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There are 236 posts tagged: BBC editorial standards: how many monkeys does it take…?

11 May 2024

It's that time of year again, folks. The time in question being the one when each country in Europe enters a—generally terrible—song into a competition to find the least bad. And because this is the Eurovision Song Contest, Israel's in the running. Wait, what? (confused)

US jobs in the US, of all places!
3 May 2024

It appears that US job growth has slowed as US employers added too few jobs to the US jobs market. Something tells me this might be a stateside story.

My secret missile's no secret anymore
25 April 2024

Okay, it was a secret when sanctioned, back in February, and when the weapons were delivered earlier this month. But now the US is openly admitting that it's supplying Ukraine with more powerful ballistic missiles.

Ranking officer
19 April 2024

On the death of Kenya's military chief, Gen. Francis Omondi Ogolla, in a military helicopter crash, the BBC's newshounds went on to observe that:

Anus horribilis
12 April 2024

Bottoms, we all have one, and don't try to pretend you haven't. There's nothing wrong with them, other than the smell. Just ask my wife.

Club Tropicana drinks weren't free
8 April 2024

After almost seventy years, the Tropicana, one of Las Vegas' iconic casino hotels has closed its doors. And one of the more interesting features on the BBC's magazine side of late is Tony Perrottet's exploration of Sin City's seedy past. It's only a little more than 1400 words, to cover almost eighty years of history of gangsters, gambling, and divorce. If it were much longer though, I probably wouldn't've got through it all. (shrug)

What makes a tree a tree?
9 March 2024

Last year, vandals cut down a sycamore tree sited at a gap in Hadrian's Wall, imaginatively known as Sycamore Gap. It is, or at least was, a renowned beauty spot and tourist attraction, famed for its starring role in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

D***(*)ing under the influence
7 March 2024

In writing 'Motonormativity': The bias that leads to dangerous driving for BBC Future, Christine Ro helpfully translates the acronym DUI for us: DUI [drinking under the influence]. We've all been there, drinking under the influence that is.

Twice 1+1
20 February 2024

Another day, another US shooting incident worthy of hitting the international news. This time, two police officers and a paramedic died when responding to a seige following a domestic incident. I note it only for the fact of the second police officer and a firefighter/paramedic being killed alongside officer Elmstrand, as did our fearless correspondent.

A taste of eastern promise
18 February 2024

The BBC home page, as is so often the case, poses an intriguing question: why must Japan apologise for a US Navy officer killing two of its citizens?

Marichika Spring
5 February 2024

Reports in the Indian media on the death of an actress, which was falsified for clicks and publicity to [cough] elevate awareness about cervical cancer, show that Indian urinalists are as gullible as their British counterparts.

The duplicator
3 February 2024

The BBC's scribes are challenged by the concept of cut/- and copy/paste. It's a fairly simple editorial task, but the hacks at Beeb Towers often find themselves repeating themselves, either verbatim or in essence. I guess that, in the race to publish, some corners have to be cut. Corners like rechecking your work before pressing the CMS's publish button, for example.

Racist drones
30 January 2024

News that three US soldiers killed in a recent drone attack in Jordan have been identified, revealed that they were all African Americans. It is unknown whether the attackers, believed to be Kataib Hezbollah, had BLM in their social media bios, but it would be rank hypocrisy if they did.

Nom nom nom
24 January 2024

Another BBC report on the Oscars' nominations brings to our attention, yet again, that Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were cruelly snubbed for their work on Barbie where it matters most, the big noms that recieve the goodie bag. And its entertainment reporter, Steven I'm really a feminist, please can I have a shag? McIntosh, is all over the inequality. Or inequity. Or PaTriArchY aNd MisOGyNy™. Or whatever the hell.

The air that I breathe
23 January 2024

Reporting on a novel method of execution, which has been authorised for use by an Alabaman correctional facility in order to dispatch a death row inmate, the BBC's Tom Bateman affords me the opportunity to be a smart-arse, and earn petty points exposing unchecked misinformation at the corporation.

Long straight hair
20 January 2024

The death of Mary Weiss, lead singer and one quarter of The Shangri-Las, was recognised from beyond the grave by Ronnie Spector, who predeceased her by two years. The BBC's Oliver Slow took the opportunity to demonstrate that, while he might be Slow by name, he's quick on the draw corrective edit.

11 January 2024

Copy/paste really should be made easier, or Wiley should publish a Cut, Copy, and Paste for Dummies book, so the BBC's scribes can directly quote American authors authentically. Such as in this case, where Stephen McIntosh incorrectly corrects David Rooney's spelling:

Chelmsford 123
3 January 2024

A road sign outside Chelmsford, Essex, has the town incorrectly spelt as Chelmsord due to a printing error. The error wasn't present at the design stage, so the printer clearly hasn't got the hang of copy/paste.

…and I am unanimous in that
2 January 2024

After a British woman ran her fiancé down following an alcohol-fuelled row, she was arrested and charged with murder. Fortunately, CCTV cameras caught the act, so the plod didn't have to take too much time away from picking their noses and masturbating back at the cop shop.

The total fucking irony
1 January 2024

BBC Radio 4 has an online grammar quiz dedicated to that most maligned of punctuation, the apostrophe. In prefacing the quiz, they have apparently used the BBC style guidelines for these examples – so blame them, not us. Well, okay then; but are they not part of the BBC? (confused)

Negative advice
21 December 2023

Forty-eight years after being wrongly convicted of murder, a man has been exonerated by an Oklahoman judge and freed. Glynn Simmons told reporters that the decision was a lesson in resilience and tenacity, going on to say: Don't let nobody tell you that it can't happen, because it really can.

Andre Braugher: 'im gone…too soon
13 December 2023

Andre Braugher has died too young, at the age of only 61. In my opinion, his deadpan portrayal of grammatically-punctilious Captain Raymond Holt was the standout character performance in Brooklyn Nine-Nine; in itself no mean feat.

The king and 'im
2 December 2023

Following a little diplomatic spat between the British and Greek prime ministers over the Elgin Marbles—or Parthenon Sculptures, I'm not sure which*—Old King Cock addressed the delegates of COP(out)28 while wearing a tie emblazoned with the Greek flag. Buckingham Palace denied it was a coded message to Rishi Sunak, suggesting instead that the choice was random.

1 December 2023

Violence erupted at a UEFA football match between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw in Birmingham, when the visiting Polish supporters were barred from the stadium. Our fearless reporters were able to impress upon us, through judicial use of cut and paste, that the police gave the operation their fullest attention possible, they policed it correctly, but incidents of sporadic violence just cannot be stopped.

'Racist' royals
1 December 2023

Okay, so we all know that the marriage between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle was not without controversy. And then a baby came along.

