View Full Version : Annoyances when the media gets it wrong...

Ray Darr
28th Apr 2004, 23:01
Not ALL reporters are bad. But those that are bad really wreck it for the good ones.

A couple of days ago at the swearing-in of the re-elected President of South Africa (at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the end of Apartheid) an over-enthusiastic CNN lass did NOT have her facts together that day.

During a fly-past of three SAA aircraft, she declares (obviously not knowing just how clueless she really is): "I think that's a...ah...a SEVEN TWENTY SEVEN...."

4 engined 727's.....yes she was calling the facts as she knew them....

Get the facts or switch your darn microphone OFF! PLEASE.

...end of rant.

29th Apr 2004, 01:13
AC-130 Helicopter gunships were used in Iraq yesterday, said CNN.

'Cept there were four (smallish) rotors, and they were mounted vertically....

29th Apr 2004, 07:41
Just remember how much these morons get paid for getting it wrong!:ugh:
Its not just them.....what about their researchers, editor, producer and director. A lot of kicking is required for the one gaff.

29th Apr 2004, 08:14
Let me assure you IB4138, that if its a live news report, the Director, Editor, Producer and the Canteen Cat can't stop a reporter getting it wrong!

I know, cos' I is one of the above!:uhoh:

a is dum
29th Apr 2004, 08:16
The Canteen Cat then?

29th Apr 2004, 08:18
a is dum,

[email protected]@er, how did you guess??:confused:

29th Apr 2004, 08:55

So how do you excuse them when it's not a live broadcast? Who selected someone who does not know background basics to do a live broadcast? No research, just got out of bed.

If you watch BBC London, the programmes are so poor as are a majority of the reporters, that I have christened it "Amateur half hour".

If I presented like that on local radio I would expect to be shot!

Send Clowns
29th Apr 2004, 09:54
Remember the debacle of the Queen's Jubilee fly-past in London, 2002? The over-paid Dimbleby (which one?) hadn't a scooby what was flying, and just sounded a complete fool?

29th Apr 2004, 10:10
Yes, it reminds me of the Iraq war reporting where the terms F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-14 were routinely interchangeable regardless of which type actually was involved.

There is this tendency among reporters to get a fixed idea in their heads about something; having had to deal with one over a sensitive issue in the past I found myself having to repeat things several times until the reporter finally grasped that what I was saying was not what she thought to be the case. She then went live with her original version of events regardless, and seemed genuinely surprised when I chewed her out for it afterwards.

It's all the producer/director's fault - after all they have the feed into the reporter's ear at all times and tend to feed them total garbage.

This is Peter Hanraha-hanrahan, outside a village somewhere in Iraq.

29th Apr 2004, 10:43

The short answer to your question is.....I can't. Like you and having an air force background, I cringe at some of the news reports I see and hear, which I know are palpably inaccurate.

I was just pointing out, that a live broadcast is in the lap of the Gods and the reporter.

29th Apr 2004, 10:51
BBC Radio 4 news yesterday morning had the AC130 Helicopter Gunships in the lead story.

It's scary that it will be the media who decide the next general election and the EU referendum.


29th Apr 2004, 12:27
AC-130? is that anything like the C-17 'Hercules' which took part in last years Lord Mayors show in London :rolleyes:

29th Apr 2004, 12:45
Why is it that the female presenters on the BBC London News are Orange? I don't think it's my TV as they are still orange on the set in work. They look as if they have been spray painted by easyjet!

29th Apr 2004, 13:00
Obviously their make up artists are also over paid amateurs!

...and the make-up came off a stall on Shepherds Bush market.

29th Apr 2004, 14:37
Well technically the 727 is a four engine airplane.

The APU you know.

Ok, I’ll go away now.

29th Apr 2004, 15:05
The one that throws me in hysterics is when they make the assumption about air crew flight hour=duty hour then proceed on explaining how you work "only" 70 hours per month :*

29th Apr 2004, 16:00
You know, sometimes I feel sorry for these journalists. They have to report on something they know nothing about, usually without having any time to read up before hand. And they are expected to be reasonably accurate.

OK, this does not excuse the original example: there would have been a press pack available in advance which would presumably have noted the aircraft types.

What really gets my goat is deliberate inaccuracy - political manipulation of news. Current example: the majority of UK newspapers and Europe. CNN's reporting from Russia for many years was a scandal.

No, I'm not a journo. I have dealt with them sometimes and so far I haven't had any problems (fingers crossed).

29th Apr 2004, 16:48
Daily Mirror today: 'A mutinous sailor...yada yada yada, refused to sail on the nuclear submarine beacuse it was too dangerous.'

It wasn't a mutiny beacuse the order hadn't been given to sail. If there had been a mutiny he wouldn't be blabbing to the paper either, he'd be getting court martialled.

