Michael Blastland

is a journalist, author and creator of the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less

Blog posts in total 10

Posts

  1. The BBC's interactive road accident map shows how data can be made to look groovy and enlightening and that there's a great deal of potentially useful data out there.   But if I've understood it right, it gives our audiences a bad steer (excuse the pun) because it doesn't seem to be unadjuste...

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  2. I can't help feeling something is missing from the border controls debate. Ah, I know: proportion. The usual thing. So, just in case anyone would like to pursue this, a few pointers to some numbers. The Home Office compiles a good set, easy to dig into. And without much effort you can look up:...

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  3. If the GMB does strike, can someone compare the data before calling it the 'summer of discontent'?

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  4. What's likely to happen as a result of today's scare about the awful ordeal of the unwanted pregnancy? I'll tell you my guess: more unwanted pregnancies. 

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  5. David Cameron has broken his electoral promise to increase health spending, says Ed Miliband.  David Cameron says he will not break his promise to increase health spending, but will guarantee it.  Up or down? Will he, won't he? Honest or not? Here is one that will run and run, since much dep...

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  6. Massive social transformation! New, sexy social stereotypes! Bit of gender-war thrown in! This story had the lot. Was it widely reported? You bet. Here it is:  TEN TIMES MORE STAY-AT-HOME DADS THAN TEN YEARS AGO.  "The number of UK dads staying at home ...

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  7. There's a view in journalism that goes: 'bad news is news, good news isn't.' Even so, I think reporting of the economy has been too pessimistic. Not all experts have been gloomy, but those that weren't haven't been much heard. But is there another factor in the preference for pessimism, namely...

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  8. Uncertainty doesn't come easily to journalists. We tell people things. So telling them we don't know what to tell them feels like the proverbial chocolate teapot: useless. It's not. It's part of the story. Do we need better ways of telling people what we don't know, as well as what we do? ...

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  9. What does a public service broadcaster do when it no longer leads in either the supply or the presentation of public information? As a rookie journalist wanting routine data, I phoned a press office, it gave us the stuff, we printed it, highlighting what we thought interesting. "Are you a m...

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  10. I hear and see on the BBC today, reported in shocked tones, that one in 150 businesses went bust in 2008. This is unequivocally a Very Bad Thing. I don't hear that this is close to an historic low. I don't hear that in the last recession the rate was worse than one in 40. I don't hear that for...

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