• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Media coverage of the virus

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Andy Kev.

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
20 Aug 2013
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
118
Location
Germany
I should at the start point out that my media coverage is influenced by the fact that I live in Germany: I get ARD and ZDF news, BBC World news and I subscribe to the Daily Telegraph and use the Guardian which is free.

What is universal is the blanket coverage of the virus crisis. I think that is over the top. What IMO is needed are daily updates on the current situation, discussion of technical developments and reporting of what the politicians/authorities are up to. Two pages of a broadsheet newspaper? Max 10 minutes of TV news?

It's now got to the point that in order to keep their own juggernaut rolling, they seem to be casting around for ever more niche stories which correspondingly contribute relatively little of use. The amount of time devoted to the fact that sport is not taking place is simply staggering. And why on earth should we be interested in the opinions/experiences of celebs. and/or sports types?

I've learned over the years to be wary of the media in general. I'm convinced that it is a very lazy profession: if they can get one story to fill all the space, then do that as it saves time and effort doing real journalism. This always was the case: TV news seems to be most at home in the relevant capital cities and God forbid that they venture out into the country. The laziness is also a gross disservice to the public. Remember the time that a politician decided that "today is a good day for putting out bad news"? Now they have a whole season to do just that.

Add to all that the simple aesthetic judgement that it is getting boring to the point of being tedious.

Now would perhaps be a good time for in depth background articles e.g. the necessarily unemployed sports journos could be doing background pieces on how their sports have developed over the years, what rule changes could be considered etc. Documentary output could be increased on the telly etc.

I could go on but I think that the final point I would like to make is that we perhaps don't notice how dumbed down the media - especially TV - have become over the years. There are now a lot of people in enforced idleness at home. Some will have difficulty occupying themselves (obviously not members of this forum). Perhaps now is the time for the media to up the quality of their game.
 

FatmanG

Established Member
Joined
19 Nov 2019
Messages
316
Reaction score
22
Location
Leeds
I think the quality in most fields is dictated by the quality of the employees. You could be considered lazy for suggesting all the media is lazy :D I'll shut up now
 

Andy Kev.

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
20 Aug 2013
Messages
1,364
Reaction score
118
Location
Germany
FatmanG":n5xzatec said:
I think the quality in most fields is dictated by the quality of the employees. You could be considered lazy for suggesting all the media is lazy :D I'll shut up now
Well I am of course generalising but the standards of the employees are the responsibility of the editors/producers.

When I want guaranteed high quality journalism, I read the Spectator. I forgot to mention that I also subscribe to that. Similarly when I want entertaining maliciousness, Private Eye never disappoints.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,542
Reaction score
759
Location
Tunbridge Wells
I am inclined to agree that continuous media coverage is excessive. Just as it was with Brexit for 2 years.
 

whatknot

Established Member
Joined
29 Jul 2017
Messages
868
Reaction score
16
Location
Cornwall UK
You know the coverage is OTT when you wish the Brexit debate would come back ;-)

I agree its way over the top at present to the point that I can't listen to the usual radio station (5 live) or watch any news on TV (which I try and avoid normally anyway)

The media, in particular the BBC (as thats the one I have watched the news on), have been trying to create panic with over the top stories

And the questions asked by so called journalists at the press conferences?

One asks a question, it gets answered, then the next journalist asks the same question

Some of the questions asked are entirely loaded and would never get an answer, so why try and ask them?, utterly pointless IMHO
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,839
Reaction score
334
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Andy Kev. And while commenting on this thread, sorry Fatman G but I really don't understand the point you're making in your post.

But back to the subject of media coverage, I've felt for a long time that there is just too much news on both radio and TV. That has been so for years IMO.

Here, while I do see some Swiss newspapers I do not subscribe to any regularly. But we do have about "a hundred million" different radio and TV channels.

Back in "the good old days", e.g. I clearly remember the Suez Crisis (early/mid 1950s, I forget exactly) you KNEW something serious was up because instead of having "A" news bulleting once morning, once lunch time, and once in the evening, we heard the news on an hourly basis. I should perhaps add that in our house in those days, it was radio, not TV - plus of course a newspaper once per day (I forget which).