Includes all
13 November 2023

Protests against the war in Gaza held in London over the weekend ended in violence. No shit, who'd've thunk it? (rolleyes)

The power behind the throne
10 November 2023

It's an easy life, being a business reporter for the BBC, an' no mistake; all you have to do is kick back and drink the corporate koolade. In this case, Natalie Sherman regurgitates Disney CEO, Bob Iger's earnings call release as fact. There may well be some truthful statements in there, but there are also some that are at best half-truths. And we don't have to go very far into the article, either.

The final straw
7 November 2023

In Plastic or paper? The truth about drinking straws, Ally Hirschlag wrestles with the conundrum of substitutes for plastic straws. Everyone knows that for every plastic straw used, a baby turtle dies; so they're being replaced with environmentally-friendly alternatives made from paper or bamboo.

Where are the meatballs?
4 November 2023

At first I wasn't sure whether Annabel Rackham is telling us what it's like to go clubbing in a converted IKEA store, or asking us what's it like to go clubbing in a converted IKEA store? Because, if the latter, I can't help her; I don't know, I've never tried it. Fortunately, however, it turns out she has.

Rock of ages
24 October 2023

A French museum has corrected the skin tone of a wax statue of Wayne The Rock Johnson, after it was criticised for being too pale. This is in contrast to recent events when no correction was made to portrayals of Anne Boleyn and Cleopatra, which were criticised for being too dark.

Vape pressure
16 October 2023

Warning of the dangers of childhood vaping, the BBC corrects an earlier version of its article:

Marianna unsprung
2 October 2023

I've mocked the often self-serving grift of the BBC's social media and disinformation correspondent, Marianna Spring, on several occasions. But Spiked's Tom Slater takes a deeper dive, and does a more thorough job of calling out her hubris in Marianna Spring: the BBC’s misinformation merchant.

X the known
20 September 2023

A BBC News report on the hacking of Donald Trump Jr's X account, with its ensuing joviality, gave hope that Auntie Beeb had moved on from the rebranding; X was mentioned twice in the absence of its former identity. Alas, it was not to be, and X, formerly Twitter finally made its appearance at the third instance, two-thirds of the way in.

It makes a change from sexual assault
20 September 2023

A Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with murder, after shooting a man following a chase last September.

Retrx cool
15 September 2023

In Pachucos: The Latinx subculture that defied the US, Rafael Estefania [sic] introduces us to the pachucos, a Latin American subculture within the USA that grew from alienation; rebellion; and a love of music and dance. Kinda. Harking back to the styles of the '30s–'50s, they seem almost effortlessly cool now. (cool)

Sheep to be shorn
2 September 2023

Jared Evitts is a BBC journalist. He used Google—not googled, for Google doesn't like being used as a verb, Jared—to get HMRC's contact number, and found that he'd been stung by a 'tweener. But he's not alone.

False advertising?
1 September 2023

The BBC's quiz of the week headlines with the teaser to the right, but follows with this question: Rap star Eminem asked Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy to stop using his songs, after the biotech entrepreneur performed Lose Yourself at the Iowa State Fair. Which other politician was previously told to stop using the rapper’s music?

When is a watermark not a watermark?
29 August 2023

Google's development of software to detect AI-created images gives the BBC's tech gurus the opportunity to edumacate us on the use of watermarks to protect images.

Unimaginative reimagination
15 August 2023

As Disney's reimagining of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, now just Snow White, comes under criticism for tokenised race-swapping of the titular heroine; re-characterisation of the dwarves; rewriting the story for modern audiences; and Rachel Zegler running her mouth in interviews, the BBC's very own entertainment and arts reporter, Emma Saunders asks: Has the fairy tale already gone sour?

Breaking story…but will it be updated? (thinking)
9 August 2023

Breaking news on migrants' deaths in the Mediterranean is heralded on the BBC's home page, and flagged accordingly on the article page. Interestingly enough though, the article doesn't conclude with a footnote that it's a developing news story, and will be updated.

The Timberlake syndrome
3 August 2023

A hagiography of Angus Cloud is illustrated among the BBC's features' picks with an image previously used to illustrate BBC Culture's deep-dive into cinematic buttocks. I guess all average-looking, cropped-haired, white actors look alike. (shrug)

Return to the grid
27 July 2023

The tragic deaths of three family members, who perished from malnutrition during the harsh Coloradan winter as they tried to live off grid, have only served to bring them back on grid bigger than before; courtesy of the news coverage. Oops!

Fewer of not the best
21 July 2023

Those bookish babes at BBC Culture, Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker, have finally got around to updating this year's must-reads-so-far list. And, breaking from their film-buff counterparts, they've thankfully updated their article's headlining image, presenting a pleasant change from the gormless photo of Eleanor Catton that's been there since April.

Body count
20 July 2023

A minor triviality; grammatically speaking that is, because a human tragedy underlies it.

Jimmy who?
10 July 2023

Allegations that an unnamed male BBC presenter paid a young adult £35,000 for explicit photos over a three-year period are remarkable for four things.

7 July 2023

While film buffs Barber and James score points over the bookworms, Laurence and Baker, for actually having seen at least some of the films that they're recommending, they lose a few for the laziness with which they recycle their article. No new image to lure the reader in. Hell's teeth, they can't even be bothered to update the date from 14th April! The only betrayal of change is a slight revision to the title, just to reflect the additions.

Global trusted urinalism
4 July 2023

This is my opportunity to support the world's most trusted international news broadcaster™ as it reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour. Cute.

26 June 2023

In web code, HTML, objects on the page are represented by tags which have attributes that describe the object and its position. An image is represented with the IMG tag, the ALT attribute of which offers a description of the image. It's an accessibility feature; a visual placeholder for devices that cannot display images, or an audible cue to users who cannot see them. It may be something as simple as woman looking at tablet.

The billionaires' club
15 June 2023

In the wake of George Soros handing control of his business and philanthropic empire over to his son, BBC Reel asks whether anyone should be allowed to inherit $25bn.

Not deep throat
15 June 2023

Even a jurnurlizzim skewl graduate can get it right on occasion. But there's more though; we've been doubly blessed with this headline! And, because of that, I'm even inclined to think it was intentional, rather than just a fluke.

Talking heads
14 June 2023

The UK's communications industry watchdog, Ofcom, is to canvas public opinion on politicians hosting current affairs programmes.

Stealth edits: only if no one's watching
13 June 2023

A journalist working for Radio New Zealand has been caught out editing articles to make them favourable to Russia. The media outlet's chief executive has condemned the changes as pro-Kremlin garbage, describing his reaction to the incident: It is so disappointing. I'm gutted. It's painful. It's shocking. I think he's quite upset, just reading between the lines.

Minority report
4 June 2023

The BBC News droid doesn't just report the news, it also pulls together future-gazing speculative fluff-pieces of the kind normally found within the website's magazine-type sections; an example of AI in action, perhaps. Ironically enough, in this case the droid's created an article on the threats that AI may pose to humanity: AI warning us of AI, no less.

Pois(s)on stew
3 June 2023

What are your thoughts on reading a link to A most perilous fish stew? It's gotta be something dramatic, like pufferfish. Right? The sort of thing that can only be prepared by specially-trained chefs, working in exotic, far-flung restaurants. Right?

3 June 2023

The only consistency is inconsistency. From the BBC's home page this morning comes news of an India train crash alongside an investigation into a boat capsizing on an Italian lake.

Special correspondent
28 May 2023

The BBC home page announced Katty Kay: A growing case of transatlantic heartburn, which sounds like Katty Kay is the cause of the discomfort. Who on earth is she? And what on earth could she have done to raise tensions so badly?

Ms or Mr?
28 May 2023

As India's women wrestlers protest against sexual harassment and abuse at the hands of officials from the nation's wrestling federation, one of the fighting Phogat sisters appears to have taken sexism in sport to heart more than most, and decided to transfer to the men's league.

Another hole for pigeons
22 May 2023

We live in an ever-changing and challenging world, one in which deep fakes; manipulated photos and video; and AI-weaponised disinformation become indistinguishable from reality. Nefarious entities abuse information technologies, wilfully manipulating the news and social media in furtherance of their own agendas.

Bury the lead
19 May 2023

Breaking news often requires updating. That's a given. Broken news may also be updated; stealthily in the case of the world's most trusted international news broadcaster™. That's also a given.

15 May 2023

At the turn of the century, South Wales Police were using groundbreaking DNA genealogy to identify a serial murderer/rapist who'd terrorised the Swansea area in the early '70s. Gilbert John's retelling is a gripping read.

A more accurate guess
10 May 2023

Despite the solemnity of the subject, let's start with a little frivolous piss-taking of the BBC's editorial capabilities.

Love thy neighbour
10 May 2023

A yee-haw in Louisiana shot at children running away from his home, unknowingly hitting a young teenaged girl in the back of the head. It's not clear what part of firing at shadows makes a hit unknowing; pure luck that the shot found its mark, perhaps? It makes it sound like he didn't intend to hit anyone; in which case, not firing into the shadows in the first place would've been a better approach. And people like this are allowed to own firearms in the USofA(rmaments).

Who could have foreseen it?
8 May 2023

A tourist boat in India left at least twenty-two of its around fifty passengers dead when it capsized at night. The double-decker boat was twofold over its capacity.

Streaming malcontent
6 May 2023

If, like me, you read the BBC's home page teaser and thought this was a review of films so bad they were pulled from theatres, then, like me, you'd be wrong. And probably, also like me, disappointed. For its actually about nothing less mundane than made-for-streaming content, the success of which is determined by different performance metrics to traditional theatrical releases, and which uses different narrative structure to meet them.

Blurring the lines
5 May 2023

I guess one problem that the BBC has, in having so many categories for articles and reporting staff, is pigeonholing and assigning specific stories that might plausibly fit within more than one category. For example, should an article on a journalist being tracked by TikTok be categorised under technology—because technology is used to track her—or social media—because TikTok is teh soshull meejah, innit?

Mr or Ms?
4 May 2023

On the divorce of the late Robert Mugabe's daughter from her husband, Simba Mutsahuni Chikore, comes this insight from the BBC's correspondent in Harare:

Sì, sì, cìtron
30 April 2023

Reading of Calabrian farmers' endeavours to protect and sustain the rare citron (Citrus medica) this morning, I was struck by an overpowering sense of déjà vu. For I'd recently read of the lure of this same fruit, less than four months' ago. On the very same site, as it happens, albeit stuffed into a different pigeonhole. It seems that good topics know no bounds.

Sometimes it's hard to be a man
28 April 2023

The BBC home page tantalises this lead to BBC Reel. I didn't bother watching it. But simply that the question needed to be asked in the first place, might explain the current vogue for men wanting to become women. (pipe)

Inordinate interest in trivia
23 April 2023

I guess there are only so many things to occupy the waking hours of a disinformation and social media correspondent, which is presumably why the BBC's Marianna Spring is reduced to counting celebrity losses and gains in the Twitter verification stakes. This is of such high import, that she's co-opted another lackey to help.

Not the best
22 April 2023

They got there in the end. BBC Culture's resident bookworms, Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker, were not subjected to pest-control agents after all. They just seem to have been waiting to see what Barber and James came up with first. And one thing they've learnt is to dial back the hyperbole. Unlike last year's lists, we're presented with twelve of the best books that 2023 has had to offer thus far.

20 April 2023

The BBC home page teases an opportunity for everyone to learn how health status varies across generations, probably in the usual lazily put-together fluff-piece manner. Except oldies—in this case, anyone born before 1997—need not apply.

It's a subcontinent-sized world
11 April 2023

Is the scope of this World Startup Convention like that of the World Series? Dependent on how liberally one defines world? (thinking)

London calling
4 April 2023

London City Airport has become the second in the UK, after Teesside International Airport, to scrap the 100mL limit for carry-on liquids, following the introduction of new scanners. This momentous event is expected to improve the security experience for many tens of travellers.

Two clues
3 April 2023

The BBC's deadbeat droid is being coy about a racist slur used in a recent YouTube video; keeping the clues to a minimum.

0s and 1s
30 March 2023

I don't know why this qualifies for BBC Worklife per se, other than zoomers have to work like the rest of us, I guess; but Jessica Klein seeks to educate us as to How young people are shaking off gender binaries. The relevance of zoomers to work life, I can understand; their gender binarism is another matter entirely. Unless these attitudes are having an impact on the provision of toilet facilities in the workplace. (confused)

PG tips
21 March 2023

I hadn't read of the deaths of Indonesian children after taking tainted cough syrup before now, but the cause of death being acute kidney injury told me that this was the same issue as reported earlier in The Gambia and Uzbekistan. I wouldn't have noted it here, though, if my pedantry hackles hadn't been raised:

9 March 2023

Things haven't gone too smoothly in Afghanistan, since the Taliban came to power in August 2021. And not just for the populace, who probably wish that all these arseholes were martyred, so they could just get on with their lives.

Springtime for Hateler
6 March 2023

Marianna Spring is the BBC's disinformation and social media correspondent. Her role is to seek out problems on teh soshull meejah and whinge about them. This time, it's about hurt fee-fees on Twitter, particularly hers. First World problems, huh? (snowflake)

1 March 2023

Whether the WuFlu originated from wildlife at a market or a laboratory is probably a moot point to most people. We know it originated somewhere in Wuhan, there's a clue in the name, and that's all that really matters.

Possession is nine-tenths…
1 March 2023

The BBC doesn't appear to have too much inclination for possessive terms. Perhaps the concept of ownership is too much for the comrades at the People's Republic of Portland Place. (shrug)

Cripes! Trigger warning, or false advertising?
26 February 2023

Reporting on the murder trial of a South Carolinian lawyer, Holly Honderich prefaces her filing with this warning:

Written wrongly
26 February 2023

Who writes this shit? No, not this shit, here, I know who does that. Me.

