Media Training Update – w/c 30th October

A hand on the Google dial

“Someone obviously had their hand on the Google dial prior to that meeting.”

Nadine Dorries’ Mail column on big tech is a curious read.

Amongst the many claims: 

“I’d long been aware that when you search for news related to politics on Google, it is predominantly left-wing publications that top the list of results.”

An assertion roundly rebuffed by the Economist’s Alex Selby-Boothroyd who posted this chart:

Good morning, it’s Monday 30th October.

The week ahead…

Covid-19 Inquiry witnesses:

Monday: Martin Reynolds/Lee Cain 

Tuesday: Dominic Cummings 

Wednesday: Helen MacNamara 

Thursday: Simon Stevens 

Monday: Ballon D’Or winner announced

(And just for our Vancouver reader…)

Canadian foreign minister Mélanie Joly addresses the Economic Club of Canada 

Tuesday: State visit of the King and Queen to Kenya begins

Wednesday and ThursdayUK hosts the Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence at Bletchley Park

Thursday: Interest Rate decision 

David Hockney exhibition opens at National Portrait Gallery

Friday: Court hearing for man accused of Holly Willoughby ‘kidnap’ plot 

Sunday: US Election exactly one year away 

The latest listening figures are out. Radio 4 continues its recent decline, with the loss of a further 428,000 sets of ears, compared with the previous quarter. Over the course of a year, the station has dropped from 10.2 million listeners to 8.9 million.

The station’s flagship Today programme lost over a quarter of a million listeners on the previous quarter. 

“I began to wonder, was it possible none of these journalists had actually seen or heard the original statement? Maybe one outlet reported it, and then everyone copied them, so the journalists didn’t know the original source.”

Fascinating deep dive into how a possible mistranslation ricocheted around the world in a breaking news situation.


As Boris Johnson announces he is joining the broadcaster GB News…

“GB News is both totally ridiculous, and the place a certain stripe of politician or turbo-crank feels at home.” 

The always on point Marina Hyde: READ MORE

As X stutters to its 1st birthday under Musk:

“The result, one year later, is a platform in the throes of enshittification. X now resembles a creature from The Walking Dead – rotting, dangerous and a shadow of its former self.”


Worth noting too that as the crisis in Israel and Gaza deepens:

“Verified Accounts on X Spread 74% of Wartime Misinformation”


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

X is for X Factor:

Get your priorities right. Yes, you do need to up your game for a media encounter but that doesn’t mean transforming yourself into some sort of performer. The audience will quickly cotton on if you are over-egging the subject, or adopting some one-off media traits. Believe in yourself. Allow the colour of your natural voice to come through, and use the language you’d normally adopt if explaining something to a friend. Most importantly focus on reaching the audience by connecting one to one with your interviewer. In your head imagine chatting round the kitchen table rather than delivering from a stage.


US President George Bush encouraged Arabs and Israelis to “lay down the past” in his opening speech to the Middle East peace conference in Spain on this day in 1991.

Highs today of 15 degrees in Brighton and 11 in Glasgow.

That’s it. Just time for the obligatory dog photo, plus a reminder please not to buy fireworks ahead of bonfire night on Sunday. 

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

LinkedIn  Twitter

By |30 October 2023|

Media Training Update w/c 23rd October

Battles of a different kind

“She sets the standard for engaging yet authoritative presenting. I speak on behalf of the whole BBC when I thank her for the past 30 years.”

BBC DG Tim Davie on Kirsty Wark, who celebrated 30 years on Newsnight last week and will step down after the next election.

With Halloween just over a week away…

Good morning, it’s Monday 23rd October.

The week ahead…

Monday: First witnesses in the inquiry into the activities of British Special Forces operating in Afghanistan from 2010-2013

Tuesday: Michelle Donelan sets out government AI strategy

Wednesday: One year ago: Rishi Sunak appointed Prime Minister 

Thursday: Taylor Swift releases ‘Taylor’s version’ re-recording of 1989 

Saturday: Rugby World Cup Men’s Final

Sunday: Just Stop Oil pledges to resume its protests on the streets of London

Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s Russia Editor has been named London Press Club’s Broadcaster of the Year, which is hard to argue with.