Now of course, as well as specific channels which have a news-only 24 hours/day service, we even have the daft (IMO) situation where a station like Radio 4 has to have a news bulletin every hour throughout the day. Even dafter, the main R4 evening news programme that I usually listen too is not only an hour-long programme (usually - now 90 minutes), BUT they have to interrupt that 60 minutes of programming with a repeated news summary every 15 minutes. Why? What's changed in those short (hourly - or quarter-hourly) intervals that we MUST be told "the latest"? And if someone's missed the programme start "headline news" then they've only got to wait an hour (or, "horror of horrors" go to a different channel).

IMO nothing, not even the present Corona virus situation, has changed so radically that this is needed - and as already said, for those that MUST have their "news fix" that regularly, there are several channels that provide that service anyway.

So what about the rest of us non-news junkies? And what about the journos?

IMO this is a basic reason why we "get fed up with it" (the constant repetition), and for the journos, it's a primary reason why their output is generally rushed, not properly researched and checked, often sensationalist, usually at least "somewhat" inaccurate (!), and often contains irrelevant "filler drivel" (e.g. my Auntie knows the lady who cleans the house of the man who clips the claws of the poodle belonging to the man whose brother is working on a vaccine and he says ........"). OK, silly exaggeration, but I'm sure you know what I driving at!

And this goes on and on - doesn't matter if it's Brexit (another prime example), or anything else that's "happening", "the media" seem to have got themselves into this situation (or did "we" - the public - ask for it?). I dunno.

But to my mind the only result is a general lowering of standards and an over-sensationalism which results in, amongst other failings, the daft questions so often asked by journos (not to mention the often even dafter replies!); AND a general rush which mostly seems to me to be "I must be firstest with the daftest"!

At least in the days of no internet (and little TV) the newspapers only came out once a day (mainly)!

Yeah, I guess the above rant will result in me being called out as an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy (or something). Maybe I am.

But to me anyway, in the just the same way that I KNOW "the good old days" weren't always so good, neither were they always bad either - as it seems so many of "today's" members of the public seem to believe.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
20,959
Reaction score
1,390
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
The BBC hasn't a shortage of available channels. I thought the best idea was to put all news and advice on one 24 hour rolling channel and leave it off the other channels completely. If you need info. or advice that would be the place to go, while giving everyone else a bit of respite from it.
 

HappyHacker

Established Member
Joined
1 Jan 2016
Messages
424
Reaction score
34
Location
Chester
I have noticed over the years that the news has been dumbed down. At one time the newspapers, radio and TV reported news. Now with all the hours to fill and papers often making a loss they have become views with a bit of news. The views are generally those of the famous people they use to try and attract more people to watch/listen or buy.

Then there is the quality of journalism which is often dire, even I with a little knowledge on some topics spot the obvious errors, which makes me wonder how accurate is the reporting on things I do not know about?

I agree the current CV coverage is way over the top but that is perhaps a sign of the times with so many people seeking instant gratification and having lost the ability to think for themselves. I keep on think of the film idiocracy.
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,397
Reaction score
257
Location
UK
Andy Kev.":1l1zc42i said:
Similarly when I want entertaining maliciousness, Private Eye never disappoints.
That's part of the magazine's shtick, of course, but there's also frequently seriously good journalism in the mix ... plus my favourite section of the vicious and reliably scathing book reviews. I think I might have seen one review in my many years of reading the magazine that was close to complimentary: it was a comedian's book - can't recall the name, but maybe it was written by Paul O'Grady. Slainte.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,910
Reaction score
883
Location
PA, US
HappyHacker":235fu101 said:
I have noticed over the years that the news has been dumbed down. At one time the newspapers, radio and TV reported news. Now with all the hours to fill and papers often making a loss they have become views with a bit of news. The views are generally those of the famous people they use to try and attract more people to watch/listen or buy.

Then there is the quality of journalism which is often dire, even I with a little knowledge on some topics spot the obvious errors, which makes me wonder how accurate is the reporting on things I do not know about?

I agree the current CV coverage is way over the top but that is perhaps a sign of the times with so many people seeking instant gratification and having lost the ability to think for themselves. I keep on think of the film idiocracy.
the same thing has happened in the US, but with local papers. As news becomes more available online, papers struggle to advertise (radio, too) and everything becomes infomercial time or ad space, and the local news changes to opinion and much of the others is newswire stories (must be cheaper).