Modi operandi
14 February 2023

The BBC finds itself in a little spat with the Indian government, after a documentary painted the country's prime minister, Narendra Modi, in a none too flattering light.

A sting in the tale
27 January 2023

Five black police officers are under investigation for the death of a black motorist in Memphis, TN. Race agitator and grifter, Rev. Al Sharpton, claimed: I do not believe these five black police officers would have done this had he been a young white man.

The Duchess of Memphis
23 January 2023

The UK's former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Thérèse Coffey, might not appreciate the importance of the Oxford comma, but we do, don't we kids? As in this example: the droid reporting on the memorial service for Lisa Marie Presley.

'P' for Paki(stani)…?
23 January 2023

Another unword requiring investigative sleuthing to demystify the message. Although in this case only further (skip-)reading was needed to gather the clues together.

Less than five percent
6 January 2023

'Til now, the best objective estimate for the prevalence of the LGBTQIABC+FLAPFLAPFLAP population that I've found comes from 'phone polls of 350,000 US citizens, conducted by Gallup and published in 2017 by the UCLA Williams Institute. This gives a countrywide average of 4.5%.

5 January 2023

Kelly Ng brings us more news of a tragic helicopter collision at Sea World, on Australia's Gold Coast, in which four people lost their lives and three others were badly injured. Unfortunately, our intrepid correspondent filed her report mid-edit:

Expectantly expecting
29 December 2022

According to Angelica Casas, all the students attending Lincoln Park High School in Brownsville, TX, are pregnant or expecting mums. But expecting, or expectant, mothers are those who're pregnant.

What a difference a Dey makes
20 December 2022

Irmgard Furchner has been brought to justice and sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term, for complicity in war crimes during WWII. In her role as a typist at Stutthof concentration camp, she may have been aware of atrocities when she saw papers in the office, or looked out of the window. Yet, as a teenaged young woman, she didn't rise up against the might of the Nazi death machine.

Stay of execution
17 December 2022

According to Michael Benza, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, a lack of skilled staff is slowing down the execution of US prisoners. It's true, you just can't get the help these days. I blame millennials' and zoomers' lack of work ethic. (wink)

Health warning…or clever marketing?
16 December 2022

It's a story that thankfully doesn't require mathematical dexterity, as Tiffanie Turnbull regales us over toxic spinach being sold in Australian Costco stores. The Riviera Farms baby spinach appears to have been contaminated with a weed that induces hallucinations.

Doesn't add up
15 December 2022

I'm not sure whether the BBC's Australian correspondent, Tiffanie Turnbull, has a problem with the English language or mathematics. Updating a story on a recent fatal ambush shooting of police officers at a remote property in Queensland, she seems to have difficulty in either differentiating between shots sustained and fatalities, or the seemingly complex sum of 2+1=?

Fully booked
15 December 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, thoughts turn to the 39 best books of the year so far. Except they don't, because our fearless culture vultures, Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker, actually present us with The 50 best books of the year 2022. Oh goody gumdrops!

A promise of things to come
14 December 2022

While pimping Babylon—an upcoming story of Hollywood's licentious past—on behalf of BBC Culture, Christina Newland teases the truth about the scandals of the silent film era. Except I'm not sure whether she actually reveals the true truth, or just that as portrayed in the film, because she may not have written it yet. And, even if she has, we'll have to wait until the end of next week for it to go live. Again.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
13 December 2022

It all started out so well. The teaser tagline on the BBC's home page correctly identified the combatants' nationalities. What could possibly go wrong?

Blair which?
9 December 2022

Following in Elliot Page's pioneering footsteps, actress Selma Blair has crossed over. Or so the BBC 100 Women droid would have us believe.

Peruvian poverty
8 December 2022

The BBC home page has a link to a story on the ousting of Peru's president, Pedro Castillo. Except the link (right) refers to Peru president, although the article's headline does correct the error (top).

A shortness of Trusst
4 December 2022

Nick Robinson, a presenter on BBC's Today programme, outlines eleven gambles that went wrong for Liz Truss. So far, so drear. She was, after all, the UK's shortest-serving prime minister; the only remarkable aspect of her tenure being how quickly she crashed and burned.

The pied piper
2 December 2022

New York is hiring, if you're in the mind to fill the role of director of rodent mitigation. The Big Apple has a rat infestation problem, and the city's willing to pay well for a modern-day pied piper…or anyone sufficiently murine-adverse.

1 December 2022

The San Francisco Police Department is set to deploy robots armed with explosives in the pacification of violent, armed, or dangerous subjects, which could amount to most criminals in the land of the free-to-bear-arms. This is not a new development, however.

Lies, damned lies, and China's chongvirus statistics
1 December 2022

Chinese officials are relaxing WuFlu restrictions in light of a new situation, according to vice-premier Sun Chunlan. But it has absolutely nothing to do with saving face while backing down in response to riots. Oh no.

24 November 2022

Diane Bernard is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. She writes for the Washington Post and NPR, among other mainstream media outlets. So, I guess she could be considered to be progressive and right on.

18 November 2022

While writing in praise of Bovril—a meat extract concentrate—and the role of London's Piccadilly Circus in its promotion down the years, Bethan Bell makes a brief diversion into other uses for the landmark's enormous illuminated screen.

17 November 2022

Lest anyone consider me petty and pedantic for occasionally drawing attention to the BBC's minor editorial oversights—typographical errors, that is, not stealth editing—you're right, I am. But, I'm not alone.

Hush, not hushed
8 November 2022

A Nigerian scammer, who goes under the Instagram name of Hushpuppi, has been sentenced by a Los Angeles court to 135 months in jail for international fraud. He also received a fine of $1,732,841, which seems a curiously precise amount. But that's the law for you, I guess.

Old hag
4 November 2022

For those of you unaware of the existence of the hagsploitation film genre, it's apparently a thing. Inspired by 1962's What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?—itself inspired by Sunset Boulevard, twelve years earlier—a plethora of films was released during the '60s and '70s starring ageing actresses at a point in their careers where work was harder to come by.

Pope porn
26 October 2022

Priests do it Nuns do it They have a lot of fun doin' it Let's do it Let's watch porn [with apologies to Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen]

Baby steps
25 October 2022

BBC News in editorial transparency shocker!

Out with the vax
22 October 2022

As Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, destroys 100 million doses of expired Chongvax, its CEO was refreshingly candid about the uptake of booster shots.

Two freaking letters
16 October 2022

I know I promised not to. But two freakin' letters. Is it really that difficult?

The eyes have it
13 October 2022

Thirteen-year-old Lowri Moore is campaigning for better representation for four-eyed gits, firstly in film and now in emojis. She's urging the Unicode Consortium to include options for adding spectacles to the plethora of shit that we have to wade through already.

11 October 2022

My, doesn't time fly when you're having fun? Another quarter of a year, another best-books-of-the-year-so-far list, courtesy of those BBC Culture vultures Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker.

Plumbing the depths
9 October 2022

My immediate thought on seeing this link on the BBC's home page was that it hardly takes a mission to see a film made twenty-five years ago. Then I noticed the category that it falls under…Travel, not Culture.

More breaking news
6 October 2022

Another breaking story from BBC News, which follows the mass killing of children and adults by an ex-police officer in a Thai daycare centre. There is no indication that this page will be updated, as opposed to a new one being created and linked. We shall see.

The beer necessities
22 September 2022

A pile-up involving five trailer trucks on I-75 in Florida, resulted in the closure of the highway when one of the trucks spilled its cargo of thousands of beer cans.

The lady killer
22 September 2022

María Belén Bernal vanished after visiting her husband at a police training school in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, where he was an instructor. Her body has been found, and he is on the run as the main suspect in her killing.

Representative audience
18 September 2022

A treatise on why Hollyweird has failed Generation Z should reveal some interesting insights. After all, why would an industry of make-believe not try to cultivate a new generation while it's still malleable? The suits at Disney, Warner Bros, and the like have a deep and long-held fondness for money; surely they'd want to maximise the size of the paying audience, rather than ignoring an emerging key demographic?

17 September 2022

Hackers have deleted data from the IHG hotel chain for shitz 'n' gigglz. When the vulnerability was traced to the use of a weak password and lax security around the company's password vault, IHG blew smoke.

Burns unit
8 September 2022

There's a lot of Burns in this horrific tale of mass murder in Canada, so it's unclear whether Mr Burns is referring to an editorially-renamed Ms Head, or one of the named Ms Burns. But I think it's the former.

Half dutch
16 August 2022

This cropped up as a most read lead on BBC News online. What at first appeared to be a compelling national statement on social media abstinence, however, turns out to be a very much more mundane tale of a minor celebrity stepping away from InstaTweet. What a let-down! (thumbdown)

Breaking news: a little more transparency?
12 August 2022

Another breaking news story on the BBC, this time concerning an attack on the author Sir Salman Rushdie, in New York. This time, however, the footnote advises not only that this is a breaking story to be updated, but also that refreshing the page will bring the most recent version. With neither clarification as to what's been updated or corrected, nor any edit timestamp as to when it occurred. Naturally. (rolleyes)

8 August 2022

Dame Olivia Newton-John, one of the mose beautiful women to have graced this planet in my lifetime, has died at the age of 73. She came to wide attention for her role in 1978's Grease, which propelled her career into the '80s and beyond. Later, over three decades, she battled, beat, and re-battled the cancer that finally took her life.

How to back a winner
3 August 2022

Voters in Missouri have voted on something. It may have been abortion rights, it may have been something else. Dunno, the BBC's reporters seem to have brought unrelated threads together in their story on Kansas' abortion vote, and somewhat confused the message.

BBC clickbait: the ellipses are out in force
30 July 2022

I'm not sure what rules the BBC's website content management system has in place, but it makes the home page look bloody odd at times. Of these five video links, all but one were truncated with an ellipsis. But the truncated text was insubstantial in terms of the space required to show it as part of the link text.

27 July 2022

On 1 December, 1948, the body of a man was found lying against the seawall at Somerton Beach in Adelaide. He was well-dressed, wearing a suit and tie. There was no identification on him, and even the labels in his clothing had been cut out. His belongings included incoherent writings, thought to be in code, and a scrap of paper torn from Rubáiyát of Omár Khayyám, with the Farsi phrase Tamám Shudfinished—printed on it.

Not so manly
26 July 2022

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, an Australian National Rugby League team, is appealing to the twinks with a pride competition jersey. In doing so, they've lost seven of their players, who were not consulted on the change, and who're boycotting it on otherwise unspecified religious and cultural grounds.

The world's most trusted social media
21 July 2022

In a discovery that should surprise absolutely nobody, the UK's teenagers rely on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube for news, rather than traditional media outlets. This startling revelation comes in a report from the UK's communications regulator, Ofcom.

Must read?
10 July 2022

Rebecca Laurence and Lindsay Baker have been hard at it, reading books on behalf of BBC Culture. Either that, or genuine bookworms have been hard at it, reading books on their behalf. For they have compiled a list of the 26 best books of the year so far. Mostly novels and poetry, with a smattering of memoirs; clearly no non-fiction books of any note have been released in the last six months.

Developing story: to be stealth updated
8 July 2022

I have previously noted that the world's most trusted international news broadcaster™ is not adverse to stealth editing its articles after they've been published online. An ethical news outlet would make changes clear to the reader, or find another way to update its articles in light of new information. At the very least they would include a last updated timestamp. But the BBC eschews that transparency nonsense.

BoJo gonna gogo?
6 July 2022

Now that both his chancellor and health secretary have resigned over the latest scandal to hit his premiership, we have to wonder how long BoJo can continue to bluff his way. When he appointed Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip earlier this year, he tacitly admitted to knowing that the old pervert had an unenviable reputation, referring to him as Pincher by name, pincher by nature.

Bum vote
4 July 2022

Kenya heads towards national elections next month, and the country's spiralling cost of living has been a prominent feature on the campaign trail.

21 June 2022

I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

Low interest
20 June 2022

The lead from the BBC's home page tantalises five ways in which the rise in US interest rates will affect you. Compelling, no?

Two-faced Charlie
19 June 2022

As Commonwealth heads of state head to Rwanda for a knees-up, Prince Charles will be representing the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth. This will likely increase his chances of rubbing shoulders with BoJo, of whose Rwandan relocation plan he's not so keen.

Cotton candy correspondents
14 June 2022

It kinda irritates me when news is reported with holes in it, to avoid causing offence to some cosseted group or another.

The unknown incel
14 June 2022

An incel who murdered ten people in Toronto in 2018, by driving a van into pedestrians, has been sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 25 years. He was found guilty of the crimes last year.

How anonymous is a name?
7 June 2022

Joanna York discusses the inequalities of post-pandemic workplace presence: executive managers who require the hoi polloi to drag their sorry arses back into the office, while themselves maintaining remote working practices.

All I want for Christmas is your royalties
5 June 2022

Mariah Carey first released All I Want for Christmas is You in 1994. Now, 28 years later, Andy Stone of Vince Vance and the Valiants fame,* is suing her for copyright infringement, claiming that she used the title of his song, written five years earlier, without permission. But he's a reasonable guy, and he's only asking for at least $20 million to soothe his creative sensitivities.

It's Istanbul, not Constantinople now
2 June 2022

Turkey—the country, not the bird or colossal failure—is rebranding itself to Türkiye. The purpose of this change is not to distract from President Erdogan's economic failings in the run-up to next year's elections. Oh no.

Les e-sports
31 May 2022

Académie française, the custodian of the French language, has advised government officials to use French equivalents in place of English terms, when referring to video gaming. It's good to know that someone's on top of this shit. (thumbup)

Say cheese
28 May 2022

In Six unbelievable uses for cheese, BBC Food provides some imaginative, if not flat-out off-the-wall, uses for my favourite dairy product: as car fuel; sporting equipment; sculpture; collateral; a politcal statement; and…crime prevention. Although, in reality, that last one's a bit of a stretch.

Neverending lockdown
24 May 2022

President Pooh's lackeys at the WHO are concerned over China's response to the WuFlu. They believe that continued lockdowns in the face of Chongvirus omicron are not sustainable. Oh well, never mind.

This time we mean it (crossedfingers)
10 May 2022

After prison guard Vicky White absconded from an Alabaman jail with convicted felon Casey White, a manhunt was set up to capture the runaway duo. It ended less than two weeks' later, with her death and his surrender to police.

Dietary habits of the twig children
3 May 2022

BBC Future does science. Except, it doesn't really.

Tweet in space
26 April 2022

After a period of broad speculation, Elon Musk will buy Twitter for a cool $44bn. The announcement has some of the Twitterati weeping into their soy lattes, if not actually soiling themselves.

Invictus Games
17 April 2022

As Prince Harry opened the Invicta Games, which includes competitors from Ukraine, he reassured its representatives that the world is united with their home country. Albeit cheering from the sidelines, rather than actually standing shoulder-to-shoulder, soldier-to-soldier. [POM-POMS]

Everyone, not everyone
10 April 2022

There is, apparently, something for everyone on BBC iPlayer. As long as you live in the UK, that is. That's reasonable enough, since rights issues—or revenue streams—are involved.

Don't Say Ghey
2 April 2022

There's a good deal of outrage on social media that Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, has moved to prohibit kindergarteners from being indoctrinated by rainbow mafia propaganda. Under the headline Florida lawmakers pass 'Don't Say Gay' bill, which is at best naïve and at worst inflammatory, the the world's most trusted international news broadcaster™ gave a partisan view on Florida's House Bill 1557, Parental Rights in Education:

Submitted Photo
31 March 2022

Stand aside, Getty Images! Stand aside, PA Media! Stand aside, Reuters! The BBC's found a new source of photographs to adorn its pages: Submitted Photo.

Proof of Ed?
24 March 2022

Matt Kenyon is a journalist and comedy writer for BBC Radio 4. In The jokes that have made people laugh for thousands of years, he reveals that lowbrow humour, perhaps unsurprisingly, has been with humankind from time immemorial. So, Amy my vagina is my humour Schumer isn't quite the innovator that we might've thought her to be.

The ol' one-three
20 March 2022

A single day passes, and Canada's once again on the receiving end of the BBC's ol' one-three. This time, it's droidy stepping up to show the Canadians what's what.

19 March 2022

Yes, I know that I undertook not to rag on the BBC's grammatical incompetence, but it's a slow news day. If you're trying avoid information overload on the BBC's current obsession, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that is.

17 March 2022

So, you're the world's most trusted international news broadcaster™, and you have a ground-breaking story on the rejuvenation of the UK's electricity distribution network. At least in terms of the design of that part keeping the cables off the ground.

The most obvious Star Trek story ever
17 March 2022

Any best of list or best ever selection is bound to be wreathed in subjectivity. Especially when considering such a long-running TV show as Star Trek and its spawn.

Justice for Jussie‽
11 March 2022

Jussie Smollett has been sentenced to less than six months in jail, of a maximum possible three years on each of five counts, for fabricating a race hate crime. But not everyone believes that Illinois' inmates should have to be more careful with the soap.(jussie)

Double-down juries
11 February 2022

Rebecca Hogue's plight rests on Oklahoma's failure to protect law, which states that a parent who suspects child abuse by another, and fails to report it, is complicit. In the worst case, this can lead to a charge of murder in the first-degree.

Skating on thin ice
8 February 2022

Wahey! Weibo's nationalistic shitheads are at it again. The it being brutally castigating their Olympians' performances, when failing to excel at things that they—the nationalistic shitheads, that is—wouldn't have a hope in hell of achieving in the first place. In particular, figure skater Zhu Yi, who fell a lot, leaving Team China out of the medals.

Arresting development
2 February 2022

Mason Greenwood—who I'd never heard of before now, but he's a footballer, so why would I?—was arrested on Sunday. While he was already in police custody, additional charges were brought against him. At least, that's how I understood the situation.

If you build it…
31 January 2022

BBC Bitesize is supposedly a learning portal. Which makes it even more egregious when the droid gets it wrong. Even equivocally.

Vegan meat
28 January 2022

Writing for BBC Future, William Park explores a question that I suspect few have ever pondered: The reason some vegan alternatives don't taste like meat.

Visionary video
24 January 2022

I had to read this twice to realise they meant video. Automated journalism-to-English translators aren't infallible I guess.

Full Disclosure
20 January 2022

I've noted previously how BBC News seems to have lots of little compartments for its reporters. Some of these make sense—business and technology, for example—others less so—technology of business, anyone? And then we have BBC Disclosure. Or do we?

Looks like a pig, walks like a pig…
18 January 2022

As we delight in BoJo's further embarrassment over restrictions-busting boozy knees-ups at Downing Street, his former chief adviser tried to blow all pretence of innocence-through-ignorance out of the water.

Reporter reporting
18 January 2022

Mary-Ann Russon asks What can we do to get more women into coding? I can't honestly say that I give a shit, and her gossamer-thin article didn't help me understand why I should, other than that there's a shortage of digitally-skilled workers.

17 January 2022

It's been a long time coming. But the winds of change are finally set to blow throughout the People's Republic of Portland Place.

13 January 2022

Reading of the death of Ronnie Spector, I was expecting her ex-husband's criminal conviction to be dragged up. Not that it needed to be included in her obituary; after all, it had nothing to do with her. The couple had divorced three decades prior to Lana Clarkson's murder.

Altered images
11 January 2022

In an advertorial for Apple TV+'s The Tragedy of Macbeth, on behalf of BBC Culture, Hanna Flint explores the background behind Why Lady Macbeth is literature's most misunderstood villain. Meanwhile, for their part, the BBC's home page editor doesn't understand the question.

The great escape
7 January 2022

The BBC might like to consider pulling their home page text from the same source as their article headlines. That way, they would only have to correct any errors once. Of course, BBC editorial competence being what it is, the downside is that they could have the same error twice.

Frohes Neues Jahr!
2 January 2022

While those lovable French set cars alight, the Germans take an altogether more sedate approach to welcoming in the new year. I have it on good authority that they like nothing more than throwing fireworks at each other in the street. Consequently, news that there has only been one death in Germany seems like a stroke of good fortune; except to the victim's family, that is.

