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'A news presenter said on air 'I don’t understand politics' blog discussion

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'A news presenter said on air 'I don’t understand politics' blog discussion

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This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.

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  • timbo58timbo58 Forumite
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    Is it important for Newsreaders to know everything about everything or just politics?

    Why?
    Unless specifically stated all posts by me are my own considered opinion.
    If you don't like my opinion feel free to respond with your own.
  • edited 13 February 2015 at 1:39PM
    jamesdjamesd Forumite
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    edited 13 February 2015 at 1:39PM
    A presenter who professed a lack of knowledge about finance would also be expressing a lack of knowledge about politics, since much of politics is about money and how it's to be used.

    A political commentator might want to know, say, that the real income tax rate on a real income of £20,000 fell to 75% of its 2005 value by 2010/11 and to 35% for 2015/16. Knowing that would be rather useful if a person being interviewed was asserting that a particular government hadn't done much for low earners. It might also be useful to know that real income tax on a real income of £120k had fallen to 97% of its 2005/6 level by 2010/11 but was subsequently increased and will be 103% for 2015/6. Say if a notional person being interviewed was asserting that a particular government was cutting taxes for the well off but not the working poor.
  • BrambleberryBrambleberry Forumite
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    I watch BBC news most mornings and I am amazed at the ignorance of the presenters in a wide range of topics. We cannot expect them to be experts on everything, but they should be intelligent and generally clued up on the issues they are presenting.

    Admitting that you don't know or understand a topic is fine, especially if you are then interviewing for more information as part of the segment, a wise person knows when to admit their lack of knowledge.

    BUT - the increasing tendency for presenters to ask outstandingly banal questions which betray not only their lack of basic knowledge, intellect and literacy/numeracy skills, but also their shocking inability to listen when they are an active part of the segment must be embarrassing for the BBC. Strangely, the presenters are not embarrassed - professional pride has taken a nose-dive!

    And the final insult is when a fairly straightforward topic has been discussed, but goes over their heads, we are asked to email or tweet the explanations in to them, occasionally a fair point, but have researchers ceased to exist? The values of inform and educate are slipping way behind in favour of entertain. Please could they whisper some answers into their ears then?
    Mortgage Free Oct 2018 :j
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  • timbo58timbo58 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    I am wondering if the presenters KNOW the answers but are deliberately dumbing it down for the audience perhaps?

    Just like Saturday night TV, reduced to the lowest denominator.
    Unless specifically stated all posts by me are my own considered opinion.
    If you don't like my opinion feel free to respond with your own.
  • Not really newsworthy, lots of people struggle with it. Even Harry Redknapp left it all to his dog.
    “In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.” - Roosevelt
  • I wonder if this goes with people happily saying "I'm useless at maths". For some reason it's embarrassing to admit "I'm hopeless at reading" but not at maths.
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
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    Exactly what I was going to say, Porcupine.
  • AlanRalphAlanRalph Forumite
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    timbo58 wrote: »
    I am wondering if the presenters KNOW the answers but are deliberately dumbing it down for the audience perhaps?

    Just like Saturday night TV, reduced to the lowest denominator.

    I think there is definitely an element of that - it helps make the audience feel that the presenters are in the same position as they are, thus more relatable. Of course, that's probably not true for those presenters who are pocketing a lot of money for all the work that they do, but there you go.
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