But as to the accuracy of it in the past, it wasn't particularly great here. There just wasn't much to immediately judge the accuracy against. Our "trusted" news folks felt that they were an important part of the story (dan rather comes to mind) and fact checking on the internet kind of separated the wheat from the chaff.

The simple fact is that there is no need to wait for news or weather, though, so those outlets have suffered. Fact checking isn't exactly fact checking any longer, either. I often go for spans without reading it, and our local paper (in a metro area of 2.2MM people) is down to 3 days a week. We used to have two, and I suspect soon we'll have zero.
 

Phil Pascoe

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
20,959
Reaction score
1,390
Location
Shaft City, Mid Cornish Desert
I subscribed to P.E. for years but stopped owing to its becoming little more than a vehicle for Hislop's dislikes and hatreds. A pity, because as said it contains some excellent journalism.
 

Terry - Somerset

Established Member
Joined
22 Dec 2012
Messages
829
Reaction score
324
Location
Taunton
The media only exists if it can make a profit. If it fails to so so it will disappear, along with the jobs of all involved.

That which is broadcast and printed will tend to be that which attracts the market segment the media want to address. The more viewers, listeners and readers they can attract, the greater their revenues.

It is also evident that a very large part of the British public are unable to engage in even slightly intellectual or rational thought processes. This is evidenced by the inability to match "guidance" to to personal circumstances, instead wanting "rules" to fit any minor variant.

Thus the media will tend to drift towards their own lowest common denominator. The days when journalism meant reporting factually, thoughtfully and independently on events are largely over (apologies to the few real journos remaining). Hence repetitive questions, and the efforts to provoke embarrassment and conflict - this sells more than reporting the facts.

Repeating the news is much cheaper than making new news. TV and radio in particular often sits in the background, and is not actively heard. Many people have very short attention spans and fear of missing out - they are now incapable of even a few minutes between checking smartphone for messages, news, etc.

It's quite obvious really why the media is repetitive and dumbed down. The only advice is to turn it off, get an update once or twice a day only, and to apply some constructive critical thinking to that which you are told!
 

AES

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2011
Messages
4,839
Reaction score
334
Location
Switzerland, near Basel
@Terry - Somerset: you wrote, QUOTE: It's quite obvious really why the media is repetitive and dumbed down. The only advice is to turn it off, get an update once or twice a day only, and to apply some constructive critical thinking to that which you are told! UNQUOTE:

FWIW, I agree with the main thrust of your post. But back to your quote, yup, that's exactly what I try to do!

I'm not sure if we have breakfast TV here or not (as I left UK for the last time, breakfast TV was just starting off) but here anyway, neither the TV nor the radio are turned on 1st thing. Later in the day I'll either listen to the lunchtime R4 news, or the evening version, plus I'll watch maybe most of our TV early evening news (+ weather!) plus most of the BBC TC evening news.

Also, a look at the BBC News website in the morning after breakfast each day (usually only the headlines) plus a glance through the local (Swiss) Sunday papers for headlines, plus a read of anything that attracts my particular attention.

That's my "full media coverage" for the week, and while others may well disagree, personally I don't feel that I'm particularly ignorant nor am I missing all that much - nothing of much importance anyway.

Like I said above, I guess I'm just an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy.

Yup "we" get the media "we" deserve.
 

MikeK

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
9 Apr 2017
Messages
1,639
Reaction score
614
Location
Gernsheim, Germany
I agree, Andy. I live between Frankfurt and Mannheim, and don't bother with any German programming. I have Sky Q and pop in from time to time at the different news programs to see if there is anything new, or what mindless drivel Trump is saying.
 

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
417
Location
Greece
Who owns which media? A biased but interesting look at that: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opende ... -do-about/

News is a bit of a joke, but useful to identify what it is "they" want you to know. I would recommend Russia Today as a good antidote to western propaganda - read the other side's propaganda and see what meets in the middle.

You could have a look at https://southfront.org/ for military analysis, and a very different viewpoint than most people are used to.

https://thesaker.is/ would be another interesting read - again it is not rabidly anti-Russian so immediately suspect according to everyone who thinks we really need to die in a nuclear conflagration.