The tabloids (and many other papers) are nonce-sence, and the people who read them are just as stupid as the journalists. What can you expect from people who went to university to get degrees in creative writing aka 'Journalism'?

Kalium Chloride
29th Apr 2004, 17:52
You know, sometimes I feel sorry for these journalists. They have to report on something they know nothing about, usually without having any time to read up before hand. And they are expected to be reasonably accurate.

Well...and I speak as one of the media...I don't think that there's an excuse for getting it wrong.

Fair enough if you're talking about a fluid situation where initial "facts" are liable to change (it's a fascinating exercise to go back through the live commentary from September 11 to see who was really on the ball).

But if you don't know what you're talking about (such as aircraft identification) then don't try to wing it - you'll be crucified by the readers/viewers.

Like the opening post said - the bad reporters manage to bury the reputations of the hard-working media-types who are actually fussy enough to want to get it right.

29th Apr 2004, 19:28
so i take it that the majority of prooners would be happy to go on air with a producer screaming down your earpiece to talk about varoius different types of pressure pumps?

Lets face it most people outside of our industry wouldnt know the difference between aircraft; to us its fairly obvious, but looking in textbooks about, say, gearboxes, i cant tell the difference between one and the other-a trained mechanic on the other hand would (at least i hope)

there are some deliberate "Creative writing exercises" - just look at newspaper accounts of Go-Arounds for example. but for little things like aircraft recognition, on the spot, when you have very little experience (a couple of hours reading through notes the night before) it is tricky.

this matty bell, at a computer, somewhere in the Edward Boyle Library

29th Apr 2004, 19:50
All this reminds me of an incident (which has been shown on one of the screw-up programmes), which happened to a very respected ITN reporter on "News at Ten". Stood in front of the Houses of Parliament in torrential (and I mean TORRENTIAL) downpour.

Finishes what he thinks is his piece to camera....."this is Joe Bloggs for ITN, at the Houses of Parliament" and then thinking he's off-air, goes on...."wife, two children, bloody mortgage, soaking bloody wet, and [email protected]@ed off, ...terribly, terribly, [email protected]@ed off". Unfortunately, the feed was still live and it was broadcast to the entire nation. Kept his job, though. Laugh myself stupid every time I see it.:p :p

29th Apr 2004, 22:30
Yet another aviation/reporter true story. I know its true, because I was there.

Sent with crew and reporter to a local airfield near Bristol, to record a short item on the imminent demise of said airfield. Last shot of the day. Camera lined up alongside runway with reporter facing camera. We decided to ask a pilot to fly his Tiger Moth low over the reporter and camera as reporter signs off. We rehearse a couple of times to get the timing right, so that the reporter’s last words happen at exactly the time that the aircraft is about 50 feet behind him. Pilot is briefed to come in straight and low and miss reporter and camera by “about 10 feet” (but we omit to tell the reporter).

Camera turns and reporter starts his blurb.

As the Moth gets closer, I’m thinking that this will be a great shot, because from the camera view point, it looks as though the Moth is coming in at about 6 feet. Three hundred yards from reporter (who is facing away from the Moth), sound recordist looks at me questioningly. I smile and shrug my shoulders nonchalantly. Cameraman and reporter continue. At two hundred yards, I begin to get an uneasy feeling and surreptitiously begin sidestepping away from the line of flight. Reporter finishes his bit to camera about one second before Moth’s wingtip hits him squarely on back of head. Instantly, reporter performs a somersault three feet off ground accompanied by dull thud from the impact. Cameraman, realises a split second earlier, that things are not going totally to plan and falls over backwards, leaving camera running. Silence, apart from receding engine noise of Moth. Then all hell broke loose! Cameraman, sound recordist (who has gone completely deaf), production assistant and I rush over to reporter, expecting the worst. As we get to him, he sits up and looks dazedly at us. “What the fu*k happened?” he asked, rubbing his head. We were so surprised to see that his head was still attached to the rest of him, that we were all speechless.

The amazing thing was, that he didn’t even sustain a bruised head and was working the next day. Frightened the sh*t out of me, though!! And the final insult? News Editor decided it was too gruesome to use!! But years later, it was shown on “It’ll Be Alright on the Night”.
:uhoh: :uhoh: :uhoh:

Send Clowns
29th Apr 2004, 22:44

There are two options: for a piece at short notice, or for a busy reporter for a small organisation, don't guess. Those as don't know don't try to say.

For a piece by an over-paid mouthpiece like Dimbleby, when he knew months beforehand he was going to commentate on the event, either (i) learn what each aircraft looks like and is called, plus any other detail that he may wish (such as role) leaving out any guesswork or (ii) if he can't recognise them learn the order by rote and name each type in turn. The man gets paid enough, I have to learn a lot more esoteric garbage than this for a lot less pay.

