this area of the blog deals with two kinds of correction _
corrections not implemented by BBC but which are considered too important to be ignored
areas of bad writing which are not specific enough to log a correction at the BBC but which are nevertheless considered worthy of highlighting here
to clarify what is meant by these distinctions two examples have been included above the line from whence the chronological log begins _
example a) important correction ignored by BBC
# 220312 – 01 inaccurate quote _ BBC contacted 220312 1100 GMT
quotes placed inside quotation marks should be verbatim
Ed Milliband actually says “while millionaires pay less”
apparently putting ‘approximate’ representations of what was said inside quotation marks is good enough for staff at the BBC News website _ whatever!_ as the saying goes _
The problem with this area of ‘bad practice’ is obvious _ once the rule concerning the use of “verbatim” quotation marks is ‘relaxed’ then whereabouts is a line drawn between quote and misquote _ In a news-media environment where the question of public trust should be paramount this is clearly NOT good enough _
this type of error will now receive greater monitoring and coverage by anti-BBC Trust
example b) bad grammar practice considered worthy of highlighting
#160312 _ SHE SAYS_ SAID HE
Afghanistan massacre: Hamid Karzai chides US on probe
Our correspondent, Lyse Doucet, says the president’s strong public condemnation of his most important ally is certain to frustrate the US. Washington has been trying to limit the damage from these latest incidents, she says, as they deal with an unpredictable president.
This intervention adds new strains to an already troubled partnership, our correspondent says.
Once upon a time in English classes_ we were taught that best practice was not to repeat a word or phrase unnecessarily within the space of one paragraph _ in the paragraph above the second use of ‘she says’ is actually obstructive to the understanding of what is potentially the most important sentence in the whole article!
The second ‘she says’ would have been much better placed at the beginning of the sentence in the form of ‘she added’ to what ‘she says’ in the first sentence of the paragraph _
Or just scrap it altogether_ right?
Unfortunately this repetitive paragraph is brought even more into the reader’s focus by the very next sentence_ which_ instead of flowing nicely_ also feels as though it’s labouring past the same phrase_ despite gender and verb tense having changed _
Some details about the alleged killer also emerged from a lawyer who said he represented him.
in conformation with the design of this blog _ posts will be logged below this line in chronological order with the most recent at the top _ they will also be classified as important or noteworthy _
# 120412 is there a BBC guideline for grammar issues?
two different versions of the company name BMI appeared on the BBC News website today _ the question is which of them are correct? BMI or bmi ??
Some confusion is bound to arise over this particular set of letters_ capitalised BMI can also stand for ‘body mass index’ and the company logo clearly shows lowercase is used_ hence ‘bmi’ _ But in the first report bmi is listed with several other airline company names and clearly looks out of place
below is the report logged with BBC over this matter
28 _ # 120412 _ 01 Capitalization query _ BBC contacted 110412 1800 GMT
status _ uncorrected
two formats of ‘BMI’ have been used by BBC today _ is there a rule staff can stick to?
sample 1 _ ‘bmi’ _ The culture committee’s concerns follow warnings from four airlines – British Airways, bmi, Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic – that passengers could face “severe delay and disruption” during the Olympics.
London 2012: Heathrow Airport ‘may not cope during Olympics’
sample 2 _ ‘BMI’ _ British Airways owner IAG has said its deal to buy the BMI airline from Lufthansa for £172.5m could result in the loss of up to 1,200 jobs.
British Airways and BMI deal puts 1,200 jobs at risk
# 240312 whatever happened to BBC English paragraphs?
i’m still trying to work out the method of paragraphing at BBC_ so far the only conclusions i can draw are that paragraphs are broken up_
either a) because a web editor wants to use up white-space on the actual web page_
or b) BBC think they are making things easier to digest for an increasingly distracted and lower educated public ??
here’s an example that clearly makes my point_ if paragraphs have any kind of purpose it’s to keep topics together _ IF that is still so_ then surely the last sentence in the group above the white space should be joined with the sentence below the white-space _
Before his arrival, the Pope said it was vital “to fight this evil” and urged the young to renounce drugs. After Mexico, he will travel to Cuba.
He said Marxism there was no longer working.
# 230312 – 01 inaccurate quote _ BBC contacted 230312 0720 GMT
it is SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE this is an accurate quote!
“We know that the vast majority of heads are doing a good job, often in challenging circumstances. We undertaking a major reform programme and their skills and experience are vital.”
an immediate follow-up to the previous inaccurate quote logged at the BBC yesterday
(which is still ‘uncorrected’)
it remains to be seen if this latest OBVIOUS ERROR will be corrected_
if it is_ then why has misquoted Ed Milliband in the House of Commons not been corrected??
unfortunately no-one here can expect a response_
either through open discussion or Freedom of Information _
BBC staff or management are too busy ducking behind ‘the interests of journalism’
the anti-BBC Trust is much more focussed on the interests of GOOD journalism
note: 230312 0920 GMT _ new status = corrected
however the grudgingly restyled “we” to “we’re” instead of “we are” and likewise_ the predictable non-correction of Ed Milliband’s speech in the House of Commons_ these are indicative of the recalcitrance of BBC staff and management to get to grips with the sad decline_ not only of their knowledge and practice of the English language_ but also of their attitude towards external criticism (which WILL continue to be persistent all the time there is a perceived need for ‘outside editing’)