News and Other Stories

24 hour news

by Richard Lutz

A second cup of coffee on this rainy morning and  that means listening to the news rather than the morning bulletins sweeping by me by or waking me up.

Today, it is that model of newsgathering- Radio 4

It  has exemplary coverage, both domestic and international. But today’s hourly bulletins reflect how news is going these days when past present and future have to be covered.

Let’s look at the 8 am  running order.

Queen’s Speech: a diary event that hasn’t happened yet as it is a pageant  to be held this afternoon. But plenty of comment about  stock events that are mulled over in the papers each day- immigration, the elderly, the economics of the UK

Cleveland: a horror story from the States. A city called Cleveland, which even Americans shun, is embroiled in a white slave tale. But it is far far away. American in detail

Fergie: Will the Man U boss quit?  At the time this was posted, this was speculation on a newspaper ‘flyer’, not a news story. Words such as ‘rumoured’ and ‘it is reported’ show it is  weak on facts, based on hearsay though it may ultimately pan out as a real story

Adult social care budget cuts: Yes, a real story with hard facts that could effect millions. Bingo.

John Kerry: Another story that stems from US politics as the Sec of State meets his Russian oppo about Syria to talk about talks

Ship: 3 dead in Genoa harbour. A real news story about something that actually happened.

Menuhin school scandal: Music students abused 30 years ago in Surrey. Weak follow up about a Channel4 exclusive from last night

Sainsburys: More profits for the supermarket chain. A real story

Merchant seaman: the 70th anniversary of the bitter Atlantic convoy wars of WW2. 30,000 died but  something that took place, tragically and bravely, seven decades ago to be kicked off by a St Paul’s gathering. A diary event

Khan still in hospital: The cricket star turned Pakistani politician remains in hospital a day after his accident….so?

Summing up, there are only   3 real stories  out of ten about something that happened : the ship fatalities in Italy, the adult care cuts and the Sainsbury’s profits.

Other stories are about something that are  diary events (Queen’s speech and the Merchant seamen’s anniversary) or second rate follow ups (school scandal and Imran Khan)

Could do better with more stories that effect people’s lives on this rainy day.