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Irritating front-loading on news programmes

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Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

I don’t care, I’m going to moan about them anyway. That was my response after being told I’m too easily irritated by minor things, and they probably don’t make blog posts that can be described as interesting. But it’s not going to stop me.

Front loading on news programmes is annoying. This is the conclusion I’ve reached, after seeing an epidemic of front-loaded introductions to news reports spreading across all UK news outlets. It’s like somebody reading the Daily Mail outloud, and it’s incredibly tedious and irritating.

Worse, though, is that it undeniably introduces an element of bias, through implicit agreement with the statement made. News broadcasters often say things like:

The death toll from the Chernobyl Nuclear accident twenty years ago today will be much higher than government estimates predict. That’s according to Greenpeace…

There, they are clearly agreeing with Greenpeace over and above what the Government estimates might suggest. You can never imagine them using this construction for something they find controversial, or that they might disagree with:

Asians are invading Britain and stealing the jobs of hard working white people. That’s according to the BNP…

It would never happen.

On top of this, I have no idea what to make of the statement that is being read to me until I know the credibility of the source. Compare:

Tony Blair should resign immediately in order to protect the future prospects of the Labour Party, backbench MPs have said today.

Tony Blair should resign immediately in order to protect the future prospects of the Labour Party, his cabinet have said today.

The first one’s a non-story, the second is huge. And yet they delay bothering to tell me until they’ve got the quote out of the way first. Irritating! What’s wrong with

Tony Blair’s cabinet have today announced that they beleive he should resign immediately in order to protect the future prospects of the Labour Party.

I realise it pushes the content of the news story back by, ooh, two seconds, but it actually allows me to assess whether the story is a real story or not straight away.

This 862nd post was filed under: Media.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 31st December 2016)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 30th November 2016)

Citizen Journalism (published 4th January 2006)

IE7 will start testing this summer (published 17th February 2005)

Photo-a-day 340: Cold relief capsules (published 6th December 2012)

iPad App Reviews: All next week on sjhoward.co.uk (published 8th April 2011)


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Trackback received at 00:27 on 25th March 2007.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Iran, the Navy, and BBC News 24


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