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Thread: News not always giving the full picture?

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    News not always giving the full picture?

    Just been reminded of a news story about 4 youths that died in a car accident a few days ago in Birmingham. The news (BBC i think it was) reported it as a serious car accident that left 4 youths dead, initially i was obviously shocked by it and dug a little deeper. It didn't take long to find out that it was late Saturday night, the car was uninsured, in a 30mph housing estate and the fact the car had managed to collide with a wall with enough force to kill all 4 instantly.

    I then found myself being a bit annoyed in the way they were being praised as good lads, good boys who never did anything wrong to anyone with the story ending with it being called a tragic accident. Now i know how harsh & unsympathetic i sound here but why should guys acting like complete tools in a car be allowed such an easy ride after an accident that could (and probably should) have been far far worse?

    Doesn't tell you all the details but it gives you an idea of it;
    http://www.birminghammail.net/news/b...7319-25169888/


    Similar one over Gordon Brown, now im not exactly his biggest supporter but him being thrown to the dogs over miss-spelling the name of one of the latest killed in Iraq seems a tad strong to me. The news treated it as if he had commited a war crime and whilst not exactly the best thing to do the poor bugger made an honest mistake which he quickly tried to rectify by calling them up to apologise. My gripe is the fact that the news papers didn't tell us about the fact he is dyslexic on top of the fact he has one eye and terrible hand writing! He spelt the name James, when it was in fact Janes, which coming from someone with terrible hand writing myself doesn't seem that much of a cock up!

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage...don-Brown.html

    (admittedly not the most ubiased paper, but the point still stands)

    edit; BBC reporting of it http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8349757.stm
    Last edited by Andeh13; 21-11-2009 at 07:37 PM.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    (admittedly not the most ubiased paper, but the point still stands)
    Their point doesn't stand so well when they're the ones pumping the mother with money.

    The bloke's job is to run the country (whether he's doing it or not is up for debate of course), not to pour sympathy over someone who seems to be using her son's death to cream as much of money out of the media as possible - said newspaper in particular.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    I've noticed that the news has really been dumbed down over the years, the delivery now tends to be aimed at the same audience that the Newsround presenters use..
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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    I then found myself being a bit annoyed in the way they were being praised as good lads, good boys who never did anything wrong to anyone with the story ending with it being called a tragic accident. Now i know how harsh & unsympathetic i sound here but why should guys acting like complete tools in a car be allowed such an easy ride after an accident that could (and probably should) have been far far worse?
    Because only one of them was driving like a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish? I like to think I'm a decent person, but as a younger man I was once in the back of Metro with a drunk driver performing handbrake turns on the way back from a club. Had he guided the car into a wall at high speed, would that have meant that I should have been remembered as a worthless young yobbo?

    And, since you're complaining about the news coverage- TBH, most of us don't need it explained to us that an accident where a car hits a wall, in a 30 zone, hard enough to kill everyone on board was caused by dangerous driving. It's bleeding obvious. Rather than complaining about the quality of the reporting, perhaps you should be complaining about the quality of your own brain?

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    News reporting is *always* biased, always has been and always will be because what gets reported is the opinion of the person writing the piece in the first place!

    In the first article you mentioned, chances are they didn't want to offend the parents of the children killed, and thus made them out to be "good boys", when in fact they were killed doing something stupid and reckless.

    Given that they were all killed instantly, chances are high they were speeding and weren't wearing seatbelts. Fact they're dead was their own stupid fault and it's lucky no one else was killed. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean anything about their character, could have been one stupid mistake, could have been the last in a long line of stupid mistakes.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave View Post
    Because only one of them was driving like a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish? I like to think I'm a decent person, but as a younger man I was once in the back of Metro with a drunk driver performing handbrake turns on the way back from a club. Had he guided the car into a wall at high speed, would that have meant that I should have been remembered as a worthless young yobbo?

