“I counted them all out, and I counted them all back” is one of the most memorable broadcast TV phrases of the century. It was uttered by Brian Hanrahan, the BBC foreign affairs correspondent who was reporting from the Falklands War in 1982, as a clever way to get around reporting restrictions to tell viewers British jets had returned safely.
It’s hard to imagine that at the time of the Falklands War thirty years ago, TV footage took two weeks to get back to the UK for broadcast. According to Nigel Baker, CEO of Thomson Media Foundation, speaking at The Global Broadcast Landscape – Power, Influence and Opportunity in 2012 conference in London, it wasn’t until the Gulf War in the early 1990s when it became possible to get foreign footage on-air within 24 hours. And, only in 2003 were broadcasters finally able to show footage in real time for the first time – leading to an influx of news channels, particularly in the Middle East.