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It got there first, it did it best, and now it’s on a roll

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

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

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

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

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

It got there first, it did it best, and now it’s on a roll (Independent)

Nick Pollard explains far more eloquently than I the reasons why I prefer BBC News 24 over Sky News:

[Sky News] is deliberately more concerned with the human interest angle of stories than the BBC: a report about the first baby born in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka in 2005 was unlikely to have made it on to News 24; even if it had done so, such an item would not have ended with a mawkish coda from the reporter “… and she’s beautiful.”

The channel is also over-branded, say some: if viewers are not watching the Sky News Weather or the Sky News Money slot, they are being asked to press the red button for Sky News Active. Meanwhile, the word “Sky” – in brash red, white and blue – is sometimes on screen in three places.

Pollard is unabashed. “You have to stand out. And, in a way, you have to shout to your viewers.”

I don’t want mawkish human interest stories, I want stories that explain the true global impact of events, and analyse them in this light. Why on Earth is the first child born following the tsunami in any way newsworthy?

I don’t want news channels to shout at me, and I certainly do not want to watch a news channel with so little taste that it’s head can say something as frankly disgusting as this:

Sky has had “a good tsunami”. Such a feeling is certainly evident inside the company’s HQ

If someone from the Beeb had said this, there would be resignations.

This 180th post was filed under: Headliner.

Some recently published posts

My favourite books of 2016 / December 2019, 26 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / December 2019, 12 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / November 2019, 5 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / October 2019, 3 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / September 2019, 6 minutes long

Some random old posts

Fatal distraction / December 2012, Less than a minute long

MTAS: Unbelievably, it gets worse / April 2007, 1 minute long

More rubbish from the Daily Mail / January 2007, Less than a minute long

From the ‘Minerva’ Column of the BMJ… / June 2004, Less than a minute long

Review: The Quarry by Iain Banks / November 2013, 3 minutes long

Government defeated. Again. And again. / January 2006, 1 minute long


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