    And, since you're complaining about the news coverage- TBH, most of us don't need it explained to us that an accident where a car hits a wall, in a 30 zone, hard enough to kill everyone on board was caused by dangerous driving. It's bleeding obvious. Rather than complaining about the quality of the reporting, perhaps you should be complaining about the quality of your own brain?
    I'd be complaining about the quality of my brain if i got into a car with someone who was that drunk.

    To be fair the article doesn't say it was a 30 zone, just that it collided with a garden wall. That could be any country road where the speed limit is above 50. It could have been a dual carriageway - again, 40-50 limit. I'd be leaning towards the latter as it was in Birmingham having just read the article on its own.

    What comes out once again is that it takes someone to die for them to be highly praised.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    .... My gripe is the fact that the news papers didn't tell us about the fact he is dyslexic on top of the fact he has one eye and terrible hand writing! He spelt the name James, when it was in fact Janes, which coming from someone with terrible hand writing myself doesn't seem that much of a cock up! ....
    Erm .... since when has his dyslexia been a fact? I know it's certainly been alleged to be the case, and that various people have asserted his letters are consistent with it. But when was it confirmed? And, of course, it was more than just that one misspelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    .... who seems to be using her son's death to cream as much of money out of the media as possible - said newspaper in particular.
    And on a similar note - the evidence for that accusation is ....?

    The Sun have stated, clearly and explicitly, that they have not paid her a single penny over this. They've said she hasn't asked, they haven't offered and no money has changed hands. As a confirmed cynic, I certainly don't take everything any paper, let alone the Sun, says as necessarily true, but given the political sensitivity of this controversy, I rather doubt they'd have been that explicit if it weren't the case, because if it subsequently came out that they had, they'd look very bad indeed. All they had to do was give the usual deliberately uninformative half-statement, and they couldn't have been called on it.

    Moreover, Jacqui Janes is a grieving mother that has lost her son. Accusing her of profiteering from it unless there's hard evidence is disgraceful, and as far as I know, there isn't.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    As for whether the news always gives you the full picture, well, no. It often can't, really.

    One problem will be word count. It's not easy trying to fit all the necessary information into a restricted word count, and you often end up trying to decide what to include and what to omit while still giving a clear and thorough account. It is often not easy, and that's even assuming you are trying to be unbiased.

    I'm sure some news reporting in intentionally biased, and that the publication or journalist have a viewpoint. A good one will do their level best to suppress personal opinion and to present both sides of a story ... assuming there's more than one side. In situations like the car crash, there would be other considerations - for a start, legal ones. Any journalist always has to keep one eye on the legal implications of what they say, because if you go too far, it can get seriously expensive. It can also get you fired if you keep the legal department too busy.

    And on top of that, stories evolve and facts emerge. The earlier a story is written, often, the fewer the hard facts there will be. Yet, the public have a voracious appetite for news and we're now living in a 24/7 world when the public have come to expect to find out about a lot of things about 15 seconds after they happened, at worst, at preferably, want real-time video of it happening.

    There have been some high profile casualties of this - such as Sir Ian Blair who, among other things, apparently reported some things that had been given to him as facts and which subsequently turned out to be ... erm .... less than accurate. And I have some sympathy with him. On the one hand, he's pressured by the press to tell all, and then castigated when it turns out to have been wrong, But had he hedged and ducked and avoided, he'd have been moaned at for being secretive and 'suppressing the truth'. He was rather damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    So one way of writing a story is to litter it with caveats ..... like "it is believed that..." or "alleged that", or "witnesses reported that ...." and so on. But if you do that, it looks like what it is ... little more than speculation and tittle-tattle.

    So if we, the public, want news more-or-less as it happens, we'll have to accept that it will at the very least be somewhat sanitised, and that it may well change over time as actual facts emerge.

    So treat news as what it is .... usually (though not always) people trying to present what they can, what information they can get hold of, often in trying circumstances (or outright dangerous ones) and often with limited official comment and some very guarded statements ... and after Ian Blair's troubles for saying too much too soon, it'll be more guarded now than it used to be.

