Author Topic: The quality of writing on the BBC News website  (Read 19394 times)

Noonling

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The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« on: July 24, 2019, 07:37:42 AM »
I don't want to have a thread about bias within the BBC and blah blah blah (I mean I do find such things interesting, but this is not that thread).

I feel like the quality of writing on the BBC news website has been declining over the last 5-10 years. I use it as my main news source (aside from CaB), and I notice more and more: grammar mistakes, headlines (or shortened versions) not making sense, poor structure of the article in general, strange sentence choices, and occasionally strange image choices. I'll probably never find it again, but I remember an article about a computer worm was accompanied by an image of...earthworms. The worst thing though is the clickbait-style headlines. At first this was just for Magazine or Newsbeat - annoying, but acceptable. Now it seems to be for everything.

This thread isn't inspired by anything specific, although today I've noticed:
Please consider this my cover letter for the role of BBC editor.

BlodwynPig

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 07:40:17 AM »
Well, in the defence of the BBC... ha ha are u kidding? Bin, the sack of wankers’ imediatly

Barry Admin

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 09:13:45 AM »
...
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:58:37 PM by Barry Admin »

BlodwynPig

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2019, 09:57:00 AM »
I love BBC News and the BBC in general, and don’t really understand the amount of opprobrium on here, if I’m honest. But criticising the quality of writing is totally fine. My own irritation would be with the undue prominence given to shit people have said on Twitter, but I know it’s a decent and easy way for them to acknowledge public sentiment. I just wish I could tick a box and filter it all out though, it’s never enlightening or interesting.

Do you see a general slide in standards throughout the media - "dumbing down" as it was termed over a decade ago - or merely a "progression or evolution" of how humans transmit, communicate, absorb, and share information?

I've always been a curmudgeon - from tearing The Sun newspaper up in 6th form in a rabid frenzy circa 1989, to bemoaning the squeeeeness of Munchetty on the red sofa and the Observer's/Guardian's slide into smug middle-class complacency. I don't think I am wrong, my gut tells me that these things have consequences at a wider level, corrupting and coercing a population into unthinking obedience.

But then someone comes along and says "CHEER UP, IT MAY NEVER HAPPEN"

It already did happen, mate...

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2019, 10:32:41 AM »
A lot comes down to the sheer amount of work journalists on many news sites are expected to do these days and for considerably less money than they used to. A couple of years back my company did some analysis of content on UK news sites and I remember there were journalists on The Mirror who were churning out 20-30 stories in a single day. It also comes from pressure to get stories out quickly to beat others to high placement on Google News, Facebook and others - BBC News often does a first quick story then rewrites and fixes issues later. Outside the UK ads are also sold against BBC stories so despite being a public service broadcaster here they're not immune to demands for doing things that will boost revenue for the site elsewhere.

icehaven

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 10:43:20 AM »
The website has definitely, unequivocally dumbed the fuck down, massively increased the prominence of sport and become riddled with Buzzfeed type clickbait nothing articles. It started about 6 or 7 years ago I reckon, and has just spiralled.

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 11:14:28 AM »
I read it regularly for years but it resembled Newsround more each year until finally I took it off my bookmarks.

BlodwynPig

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 11:28:18 AM »
I read it regularly for years but it resembled Newsround more each year until finally I took it off my bookmarks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/forum_user_popcorn_removes_BBC_site_from_his_bookmarks.html

Sin Agog

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2019, 11:30:22 AM »
I read it regularly for years but it resembled Newsround more each year until finally I took it off my bookmarks.

Newsround is way more progressive.

pancreas

  • The islets of Langerhans are the very best islets
Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2019, 11:36:38 AM »
I love BBC News and the BBC in general, and don’t really understand the amount of opprobrium on here, if I’m honest. But criticising the quality of writing is totally fine. My own irritation would be with the undue prominence given to shit people have said on Twitter, but I know it’s a decent and easy way for them to acknowledge public sentiment. I just wish I could tick a box and filter it all out though, it’s never enlightening or interesting.

Bloody hell, if you don't see how horribly biased it is, and how faithfully it repeats establishment narratives, then you must find it difficult to understand 90% of what is said in here.

Cerys

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2019, 12:36:08 PM »
On the upside, the slide in writing has led to the gloriously silly 'Dog dies after being shot through letterbox', on the front page of the site right now.

NoSleep

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2019, 12:39:16 PM »
I love BBC News and the BBC in general, and don’t really understand the amount of opprobrium on here, if I’m honest. But criticising the quality of writing is totally fine. My own irritation would be with the undue prominence given to shit people have said on Twitter, but I know it’s a decent and easy way for them to acknowledge public sentiment. I just wish I could tick a box and filter it all out though, it’s never enlightening or interesting.

Even twenty years ago my brother in Germany told me most people he knew considered the BBC News a propaganda outlet in comparison to the German networks.

NoSleep

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2019, 12:45:16 PM »
Bloody hell, if you don't see how horribly biased it is, and how faithfully it repeats establishment narratives, then you must find it difficult to understand 90% of what is said in here.

