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What should journalists say?

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What should journalists say?

Old 25th Mar 2015, 14:09
  #21 (permalink)  

Coppula eam se non posit acceptera jocularum
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Originally Posted by sitigeltfel View Post
I believe it was Pythagoras who said something along the lines of, "Keep silent, unless what you have to say is better than silence."
Gandhi apparently, or words to that effect anyway: Small Talk? It's not big and it's not clever.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 20:01
  #22 (permalink)  
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I guess Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain meant the same thing when he said that: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

After an excellent landing etc...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 21:50
  #23 (permalink)  
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Thank you all for some interesting and cogent replies, and for your remarkable forebearance and restraint in not simply engaging in journo baiting.

@WKW and Meadowrun

I am assured that the typos did not translate into a ‘speako’ and that Cockpit Voice Recorder was the term used. We’re not French, after all!

@Mixture (and treadigraph, and CathayBrat and Sitigeltfel):

“Stick to the facts. If there are no new facts, cover other unrelated stories until such time as new facts emerge.”

Would be excellent advice were this not (however regrettably) a competitive business, in which simply abstaining is not commercially viable to a journalist, saying nothing will merely result in other, less well qualified, and less caring rivals taking on the work.

It’s not down to the journalist, let alone when functioning as a ‘hired (or non-hired, often) expert voice’ to determine what goes into a news bulletin. We respond to what editors and producers ask us for.

In the real world, ‘shutting the flip up’ will simply result in the good well meaning journos who care about accuracy and reputation (and who have the humility to ask the pros or ensure that the pros are asked where they went wrong) starving, and the raving loons getting the work.

Moreover, as a vaguely aviation literate lay person (a pilot but never a pro) I found what was said more interesting, if not necessarily better than silence.

@Fox 3 Where’s my Banana.

“It needed a summary to say that causes remain unknown, and reassurance about the safety of the industry, Airbus and Lufthansa with a few real numbers.”

Great point. There was a sign-off about the safety of the aircraft not being in doubt. Had I been asked to comment I would not have had the facts at hand to be able to provide ‘real numbers’. A sticky with those numbers would be an absolute boon to everyone…. I listened to an MP3 of the interview and was impressed at my colleagues ability to plough on, ignoring attempts to interrupt or deflect. Any more would have been cut off. In retrospect, my colleague felt that the order of what he said was wrong, and that he should have concentrated on hypoxia, referred to the many other potential causes that “we could talk about”, and then leave it to be asked about those.


Good point, but my chum said that he was careful to say that the frog story was something that he was told, and that he stressed only that ‘in some cases’, hypoxia could ‘sneak up on one’ like that.


My dear chap. I didn’t think anyone would notice or care. I missed you, too. (Pressure of work, legal distractions and ill health were to blame). Thank you.


Admirable for Flight and Av Week, but not what the generalist press and broadcast media want, need, or will run. The alternative is screaming headlines and scare stories, I’m afraid.


A great point. Did you feel that this speculation was notably uninformed or poorly thought out?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:22
  #24 (permalink)  
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Good point, but my chum said that he was careful to say that the frog story was something that he was told
Yeah, sorry if I was slightly OTT about that, but one of my kids is a frog scientist, and I'm a part time amateur politician (who are usually the targets of silly boiled-frog analogies), so that one does wind me up a bit.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 00:39
  #25 (permalink)  
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No need to apologise to me - nor I suspect to my colleague. You made a good point well. It's often tempting, but seldom wise, to include colourful metaphors. Your input will, I hope, save me from making the same mistake in the future.
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