View Full Version : Would you represent "us' on the news?

29th Dec 2014, 17:34
So we all know how we feel about news reporters and anchors, their ability to be inaccurate, sensationalist and, something that is getting my goat more recently, is the way they talk with long pauses and unnecessary emphasis on multiple words in one long sentence that does not actually mean anything and then ending the sentence with the name of the person they're talking to, John.

How comfortable would you be to represent the flying world on the telly with your news anchor grilling you with such questions like;
"So all commercial pilots undergo rigorous training for events like these?"
"So <pause> there was no <pause> mass panic when the captain updated the arrival time by 20 mins?"

In today's interview on Sky News about the Virgin gears (sic) issue, the news anchor was interviewing passengers and then eventually a "Commercial pilot" was clearly looking to over sensationalize the story so much so that I turned off the box and talked to the wife!

I know I would get pretty sarcastic which could end up in mass hysteria not to mention delivering a punch in the face to every reporter and news anchor in sight. While it is an opportunity to set things right and clear about our world I just KNOW that the reporters will only take from the interview what they need to make a story.

Today starts a ban in my house for them news programs - I'll look to JetBlast and R&N for my daily news update. :)

29th Dec 2014, 17:39
It is a game you can't win. If you stay factual, to the point and only comment on what is known you will not be invited back.

29th Dec 2014, 17:47
I did represent "us" once on a local TV station on the subject of ‘near misses’.

But I was not flamboyant enough, just stated the obvious facts without any dramatics and ended up on the cutting room floor. I was replaced by some guy that claimed to have a private license who was an attorney that made it look like that anyone that got onto an airliner was lucky to live through the experience..

When the TV station called me again, I told them, “Thanks but no thanks.”

29th Dec 2014, 17:57
Takes a VERY deep (dramatic) breath :)

ConPilot - it shows that KBPsen is correct - facts don't make news.

It is amazing how the reporters can be like a dog with a bone with politicians on some irrelevant issues that don't really make a difference to their job, sometimes to the point where they resign or lose their jobs. Don't get me wrong, I am not a politician and never aim to be, not a fan of them either, but reporters often focusing on something insignificant to the politicians job is a waste of time and effort. I would rather they focus on the OUTCOMES of their role rather than who he got his end away with.

I mention all that because they think they are holding people to account, but they are not held to account temselves. Bad reporting should result instant dismissal and a permanent ban from publishing any work in the future (anywhere).

Ooh, I must have a bee in my bonet today!!

29th Dec 2014, 18:04
I mention all that because they think they are holding people to account, but they are not held to account temselves. Bad reporting should result instant dismissal and a permanent ban from publishing any work in the future (anywhere).

My God man, if we held them to those standards, there would be no news.

Oh wait.......:E

29th Dec 2014, 18:24
On non-aviation incidents such as domestic arrests, they usually manage to find non-witnesses ("I didn't see anything") to comment on how uncharacteristic it is for the street or how it is unusual behaviour for the family that are quiet people.

In other words, the media create the 'news' out of non-events.

29th Dec 2014, 18:30
In other words, the media create the 'news' out of non-events.

Here it is called 'Man bites dog." stories, goes along with "You never read about a plane that did not crash" stories.

29th Dec 2014, 19:33
I'll look to JetBlast and R&N for my daily news update.
excellent idea. Someone should start the thread (Daily news) and everyone could contribute (on what's been of relevance, in their mind). Seriously, I mean it. Plus, we'd get it all over the world!

29th Dec 2014, 19:42
BBC News - Have you got a good story? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10725415)

29th Dec 2014, 20:08
I've been using Jet Blast as my primary news source for the last 2 years, with the 'Dawn Patrol' news on the radio as secondary (nobody bullsh!ts at that time in the morning, I've discovered.). I've missed nothing important.

29th Dec 2014, 20:48
Hubs had the news on this morning and the "genius" interviewing the "aviation expert" asked him if he had to guess, what did he think happened the Asia Air a/c? Expert banged on for a bit with several "theories" to which the interviewer ended the piece with "so we really don't know what happened then." No sh!t Sherlock. Another five minutes of my life I'll never get back :hmm:

29th Dec 2014, 21:26
I've been using Jet Blast as my primary news source for the last 2 years

I suppose it's cheaper than paying to subscribe to the Daily Mail in order to read Richard Littlejohn's column. Much the same effect though. ;)

29th Dec 2014, 21:48
Not always a waste of time, though. Couple of months ago I was interviewed about the theft of our defibrillator from a high street location, and (admittedly local) BBC turned 5 minutes of my wittering into a 30 second story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Didn't get the machine back, but 'twas a good representation of the facts.

29th Dec 2014, 21:53
I was interviewed about the theft of our defibrillator

Now that was a really shocking crime!

Two's in
29th Dec 2014, 22:14
I suppose it's cheaper than paying to subscribe to the Daily Mail in order to read Richard Littlejohn's column. Much the same effect though.

I disagree. With Jetblast there's only a 50:50 chance you may be reading the spit-flecking ranting of a mental pygmy with an axe to grind. It's a racing certainty with the Daily Mail.

30th Dec 2014, 05:52
It worries me that whenever I read a news article about an event, person, or place that I know, they get so much of it wrong that I often wonder if they are describing the same thing.

30th Dec 2014, 06:23
Within the last couple of days a Cherokee suffered an engine failure on take-off from a small, grass, airfield on the West Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

The national paper recorded that - quote:~ The Hero pilot carefully avoided holidaymakers swimming off the beach, to land in the water.

Doubtless he avoided a few school playgrounds and shopping malls as well, but that wasn't mentioned ( Cynic ? Moi ? )

What caught my eye, and infuritated me, was the continued report that -quote:~ An experienced pilot said that Raglan was a tricky airport.

First of all I've landed at Raglan and whilst it is a little different in some respects it certainly isn't "tricky", and if "an experienced pilot" considers it so, then maybe one should question his ability to fly anything, anywhere, but that's not my point ....... just what the fcuk has a "tricky" airport, even if it is, got to do with an engine failure after take off ?:ugh:

( three pob, all evacuated, one in hospital )

The next day another little aircraft also suffered an engine failure taking off from a similar beachside airfield on the East Coast, this time the Press just about got it right, i.e. The pilot carefully landed near those swimming off the beach in shallow water, so the occupants were able to walk ashore. No one hurt. ( except the aircraft, which has lost half of its prop. but was pulled out of the water almost instantaneously)

30th Dec 2014, 06:30
Let me see. I think it works like this.

1. Moderately interesting news event happens. Level of interest in the event depends on personal orientation.

2. News station is onto it. Sends in ground and air crews to cover event.

3. News controller in TV station decides what is "BIG NEWS" and what is "also ran" news.

4. News controller picks out "BIG NEWS" item and tries to round up as much comment by anyone with even a remote level of interest or knowledge in the event.
The ones selected are those within the TV journos "network of contacts". The main criteria is whether these "contacts" are immediately available to discuss the "news event".

5. News journo with barely a clue about the subject at hand (but with important coaching about what constitutes a major increase in viewer numbers), selects a range of questions for the "contact".
These questions range from laughable to straight-out idiotic to utterly useless.

6. The "contact" does his/her best to answer the dumb questions and show a degree of knowledge. Naturally, half the time, the knowledge level of the "contact" is deficient in the particular area he/she is being questioned on.
The "contact" usually struggles to keep the questioning to the pertinent and related areas, as the journo hunts for "explosive" tidbits of information that will bring in thousands more TV viewers.

7. The 15 minute video of the interview is transferred to the TV station, where it is cropped to a "more manageable" 45 seconds of unintelligible interview, that leaves out crucial and highly relevant information, which makes the "contact" look like a complete clown.

8. The news controller sends the interview to air, and ensures that it's interspersed with ads from a major advertising customer of the station.

The result - you are reduced to talking to your wife, instead of watching the news item. What more can one say! :)

Mel Effluent
30th Dec 2014, 06:58
It is very rare that I agree with anything that I read in the Guardian, but I make an exception for this:

News is bad for you ? and giving up reading it will make you happier | Media | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli)

30th Dec 2014, 07:04
onetrack, you left out the first stage:
1. nothing interesting happens, but you'll still have to find something for the money you're paid.
2. News station is onto it. Sends in ground and air crews to cover event. etc. :E

P.S a good link, Mel, thanks.
Especially As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore. Scientists used to think that the dense connections formed among the 100 billion neurons inside our skulls were largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. Today we know that this is not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus.
and it could be true thatMost news consumers – even if they used to be avid book readers – have lost the ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages they get tired, their concentration vanishes, they become restless. It's not because they got older or their schedules became more onerous. It's because the physical structure of their brains has changed.
there certainly are problems with concentration and functional reading.

30th Dec 2014, 08:10
..and comprehension.

Effluent Man
30th Dec 2014, 08:23
Good morning Mel, are we by any chance related? My gripe is Fiona Bruce with her over emphasis on about every fifth word. It drives me crackers.

30th Dec 2014, 08:38
Speaking from 15 years experience in said vile occupation (before I saw the light and switched to PR) the major dilemma most journos face is time.
You are literally given a story and expected to file within 30 mins (or less).
And you have some fool of an editor breathing down your neck.
Said editor will also attempt to beat up your story.
I had numerous arguments with people who wanted to bend the facts just slightly, just a fraction, to make it all a bit sexier.
The poor spoon (slang for reporter - as in `spoon fed the story') is actually not the villain here guys.
It's the sub - or the headline writer - who beats it into a frenzy.
That said - there are also some fvcking lazy reporters who just pick up the phone to a tame moron pundit, who knows just enough about aviation to be dangerous...
The other problem at this time of the year is that the rounds specialists on beats like aviation are on holiday.
The general news pool reporters are filling in.
Add to that fact that most journos still have not grasped that we've moved beyond the era of significant design or procedural flaws being a factor in accidents (they're now caused by brain failure, not plane failure!!!) and you have the recipe for the sort of reporting that drives you all up the wall...

30th Dec 2014, 09:22
good to have someone who knows firsthand, tartare! :)
even though, The poor spoon (slang for reporter - as in `spoon fed the story') is actually not the villain here guys.
It's the sub - or the headline writer - who beats it into a frenzy.
- I don't agree. If you don't like it, if you really don't like it, you don't do it after the first time you hated it.
Someone else will? - So what? Bad for them, but at least you didn't do what you hated to do.
One has to have a job, and have I refused something I would have hated to do? I have, actually.

30th Dec 2014, 09:25
I was once invited to contribute to the local "press" following an ATC comms confusion involving BA in Rio. My comments didn't make the cut, probably because it didn't follow the "arrogant Brit" theme running in the local news.

On another occasion I submitted video to the BBC during our bus fare riots last year (they have a section for this below most foreign news pieces). What was shown clearly didn't mesh with the "nasty police beating innocent protesters" policy, so never went on air*.

It does seem to be an international press policy to not let the facts get in the way of a good story. News organizations have their storyline decided long before any facts come to light.


* Yes I know that the local police are quite a bit more "robust" when push comes to shove, so please don't post UN articles showing how many people they shoot every year. I am not defending their actions in other situations, but in this case they initially behaved with commendable restraint. Those professional protesters known as Black Blocs were the instigators of the conflict, not the innocent protesters nor the police.

30th Dec 2014, 13:10
Back in the 1969/1975 period, a very large public building in central London was being built during galloping inflation and materials shortages due to strikes, etc. So completion was delayed, costs soared, and critical articles appeared in the newspapers. The BBC decided to show a documentary programme about the project, and I was asked if I would agree to be interviewed as the Resident Engineer supervising the structural work. So were the Resident Architect and the Clerk of Works.

The Architect and I discussed this, and since both of us could see that this was going to be a "hatchet job", we refused. Both of our employers supported us in this decision, but the poor Clerk of Works was undecided. He felt that this would be the pinnacle of his long career in construction, and was duly filmed in several locations around the huge site, talking at great length about the finer points of the building as he saw it. He told his family and friends to look out for the scheduled broadcasting of the resulting programme, and was mortified when it was eventually aired.

As expected, the theme as transmitted was that no-one concerned with the project knew what they were doing, huge sums of public money were being frittered away, and it was little short of a national scandal. None of the Clerk of Works's contributions appeared at all, they ended up on the apocryphal "cutting room floor". I felt for him, he was a really nice guy who didn't deserve to be so humiliated. His misfortune was that he wasn't as cynical as the pair of us who had "dodged the bullet" ourselves. :(

30th Dec 2014, 21:34
603DX - my personal epiphany r/e journalism came regarding a hatchet job.
Often reporters will get forced into pursuing a hatchet-type angle - the braver ones will persist with their viewpoint.
The groupthink in newsrooms regarding issues can be an incredibly powerful force to contend with.
A story if I may - had returned from London after working on-air for Aunty for five years and wanted to do a TV story on nuclear power and it's suitability for New Zealand. Had read extensively and been converted over the years to the safety, reliability etc.
Tried proposing that to the editor of a long-form current affairs programme at the national broadcaster - and it wouldn't fly.
Essentially the message was "no matter what your supposed facts say, nuclear power is unsafe"
So in the end, we put together a piece questioning this popular narrative for the nightly current affairs programme I worked for.
Hunted down the engineers who had trained in the UK when it was seriously being considered as an option in the late 60s.
It was a fascinating learning experience.
The story wen to air.
Well, fvck me, Greenpeace went nuts, and other colleagues looked askance in horror - you can't say nuclear power is safe!!!"
The whole experience left me disgusted - and moved into Corporate PR.
Having now worked on both sides of the fence - you would be surprised at how often Corporate spin doctors are actually trying to keep journalists honest and make sure they report the facts - and not some beaten up, distorted hatchet job. :)

4th Jan 2015, 10:20
Essentially the message was "no matter what your supposed facts say, nuclear power is unsafe"

It's a funny old world, tartare. Our heir to the throne Prince Charles is on public record for his comment on the appearance of the public building I was referring to:

"It was a cunning way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London, without anyone noticing." :)

4th Jan 2015, 10:47
The major problem is that most people expect others to be reasonably honest and not try to deceive, and journalists, in my experience, are exceedingly deceitful and have no qualms about openly lying to your face if they think they can get a story by doing so.

Twice I've encountered this.

The first was being interviewed on live TV by a certain well-known female journo. Before the interview she'd gone over the questions she would like to to ask, I'd explained that I would be unable to comment on some aspects (because my brief from MOD PR/security was to go "no comment" on some things) but that I would be happy to give as full an answer to her questions as I could within those limits. She went straight into the areas I wasn't permitted to answer, forcing me to go "no comment" from the off, with the obvious intent to skew the interview as if the MOD was unwilling to give any information at all. After the second such question I just ignored her questions and gave all the information I could, much to her annoyance and with several attempts by her to interrupt. As it was live there wasn't much she could do about it.

The second was a recorded item for the TV news following a fatal aircraft accident. The recorded interview went pretty well, and was well-balanced, I thought. The one slightly sticky point was when I was asked a leading question along the lines of "we all know that flying is very dangerous, so wasn't an accident like this to be expected?". My actual answer was that it was far less dangerous that many other every day activities, and that statistically horse riding was one of the most dangerous things one could engage in, by far, followed by motorcycle riding. This got edited out so that it seemed as if I was agreeing that flying was inherently dangerous.

I've since formed a view that it's best to avoid journalists of all flavours and to assume that they all lie and deceive all the time. At least that way you're far less likely to get caught out by their dirty tricks.

4th Jan 2015, 11:16
I'm one of the few that still reads a newspaper on the train in the morning. As far as I can see everyone else is playing with there phones, either games, fb, twitter and sometimes rarely online news.

It looks as if the toll bells are ringing for the news industry with in depth analysis now replaced with recycled superlatives - much like in advertising, in fact it's even been referred to as "advertising the news" news. Part of the problem is the BS of "clicks" translating to "revenue".

Thus I feel sorry for journalists caught up in all this because no matter how great a report is filed back at HQ it will be reduced to "advertising the news" to get the "clicks" to get the "revenue" - what a sad business model.

Fortunately my newspaper appears to want to maintain the relationship with me by continuing to provide a higher level of journalism so I remain happy to subscribe to them. I even once spotted someone else reading the same kind of paper.

So to answer the OP's question, my response would be sorry but we're not clickworthy, goodbye.

Interested Passenger
4th Jan 2015, 11:48
I always enjoy it when the news companies are presented by a big event, but there is nothing to report. A member of the Royal family in hospital for example. It usually ends up with the reporter outside the hospital telling us the worlds media are outside the hospital, all waiting for news....

of course the same thing happens when there is a big transport incident. SOMETHING BIG HAS HAPPENED. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT. INSERT GUESS. MORE LATER.

4th Jan 2015, 12:17
"Would you represent "us' on the news?"

Only if I could purchase an argument.