It’s gone too far.
I can’t stand it any more, and instead of letting it raise my blood pressure I’m going to have a rant.
I watch the TV News every morning before breakfast, usually BBC News and Sky News (although the topics covered on both are identical, even to the timing, so there’s no real difference between these two) and when after about two minutes I’m screaming at the screen, I have to go to Al Jazeera to find out what’s really going on in the world. [Sad, because Al Jazeera is pro-Muslim but it still covers world events in a more balanced way than the Beeb.]
In vain do I seek for information about the war in Syria, the economy in America, terrorism in Mali (or whatever). Every morning I have to sit through Government propaganda and health warnings, celebrity snippets, fashion news, climate change drivel, animal welfare and publicity for books and movies.
As crucial as these topics may seem to UK residents, that isn’t why I watch the NEWS.
Every single morning I find myself shouting THIS ISN’T NEWS!! at some incoherent (um er I mean) reporter standing outside a dog show or a restaurant to inform us about the bloomin’ obvious.
Do we really need a highly-paid executive of our national broadcasting company to tell us that “Edinburgh Zoo pandas are in the mood for mating”? Or, here is another piece of breaking news today that you couldn’t do without:
A top policeman has revealed he has a special tactic to prevent staff morale from crumbling – free biscuits! Bedfordshire Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock digs into his own pockets to bring in the sweet treats each week. And the canny policeman revealed he buys broken biscuits, which go further among his sweet-toothed colleagues. The local branch of the Police Federation said it welcomed Mr Hitchcock’s gesture at a time when police morale was suffering.
This morning took the biscuit. Literally.
I turned on hoping to hear how the papal election was going and found a smirking reporter in a biscuit factory. Yep, a biscuit factory.
And why had he seen the need to arrange a visit to this biscuit factory? To elicit the management’s views on the cut in banker’s bonuses perhaps? To explore the downturn in the world’s wheat harvests maybe?
NO. He’d taken the trouble (and presumably expense, courtesy of our license fees) to stand by a production line to tell us that people should know how to do sums. We need to learn how to add up. How many biscuits are on this production line children? There are LOTS AND LOTS. Can you count them? Let’s see if we can count them – shall we start by saying one, two,three?
Then we segued into the MEAT of this headline news (that people ought to know how to add up, because, like, um, it’s so useful) by sitting on a BUS.
There, the Bus Driver was privileged to tell us that HE could count, and he found it VERY useful. For instance, if he had to go 20 minutes to one stop, and then 10 minutes to the next stop, that would be – well, it would be – um – quite a long time, and he needed to be sure his little bus was never late for the nice passengers, children.
Worse than Useless!
By this time my remote finger was poised, and I hadn’t even made it to the promised extensive coverage of Justin Bieber being late for his performance.
Then there’s the detestable interview technique that reduces it all to emotions. We can no longer interest ourselves in FACTS, but everyone needs to know “how does it FEEL?”
You know, the poor mother of the murdered child being asked “how MUCH do you miss her?” and the train-wreck survivor having to tell us “what did being crushed by tons of metal FEEL like – how scared were you?” and they are forced to reply on a scale of one to ten JUST how terrifying the experience was (preferably by squeezing out some tears so we can zoom in on the grief).
Health Tips You Didn’t Need
The amount of “news” items covering obscure and unnecessary health topics leads me to suspect the BBC are under the thumb of either the Government or the NHS. Or both.
In fact, these days I can confidently predict some kind of new regulation or legislation shortly to be announced by the Government several days in advance, by the spin given to it on the News.
Badgers have TB? (Cue for an unpopular cull, then). Babies are affected by cigarette smoke? (Wait for it – a ban on smoking in cars!). People could exercise more to avoid obesity? (A crackdown on providing NHS treatment to fat people is round the corner.)
Why on earth we need a prime-time News Broadcast telling us to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a walk in the park, is lost on me!
I just went in search of the biscuit factory fiasco, and on the same page there is something that SO proved my point. Because in the days leading up to the news, today, that “The government is trying to improve maths skills across England by recruiting thousands of ‘maths champions’ to teach classes in the workplace.” (Yeah, because let’s face it, the TEACHERS aren’t doing it!) there were these coincidental reports:
And it’s not just me, I’m sure
I found online the piece below, and it confirms what I already suspected – that even youngsters are bewildered by the lack of news on the News.
Twelve-year old Lachlann Hinley, from Haddington in East Lothian, went head-to-head with Joe Godwin, director of BBC children’s services, on ‘Newswatch’ – a programme bringing viewers face-to-face with editors and executives to discuss issues raised on television news and current affairs shows. He aired his concerns that Newsround, the 40-year-old news programme, is celebrity news-heavy and “does not give you the in-depth news”.
Even children know this fact, that seems to have escaped the over-paid smug-faced Lefties at the BBC.
Pupil, 12, takes BBC to task over ‘dumbed down’ current affairs
Lachlann Hinley airs his views on screen (Published on Friday 20 April 2012)
A 12-year-old Loretto schoolboy has taken a BBC chief to task in a national television debate over the dumbing down of Newsround.
Lachlann Hinley said: “Some people are interested in reality television and popular music, but some people are interested in politics and economics. There should be a new show for those who want to find out more about current affairs.”
The pupil ended with the illustration of Newsround’s recent coverage of the ongoing crisis in Syria, which he felt gave the impression that “popular music is more important than Syria”.
John Craven presented BBC show Newsround from its first episode in 1972 until 1989. It is one of the longest-running programmes in BBC history, beginning on April 4, 1972 with a team comprising three members of staff and two typewriters.
Gareth Edwards, Evening News TV critic says: “Bahrain petrol bombs, the European Court of Human Rights and Ken Clarke – after criticism it was dumbing down, perhaps Newsround was trying a bit too hard. Having seen the programme in recent months, it did seem to feature a lot of stories about TV stars and The X Factor, but not last night.
Opening with the ongoing protests in Bahrain, it didn’t shy away from discussing the oppressive regime or the wider Arab Spring. It then delved into the complex case of Britain’s clash with the European Court of Human Rights, even featuring a Ken Clarke interview.
While it may have ended on items about dinosaur eggs and exploding race cars, that was in keeping with the “and finally” segments beloved of John Craven.
Despite this temporary reaction to criticism, things are unlikely to change. The future of all broadcasting is headed towards the same place: pap for the masses.
What people today demand is reality shows, sentimentality, fashion and cookery tips, and celebrity gossip. What they demand is what they’ll get, especially as is prevents them knowing what is REALLY going on. So to end my rant, here’s a cute picture: