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Ceefax Now You See It, Now You Don't


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hilldweller

As anyone else noticed whats happening to Ceefax at the moment.

I switched to it a couple of weeks ago and the layout had changed.

Instead of the Ceefax information being on the right hand side of the screen and part of the normal programme being on the left, the Ceefax text covered the entire screen. This meant that each topic only occupied one page with no need to scroll down.

Also the regional news was laid out in a different manner with a section for Sheffield news.

"Thats a big improvement I thought", but the next time I looked it had returned to the old format.

Now it seems to be toggling between the two different formats, each time I switch on.

Does anyone know what is happening ?

HD

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To be honest HD, I though Ceefax, and all other forms of TeleText used on analogue TV were gone for good along with analogue TV itself.

The service previously looked very early 1980's "Sinclair Spectrum" quality of 30 years ago and the number of remaining users wasn't that great so rather than update it I thought they had, given the availability of other services like the Internet, eMail etc, just scrapped it.

Can you still get Ceefax page 888 (subtitles)?

It used to amuse me and annoy me that certain programmes, even until very recently, employed a "signing dwarf", - a person shrunk into the bottom right hand corner of the screen doing sign language for the deaf for the program on the rest of the screen.

Surely, even the original Ceefax of 30 odd years ago with its on demand subtitles had made this redundant.

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Organgrinder

To be honest HD, I though Ceefax, and all other forms of TeleText used on analogue TV were gone for good along with analogue TV itself.

The service previously looked very early 1980's "Sinclair Spectrum" quality of 30 years ago and the number of remaining users wasn't that great so rather than update it I thought they had, given the availability of other services like the Internet, eMail etc, just scrapped it.

Can you still get Ceefax page 888 (subtitles)?

It used to amuse me and annoy me that certain programmes, even until very recently, employed a "signing dwarf", - a person shrunk into the bottom right hand corner of the screen doing sign language for the deaf for the program on the rest of the screen.

Surely, even the original Ceefax of 30 odd years ago with its on demand subtitles had made this redundant.

By all means, feel amused Dave, but you shouldn't feel annoyed at a service which is there to help people with disabilities.

There are many deaf people who also have learning difficulties and don't read well.

It would of course, be much better, if there was an option for switching the signer on or off in the same way as the subtitles.

I use the 888 subtitles all the time but the quality of these in some live programs, still leaves much to be desired and it would often help if one had the training of a security services code breaker to decipher these.

I remember a program starting with the words "Helicopter O and good morning".

It's only in the last 2 or 3 years that almost every program is now subtitled as that wasn't the case previously and that was really annoying to deaf people.

Not trying to have a go at you mate, but it's good to count our blessings.

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By all means, feel amused Dave, but you shouldn't feel annoyed at a service which is there to help people with disabilities.

There are many deaf people who also have learning difficulties and don't read well.

It would of course, be much better, if there was an option for switching the signer on or off in the same way as the subtitles.

I use the 888 subtitles all the time but the quality of these in some live programs, still leaves much to be desired and it would often help if one had the training of a security services code breaker to decipher these.

I remember a program starting with the words "Helicopter O and good morning".

It's only in the last 2 or 3 years that almost every program is now subtitled as that wasn't the case previously and that was really annoying to deaf people.

Not trying to have a go at you mate, but it's good to count our blessings.

I would have thought that good quality subtitles available on all programs would be preferable to a signer on a limited number of programs.

Subtitles shouldn't be that difficult to produce, - they have been using them on foreign language films for years for people who have normal hearing but don't understand the foreign language.

I can appreciate that to put subtitles up "live" as it were while the person onscreen is talking is difficult, requires a special skill and obviously some mistakes will be made. This would not be a problem in pre-recorded programmes and films.

Do the subtotles have to say exactly, verbatim, word for word what the speaker is saying? Or could it be condensed down to give the general idea and meaning of what is being said? I don't know sign language but I get the impression that it doesn't convey in full, word for word what is being said as there are too few gestures and they are presented at too leisurely a pace to keep up with the dialogue.

I take it from your comments that page 888 (subtitles) still exists but is not a particularly good service. I will have to try and find out how I can access it and have a look.

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hilldweller

Further to the above I did a bit of delving and apparently the BBC decided to continue to call the Red Button Digital Text Service as Ceefax, the same as the defunct analogue Ceefax service. The ITV service of course was Teletext.

In my initial post I was referring to the Red Button Ceefax service. It's this service which has been chopping and changing.

Apparently the BBC are phasing out aspects of the service that relied on the old Ceefax technology but have hit problems with some viewers set-top boxes not working correctly with the new style presentation. They are trying to resolve the problems which accounts for the swopping about.

HD

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Further to the above I did a bit of delving and apparently the BBC decided to continue to call the Red Button Digital Text Service as Ceefax, the same as the defunct analogue Ceefax service. The ITV service of course was Teletext.

In my initial post I was referring to the Red Button Ceefax service. It's this service which has been chopping and changing.

Apparently the BBC are phasing out aspects of the service that relied on the old Ceefax technology but have hit problems with some viewers set-top boxes not working correctly with the new style presentation. They are trying to resolve the problems which accounts for the swopping about.

HD

Yes on digital TV what was Ceefax / Teletext seems to have been replaced with the "red button" service which is much more powerful, - it is the same quality image as normal TV with moving pictures and sound (no low res graphics here) and connects to things like the BBC iplayer and ITV player which allow you to watch whole programmes at the time you choose. Much better.

However, as you say some of the older bits have been scrapped instead of updating and improving them. A sign of the times perhaps and the advancement of technology (you'll be trying to tell me next that CD's are better than gramophone records!!) Unfortunately, some of the older bits, like the page 888 subtitle service, seem to have got worse.

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...and when was the last time we saw this on TV

It used to be on all the time for hours every day.

in fact Carole Hersee (the test card girl) has spent more hours on British TV than anyone else!

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History dude

...and when was the last time we saw this on TV

attachicon.gifBBC-test-card-F.jpg

It used to be on all the time for hours every day.

in fact Carole Hersee (the test card girl) has spent more hours on British TV than anyone else!

There was a Not The Nine O' Clock News once that was having a go at Points of View. It ran something like this:

Viewers letters being read out:

"The Test Card is brilliant"

"Well done the BBC the Test Card is another winner"

"The Test Card is well worth the license fee on it's own. I would willing sell my house and all it's contents to help the BBC"

Presenter then says "not everyone agrees"

Another Letter: " I think the BBC is a load of crap"

he helol

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Another Letter: " I think the BBC is a load of crap"

he helol

The actual letter read "Dear Mr. Tuck, I think the BBC is a load of crap" with a reference to the presenter at the time.

I often wished I had written that letter at times, - and have sometimes considered writing something similar.

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The actual letter read "Dear Mr. Tuck, I think the BBC is a load of crap" with a reference to the presenter at the time.

I often wished I had written that letter at times, - and have sometimes considered writing something similar.

I have even bigger axes to grind with the BBC.

How much do they pay top presenters that I think are rubbish? People like Jonathan Ross, Terry Wogan etc,,etc,,?

How much do they pay their top managing directors? ..and how much pension and bonuses do they receive?

How much did they pay that pillock Jeremy Clarkson for his share of the programme Top Gear?

The answer to all these questions is something like "That is a private matter" or "That concerns only the BBC and the individuals concerned"

Well I beg to differ, - if the BBC (stands for Biased Broadcasting Company) is financed by public money from the compulsory licence fee then it is effectively owned by us and we have every right to know how they use (or abuse) OUR money.

If they want to do private business deals then they should be a privately financed, not a publically financed business and should no longer be supported by licence fees, which should therefore be abolished or at least used for some other more worthwhile purpose.

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I have even bigger axes to grind with the BBC.

How much do they pay top presenters that I think are rubbish? People like Jonathan Ross, Terry Wogan etc,,etc,,?

How much do they pay their top managing directors? ..and how much pension and bonuses do they receive?

How much did they pay that pillock Jeremy Clarkson for his share of the programme Top Gear?

The answer to all these questions is something like "That is a private matter" or "That concerns only the BBC and the individuals concerned"

Well I beg to differ, - if the BBC (stands for Biased Broadcasting Company) is financed by public money from the compulsory licence fee then it is effectively owned by us and we have every right to know how they use (or abuse) OUR money.

If they want to do private business deals then they should be a privately financed, not a publically financed business and should no longer be supported by licence fees, which should therefore be abolished or at least used for some other more worthwhile purpose.

I see the BBC have shot themselves in the foot this time.

I don't like Jeremy Paxman as a presenter either but this time I fully agree with everything he has said about the BBC's internal enquiry into the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.

