From the Swinging Sixties to the Turbulent Noughties
Chapter 6 BBC Radio Journalists, theirAudiences and the future
127 Chapter 6 BBC Radio Journalists, their Audiences and the future We interrupt our programmes...alters things – a line that splits two verbs: to live, to die. We interrupt our programmes...alters things without warning, from a clear blue sky. Sean Street, “News Flash”, Radio and Other Poems 6.1 Know thy audience! The father of Rhetoric, Aristotle, stressed the importance of knowing the audience if an orator wanted to persuade. In his Art of Rhetoric he emphasizes that being aware of the audi- ence’s needs and views will help a speaker decide on which of the three appeals ethos, logos and pathos, will work best. The BBC’s journalists are not aiming to persuade the audience of anything, unless it is that the public should take note of the particular news events which the journalists have selected. They hope as public broadcasters to be as neutral in their re- porting as possible without driving a particular agenda. Howev- er, Aristotle’s three appeals can still apply. Logos will demand that the structure of the news bulletins and the order in which the news is presented is clear and logical, as is the choice of items; burying the news would not make sense or be effective in communicating that news. Pathos can play a role, (as dis- cussed in Chapter 4): emotion and painting pictures can help a radio audience “see”. Ethos is vital too, listeners who do not trust the broadcaster, will not trust the news operation, effec- tively rendering its function of informing...
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