David Artiss

BBC News and falling standards

It’s been noticeable in recent months that the BBC news on their website has started to lean more towards the kind of horrible “clickbait” stories that are so popular these days. Evidence? Right now, on their site I can find two examples where the headlines promote a story that simply doesn’t materialise…

Michael Eavis: Glastonbury could move in 2018

Except he never says this. I quote…

Every five years organisers take a fallow year to let the ground recover, but Eavis says he has “something special planned” for the next one in two years time.

Somehow “something special planned” has been interpreted as “could move”. Based on what? Nothing that’s actually part of the written interview.

Then there’s…

US cinema chain AMC set to allow customers to text during films

This is very specific isn’t it? They will ALLOW customers to text. Yet the opening line truly reflects what the chain said…

One of the largest cinema chains in the US is considering letting customers use their mobile phones during films

CONSIDERING is not the same as ALLOW and the original interview shows nothing more concrete. What’s next? Headlines that end with “and you’ll never believe what happened next”?

Surely I can’t be the only one that expects better of the BBC?

19th April - Another example

Rugby star Danny Cipriani cried as he was arrested

And yet, no evidence that he actually cried. Only…

England rugby star Danny Cipriani was “tearful and upset” after he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, a court has heard.

Which is not the same. Upset can mean many things, including being angry. Tearful simply means having wet eyes, which is not the same as physically crying. But, hey, I guess the idea of a rugby playing crying is going to pull in more readers, isn’t it?

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2 Comments

  1. I agree with you about the dumbing down of the BBC in general and its new site in particular. Many stories are nothing more than clickbait and other guff from these ‘journalists’ TwitFace feeds. However, I do need to take with with your assertion that ‘Danny Cipriani was “tearful and upset”’ didn’t mean he was crying. How can you be tearful and not cry, FFS? Or have “wet eyes” and not cry? It’s a Clinton-esque distinction without a difference.

    • Crying is defined as the shedding of tears. Tearful usually refers to someone with tears in their eyes – it doesn’t have to, but if tears are falling you’d normally use the word “crying” in preference. I agree that he could have been both but the use of one usage in the “clickbait” headline was, I suspect, purposeful and the point of the example.

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