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  1. #1
    Ancient Member Blue Druid's Avatar
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    Default Journalistic Standards

    I am far from being a professional scribbler but one thing that has been eating my lunch for some time now is the practice in news media in particular of giving a person's name in full at the beginning of an article and thereafter referring to them only by their last or surname.

    It was once the protocol that this would apply to accused or convicted persons in court while everyone else would be referred to with the appropriate appellation. e.g. Mr Smith, Judge Jones or by their first and last names – e.g. Jonathon Smith, unless they are a dignitary in which case their title may be used — Sir Robert, Dame Edna, etc.

    Now I may have all this quite wrong and referring to people only by their last name is considered acceptable in today's society. At school in the 1950s, boys were customarily called by their last name but having left school, would be afforded the title of "Mister" or "Mr". Why should this not continue to be the case in the news media?

  2. #2
    Old guy
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    What bugs me is their habit of presenting opinion as fact rather than just giving the facts and allowing the reader/listener to make up his/her own mind. With the better journalists not so long back you had no idea what they personally thought about the matter or what version of politics they privately supported. The fact that they mispronounce words and have little idea of English grammar also tends to be off putting.

  3. #3
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    What gets me is the bad spelling and very bad grammar, even basic word processing programs have spelling and grammar checkers so no excuses.

  4. #4
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Druid View Post
    Now I may have all this quite wrong
    I don't think so.

    It annoys me when people refer to the PM as 'Adern'. I'm no fan, but people should respect the position, if not the person.

    Same with Trump. Regardless of opinion, he was the PRESIDENT of the US. Respect the role.

  5. #5
    Ancient Member Blue Druid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    My point exactly. Even Mr/Ms Average in the street is entitled to the respect of using either her/his given name or the appropriate appellation.

  6. #6
    Old guy
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by allblack View Post
    I don't think so.

    It annoys me when people refer to the PM as 'Adern'. I'm no fan, but people should respect the position, if not the person.

    Same with Trump. Regardless of opinion, he was the PRESIDENT of the US. Respect the role.
    Agree 100% and it does not matter which side of politics they come from. It is the role that gets the respect even if you detest the person holding it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Druid View Post
    the practice in news media in particular of giving a person's name in full at the beginning of an article and thereafter referring to them only by their last or surname.
    At school in the 1950s, boys were customarily called by their last name but having left school, would be afforded the title of "Mister" or "Mr". Why should this not continue to be the case in the news media?
    Hell perhaps we should continue with the old style of writing copperplate, wearing hats and gloves and Calling adults your own age Mr. and Mrs., men walking on the outside of paths (to protect the ladies from emptied chamberpots), and all the other stuuf.
    It also used to be bad manners to discuss politics....ban the entire forum!
    Ex-pctek

  8. #8
    Ancient Member Blue Druid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    As my gardener friend would say, this goes from the super lime to the ranunculus. Or maybe not. Copperplate would be a lot more legible than what is taught to kids today. And I still walk on the outside of the path, even though it is a long time since I saw a chamber pot emptied from a window. It is a form of respect that I choose to show to a female companion. I guess some would prefer to not be respected?

    It's a sad world when tokens of respect are called into ridicule, just because they are derived from a day before most of us were born. I have been abused by a woman for whom I held a door and I had not even called her "missus." She would no doubt have preferred to be addressed by her surname only, a courtesy the press would be happy to extend.

    As for the discussion of politics, (religion and [gasp] sex,) all can be profitable in the appropriate circumstances. However, it is doubtful if this forum is an appropriate location for such. It may happen but is it beneficial?

  9. #9
    VoidMaster
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    Gotta let off steam somewhere Blue Druid, the pubs are deserted these days since the drink/drive push and no smoking.
    It's not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable. The hundred-times-refuted theory of "free will" owes its persistence to this charm alone; some one is always appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it - Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #10
    Ancient Member Blue Druid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journalistic Standards

    Ah, you're not wrong there, zqwerty. In these days of Covid lock downs and lock ups, isolation and insulation, all our healthy opinions need the relief of a safety valve. My cat just vanished in a puff of blue steam because I refused to share the last sardine from the empty pantry.

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