There may be a lot of people who think BBC news is horribly biased but the BBC news website is the only place I’d trust to get reliable news. However, recently there’s been a stream of horribly though out articles. I know it’s “silly season” due to a lack of parliament, etc, but there is no excuse for producing something pointless or, dare I say it, misleading.
Here are two example from the last two days..
“Blueberries cut type-2 diabetes risk” says the headline. Notice the positivity of that statement. It’s not “may cut”. However, read the actual article and you’ll then encounter expressions such as “is linked to” and “suggests a study”. And that’s in the opening paragraph. It’s not sounding so absolute now.
You have to get to near the end of the article, after readings lot of nice things about the study, to find that a leading researcher for a Diabetic charity says “the links between type-2 diabetes and specific types of fruit or fruit drinks should be treated with caution.”
So, basically, it may or may not but that’s not represented in the headline. Or, indeed, the fact that the news should be treated with caution is left until the very end of the article. Sadly, it’s bad reporting of early research results which gives medicine and science such a bad name.
The other article to get my ire is one from yesterday, written by the BBC;s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. If there’s one thing you can surely expect from him is to be able to write a half-decent technology article. No. Step forward his article “4G or not 4G? That is the question“. In it he decides to test the newly launched 4G services of O2 and Vodafone by testing some 4G phones in an area of London where he knows 4G is not yet available and proudly announces that he didn’t get 4G speeds.
Really? Tomorrow Rory proudly tells us about the toilet habits of bears and what religion he believes the Pope may be.
Surely the BBC can do better than this?
I’m really not sure what BBC News are up to at the moment, particularly when it comes to Technology articles. On Wednesday they posted one about the announced release date of the Xbox One console. And it’s an oddly one sided announcement.
Their title “Xbox One release date edges Sony” is, for a start, only partially correct. Europe will see the Xbox One released a week before the PS4. However, in the US – the console and particularly the Xbox’s biggest market – the PS4 will be released first. That hardly suggests Microsoft is “edging” Sony. Indeed, the next more important market is probably Japan, where the Xbox One isn’t due to be released until 2014! That doesn’t even get a mention in the BBC article.
It also makes mention of Microsoft’s decision to increase the CPU speed by 10% without comparing this to the PS4 (okay, it’s not known but at least that could be stated).
The article, after discussing the Microsoft u-turns on their console, then states “that will all ultimately be forgotten by gamers once the consoles go on sale”. I’m not sure what that’s based on and I totally disagree with it. The whole thing reads like a personal statement by an individual rather than “news”, yet the article doesn’t even give an author.
Photo: NS Newsflash