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    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Moreover, Jacqui Janes is a grieving mother that has lost her son. Accusing her of profiteering from it unless there's hard evidence is disgraceful, and as far as I know, there isn't.
    Yep, that's fair enough. I retract what I said.

    I can't blame the beer as such of course, but it does somewhat lead you to exaggerate any negative views you have at any given time - perhaps I should have deflected them towards the Sun for appearing to use her grieving in their political agenda instead.

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave View Post
    Because only one of them was driving like a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish? I like to think I'm a decent person, but as a younger man I was once in the back of Metro with a drunk driver performing handbrake turns on the way back from a club. Had he guided the car into a wall at high speed, would that have meant that I should have been remembered as a worthless young yobbo?

    And, since you're complaining about the news coverage- TBH, most of us don't need it explained to us that an accident where a car hits a wall, in a 30 zone, hard enough to kill everyone on board was caused by dangerous driving. It's bleeding obvious. Rather than complaining about the quality of the reporting, perhaps you should be complaining about the quality of your own brain?
    It may take only one of them to drive like a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish, but how many does it take to say ''take it easy there mate''? Sitting back quietly and just letting the driver go on like that isn't the sign of a good lad, or at least the way half of them were being praised as. As for needing my head checking, as has already been stated, you sat back & let your drunk mate drive like that through a town/city (as where most clubs are located)? Having been in a situation like that and told the driver to give it a rest (he wasn't drunk either) i know it isn't rocket science to realise when a good laugh could very quickly turn into a messy situation.

    As for the road not being stated in the news, a quick scan on google earth shows it as a 30mph road running through a residential area.

    Finally, I stand corrected on Gordan Brown being dyslexic, i heard them talking about it on the breakfast news & didn't catch the conclusion of it. I still don't think he deserved the flak he received over it though, he made a mistake, he tried to rectify it and he was still hung out to dry over it.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiternoise View Post
    I'd be complaining about the quality of my brain if i got into a car with someone who was that drunk.
    I was very drunk too, obviously. And yes, the quality of my thinking is often impaired when I'm very drunk, as a sampling of my late night posts on here will attest. And yet, although I'm no saint, I am in general a useful member of society. I've had a full time job for 9 1/2 of the last 10 years; my current one is often difficult and stressful and yet I do it in such a way that I'm generally respected by the drivers I work with, and the managers I work for, and I'm friends with some of them. I'll always go out of my way to help a friend or relative- I only get one weekend in four off in its entirity, yet I've given up several of them in the last few months to help my brother, and my best friend, move house. I once intervened to help a total stranger whose bike had been stolen, getting slightly hurt in the process. I give £25 a month to charity, and a further £10 to an organisation who IMO have all our interests at heart (No2ID). So obviously I'm not Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela (etc.), but I'm not completely selfish.

    And yet, according (apparently) to you and Andehh, if I were to die in a foolish, avoidable accident caused by someone else, it would be wrong to pay any sort of tribute to me. I'll be dead anyway, so I won't care, and I live the way I do not because I want to be glorified after my death, but because I want to feel reasonably happy in myself. But it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that people might miss me when I'm dead, and might want to give words to their feelings of loss by paying some sort of tribute to those aspects of my life and personality they approved of- as they have in the case of these dead lads from Birmingham.

    What comes out once again is that it takes someone to die for them to be highly praised.
    One of the lads was apparently a talented amateur boxer, possibly a prospect for the Olympics. Very few people get good at a sport by being lazy and feckless. Amir Khan came from (as far as I can tell) a similar background to these boys, and he's been highly praised. So what's your point again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    It may take only one of them to drive like a rubbishrubbishrubbishrubbish, but how many does it take to say ''take it easy there mate''? Sitting back quietly and just letting the driver go on like that isn't the sign of a good lad,
    Right, so you know what went on in the car do you? How do you know that they weren't saying just that? What were they supposed to do if the driver didn't comply, reach over and yank on the handbrake? Not like that could cause an accident in itself.