Live. Die. Repeat. Or not.
16 December 2021

It's a sad story. So I feel bad that my first thought, when spotting the link on the BBC home page, was puzzlement as to how one Indian housewife repeatedly kills herself.

Leper colony
12 December 2021

In the current dinky butthurt climate, is it no longer acceptable to refer to leprosy sufferers as lepers, and a colony of them as a leper colony? Or is this just the BBC's usual low-intellect shenanigans? (thinking)

10 December 2021

Chinese property-developer, Evergrande, has missed a crucial repayment deadline.

When correct is incorrect
10 December 2021

BBC Bitesize is a series of purportedly educational learning materials and quizzes for children. Or is it? Educational, that is.

Keeping Members (of Parliament) warm
7 December 2021

The animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex at London's Natural History museum is sporting a festive sweater, courtesy of a Leicester knitwear company.

7 December 2021

Shilling hard for Destination Toronto/TCVA, Lindsey Galloway tells us why Toronto is The Canadian city to visit this winter.

That's a turnip for the books!
1 December 2021

BBC News' Maddy Savage explains how Magdalena Andersson became Sweden's first female prime minister, twice! Except she didn't, really.

The ol' one-two
1 December 2021

Okay, so I promised to never again question the BBC's disdain for national adjectives, and I think that I've been pretty good of late. That's not to say the BBC's editorial staff haven't transgressed, they have. But I've been the bigger person, looked the other way, and moved on.

Bog off!
16 November 2021

In an interview with Mark Savage for the BBC, Sir Rod Stewart admits that he tired of performing Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?

Sporting fashion
4 November 2021

Yet another bait-and-switch from our friends at the BBC. What appears to be a cataclysmic outcome for JD Sports (right), turns out to be more prosaic (below). Instead of being forced to sell the whole company, it's only being forced to sell off a subsidiary that duplicates its own core business.

Haunted hotel
29 October 2021

Yes, it's another clickbait link on the BBC home page. The question posed in the article's headline is, perhaps more mundanely, The US' most haunted hotel?

Ichi, scratchi
27 October 2021

Regarding Auntie Beeb's bait 'n' switch approach to article linking, comes this case in point: the rise of ultra-violent Japanese films is discussed in How Ichi the Killer brought ultra-violence to the mainstream. The link from the BBC home page teases: The most shocking film ever made?

Describe in detail
27 October 2021

Huma Abedin, a former aide to Hilary Clinton, has a book being published next week in which she details sex assault by US senator. Except, she doesn't, really.

Not fast enough
24 October 2021

On the shooting death of Ecuadorian sprinter, Alex Quiñónez, outside a shopping centre in Guayaquil, BBC News notes that This is the second killing of an international athlete this month. Just over a week ago, Agnes Tirop was stabbed to death in Kenya.

13 October 2021

I've long noticed headlines on the BBC's home page being couched as questions, rather than statements. They try to engender interest in fluff pieces that cover evidently uninteresting subjects, or ones that (can) reach no definitive conclusion.

Hello hardly anyone
4 October 2021

F*c*book and its subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram, have been hit by a severe, global outage. In response, Twitter tweeted, in fun:

1 October 2021

According to the BBC's home page headline, DNA evidence has revealed a French ex-police officer to be a rapist and murderer. Except, according to the actual article:

The type of R. Kelly (part 2)*
28 September 2021

The jury's returned, and R. Kelly's goin' down!

Wise words
27 August 2021

Back in 1973, British comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise gave a forthright interview, which has recently come to light. In it, they offered their thoughts on the university comedy of their BBC stablemates, Monty Python.

The type of R. Kelly*
22 August 2021

Something about the reporting of R. Kelly's trial for racketeering, sexual abuse and bribery struck me as strange.

A glimmer of hope?
11 August 2021

I have, in the past, highlighted the BBC's inability to use proper national adjectives, but have since ceased as I walk the path to being a better person. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to point it out when they at last get it right.

Apostrophe apathy
10 August 2021

My strive to be a better person, and not nit-pick the BBC's grammatical sloppiness did not formally extend to punctuation and the possessive form. Nevertheless, I'll refrain from comment.

Reporting reporting
9 August 2021

A story of rats deserting New York state's Governor Andrew Cuomo's sinking ship gives the BBC the opportunity for a little editorial sloppiness.

Moving on
25 June 2021

Writing for BBC Worklife, Bryan Lufkin explains why it's okay to not reignite relationships that have stagnated during lockdown. You can let acquaintanceships and friendships go, should you wish.

18 June 2021

Oh, the irony! The BBC reports that Insider Voice, a US news website, has referred to Leicester Tigers' hooker, Tom Young, as a prostitute. Despite having been advised of the error, the headline hadn't been corrected a week later.

A hard habit to brake
17 June 2021

In my drive to be a better person, by not picking on the BBC's adjectival ineptitude, should I extend that to homophones?

You can die, but you can't hide
2 June 2021

Writing for BBC Culture about the Tea Chest Tapes, a collection of lost music tapes belonging to the late British producer Joe Meek, Arwa Haider reflects on Meek's life and work.

I give up!
26 May 2021

The BBC's journalists and editors really do not like national adjectives. Picking apart their linguistic shortcomings is like painting the Forth Bridge; an unending and thankless task. It doesn't achieve anything and, after a while, I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, irritating and boring.

The colour of law
26 May 2021

Police in Illinois confiscated an urn containing the ashes of two-year-old Ta'Naja Barnes—or Davis, I'm not sure which—after pulling her father over for traffic offences. They claimed that the urn tested postive in a field test for meth.

Runners 'n' riders
23 May 2021

After twenty-one runners died as a result of extreme weather during an ultramarathon in north-west China, the BBC once again demonstrates its poor grasp of the English language.

Privates on parade
20 May 2021

Yet another German terrorist plot. And, once again, under German privacy rules the suspect's surname cannot be revealed. In this case, the suspect is a military officer who's only named by the BBC as Lt Franco A.

See no evil
20 May 2021

I obviously have a different interpretation of Covid-free to the BBC's. I take it to mean zero cases. Period. Not virtually zero or single-digit, which still indicate the disease's presence.

A reasonable expectation
19 May 2021

A global semiconductor shortage has caused car manufacturers to reduce output. In addition, they have to deal with increased pressure to reduce environmental emissions and a downturn in sales due to the pandemic.

Lo-rez journalism
17 May 2021

Writing for BBC Reality Check, intrepid investigative journalists Christopher Giles and Jack Goodman ask the key question, Israel-Gaza: Why is the region blurry on Google Maps? What do you mean, dear reader, you weren't aware that it was? It is, and we're here to find out why!

Unfortunate choice of words
21 April 2021

Streaming services have benefitted from the pandemic over the past year. As the Chongvirus has forced people to stay at home, they've turned to alternative domestic forms of entertainment.

The truth about lying
7 April 2021

Writing for BBC Future, via Knowable Magazine, Jessica Seigel asks Can you tell when someone is lying? And, if I were to reply that I could, would you know whether or not I was lying?

