“Daddy, why do the people on the radio interrupt each other all the time? It is so hard to understand what they are saying”
There, in a nut-shell, is the judgment on today’s media by the decision-makers of the future.
These were my daughter’s exact words this morning as we sat in the kitchen having breakfast.
I love to listen to BBC Radio 4’s flagship morning news magazine programme, TODAY. It is a way of keeping up-to-date with what is going on in the world while you are getting on with making tea, packed lunches for school, more tea, and even while showering, before having more tea. Radio is a fantastic medium for the multi-tasking parent.
I also love the fact that my 8 year old can listen at the same time and asks questions about news topics. How many parents and teachers would kill for that?
OK, so it get’s awkward when the subject turns to ‘tricky’ debates on violence for example, but that’s a small price to pay. You learn to change channel promptly.
That’s why it is SO annoying that most politicians are such practised anti-communicators, drilled in the art of not answering questions and wasting 98% of an interview so that all that is left is the soundbite they came to deliver, … and that the interviewers’ reaction is therefore to interrupt, argue, and ‘grandstand’ with long-winded questions.
How many times have we heard these same people in politics and the media talk about how young people are ‘disconnected’? Is is any surprise?
I’m not asking news programmes to “dumb down” to speak to kids. On the contrary, I’m asking news programmes to “grow up” because it seems that it is not the listeners that are the childish disconnected ones.