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Irritating front-loading on news programmes

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how 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 very well have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 3rd May 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 1st April 2018)

World TB Day (published 24th March 2018)

‘Comment is free’ finally launches (published 16th March 2006)

Respond carefully to this abhorrent attack (published 8th July 2005)

The reality of an “ex-gay” life (published 21st September 2012)

A breath-taking Deal or No Deal first… (published 30th April 2006)


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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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