Entertainment v Information

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Liz Tuddenham

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Mar 5, 2022, 5:06:55 AMMar 5
to
R4 still thinks its primary purpose is entertainment, it just isn't set
up to deal with information at a time when information is what is most
needed. Instead of expanding ostensibly factual programmes after the
main news bulletins and allowing experts enough time to explain the full
picture, they are hurrying them up and cutting them off part way through
their explanations so as to cram in vox-pops, sport and trails.

The World Service is slightly better, but have they considered how
someone sheltering in a cellar under bombardment will feel sitting
through jolly jingles and promotional trails for programmes they may
not live to hear, when all they really need is news?


--
~ Liz Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk

J. P. Gilliver (John)

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Mar 5, 2022, 7:48:19 AMMar 5
to
On Sat, 5 Mar 2022 at 10:06:20, Liz Tuddenham
<l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote (my responses usually FOLLOW):
>R4 still thinks its primary purpose is entertainment, it just isn't set
>up to deal with information at a time when information is what is most
>needed. Instead of expanding ostensibly factual programmes after the
>main news bulletins and allowing experts enough time to explain the full
>picture, they are hurrying them up and cutting them off part way through
>their explanations so as to cram in vox-pops, sport and trails.
>
>The World Service is slightly better, but have they considered how
>someone sheltering in a cellar under bombardment will feel sitting
>through jolly jingles and promotional trails for programmes they may
>not live to hear, when all they really need is news?
>
>
I think you need to tweet the above (suitably trimmed of course, and/or
maybe in separate tweets aimed at the two channels).

They may respond of course - and it may have _some_ validity - that
light entertainment provides welcome relief from horror. Though not
trails for it - but all broadcasters seem irrevocably addicted to
trails, and have been for more years than most of us can remember.
(Including on TV particularly crass ones at the end of a poignant drama
or documentary, over the end solemn credits.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Anybody who thinks there can be unlimited growth in a static, limited
environment, is either mad or an economist. - Sir David Attenborough, in
Radio Times 10-16 November 2012

Michael Uplawski

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Mar 6, 2022, 3:52:24 AMMar 6
to
Good morning from France

I say that because our *needs* are different. BBC4 responds to mine
and therefore I can try to react while not consenting unconditionally to
all of your claims.

Much of what I cannot comment on is due to my relative distance and my
experience of other, notably French and German radio stations.

J. P. Gilliver (John):
> On Sat, 5 Mar 2022 at 10:06:20, Liz Tuddenham
><l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote (my responses usually FOLLOW):
>>R4 still thinks its primary purpose is entertainment,

You cannot gain such a conviction by just listening to a radio program.
Can you specify the reasons for making that statement?

> it just isn't set
>>up to deal with information at a time when information is what is most
>>needed. Instead of expanding ostensibly factual programmes after the
>>main news bulletins and allowing experts enough time to explain the full
>>picture, they are hurrying them up and cutting them off part way through
>>their explanations so as to cram in vox-pops, sport and trails.

This – as far as I remember – has frequently or permanently been a
problem on any of the radio stations that I have listened to, in my
lifetime.
It is however an impression, created under many influences, some of
which are the auditor's exigence (I do not even know if this is English,
sorry). There *are* however stations where *I* encounter the same
problem more frequently and even more frequently than on BBC4. They are,
usually, not what you once called highbrow services. Apart from those,
let's say on *some* broadcasts on « France Culture », I see that
radio hosts must intervene because a topic is vast and the expert tends
to digress towards her/his own zone of comfort instead of answering a
question.

I will pay more attention to the ambience on BBC4 to verify my own
claims, but I cannot say that I already suffer much from this
phenomenon.

>>The World Service is slightly better, but have they considered how
>>someone sheltering in a cellar under bombardment will feel sitting
>>through jolly jingles and promotional trails for programmes they may
>>not live to hear, when all they really need is news?

Never been in a bunker, other than those you still find in Germany, in
search of fire-bellied toads, when I was eight or nine years old. You
have to ask those concerned about how *they* feel about the quality of
the broadcasts they heard. Else, tell me how your question could be
merely rhetoric. What qualification do you have to venture that jolly
jingles may disappoint folks who expect nothing else than terror?

I may know nothing but I do not claim the opposite.