Come fly with me
31 March 2021

From the Bonkers Institute comes an analysis, concluding that A small minority of frequent flyers dominate air travel. No shit! I guess that must be why they're called frequent flyers then. Well, at least that little mystery's been cleared up. (rolleyes)

Quoting sources
31 March 2021

Copy/paste. We all do it, and don't try to pretend that you don't! It's especially useful for direct quotations, as the surest way of not screwing up. So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with copy/pasting—provided that you're not breaking copyright laws, that is.

Another Fury, another cat
30 March 2021

Writing for BBC Culture, Nicholas Barber marks the imminent 80th anniversary of the introduction of the world's first great superheroine. No, not Wonder Woman, she arrived six months later; Miss Fury made her comic strip debut in April 1941. Not only was Miss Fury the first superheroine in print, but she was also the creation of, fittingly enough, a woman: June Tarpé Mills. In Mills's hands, Marla Drake, a New York socialite by day, becomes a Catwoman wannabe at night;* donning a magic leopardskin jumpsuit and bounding into action, as you do.

The speed of film
4 March 2021

How fast is a film? I'm sure that's a question you've never thought of before. And neither had I until today, when I read, courtesy of the BBC's Justin Harper, that an anime called Demon Slayer:

Inside out
12 February 2021

Once again, I feel mean for nitpicking on BBC journalism. But when, on the same day, you claim to be the world's most trusted international news broadcaster, you've gotta get shit right.

If you can't get it right, do it wrong
11 February 2021

I don't know whether to file this under idiot cheats or idiot editors, so I'll tag it with both.

One bad deed
18 January 2021

He was one of the most influential pop songwriters and producers of his, or any, generation; he invented the wall of sound; and he worked with some of the most iconic artists in pop music history. He was also convicted of second degree murder.

14 January 2021

In the final days of his presidency, as Orange Don becomes the first US President to be impeached twice, the BBC asks its voter panel for their opinion, in an article grandly entitled Americans react to historic second Trump impeachment.

Excitable BBC 'journalist' in overstating the case shock!
7 November 2020

According to Zoe Kleinman, the T&C for several popular apps are longer than Harry Potter, which sounds daunting. The reality, as is so often the case, is more prosaic.

How many Republicans does it take to confirm a judge?
27 October 2020

Orange Don's nomination for the US Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, has been confirmed by the US Senate in a 52-48 vote. According to the BBC's report, Mr Trump's fellow Republicans voted 52-48 to approve the judge, overcoming the unified opposition of Democrats.

Why is 'petty' not pronounced like 'pretty' without an 'r'?
27 September 2020

It's time to score petty points on the internet at the BBC's expense! Are you ready? Then let's go!

6 September 2020

A BBC report, on an outrageously pretentious 639 year-long performance of John Cage's composition, As Slow As Possible, which began in 2001 and will end in 2640, led me to an older article about a scam legal row between Cage and fellow composer Mike Batt. Batt had allegedly included a snippet of Cage's meisterwerk 4′33″ in his own, less obscurely entitled, A One Minute Silence.

10 August 2020

While reporting the shameful and disrespectful forced redundancy of British Airways' staff through fire and rehire tactics, the BBC has diplomatically changed the names of their respondents. Could this be to protect them from company retaliation? If so, it's very laudable, and most definitely the right thing to do! (thumbup)

The buffet slayer
19 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is killing the US buffet. Although, judging by the size of Americans, I'm surprised that the very notion of an all-you-can-eat buffet hadn't become certain financial suicide years ago.

Not much anonymity
20 February 2020

A suspected racially-motivated attack in Germany, which is being treated as terrorism, has claimed at least nine victims. According to police, the suspect, a 43-year old German citizen identified only as Tobias R by local media, killed himself.

Say that again?
25 November 2019

In a report on the freeing of hostages in the Philippines, the BBC notes that In May, a 59-year-old Dutch hostage was reportedly killed by his captors on the nearby island of Jolo in May.

Strapped for inspiration
28 October 2019

When you simply cannot come up with a suitable byline, just repeat the headline and hope that your readers have short memories. Job's a good'un! (thumbup)

Small earthquake in Chile: not many dead
12 March 2019

According to this BBC report, running under the rather sensationalist banner headline Italy bans unvaccinated children from school:

When is a kilogram not a kilogram?
16 November 2018

I feel that I should be surprised at the ambiguity of BBC journalists. Sadly, I'm not.

What hope is there when even copying is too difficult?
30 August 2018

I realise that BBC journalism seems to have degraded to trawling social media, but it's even sadder that their journalists cannot copy/paste the Twitterati properly. Despite using double quotes, which I take to be a verbatim quotation, they managed to introduce three changes to the following message: ellipsis (…) changed to comma; ampersand (&) changed to and; and the complete dropping of will.

Mary, Mary, on the contrary
13 March 2018

According to a new film, Mary Magdalene was not a fallen women redeemed by Christ; that was all made up by Pope Gregory I in 591. Instead, she has now been given a completely new, and likely just as fictitious, back story.

Is there a copy editor in the house?
10 July 2017

In a report on a fire at London's Camden Lock Market, the BBC notes that: London Ambulance Service was called in, but confirmed it had not treated any patients.

Isn't it obvious?
10 February 2014

In a BBC report on an apartment block fire in the French ski resort of Val d'Isere, officials stated that three people are still unaccounted for, although it is unclear if they have been evacuated or not.

23 August 2013

Police in Belgium have recovered drugs and chemicals worth an estimated €1.3 billion in a raid on an illicit drugs factory. Eleven suspects, all aged 30 to 50, have been arrested

Dangerous by design?
15 August 2013

Cases have been reported of a metal rod breaking, exposing sharp edges, in two models of IKEA's children's beds. Customers are asked to check the date stamp of their child's bed, to determine whether it belongs to one of the problem batches.

If it's worth saying, it's worth saying twice
8 July 2013

Or, in my wife's case, three or four times.

Product placement, North Korean style
10 December 2012

Notwithstanding the fact that this effect can easily be achieved with a style sheet or, slightly more complicatedly, with JavaScript—only the latter of which would come even close to constituting programming in my view—what does this say about North Korea?

Savile row
16 November 2012

During investigations into child abuse at Welsh children's homes, one victim implicated a high-ranking Conservative Party official in a recent Newsnight broadcast. Apparently the individual wasn't named during the programme, but later Twitter chatter wrongly named former party treasurer Lord McAlpine.

No shit, Sherlock: We got braynz
29 August 2012

According to the BBC, after his assassination Leon Trotsky's brain proved unusually heavy.

Colin plays Arnie
6 August 2012

Yes, you read that correctly, picture-peepers. Colin Farrell plays Arnold Schwarzengger in Total Recall. Not the character played by Arnie, but the genuine Arnie-article himself!