Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Getting Tense about the News

I picked this up from the BBC – this is not to pick on the Beeb, but to highlight a practice that I find odd – (my highlighting):

5 July 2013 Last updated at 04:05

Elderly people in England are to have a named clinician responsible for their care when they leave hospital, the health secretary has said.

The initiative is to be unveiled at an event to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the National Health Service.

Mr Hunt says it will to help create a “more personal service”.

At an event at Guy’s Hospital in London, Mr Hunt will announce that a named doctor or nurse will be responsible for vulnerable patients “at all times”.

He will say: …. “we need to know that there is a clinician accountable for vulnerable older people in the community”

Well, has he or has he not “said” the above?

The News seems to confuse “what is due to happen” with what “has happened”.  This situation is exacerbated by press offices releasing press releases “in advance”.

I would not want to see organisations not releasing press announcements, and I think it is reasonable for news outlets to report not just on “what had happened” but also to take a forward view on what is probably going to happen.

I just think they should be clear about the difference – it is important (particularly if the press release says “to be checked against delivery”).


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2 thoughts on “Getting Tense about the News

  1. No top down management for the NHS who said that!

  2. I sometimes wonder when I hear “top down” declarations from ministers whether they are in fact “bottom out”.

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