The BBC produce a "detailed in depth report, going back decades" into the case, saying that the report findings will be "open and disclosed". What do we get, - a report with 90 pages of it struck out by the censors marker pen leaving comments like "It was common knowledge and everyone knew that *****************************************************************" :blink::unsure::wacko::huh:

I said "shot themselves in the foot" at the start of this, - well phrases like "Covering their own backs", "What have they got to hide", "Protecting their own overinflated jobs and pensions" and "No smoke without fire" come to mind.

Surely the whole of the BBC report, and a new investigation into the BBC should now be carried out by the Police.

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Organgrinder

I would have thought that good quality subtitles available on all programs would be preferable to a signer on a limited number of programs.

Subtitles shouldn't be that difficult to produce, - they have been using them on foreign language films for years for people who have normal hearing but don't understand the foreign language.

I can appreciate that to put subtitles up "live" as it were while the person onscreen is talking is difficult, requires a special skill and obviously some mistakes will be made. This would not be a problem in pre-recorded programmes and films.

Do the subtotles have to say exactly, verbatim, word for word what the speaker is saying? Or could it be condensed down to give the general idea and meaning of what is being said? I don't know sign language but I get the impression that it doesn't convey in full, word for word what is being said as there are too few gestures and they are presented at too leisurely a pace to keep up with the dialogue.

I take it from your comments that page 888 (subtitles) still exists but is not a particularly good service. I will have to try and find out how I can access it and have a look.

Subtitles are now available on almost all programs but the quality of sub-titling varies enormously with pre recorded programs being good and live programs being anything between OK and almost useless (often depending on who is speaking). Foreign language films fall into the pre recorded category and are usually fine except when badly out of sync with the picture as sometimes happens. Signers are used on very few programs which must be an annoyance to deaf people who are not good readers and need the signers. I am a very quick reader and good at filling in for missing or incorrect words / phrases but, as I said, there are times when the titling is so poor that even I get frustrated with whole sentences missing or being chopped off in cases where they move onto the next news item whilst the subtitles are trailing some distance behind the speech.

My own view is that I wouldn't need the titles to say word for word but I believe most TV companies use computer software to title and the computer would obviously be unable to decide how to condense it.

This subject is, unfortunately, one of those whereby the only people who really care are the people who need the service in much the same way as wheelchair users abhor steps whilst the able bodied don't give them a second thought.

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Stuart0742

I have even bigger axes to grind with the BBC.

How much do they pay top presenters that I think are rubbish? People like Jonathan Ross, Terry Wogan etc,,etc,,?

How much do they pay their top managing directors? ..and how much pension and bonuses do they receive?

How much did they pay that pillock Jeremy Clarkson for his share of the programme Top Gear?

The answer to all these questions is something like "That is a private matter" or "That concerns only the BBC and the individuals concerned"

Well I beg to differ, - if the BBC (stands for Biased Broadcasting Company) is financed by public money from the compulsory licence fee then it is effectively owned by us and we have every right to know how they use (or abuse) OUR money.

If they want to do private business deals then they should be a privately financed, not a publically financed business and should no longer be supported by licence fees, which should therefore be abolished or at least used for some other more worthwhile purpose

Dave

A quick reminder, Top Gear is on 8:00 :)

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Subtitles are now available on almost all programs but the quality of sub-titling varies enormously with pre recorded programs being good and live programs being anything between OK and almost useless (often depending on who is speaking). Foreign language films fall into the pre recorded category and are usually fine except when badly out of sync with the picture as sometimes happens. Signers are used on very few programs which must be an annoyance to deaf people who are not good readers and need the signers. I am a very quick reader and good at filling in for missing or incorrect words / phrases but, as I said, there are times when the titling is so poor that even I get frustrated with whole sentences missing or being chopped off in cases where they move onto the next news item whilst the subtitles are trailing some distance behind the speech.

My own view is that I wouldn't need the titles to say word for word but I believe most TV companies use computer software to title and the computer would obviously be unable to decide how to condense it.

This subject is, unfortunately, one of those whereby the only people who really care are the people who need the service in much the same way as wheelchair users abhor steps whilst the able bodied don't give them a second thought.

I take it from what you say about subtitles on live programmes that they are not done by a speed typing system but rather by speech recognition software on a computer.

My own experience of speech recognition software is that it is useless and fails to recognise most of what I say, even after "speech training" it. However I do naturally speak with a local accent and dialect which easily fools the softwre.

With modern "red button" services it should now be possible to switch the "signing dwarf" in the bottom right hand corner on and off as easily as the subtitles, and if deaf people find that preferable to subtitling it could be offered as an alternative "page 889 (signing for the deaf)" option on as many programs as possible.

