Spot The News

Can you spot the news in the following BBC Website clip?



Neither could I. This appears at first reading of the headline to indicate that they’ve found a signal from the airplane. Then you read the next bit and realise it isn’t. Maybe, just maybe the BBC should have waited for the Chinese to confirm something. The endless speculation about this airplane has driven me to indifference.

Here’s a crazy idea for the BBC News people:

How about you report something when it really is new and confirmed from two independent sources.

Can you believe that this organisation is the pinnacle of reporting in this country? No, once again neither can I. I have pretty much given up following the news. I get most of my information from the following sources:

  • The Today Programme on Radio 4
  • The New Quiz on BBC Radio 4
  • Private Eye

Here’s a recent tweet of mine to show I don’t hold The Today Programme in high esteem all the time:


Here’s a link to a recent rant about BBC News Reporting. I find that I get the general idea of what is going on in this country by listening to and reading satire. While listening to the radio I used to think that people were being a bit harsh in their picking on Ed Milliband’s voice, but that was until I heard him. Thank goodness for satire. Putting the stories in their place.

I am sure this isn’t the last of my rants and moans about news reporting. There’s plenty more to come in future communications. Happy weekend.

It’s Just Right

Once a fortnight is just about the correct frequency.

Private Eye is a fortnightly news magazine to which I subscribe. It’s possibly the only newspaper willing to spread the truth and print what is going on. It’s quite frightening really just how corrupt and dodgy most organisations and societies are. Maybe corrupt is the norm and I’m just hoping for an idealised society that can never exist? The other magazine I subscribe to is Scientific American.

In the same week that I receive Private Eye the Merseyside Skeptics Society release their podcast called Skeptics With A K. It’s a show about an hour long which features three normal (ish) guys chatting about skeptical items that interest them. There’s a bit of swearing and a reasonable amount of poking fun at people but it is very interesting and I learn a lot.

Both these subscriptions arrive in the same week and have for a few years, even allowing for the Christmas break they have. Each new year I wonder if the synchronicity will be altered but I haven’t found so this far. Perhaps it’s deliberate?


In November 2009 I was moved to write a letter to the editor of Private Eye after the architecture critic, Piloti, suggested that living near electricity transformers was dangerous to human health. The letter was published and I have kept that copy of Private Eye for the future. Looking back through my emails it would appear that I have written to Private Eye 5 times. So that’s a 20% hit rate so far.


I was disappointed to read that Piloti (Eye 1249) has reinforced the incorrect view that magnetic fields from electricity substations are a danger to health. There is no scientific evidence to link electricity substations with an increase of ill health. Piloti’s use of the specific term “radiation” only reinforces peoples’ prejudices against such structures. EM radiation covers everything from radio waves to X-Rays and beyond and does nothing to describe what is actually emitted. Should your excellent staff of humanities graduates want to further their knowledge I point you in the direction of:

I shall, however, not be cancelling my subscription for this minor transgression.