Every morning my digital radio wakes me at one minute to sevent to the dulcet tones of James Naughtie, John Humphrys, Sarah Montague, Evan Davis, Justin Webb and Mishal Husain. Or, some combination of those bods. Every morning I am irritated by the stuff they report, they almost always lead with some pre-emptive comment on an imminent report that some organisation is about to publish about some other organisation that it alleges another organisation has or has not done.
Common themes are pronouncements from one side of the political spectrum about the shortcomings of the other, worries about stuff that might happen “if and when”, complaints about things that already have happened about which nobody can do anything now (hindsight is always 20:20) but “lessons will be learned going forward” (as if there were a way to reverse time). You get the picture. They do the news, but this isn’t necessarily real news. Moreover, this whole agenda drives the news on all the other BBC radio and TV channels post-cost-cutting, so if you listen or watch later you will get the same guff again and again.
So, I’ve made a handy Venn diagram for the BBC Radio 4 Today show editors so they can see what real news is and what’s just common, or garden, bitching. I hope they can use it. To be honest, I don’t know why I don’t just set the clock-radio to wake me up to the far more dulcet tones of my good friend, wit, raconteur, presenter, author and pianist Tim Lihoreau (weekdays 6-9am), far less bitching on ClassicFM. I usually torture myself listening to the Radio 4 headlines and switch over anyway. But, I think I’ll start with Tim at one minute to seven, going forward.