However, to provide that service would cost money, - and the BBC would prefer to waste the cost of a decent signing service by paying some nobody top presenter of theirs a ridiculous 7 figure salary instead.

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Organgrinder

I take it from what you say about subtitles on live programmes that they are not done by a speed typing system but rather by speech recognition software on a computer.

My own experience of speech recognition software is that it is useless and fails to recognise most of what I say, even after "speech training" it. However I do naturally speak with a local accent and dialect which easily fools the softwre.

With modern "red button" services it should now be possible to switch the "signing dwarf" in the bottom right hand corner on and off as easily as the subtitles, and if deaf people find that preferable to subtitling it could be offered as an alternative "page 889 (signing for the deaf)" option on as many programs as possible.

However, to provide that service would cost money, - and the BBC would prefer to waste the cost of a decent signing service by paying some nobody top presenter of theirs a ridiculous 7 figure salary instead.

Yes Dave, speech recognition software still has some way to go.

I fully agree with your point of using the "red button" service and, like you, believe there are too many overpaid presenters whilst useful services are provided on the cheap.

No one would think that the BBC belongs to us and is paid for by us.

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History dude

Let's be fair to the BBC a bit. They do have to compete with other Television companies and that means paying someone more than they would normally get. In fact the government have encouraged the likes of Sky to strip the BBC of its audience grabbing shows. So now it has to fight it out to keep popular and cater for viewers who demand more quality TV, but don't want to pay for the high cost of making them. When you look at the high cost each month of having Sky and the fact that a 45 minute show will have at least 15 minutes of advert added to it, it's nothing to the license fee.

I do think that the BBC should have a freeview channel that is signed or should join up with other companies to provide a dedicated channel, because they are annoying if you are not deaf.

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Let's be fair to the BBC a bit. They do have to compete with other Television companies and that means paying someone more than they would normally get. In fact the government have encouraged the likes of Sky to strip the BBC of its audience grabbing shows. So now it has to fight it out to keep popular and cater for viewers who demand more quality TV, but don't want to pay for the high cost of making them. When you look at the high cost each month of having Sky and the fact that a 45 minute show will have at least 15 minutes of advert added to it, it's nothing to the license fee.

I do think that the BBC should have a freeview channel that is signed or should join up with other companies to provide a dedicated channel, because they are annoying if you are not deaf.

In 1955 when commercial television (ITV) was first introduced in competition to the BBC there was an almost identical argument to what you have said here, at that time the risk to the BBC was considered so big that the issue was discussed in Parliament and famously resulted in Winston Churchill, who was still an MP at that time, referring to ITV as "that tuppenny Punch & Judy show on the box". At that time there was only 1 BBC programme to compete with, and, in most areas (as ITV was regional) only 1 ITV programme. With satellite TV there are now hundreds of programmes, - including several BBC ones, so the "market share" issue is more spread out and open than ever. However, the BBC still does very well in pulling in viewers mainly because of its long established identity, its well established and long running popular shows that appeal to the masses (eg, Eastenders, and dare I say in case Stuart reads this, Top Gear) and its excellent News, documentary and factual programmes which really are second to none.

My main concern is that the BBC are becoming like the banks, - they think their future is assured, that finance is no problem to them as the Government will bail them out and they can always "put the licence fee up" so they can afford to be less competative. As their money is assured they are breeding, like the Bankers, a set of Fat Cat, overpaid, underworked managers, directors and "top" presenters which is actually a waste of the resources they are provided with.

As for the other channels, - surely there are only a limited amount of sponsors and advertisers out there, and the more commercial channels there are the thinner that advertising revenue get shared out, - so you can never get enough finance behind a single channel for them to produce their own quality programmes and is probably why these channels show either rubbish, endless repeated, cheap imported series, or programmes which are the same as another channel but time shifted by an hour.

As for deaf signing, my earlier comment about the signer being "annoying", picked up by organgrinder, was not meant to imply that it was annoying that it was there at all and was useless unless you were deaf, - I found it annoying because in this day an age I saw it as redundant and obsolete given that we could have subtitles instead which I saw as better. However, having taken organgrinders points on board I think I would now prefer a signer on all programmes (or as many as possible) but in a sytem where the signer could be turned on and off, like you can with the subtitles. I would not be in favour of a dedicated "deaf channel" which is fully signed all the time as deaf people have as much right to watch, and enjoy, all the normal broadcast programmes just like anyone else and not just a select few that can be signed and pushed onto a seperate channel.

