Sunday, September 14, 2008

BBC News Vignette

There's a fascinating news vignette on the BBC News web site that has unfolded as the morning has gone on. It gives an insight into the minds of those that serve us up our news. At around 7 a.m. this morning the headline on the BBC's front page said.

Dozens die in Russian plane crash

Now at 11 a.m. it says

Scores die in Russian plane crash

In both cases the opening paragraph said

A passenger plane that crashed on the outskirts of a Russian city, killing all 88 people on board

So why not just say, 'Eighty eight die in Russian plane crash'. It couldn't by any chance be because it sounds more sensational to say scores could it?

5 comments:

Dragonstar said...

Bloody journalists!

Colin Campbell said...

We would say Heaps Dead. Ironic I know. I wonder when the electronic print media will invest in sub editors?

There is a lot of pessimism about the print media here in Australia with many journalists losing their jobs and a move towards shoot fire aim journalism.

Ironically the Head of the ABC has put his faith in Rupert Murdoch to save print journalism in Australia. Only if it makes a buck I would say. His rag here in Adelaide has just unveiled a new mast head after 150 years. That's progress.

jams o donnell said...

but dozens and scores in this case are not factually incorrect. True, hey have more impact than saying 88 dead but at least it has more beating on the story than so many newspaper headlines...

r morris said...

How about "Four score and one crackup ago...."
(with apologies to Abe Lincoln)
;)

Ken Dyer said...

BBC sensationalising...surely not! Surprised they didn't just say "nearly 100 dead" and be done with it. Presumably there is a belief that we can't possibly understand the concept of 88 people being killed...using terms like scores and dozens is no doubt used to attract the eye to the headline. At least it was reported...after all there were no Brits on board!