Gobsmackingly bananas

Good morning, it’s Monday 9th October.

The week ahead…

Labour Party Conference:

Reeves (Monday) and Starmer (Tuesday)

Monday: Nobel economics prize awarded

The Reckoning (Steve Coogan as Savile) starts on BBC1

Tuesday: IMF publishes World Economic Outlook

WednesdayNASA press conference (Bennu asteroid)

Greta Thunberg on trial in Sweden over Malmo protest

Thursday: UK GDP monthly estimate

Friday: Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour film release

Saturday: Australia referendum on whether to change the constitution 

Sunday: Elections in Poland

Print journalists are attracted to beautiful, colourful, arresting language like moths to a flame.

Take this line last week from a tweet written by Zeke Hausfather at the Berkeley Earth climate data project on global temperature data:

“September was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist, absolutely gobsmackingly bananas.”

It made headlines…

It made opening paragraphs…

…and featured in reports on BBC and Channel 4 (just the ones I saw).

I’m not being flippant about a story which is utterly terrifying. I’m using it to demonstrate a point. If you are talking to a print journalist, think about the quote you want to see attributed to you before the interview.

Spend time on the content, but also the language.

Invariably if a writer knows their article is going to be enriched with those words included, then in it goes…

Say what you like about Nicholas Witchell (and many do both inside and outside the corporation) but he’s been a BBC lifer for as long as I’ve been alive (47 glorious years) which is no mean feat. His retirement was announced last week with a BBC statement thanking him for “his remarkable service”, which is hard to argue with. 

Episode 1 of The Today Podcast we wrote about last week has been generally well-received, though James Marriott in The Times notes:

“The main challenge that The Today Podcast faces is the polarised modern broadcasting landscape. Shows like The News Agents thrive on feeding the partisan outrage of their liberal listeners. Bound by BBC impartiality guidelines Rajan and Robinson are confined to analysis, not opinion. Whether this will be enough for audiences accustomed to hearing their opinions repeated back to them remains to be seen.”

On the Inside Edge website – Tony’s A-Z of media training: 

T is for Talent:

…the ironic label underpaid producers give the stars for whom they write questions and briefs. Stars have egos and sometimes therefore feel it’s beneath them to stick to what their staff have come up with on your topic. This doesn’t make off air briefings redundant – far from it – but it does mean you should always be ready for the curved ball The Talent throws into the mix.

Pause – so you have a moment to regroup.


The first Sumo wrestling tournament ever to be staged outside Japan in the sport’s 1500 year history was held in the Royal Albert Hall on this day in 1991.

Highs today of 19 degrees in Swansea and 18 in Newcastle.

And we like to keep politics out of the Monday Media Briefing – you get enough of that elsewhere. But if anyone can tell us what on earth the Conservatives are on about, feel free to enlighten us…

Finally the obligatory dog-pic photo, from this very day in 2012:

Be part of the MMB. Thoughts on this week’s content, or interviews you’ve seen, heard, or (best of all) done. We’re @insideedgemedia or just reply to this email. 

Have a brilliant week.

All at Inside Edge

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