As per Dr Gregory House: everybody lies. You have choices, and if enough people stop "consuming" the mainstream news, the current establishment lackeys will either wither on the vine, or get with the program and start telling more truth and less propaganda. Either would be good.

Edit: Another interesting slant is https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ he really, really doesn't like the establishment, and has fun things to say about the UK legal system, Julian Assange, and other fun topics.
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks
Trainee neophyte":1rb20hky said:
Who owns which media? A biased but interesting look at that: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opende ... -do-about/

News is a bit of a joke, but useful to identify what it is "they" want you to know. I would recommend Russia Today as a good antidote to western propaganda - read the other side's propaganda and see what meets in the middle.

You could have a look at https://southfront.org/ for military analysis, and a very different viewpoint than most people are used to.

https://thesaker.is/ would be another interesting read - again it is not rabidly anti-Russian so immediately suspect according to everyone who thinks we really need to die in a nuclear conflagration.

As per Dr Gregory House: everybody lies. You have choices, and if enough people stop "consuming" the mainstream news, the current establishment lackeys will either wither on the vine, or get with the program and start telling more truth and less propaganda. Either would be good.
Southfront is not reliable. Some daft stuff on there.

I think the trouble with assuming that all news sources are lying or corrupt you end up going to another extreme and reliying on highly biased crack pot stuff.
 

Trainee neophyte

[Known Putin apologist ]
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
417
Location
Greece
Bodgers":w92q8qdh said:
Trainee neophyte":w92q8qdh said:
Who owns which media? A biased but interesting look at that: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opende ... -do-about/

News is a bit of a joke, but useful to identify what it is "they" want you to know. I would recommend Russia Today as a good antidote to western propaganda - read the other side's propaganda and see what meets in the middle.

You could have a look at https://southfront.org/ for military analysis, and a very different viewpoint than most people are used to.

https://thesaker.is/ would be another interesting read - again it is not rabidly anti-Russian so immediately suspect according to everyone who thinks we really need to die in a nuclear conflagration.

As per Dr Gregory House: everybody lies. You have choices, and if enough people stop "consuming" the mainstream news, the current establishment lackeys will either wither on the vine, or get with the program and start telling more truth and less propaganda. Either would be good.
Southfront is not reliable. Some daft stuff on there.

I think the trouble with assuming that all news sources are lying or corrupt you end up going to another extreme and reliying on highly biased crack pot stuff.
Wow! That was quick! I was waiting for the fact checkers to jump in and rubbish my rather staid picks. Either everything the UK mainstream media tells you is 100% true, or it isn't. If it isn't, there must be other opportunities to find it. It's up to you to sort the wheat from the chaff, but most UK news outlets are very, very much chaff.
 

Bodgers

Established Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
1,866
Reaction score
1
Location
North Yorks
Trainee neophyte":33o4wmnl said:
Bodgers":33o4wmnl said:
Trainee neophyte":33o4wmnl said:
Who owns which media? A biased but interesting look at that: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opende ... -do-about/

News is a bit of a joke, but useful to identify what it is "they" want you to know. I would recommend Russia Today as a good antidote to western propaganda - read the other side's propaganda and see what meets in the middle.

You could have a look at https://southfront.org/ for military analysis, and a very different viewpoint than most people are used to.

https://thesaker.is/ would be another interesting read - again it is not rabidly anti-Russian so immediately suspect according to everyone who thinks we really need to die in a nuclear conflagration.

As per Dr Gregory House: everybody lies. You have choices, and if enough people stop "consuming" the mainstream news, the current establishment lackeys will either wither on the vine, or get with the program and start telling more truth and less propaganda. Either would be good.
Southfront is not reliable. Some daft stuff on there.

I think the trouble with assuming that all news sources are lying or corrupt you end up going to another extreme and reliying on highly biased crack pot stuff.
Wow! That was quick! I was waiting for the fact checkers to jump in and rubbish my rather staid picks. Either everything the UK mainstream media tells you is 100% true, or it isn't. If it isn't, there must be other opportunities to find it. It's up to you to sort the wheat from the chaff, but most UK news outlets are very, very much chaff.
There's a middle ground. It isn't a case of 100% true or it is all lies. A balanced view of what you read and listen to is possible.
 
Top