30th Apr 2004, 04:02
This has always been one of my favorite rants. It is unfortunate for those journos out there that do make the utmost to get their facts straight, but the proportion that will print any sensationalist old crap in an attempt to sell a story. And what makes matters worse is when a neighbour or friend of mine says "Oh, I read this in the paper the other day/heard this on the news about something that happened at Heathrow" and proceeds to recount a totally warped version of events.

I know there are you guys out there that do their utmost to get it right...............can't you do a story on those who get it totally wrong?

30th Apr 2004, 08:03
Heck Jerricho know what you mean!

I get this every week - the gory details of the latest episode of "Airline" as spewed back to you by the neighbours/acquaintances........

When are LWT going to decommission this garbage? It's [email protected] I doubt very much that all publicity is good publicity.... when people i meet find out I work for the Orange brigade they invariably say "oh, your always late" or "why are you so horrible to your passengers" based solely on the programme.

And the irony is half the people featured in it either don't work for EasyJet (Servisair/Aviance etc) or left the company ages ago.

Kalium Chloride
30th Apr 2004, 09:07
...this is Joe Bloggs for ITN

Just to put a name to the face, the drowned rat was ITN's Colin Baker who - I think - still reports for them today, no?

30th Apr 2004, 10:38

You're absolutely right, Colin Baker was the drowned rat in question. I just couldn't remember his name at the time I wrote the post. As you said, he still works for ITN.

30th Apr 2004, 11:31
Getting simple facts wrong in any report just makes me question the whole story.

What really gets me is when they report the facts in such a way as to totally misrepresent the truth. There is one example from a few years ago which got me so mad I telephoned Julian Clegg, the producer, and had a right go at him.

I live in the BBC Solent area but can't stand listening to their self satisfied, inane chatter. I do, however, listen to their RDS traffic reports (on the rare occasions when they work). A few years ago, at the end of one of these reports I heard a news headline which referred to "the new owner of Bournemouth Flying Club tightening up the rules following a fatal accident".

Having been a member of that club (I left shortly after the new owner arrived) I had to listen to the awful programme until this item came on.

Yes, the new owners had changed the rules when they took over because, as a nationally operating company, they had their own rules. Why shouldn't they?

Had there been a fatal accident at the club? No!! Yes, there had been a fatality when a student pilot followed his first solo by immediately taking off again and deliberately crashing into the sea. (Conclusion of coroner's court and AAIB)

The implication of the news report, which did not mention the suicide, was that the BFC rules had contributed to a fatal accident and therefore needed "tightening up" giving a poor impression of GA flying in the area.

This is a small example of the type of news creation at which the BBC is so good and has been criticised for in recent months following the Hutton report.

30th Apr 2004, 15:44
The developed world at large is getting as serious an overdose of information, generaly sensational, gory and bad/good, as we are getting obese on the overabundance of calories. Far too much rubbish gets pumped out daily. In my humble opinion we could have done with a much larger section of the reporters covering the recent ME conflict being 'imbedded' with the Iraqi Special Guard Units that did such sterling service absorbing US munition reserves. Just think of the interesting, albeit brief, reports we would have had on the shock and awe of being on the receiving end of a HARM or a JDAM

Send Clowns
30th Apr 2004, 15:54
Well I just did half an hour's work as an extra (the booked people did not turn up, and I happened to be near, and available due to poor weather). The documentary, I think in a series "Mayday" to be shown in the US and on Channel 5, was about the Captain almost leaving the BAC-111 in flight through the windscreen. I played the part of the AAIB psychologist sitting in on the interview of the engineer who fitted the windscreen that popped out, if you happen to catch the episode.

Anyway, the relevance is that I was impressed by the care these people took to get the facts right in the interview. Even though the critical fact is that the wrong bolts were fitted, the fact that the correct bolt was an 8D being rather a small point, they looked up the correct bolt. They knew that the bolts wrongly fitted to the previous screen were 7Ds. The actor playing the interviewer had notes about what the original interviewer knew and wanted to ask. They really did try to make the conversation as close as possible to what might have happened.

Quite impressed.

30th Apr 2004, 20:03
Another Major cock up last night, from the makers of the new "if you can renovate this Spanish Ruin, you can keep it prog"!

The property was said to be in Andalucia.

Then there was snow on the ground.

Next clew the contestants were flying to .. err....Alicante?..not Malaga.

Eventually the place were this property was is said to be Velez Blanco.

Got out the map.

Nowhere near Andalucia.

Actually in Almaria, on border with Murcia.

All contestants should shout "FOUL" and claim off the TV company for being misled!

Shack the production team and check their expenses. Anything in Marbella or Porto Banus is taking the P!:suspect: