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Liz Tuddenham

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Nov 27, 2021, 3:43:00 AM11/27/21
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This morning, two professors who specialise in Covid were rushed through
their interview and constantly interrupted before they had finished
their replies. The interviewer obviously wasn't listening to them
properly as he didn't appear to be taking in what they were talking
about.

Why? So they could squeeze in a piece by Michael Morpurgo about the
feelings of illegal immigrants.


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~ Liz Tuddenham ~
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www.poppyrecords.co.uk

Nick Odell

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Nov 27, 2021, 4:45:07 AM11/27/21
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On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 08:42:43 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
(Liz Tuddenham) wrote:

>This morning, two professors who specialise in Covid were rushed through
>their interview and constantly interrupted before they had finished
>their replies. The interviewer obviously wasn't listening to them
>properly as he didn't appear to be taking in what they were talking
>about.
>
>Why? So they could squeeze in a piece by Michael Morpurgo about the
>feelings of illegal immigrants.

Programme? (I'm guessing Toady but I'd rather know for sure.)

Approximate start/finish time? (This morning I was mostly half
listening to R4x.)

Nick

Liz Tuddenham

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Nov 27, 2021, 6:10:04 AM11/27/21
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"Today" about 08:15.

Nick Odell

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Nov 27, 2021, 1:06:31 PM11/27/21
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On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 11:09:46 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
(Liz Tuddenham) wrote:

>Nick Odell <gurzhfvp...@ntlworld.com.invalid> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 08:42:43 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
>> (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
>>
>> >This morning, two professors who specialise in Covid were rushed through
>> >their interview and constantly interrupted before they had finished
>> >their replies. The interviewer obviously wasn't listening to them
>> >properly as he didn't appear to be taking in what they were talking
>> >about.
>> >
>> >Why? So they could squeeze in a piece by Michael Morpurgo about the
>> >feelings of illegal immigrants.
>>
>> Programme? (I'm guessing Toady but I'd rather know for sure.)
>>
>> Approximate start/finish time? (This morning I was mostly half
>> listening to R4x.)
>
>"Today" about 08:15.

Thanks!

And thanks for flagging up that interview: it was interesting.

I don't know if the listening experience had anything to do with it -
the bustle of breakfast time versus my sitting down in the afternoon
with a nice cup of tea - but I didn't really form the same impression
as you.

It was mainly Andrew Pollard wasn't it? Stephen Reicher wasn't offered
as many questions but I thought he had valuable contributions to make
nonetheless. Andrew Pollard seemed to be a slow, deliberate speaker
and when Amol Rajan began a new question - nearly always, I thought,
during a silence - it often turned out that silence was a comma, not a
full stop in Andrew Pollard's current answer. I think that nearly
every time, Rajan stepped back and let him continue.

I'm not the only one to notice that there's regularly a problem with
Amol Rajan in that, left to his own devices he talks really, really
fast! I think he was a superb print journalist and one-time editor of
The Independent but his speed talking is a bit of a problem on the
radio.

I can imagine the Today producer saying to him over the headphones at
the start of that interview, "Remember Raj: s-l-o-w-l-y!" And indeed
he started off at a leisurely stroll but, sure enough, by the end he
was in full gabble and sprinting along at breakneck pace. Not, I think
to rush the interview but because -well- Amul is Amul.

Nick

Liz Tuddenham

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Nov 28, 2021, 5:36:17 AM11/28/21
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Nick Odell <gurzhfvp...@ntlworld.com.invalid> wrote:

> On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 11:09:46 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
> (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
>
> >Nick Odell <gurzhfvp...@ntlworld.com.invalid> wrote:
> >
> >> On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 08:42:43 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
> >> (Liz Tuddenham) wrote:
> >>
> >> >This morning, two professors who specialise in Covid were rushed through
> >> >their interview and constantly interrupted before they had finished
> >> >their replies. The interviewer obviously wasn't listening to them
> >> >properly as he didn't appear to be taking in what they were talking
> >> >about.
> >> >
> >> >Why? So they could squeeze in a piece by Michael Morpurgo about the
> >> >feelings of illegal immigrants.
> >>
> >> Programme? (I'm guessing Toady but I'd rather know for sure.)
> >>
> >> Approximate start/finish time? (This morning I was mostly half
> >> listening to R4x.)
> >
> >"Today" about 08:15.
>
> Thanks!
>
> And thanks for flagging up that interview: it was interesting.
>
> I don't know if the listening experience had anything to do with it -
> the bustle of breakfast time versus my sitting down in the afternoon
> with a nice cup of tea - but I didn't really form the same impression
> as you.

That might have been part of it, but I found it infuriating because the
train of explanation was interrupted and made difficult to follow. If
the interviewer had been listening to the replies, he would have heard
the interviewee say that there were two points that needed to be made
and wouldn't have interrupted with the next question after the first
point.

Scientists often have to string together several points in order to
answer a question fully, but journalists think in terms of single
answers ("sound bytes"). That usually works for news headlines but when
there is an in-depth interview with an expert, he should be given the
time to explain a complex situation properly, for the benefit of those
listeners who can follow a scientific explanation and want to know the
full facts. That's what the Today programme is supposed to be doing.

Nick Odell

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Nov 28, 2021, 5:25:02 PM11/28/21
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On Sun, 28 Nov 2021 10:35:59 +0000, l...@poppyrecords.invalid.invalid
I understand your point of view. Especially, I think, if you were
specifically listening to that item and wanting to learn about the
information it might contain and were more interested in this than
some of the other topics covered by that edition of Today.

Again, I had the luxury of listening to it at a convenient time plus
being able to take your points on board and then listen again today to
ask myself why I thought it went okay.

I'm not going to say "Two points" like Professor Pollard: firstly
because like a lot of people I'm not always good at prefacing each
point with a number or a letter and I'm more likely to judge where the
points begin and end by the content and the context than the
cataloguing. And B)(See what I did there?) I'm just as interested in
why I thought it was okay as in why you thought it wasn't.

He started by saying that he wanted to look at two aspects: the first
about infection, the other about severe disease and that he wanted to
take severe disease first. Before the interruption he actually
covered, I think, five factors and the last two were about mutations
and spike proteins (which as a non-specialist in that sphere I took to
be his points about infection) and then he stopped. His last word was
spoken on a downturn, he paused - perhaps to allow what he had said to
sink in - and it sounded to me as if he had finished so I can't really
blame the interviewer if they had thought the same, presumed that he
had finished and tried to come in there with the next question.

I know you were disappointed and I understand why and you know that I
take a different view but it would be interesting to know what other
readers of this newsgroup think - if indeed there still are any other
readers.

Nick
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