Michael

--
Le progrès, ce n'est pas l'acquisition de biens. C'est l'élévation de
l'individu, son émancipation, sa compréhension du monde. Et pour ça il
faut du temps pour lire, s'instruire, se consacrer aux autres.
(Christiane Taubira)

Liz Tuddenham

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Mar 6, 2022, 6:06:31 AMMar 6
to
Michael Uplawski <michael....@uplawski.eu> wrote:

> Good morning from France

Good morning. It is good to know that people from a wide range of
backgrounds are contributors to this group.

> > On Sat, 5 Mar 2022 at 10:06:20, Liz Tuddenham
> ><l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote (my responses usually FOLLOW):
> >>R4 still thinks its primary purpose is entertainment,
>
> You cannot gain such a conviction by just listening to a radio program.
> Can you specify the reasons for making that statement?

I formed this impression from the editorial decisions that R4 takes in
response to unforseen circumstances. If a technical or informative item
competes for time with an 'arts' or entertainment item, the
entertainment is always given priority. Even some of the weather
forcasts have been shortened to make time for extra trails.

The same programme in which an expert was hurried up and cut short
whilst analysing the Ukrainian situation, included a poem about Ukraine.
The poem could have easily been cut out to allow the expert more time.

In news bulletins, after a short summary of the situation there is
usually a much longer vox-pop with someone who has very little idea of
what is going on, but pours out their feelings. That is not news, it
could be included in a magazine programme later. It does not belong in
a serious news bulletin and it most certainly does not belong in the 1.5
minutes of trails which preceeed each main news bulletin as so-called
'headlines'.

> > it just isn't set
> >>up to deal with information at a time when information is what is most
> >>needed. Instead of expanding ostensibly factual programmes after the
> >>main news bulletins and allowing experts enough time to explain the full
> >>picture, they are hurrying them up and cutting them off part way through
> >>their explanations so as to cram in vox-pops, sport and trails.
>
> This �€" as far as I remember �€" has frequently or permanently been a
> problem on any of the radio stations that I have listened to, in my
> lifetime.
> It is however an impression, created under many influences, some of
> which are the auditor's exigence (I do not even know if this is English,
> sorry).

['Exigency' is an English word but not very often used. You could avoid
it by saying "Some of which depend on the listener's situation"]

> There *are* however stations where *I* encounter the same
> problem more frequently and even more frequently than on BBC4. They are,
> usually, not what you once called highbrow services. Apart from those,
> let's say on *some* broadcasts on « France Culture »,

I used to listen to French stations many years ago, but stopped when
they started playing trails and talking argot. The last good station I
discovered was Radio Bleue when I could receive it from a medium wave
transmitter in Brittany; it played a programme hosted by Pierre-Marcel
Ondher (who spoke good clear French).

The problem is that I am old enough to remember when BBC radio was
always very formal and correct when it was dealing with serious matters
(sometimes too formal). Now it has gone the opposite way and gives the
impression of being run by a bunch of arts undergraduates who don't know
how to treat a subject seriously and feel they have to turn everything
into entertainment.

I agree with you that a lot of radio station are worse than R4, but R4
is supposed to be the 'flagship' of the BBC and the 'British ambassador'
of the airwaves. You wouldn't have a good opinion of us if we sent an
ambassador to Paris to discuss the possibility of a Third World War and
all he wanted to talk about was how worried his taxi driver was by the
possible rise in the price of diesel.


> I see that
> radio hosts must intervene because a topic is vast and the expert tends
> to digress towards her/his own zone of comfort instead of answering a
> question.

That is a different matter and I completely agree that many interviews
are a waste of time because the interviewee is allowed to change the
questions to suit his or her pre-planned propaganda.

My worry is that they are now inteviewing real experts in subjects which
have suddenly become vital to understand,. These experts need time to
explain the answers to quite difficult questions but they are being
hurried along by a reporter who thinks the whole answer can be given in
one sound bite of five words.

The impression is that the reporter doesn't really understand the
subject and he is mistaking the expert's slow methodical thought for a
politician's prevarication or a layman's ignorance.


> I will pay more attention to the ambience on BBC4 to verify my own
> claims, but I cannot say that I already suffer much from this
> phenomenon.

Perhaps some listeners are more upset by it than others.


> >>The World Service is slightly better, but have they considered how
> >>someone sheltering in a cellar under bombardment will feel sitting
> >>through jolly jingles and promotional trails for programmes they may
> >>not live to hear, when all they really need is news?
>
> Never been in a bunker, other than those you still find in Germany, in
> search of fire-bellied toads, when I was eight or nine years old. You
> have to ask those concerned about how *they* feel about the quality of
> the broadcasts they heard. Else, tell me how your question could be
> merely rhetoric. What qualification do you have to venture that jolly
> jingles may disappoint folks who expect nothing else than terror?
>
> I may know nothing but I do not claim the opposite.

