Getting the basics right

November 24, 2016 22:51

I'm in Israel at the moment, on holiday, and am not supposed to be blogging - hence my absence during a tumultuous week in politics. But I have, of course, been following events both on TV and the web.

What has struck me above all else is how terribly uninformed and inaccurate some - most? - of  the coverage has been. Take this, from the BBC site today. In itself it's trivial, but it shows just how the most basic understanding is often missing:

Brown didn't trust me, says Flint

Caroline Flint

Ms Flint was Europe minister, a rank below cabinet level

Caroline Flint says she resigned from the cabinet because Gordon Brown questioned her loyalty.

She quit last week accusing Mr Brown of treating women as "window dressing" - a day after publicly backing the PM.

was thought she quit because she was not offered a cabinet job in
Friday's reshuffle which came after resignations and amid reports of an
attempted coup.


Er, explain please how Ms Flint "resigned from the Cabinet" because "she was not offered a cabinet job". Ms Flint has never been in the Cabinet. As Europe Minister she was invited to attend some Cabinet meetings. 

You'd think whoever wrote this piece realised that the opening sentence was directly - and rightly - contradicted by the third sentence.

This isn't pedantry. It's an important sign of the most basic mistakes in political reporting. Is it any wonder so few people appear to have any idea what has been going over the past few weeks?

November 24, 2016 22:51

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