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The BBC Television's Superficial News Broadcasts

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Based on several days of BBC evening news viewing last week, it is clear that most of the news is both so repetitive and general that even a patient viewer can either lose interest regularly, and/or eventually decide to go elsewhere.

The BBC's daily weather broadcasts are a perfect example.

On comes the immaculately dressed broadcaster, male or female, accompanied by a huge round world globe, towering over and beside them. The announcers talk as the overwhelming globe revolves from one gigantic world area to another. It's complete with irregular weather colors: blue for rain or flooding, clear for sunny and white for cloudy. Meanwhile, floating by in various areas are symbols for tornados and other extraordinary conditions. No details at all!

Within what seems like a minute or more, the globe revolves as the announcer choses to describe North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Near East and the Far East.  As these huge areas of the globe revolve from one area to the other, little white squares identifying several big cities, floating by, pop up with their temperature numbers.  The squares contain pouring rain drops or remain just white for clear or cloudy.

It's impossible for the viewer to accurately absorb most meaningful weather signs within each global view. The broadcasters give such abrupt, generalized and quick weather descriptions that the listeners immediately remember little or nothing. How could they? The entire world with a plethora of weather symbols and areas just roll on by.

So next, some BBC red globe symbols roll on to the news of the day. A new broadcaster appears to introduce himself or herself.

They then quickly summarize all the news stories, as various headlines from other stories roll on underneath, along the bottom of the television's screen. Then, the broadcaster takes on each those stories of the day, often followed by a news reporter he or she introduces to relate more specific information from the area where the news is breaking.

Here we are with those news headlines: Obama in Landmark Malaysia Visit ;Media Divided over Palestinian Unit Deal ; Pro-Russian Forces Detain European military observer mission; South Korea ferry disaster: All navigation crew 'held' One news event melds into the next, and one and on!

In one instance, a woman broadcaster read the headlines and lead paragraphs from a half dozen Palestinian and Israeli newspapers to report on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' extraordinary pact with Hamas that caused Israel to call off peace talks with the Palestinians. The BBC listener had no idea whether this newswoman had sought out and collected her own information for the story that day. Mostly, only the newspaper summaries were read out loud.

Day after day, it seemed, the BBC kept on carrying many of the very same story lines it headlined the day before, even if the developments were not entirely new or startling.

Where were the new story lines on BBC televised news? Where were the very new BBC TV stories of interest, either in the United Kingdom or around the world? Certainly, a look at the BBC Internet shows scores more news stories than this! It seemed none of the major news stories day after day told listeners much in the way of in depth details for any of those news stories the BBC TV broadcast. What happened to good old fashioned in depth or originally thought out news?

(Article changed on April 28, 2014 at 19:58)

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Thomas D. Williams, a freelance writer, worked at The Hartford Courant for almost 40 years before retiring in November 2005 to become an investigative freelancer on Internet news sites. He has written a unique nature book, The Spirits of Birds, (more...)
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