.
cmthwtv West Country (East) Points West
I was only four at the time, however have watched the powerful headline sequence written and read by Peter Sissons - and it never fails to shudder me. Truly powerful.
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I'd just got home from school and the news was on all the channels, which was always a bad sign. I think Diana's death was the only other time before then I remember that happening.

Wasn't it ITN who ended one of their bulletins that day with a piece of music where a cymbal crash co-inciding with the plane hitting the tower, which got them into trouble with the ITC?
Rolling News Central (East) East Midlands Today
I remember getting home from school at age 9 and wondering what on earth was going on as all the kids programmes had been cancelled and how shocked my dad was that BBC One was simulcasting News 24. Of course nowadays no one would bat an eyelid at them simulcasting.
Worzel Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
I remember the day very vividly. I was 14 at the time and was at school. We were due to watch a video and the teacher accidentally switched the TV to BBC One at the moment the second plane hit the the second tower (simulcasting News 24). Our teacher then quickly switched it over and the class demanded it was switched back over, which surprisingly she did and we saw some of the breaking coverage.

Later that afternoon my Mum picked me up from school and explained what happened (I kind of had a gist from the TV footage) and helped her retune the car radio to 5 Live.

I remember popping the TV on when we got home (short 15 minute journey) and getting my first proper exposure to TV News channels. We had analogue cable at the time so I popped on Sky News and I believe it was Anna Botting and Martin Stanford on air. I remember Anna trying to explain what was happening and she said something like 'We were talking about what happened and then this happened...' - the second plane hit.

Few other BBC News clips...

The moment BBC One joined News 24 at the end of Neighbours, where the rolling coverage on BBC One started. IIRC this was the first time a rolling news 'story' from BBC News 24 was simulcasted during the daytime on BBC One.


BBC One simulcasting News 24:

Most broadcasters can't re-run their entire day's footage again as there's issues with picture rights. As I recall all footage from all broadcasters was pretty much being pooled and broadcasters could poach whatever they needed.
Last edited by Worzel on 11 September 2020 10:29pm - 4 times in total
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
For me it was an ITV event, and as we discussed not that long ago in the ITN Nostalgia thread the moment I remember more than the incidents with the towers themselves was presenter Kirsty Young talking to her husband who was in New York at the time - it just somehow personalised this major international tragedy.

I don't remember much about the BBC coverage at all as I saw it all unfold on ITV News. Indeed I didn't have Sky News/News 24 at the time so it is worth remembering at this time news channels were not in the majority of households. The comparison with Diana's death was made earlier in the thread and for me at least my memories really are with the BBC for that - "This is BBC Television in London" I think is a phrase etched in all our memories.
Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.

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