Object 3: Times News Briefing

May 27, 2021

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The third object is a news briefing podcast by The Times called The Times News Briefing (Wednes- day, the 14th of April). This object enriches the exhibition because it is of a different medium and it takes a journalistic perspective, seeking to provide a 2-3 minute news summary, covering current affairs, politics, domestic and international news.

The Times, a major UK newspaper, takes a “particularly detached” stance towards reporting. This podcast has limited analysis – not all knowledge is provided, just the facts. Moreover, when ana- lysis is provided, it is by third parties via short interviews, for example, an epidemiologist from Cambridge University comments on vaccine safety.

This is not a typical podcast since it is providing headlines with a description of a few sentences. A more common podcast would include a conversation, often with an exchange of opinions. Three minutes may appear inadequate to communicate the news but there may be a variety of factors why this length has been chosen, for example the desire to attract maximum listeners and convince them subscribe to The Times.

It is a challenge to decide what to communicate in such a short period of time. The variety of the subjects covered indicates that the target audience is upper middle class, educated and probably with a higher-than-average wealth, in line with The Times readership, although possibly not of the same age group.

One further challenge is the use of language to disseminate knowledge. It can be difficult, regard- less of trustworthiness or political agenda to effectively disseminate and communicate knowledge, information and (ideally) educate in an impartial way. The podcast states that “Senior civil servants are being allowed to work … under an arrangement authorised by the cabinet office.” The tone of this headline is neutral; the words “are being allowed” and “authorised” are carefully chosen pos- sibly reflecting government language. The subject is sensitive and can influence political views.

Bibliography

  • –  “Times News Briefing.” The Times and The Sunday Times. Accessed April 14, 2021. https://

    www.thetimes.co.uk/podcasts/times-news-briefing.

  • –  Cummins, Jeanine. American Dirt. Paris: Philippe Rey, 2020.
  • –  Khamenei.ir. “We Don’t Insist the US Return to the #JCPOA. This Is Not the Issue for Us at All Whether the US Returns to the JCPOA or Not. That Which Is Our Logical Demand Is the Remov- al of Sanctions, and That Is the Only Way That the US’s Return to the JCPOA Would Make Sense.” Twitter. January 15, 2021. Accessed February 8, 2021. https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/ status/1350154791599673351?lang=en.
  • –  Esfandiari, Golnaz. “Iranian Politicians Who Use Twitter Despite State Ban.” RadioFreeEurope/ RadioLiberty. August 28, 2017. Accessed February 11, 2021. https://www.rferl.org/a/iranian- politicians-twitter-ban/28701701.html.
  • –  Khamenei.ir. “The Situation in the US & What They Themselves Say about Their Elections Is a Spectacle! This Is an Example of the Ugly Face of Liberal Democracy in the US. Regardless of the Outcome, One Thing Is Absolutely Clear, the Definite Political, Civil, & Moral Decline of the US Regime.” Twitter. November 07, 2020. Accessed February 13, 2021. https://twitter.com/ khamenei_ir/status/1325138042047377408?lang=en.
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