Nowadays I can hold on to my feeling of sanity far better than ever because of social networking and independent sources of information. The BBC and the rest of the mainstream media in the UK are fucked beyond repair (actually they were never broken and were designed to work as they are).

www.amazon.co.uk/BBC-Myth-Public-Service/dp/1784784826/cab-21

The quality of writing has deteriorated just because they are losing their currency and therefore do everything on the cheap. The quality of research and actual journalism has deteriorated equally.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2019, 01:02:07 PM »
On the upside, the slide in writing has led to the gloriously silly 'Dog dies after being shot through letterbox', on the front page of the site right now.

Looks like they changed it. Did you manage to get a screengrab?

Cerys

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2019, 01:02:57 PM »
No, sadly.

Edit - hang on.

Edit again - thought I'd found it hiding elsewhere on there, but it's been reworded.  Phooey.

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2019, 01:06:22 PM »
I agree that the BBC isn't nearly as biased as a lot of people claim. You often see people on opposite sides of the spectrum, complaining about the same report or QT panel for being biased to the other side. Maybe that means they're doing something right.

Regarding articles construced from tweets, they used to annoy me but in a way I can see their value in terms of posterity. It's almost impossible to find and follow old Twitter conversations as they're immediately buried so those articles could come in handy for that.

Panbaams

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2019, 01:09:20 PM »

I think this is where the story also gets used on the red button (or Ceefax, as was): news stories on there don't have a lot of detail.

Paul Calf

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2019, 01:10:46 PM »
I agree that the BBC isn't nearly as biased as a lot of people claim. You often see people on opposite sides of the spectrum, complaining about the same report or QT panel for being biased to the other side. Maybe that means they're doing something right.

No. The apparent logic is seductively elegant, but laws which are consistent in theory often prove chaotic in practice, etc.

pancreas

  • The islets of Langerhans are the very best islets
Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2019, 01:16:09 PM »
The most egregious recent cases are: Venezuela, Syria, Antisemitism in Labour. You'd have no idea what the truth of the situation is from the BBC. You'd think the exact opposite of what is true. Less bad: Poverty in the UK, Hostile Environment. Not particularly bad: Brexit.

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2019, 01:33:21 PM »
I agree that the BBC isn't nearly as biased as a lot of people claim. You often see people on opposite sides of the spectrum, complaining about the same report or QT panel for being biased to the other side. Maybe that means they're doing something right

Socially liberal, economically conservative. Which was alright in the 60’s but one could argue that the need for a socialist economy is an increasingly pressing concern in modern Britain. The state broadcaster should at least try and reflect this by acknowledging that there is an alternative to the boom n bust capitalism that has wreaked such inequality.
But no, that corbyn is a craaaazy guy!

Barry Admin

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2019, 01:39:48 PM »
...
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:56:42 PM by Barry Admin »

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2019, 01:42:36 PM »
It seems to be the way of the faux-left.
Toss a fish now and again to keep the seals clapping along,  but never actually contemplate releasing them into the sea for a better quality of life. Just concentrate on ensuring a plentiful supply of reasonable quality fish.

Barry Admin

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2019, 01:58:20 PM »
...
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:57:15 PM by Barry Admin »

Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2019, 02:00:47 PM »
It seems to be the way of the faux-left.
Toss a fish now and again to keep the seals clapping along,  but never actually contemplate releasing them into the sea for a better quality of life. Just concentrate on ensuring a plentiful supply of reasonable quality fish.


Cerys

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2019, 02:11:11 PM »
No, sadly.

Edit - hang on.

Edit again - thought I'd found it hiding elsewhere on there, but it's been reworded.  Phooey.

Managed to track down this -



From here.

pancreas

  • The islets of Langerhans are the very best islets
Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2019, 03:12:42 PM »
...

Alright, alright. Sorry. I got pissed off by you saying you don't understand the opprobrium it gets, when people vent their good reasons for this daily. By propagating right-wing government, usually US-inspired narratives, it is (albeit indirectly) responsible for people dying in this country and round the world. Given I believe that, perhaps you can see why I would get pissed off when I see it defended.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:57:48 PM by Barry Admin »

Barry Admin

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2019, 03:32:54 PM »
What I was actually trying to say, without being as unpleasant and personal as you are, is that some of the criticism of the BBC on here is boring, repetitive nitpicking. Highly repetitive, as you seem to acknowledge.

Cuellar

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2019, 03:34:32 PM »
Managed to track down this -



From here.

Haaaaa

NoSleep

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2019, 03:35:34 PM »
What I was actually trying to say, without being as unpleasant and personal as you are, is that some of the criticism of the BBC on here is boring, repetitive nitpicking. Highly repetitive, as you seem to acknowledge.

They do keep doing it on a daily basis, though. Makes me feel like I'm going insane; that this is the nation's voice.

Mr Banlon

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Re: The quality of writing on the BBC News website
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2019, 03:38:33 PM »
Managed to track down this -



From here.

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