    As for needing my head checking, as has already been stated, you sat back & let your drunk mate drive like that through a town/city (as where most clubs are located)? Having been in a situation like that and told the driver to give it a rest (he wasn't drunk either) i know it isn't rocket science to realise when a good laugh could very quickly turn into a messy situation.
    There was no suggestion when I got in the back of the car that the journey home would be more sideways than straight ahead. And once I was back there I had little choice in the matter. I can't remember whether I complained or not- I was very drunk.

    Finally, I stand corrected on Gordan Brown being dyslexic, i heard them talking about it on the breakfast news & didn't catch the conclusion of it. I still don't think he deserved the flak he received over it though, he made a mistake, he tried to rectify it and he was still hung out to dry over it.
    Actually I quite agree with you on this- I'm obviously no fan of Gordon Brown but I do think that he has a strong sense of moral rectitude and public duty; he has just, for whatever reason, applied it in a way that has been disastrous for the country.

    But I didn't know, until the Sun story broke, that he wrote to the family of every British soldier killed, and I respect him a little bit more for it.

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    Senior Member manwithnoname's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Later this week the Sun will be running a campaign against newspapers that make shameful spelling mistake.

    The first is one of the publications of the News Group Newspapers Ltd:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009...elling-soldier

    I must admit I read stories like the car crash in Birmingham and normally think two things, it's best not to draw conclusion about what happened read the police (or court) report about incident, also it might be best not to publish tributes.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    The media reflects the political views of the people in charge of them and the reporters they employ. How can you expect any media to be unbiased in any country?? In many cases privately owned media companies are no better than the state owned media outlets in many countries!!

    They are just two sides of the same coin.


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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The media reflects the political views of the people in charge of them and the reporters they employ. How can you expect any media to be unbiased in any country?? In many cases privately owned media companies are no better than the state owned media outlets in many countries!!

    They are just two sides of the same coin.
    Actually, I wouldn't entirely agree with that. Newspapers tend to reflect the views of their target readership, which reflects the view of the owner that the object of the exercise is profit. In my opinion, this is at least true up to point. So I ask you, do people read a newspaper because they like the political stance of that rag, or does a newspaper have a political stance because that tends to be the stance of it's readers? After all, if you try to change people's political views in a newspaper, all you're likely to achieve is to change your readership numbers .... downwards.

    In my opinion, the Sun doesn't have a political stance .... other than to back what it sees as winners.

    One thing we all ought to always keep in mind in relation to any commercial media outlet is their religion - worshipping the Holy Profit.

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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Actually, I wouldn't entirely agree with that. Newspapers tend to reflect the views of their target readership, which reflects the view of the owner that the object of the exercise is profit. In my opinion, this is at least true up to point. So I ask you, do people read a newspaper because they like the political stance of that rag, or does a newspaper have a political stance because that tends to be the stance of it's readers? After all, if you try to change people's political views in a newspaper, all you're likely to achieve is to change your readership numbers .... downwards.

    In my opinion, the Sun doesn't have a political stance .... other than to back what it sees as winners.

    One thing we all ought to always keep in mind in relation to any commercial media outlet is their religion - worshipping the Holy Profit.
    I stand by what I said. Look at the reporting of various conflicts around the world and the bias is definitely more to do with the own views of the reporters and the chaps they answer to at the top.
    Many people know nothing about these conflicts apart from the lop sided reporting of these chaps and it influences peoples whole perception of different cultures.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 25-11-2009 at 08:50 PM.


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    Re: News not always giving the full picture?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I stand by what I said. Look at the reporting of various conflicts around the world and the bias is definitely more to do with the own views of the reporters and the chaps they answer to at the top.
    Many people no nothing about these conflicts apart from the lop sided reporting of many news companies with their double standards.
    how could you tell that its the reporters own view rather than saying what they, or the people at the top - think the reader wants to hear?
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