I didn't make any claims either, I asked if the planners who played
those jingles had considered their possible effect on some listeners.

I also have been into similar bunkers. Five minutes on a Summers day
was enough for me, so I can only guess how dreadful it must be for the
hundreds of people who are forced to live their lives in a bunker while
their entire city is destroyed above them.

[This is possibly the longest post this group has ever seen]

J. P. Gilliver (John)

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Mar 6, 2022, 7:08:48 AMMar 6
to
On Sun, 6 Mar 2022 at 11:05:55, Liz Tuddenham
<l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid> wrote (my responses usually FOLLOW):
[]
>My worry is that they are now inteviewing real experts in subjects which
>have suddenly become vital to understand,. These experts need time to
>explain the answers to quite difficult questions but they are being
>hurried along by a reporter who thinks the whole answer can be given in
>one sound bite of five words.
>
>The impression is that the reporter doesn't really understand the
>subject and he is mistaking the expert's slow methodical thought for a
>politician's prevarication or a layman's ignorance.
>
I thought the above two paragraphs very good.
[]
>[This is possibly the longest post this group has ever seen]

I think I've seen long ones before, but I agree they're rare. But that
reinforces what you were saying (-:.

[Twitter's limit, though quite useful for encouraging brevity, is
sometimes counterproductive in such cases.]
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

did you hear about the guy who was frozen to absolute zero? He was 0K ...
- Jason in alt.windows7.general (and three other 'groups), 2018-5-1

Michael Uplawski

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Mar 6, 2022, 4:22:11 PMMar 6
to
Good evening

this is more to show that I take your remarks seriously and cannot, at
this time, relate everything to my own experience. I might listen
differently to BBC4, looks for different things or just be too much
accustomed.

I may not listen to BBC4 for long enough to utter opposition to your
previous statements or my English fools me into believing I understood
all of it.

In conclusion, *my last declaration on BBC4* is that they do – in
my view – still deliver information in a more direct and undiluted way
than I am used to with other radio stations (basically France Culture
and BR2 – Bavaria 2, that is).

On France Bleue, you see, our opinions diverge drastically, again. These
are local radio stations, one in each French region and they tell you
where the jumble sales take place, let you win radios for being the
first to name Johnny Haliday as the singer of a song and otherwise are
just eager to heighten the mood of their numerous fans. Although my wife
(F) likes to listen to « our » France Bleue sometimes, I am not strong
enough to pay attention for longer than a few minutes.

On the topic of Entertainment versus Information, their agenda is set.

Cheerio

Liz Tuddenham

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Mar 6, 2022, 5:13:03 PMMar 6
to
Michael Uplawski <michael....@uplawski.eu> wrote:

[...]
> In conclusion, *my last declaration on BBC4* is that they do �€" in my
> view �€" still deliver information in a more direct and undiluted way
> than I am used to with other radio stations (basically France Culture
> and BR2 �€" Bavaria 2, that is).

Quite possibly, very few radio stations are as good as R4 but I would
like it to remain as good as it was years ago and not lower its
standards just because the majority of other station are worse.

I might try listening to France Culture and Bavaria 2, as they could be
interesting.

> On France Bleue, you see, our opinions diverge drastically, again. These
> are local radio stations, one in each French region and they tell you
> where the jumble sales take place, let you win radios for being the
> first to name Johnny Haliday as the singer of a song and otherwise are
> just eager to heighten the mood of their numerous fans. Although my wife
> (F) likes to listen to « our » France Bleue sometimes, I am not strong
> enough to pay attention for longer than a few minutes.

You have exactly described the local radio stations here in England,
listening to them is bad for the brain. However, Radio Bleue was a
really good station for two or three years when it first started, before
it was 'nationalised' and, in effect, destroyed.

You are probably too young to have heard it in the early days or you may
have lived outside its service area (it only had two transmitters and
they were on Medium Wave). I was able to hear it from the Breton
transmitter on 511 kHz by using a large directional aerial and a high
sensitivity military communications receiver; even then the signal was
very feeble and subjected to interference from other stations.

The programmes were so good that I regularly recorded some of them on
cassette tape and supplied them to a friend who lived outside the signal
area, about 80 km further North than me. Each time we met, he would
give me a pile of the cassettes he had played and I would give him a
pile of recently-recorded ones.


> On the topic of Entertainment versus Information, their agenda is set.

Unfortunately you are right.
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