Thursday, 9 January 2020

Important semantics

The editor of The Spectator is reality-checking the BBC:

Someone attempts to defend the BBC by saying, "But that is a quote hence the quotation marks. Surely the BBC are allowed to quote the British Retail Consortium with regards to a story about retail".  

The snag with that is that the body of the article contains no such quote. The BBC is actually quoting its own headline...

{edit}...Either that or it's quoting a quote from the BRC that's not in the article itself.

But this is semantics. Possibly important semantics, but BBC would be correct in saying it’s “worst level of growth in 25yrs”. If high street is used to always growing sales, and then they fall - that’s dire for retailers faced with higher costs.
Update: In today's Times, the paper's business editor Richard Fletcher accuses the BBC of having "parroted" the BRC's "adjusted" figures before offering his own "more sober" take on the sales data. 

1 comment:

  1. From the article: "The BRC's figures do not include the entire retail market. For instance, its survey excludes some fast-growing online retailers, including Amazon, which some experts reckon now account for some 20% of online sales."

    I see also the BBC have amended the headline to add "says trade body". But even that is not accurate - the trade body is as far as I can see only referencing its own members, not the whole sector.

    The referency to Barclaycard is also confusing. Is the dip referring to Christmas or the whole of the year?

    Certainly this is a good example of standard BBC negative reporting. Incidentally I was astonished to read there hadn't been a previous reduction in annual retail spending over the last 25 years when I think back over the thousands of negative BBC reports about retail spending!!! In reality, then every BBC report on retail spending since 1994 should have been buoyant and upbeat...but of coruse they weren't?