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Organgrinder

In 1955 when commercial television (ITV) was first introduced in competition to the BBC there was an almost identical argument to what you have said here, at that time the risk to the BBC was considered so big that the issue was discussed in Parliament and famously resulted in Winston Churchill, who was still an MP at that time, referring to ITV as "that tuppenny Punch & Judy show on the box". At that time there was only 1 BBC programme to compete with, and, in most areas (as ITV was regional) only 1 ITV programme. With satellite TV there are now hundreds of programmes, - including several BBC ones, so the "market share" issue is more spread out and open than ever. However, the BBC still does very well in pulling in viewers mainly because of its long established identity, its well established and long running popular shows that appeal to the masses (eg, Eastenders, and dare I say in case Stuart reads this, Top Gear) and its excellent News, documentary and factual programmes which really are second to none.

My main concern is that the BBC are becoming like the banks, - they think their future is assured, that finance is no problem to them as the Government will bail them out and they can always "put the licence fee up" so they can afford to be less competative. As their money is assured they are breeding, like the Bankers, a set of Fat Cat, overpaid, underworked managers, directors and "top" presenters which is actually a waste of the resources they are provided with.

As for the other channels, - surely there are only a limited amount of sponsors and advertisers out there, and the more commercial channels there are the thinner that advertising revenue get shared out, - so you can never get enough finance behind a single channel for them to produce their own quality programmes and is probably why these channels show either rubbish, endless repeated, cheap imported series, or programmes which are the same as another channel but time shifted by an hour.

As for deaf signing, my earlier comment about the signer being "annoying", picked up by organgrinder, was not meant to imply that it was annoying that it was there at all and was useless unless you were deaf, - I found it annoying because in this day an age I saw it as redundant and obsolete given that we could have subtitles instead which I saw as better. However, having taken organgrinders points on board I think I would now prefer a signer on all programmes (or as many as possible) but in a sytem where the signer could be turned on and off, like you can with the subtitles. I would not be in favour of a dedicated "deaf channel" which is fully signed all the time as deaf people have as much right to watch, and enjoy, all the normal broadcast programmes just like anyone else and not just a select few that can be signed and pushed onto a seperate channel.

Hear hear, your last short paragraph has summed up exactly what is needed and why and the BBC could, once again, show a lead to the rest of the world as they always used to.

We can all see everyday examples where money could be saved to pay for it such as the vogue for always having 2 newsreaders or presenters when one could do the job (especially on their inflated salaries).

In the 50's & 60's, I recall that a single newsreader managed with no trouble at all.

As for the sports presenters, commentators and so on, they seem to be trying to find a job for every retired footballer, athlete, snooker player etc.

Another pet hate of mine (and another waste of money) is when discussing politics, they have to do an outside broadcast with a presenter stood in Downing Street or Parliament Square.

When discussing Royalty, "Our royal correspondent" will be stood outside Buckingham Palace or Windsor etc.

These presenters only talk and there is no need for them to be in that location which adds absolutely nothing to the report we are hearing.

I spend 80% of my viewing time watching BBC rather than the commercial channels because I think they always do it better but they do seem to think that (our) money grows on trees and MASSIVE savings could easily be made.

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History dude

Most of the introduction of competition for the BBC was put forward by the Conservative Party, because they wanted commercial enterprises in on money making schemes. In the same way that Torries go on about these things today. They also wanted people who helped the their party back in power and a newspaper boss with the power to take on the "liberal" BBC was just the thing to put in charge of Sky.

By taking away the USA type shows, some of which are high quality, from the ITV and BBC channels, both channels now try to grab the audience with poor quality drama - known as soaps, in order that the viewers might stay with them after 9pm. The upshot of this is that high quality drama is now much rarer on the BBC and ITV, with the soaps eating up the budget. I also find that factual programs are not as good and fewer are made than compared with the 70's and 80's. For example it's very rare to see a good Horizon show now.

Worse still is the lack of good TV for the younger market. The music industry for example would love a weekly TV show a bit like Top of The Pops, but the TV companies will not oblige. You only have to look at the instant effect of last week's Brits on sales of digital media to see why they want a decent TV show. All they get at the moment is terrible reality shows which don't cover the music that current young people like.

