Saturday, June 6, 2020
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Readers’ comments: News is all about selling a product

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In response to Richard Harper: Questions the credulous BBC should be asking but won’t,

Avoided Cranium wrote:

The BBC’s ethos hasn’t changed since C P Snow coined the phrase ‘The Two Cultures’ in 1959, in which he observed how the elite considered that a mark of education was to be well read in literature and the humanities, and were perfectly content with having no equivalent knowledge of physics, maths and the scientific method.
Consequently, the BBC employ journalists who do not possess the rigour and knowledge of a scientific and mathematical approach. Presumably because they don’t know much about science, except in generalities, the BBC’s paternalistic approach ends up with reports more suited to an audience of nine-year-olds. I think the university degrees that their staff took proves the point:
Mishal Husain – International Law
Andrew Marr – English
Fergus Walsh (BBC Medical Correspondent) – English
David Shukman (BBC Science Editor) – Geography
Hugh Pym (BBC Health Editor) – PPE
Rory Cellan-Jones (BBC Technology correspondent) – Modern & Medieval Languages

cerberus wrote:

I notice that you didn’t ask why there is no discussion of therapy with hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin in the whole of the UK MSM, let alone on the BBC. In fact the only time you will see mention of this treatment, used in South Korea and the Far East for instance, will be if it can be used in an article to ridicule and poke fun at President Trump. The President has advocated its use and ordered the FDA to remove regulatory obstacles to it. For that he must be made a figure of fun, which does admittedly tend to be a bit of a national sport in this country, egged on by the media.

L Jones wrote:

The President has geed up the FDA to get things moving as quickly as possible. Why don’t our lot get to grips with PHE who people seem to think are dragging their feet, self-interested and narrow-minded?
When listening and watching Mr T’s ‘team’ in their press conferences, I’m struck by how they make our lot look feeble.

Nockian wrote:

Selling sensationalism. This is what news is all about: from the opening music it’s all about selling a programme, a product. The higher the emotionalism, the greater the drama, the more blood, sweat and tears, dramatic locations, bullets, bombs and explosions. Every interview asking how someone ‘feels’ whilst the concerned reporter overacts the intensity of the situation. Whip it up, intensify, sell, sell, sell.

IrishNeanderthal wrote:

There are two distinct studies, but only one seems to get the ear and the microphone, see this article: ‘Science clash: Imperial vs Oxford, and the sex smear that created rival Covid-19 studies’.

L Jones wrote:

Interesting reading, because you feel as so many of us do. Most right-minded people are happy to comply with measures if their effectiveness is explained. This seems to be a sledge-hammer to crack a nut.


But the idea of not being able to sit with a dying loved one is utterly heartbreaking. You’re right – no-one should be made to stay away if they’re willing to risk infection. I know I would.

Burt wrote:

The BBC is a pound shop news service despite having thousands of staff. Having said which, this article wants the BBC to ask the questions that the very senior staff at the PHE, NHS and Dept of Health have clearly failed to ask.

See also the projections for HIV mortality, BSE, climate change, etc!

Interesting that America is also reporting that the coronavirus disproportionately hits members of the BAME community (as well as the old/immunity compromised groups). Targeted isolation seems to make far more sense than blanket isolation (that destroys our economy).

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