I can explain why TV news is like that. You see much TV news isn't very visual. You don't get the type of pictures like the Berlin Wall coming down or a Tidal wave hitting somewhere very often. So TV news consists of what they call in the trade "talking heads". They could be in the studio, but it adds weight if the reporter is outside the building that story is about. The impression that is given is that the reporter has exclusive access to the story. When in fact there are often 100's of reporters hanging around the place in quest for the story. It gives the viewer the impression that the reporter was given the report by the minister in charge for example. In fact the minister probably hates the BBC/ITN reporter's guts!

I don't tend to watch the news much, because for one thing it's very one sided, generally to the center-right on most issues. And for one thing the information is mostly useless to me and for that matter much of the public watching. Typical stories being a crime victim, probably only relevant to the area the person lives. But gives the impression to the wider public that crime is much more widespread and dangerous. So not a good thing either to report on. Unless your a member of the police in which case cutting your resources makes it harder to do!

Most of the stories come from the newspapers, which are right wing for the most part and back up what the government is trying to put out there. The current trends are that the benefit system is full of idle scroungers and that the education system is the best thing for this country and having highly educated people will solve most of the countries problems.

When in reality work is making people sick, because the human body wasn't designed to do the vast majority of jobs people do leading to high benefit needs. And that the interference with the natural development of young people (sending to school) has actually caused most of the problems that we have. Plus due to the extension of the school leaving age to 18, will infact make matters worse for this country.

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Organgrinder

Quote History dude:

"I can explain why TV news is like that. You see much TV news isn't very visual. You don't get the type of pictures like the Berlin Wall coming down or a Tidal wave hitting somewhere very often. So TV news consists of what they call in the trade "talking heads". They could be in the studio, but it adds weight if the reporter is outside the building that story is about. The impression that is given is that the reporter has exclusive access to the story. When in fact there are often 100's of reporters hanging around the place in quest for the story. It gives the viewer the impression that the reporter was given the report by the minister in charge for example. In fact the minister probably hates the BBC/ITN reporter's guts!"

You may well be right about that but do they think we are so shallow as to believe it?

I get offended very quickly when organisations (and especially politicians) insult my intelligence and this practice certainly doesn't add any weight with me.

When we listen to a news story, we don't need to see 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace behind the reporter - we know full well what they look like so lets just have the "talking heads" without the expensive money wasting crap.

This is a prime example of where a lot of money could be saved without having an effect on the quality of programs.

The BBC, along with the government, don't know what austerity means except where it affects only the ordinary man in the street.

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History dude

I think they do! Reporters don't think the man in the street carries any weight when it comes to issues. They see most of us as victims, or customers, or consumers. Only a church person or doctor etc, can in a reporter's eyes have experiences which are not seen as being personal to them. These people opinions are considered nearly as important as a politician, who are like Gods in reporters eyes, seeing without them they couldn't fill the news schedule up. A case in point. I was once interviewed by Geoff Duret (sorry if I have spelt his name wrong). He was reporting on a story about the introduction of new schemes for the unemployed. As I was talking to Geoff, I mentioned I knew of schemes in the past that employed people to count lamp posts. When the piece was shown, Geoff was questioning the four main party politicians in the way the do. He showed the piece of film with me on and the lamp post remark. Then during the discussions with his guests he then stated that "I" had worked counting them! Can you imagine Geoff or a reporter thinking that a member of parliament had a personal connection with all the issue they bring up? So why can't members of the public?

I don't think this is just connected with one reporter either. I think it's common in the media. For example I once watched a BBC show about mad King George. I came to the conclusion that he could have had autism. This was not reported in the show. At the time I was reading BBC History magazine, so I sent a letter off saying about the show. Sometime later I got an odd phone call from the editor. He said they couldn't publish the letter because the readership wouldn't back such a claim up - unless I was a doctor or could get a doctor to agree with what I was saying :blink:

He did give me the option to send further details, even though I said it was just a reader's letter in response to the TV show. But he just said as it stands now it won't be published. Since I wasn't getting paid to write for the paper and too me the information I had put was right in that context, I didn't send anything else. And they didn't publish it. In a following issue was a cartoon which I think was in response to the letter I sent.

I can add a bit more information on the History Magazine thing.

The show in question was Timewatch - broadcast on 9 February 2004, as mentioned in the Feb 2004 issue of the paper.

This cartoon appeared in Greg Neale's (the editor who phoned) introduction bit to the March 2004 issue, the first that could be published with knowledge of the call. He also mentioned the editorial board when he phoned, so I've put the pannel list below of them. It seems they couldn't stand to have their beliefs challenged either! Amazing when you see the names. :o

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