The Times was named National Daily Newspaper of the Year.

Shall we all club together and buy The Telegraph?

There’s a bunch of very rich men ahead of us in the queue – Jane Martinson’s article is a fascinating insight into the power and access you get buying “the house journal of the Conservative party.”


Wall Street Journal reporter Meg Graham received the following email from a PR company last week. All journalists get a fairly steady stream of this sort of nonsense, but this is a particularly awful example...

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

W is for Waste:

We always say you should play an interview back – not least because you need to balance that critical self-talk we always do about our performance with marking the positives you’ve achieved. But one useful critical question to ask is “Did I waste time at any point?” Did your example meander? Were you slow to get to the impact of what you’re doing? Logging the hot air where something tangible could have been said will really help you improve in your next interview encounter.


“Well Ian, you chaps were a fat lot of good last night…”

Last week we posted the infamous Michael Fish forecast failing to predict the storms of 1987. Thank you so much to the MMB reader who alerted us to Michael Buerk’s grilling of Ian McCaskill the lunchtime after the night before…


Highs today of 16 degrees in London and 13 in Wrexham.

Finally the obligatory dog-pic photo.

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

LinkedIn  Twitter

By |29 October 2023|

Media Training Update w/c 16th October

Sorry, it’s not what we do

“British politicians know perfectly well why the BBC avoids the word ‘terrorist’, and over the years plenty of them have privately agreed with it. Calling someone a terrorist means you’re taking sides and ceasing to treat the situation with due impartiality. The BBC’s job is to place the facts before its audience and let them decide what they think, honestly and without ranting. …There’s always someone who would like us to rant. Sorry, it’s not what we do.”

John Simpson

World Affairs Editor, BBC News

Good morning, it’s Monday 16th October.

The week ahead…

Monday: Parliament returns from conference recess.

Tuesday: Chinese President Xi Jinping will host representatives from over 130 nations for a two-day summit in Beijing.

Wednesday: UK House Price Index and private housing rental prices.

Thursday: Two more by-elections (Dorries and Pincher).

Asylum seekers set to return to the Bibby Stockholm.

RIBA Stirling Prize Awards.

Friday: Joe Biden hosts US-EU summit.

One year since resignation of Liz Truss.

Saturday: Cricket World Cup: England v South Africa.

“The biggest challenge of reporting on this conflict is just how emotive it is. Every word you say is being scrutinised so closely and is likely to be contested by one side or the other – or both – and that definitely adds to the pressure.”

Secunder Kermani 

Channel 4 news 

“As a journalist trying to tread the line of the grey areas – which are incredibly dark right now – is very, very hard because whatever you write, someone disagrees with you and you can face a lot of criticism for the way things have been phrased or put out there and at the same time you need to pursue the story and the truth.”  

Bel Trew

The Independent 

Two quotes from a Media Show Special on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Some of the content will be a little dated by now, but it is still a good listen on almost impossibly difficult conditions from which to report.


“Despite the current uncertainty, it is clear that Newsnight will continue into the future and I have no doubt it will thrive.”

Parting words from outgoing Newsnight editor Stewart Maclean to staff.

These are troubled times for the programme with reports managers are considering axing its team of correspondents and making the show more debate-led in its content.

Deadline has a good write-up – READ HERE

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

U is for the UK:

Or one of the four nations. Or the region loosely called the East of England. If your audience is primarily from the “home“ country always bear that in mind when you are taking about a story with an international reach. Can the UK learn from the recycling practices in India? Are there shared characteristics between rural deprivation in the southern USA and where your regional audience are watching you in Devon and Cornwall? This isn’t being parochial. It is about connecting and bringing a topic close to home.


Southern Britain began a massive clear-up operation after the worst night of storms in living memory on this day in 1987.

Which gives us all an excuse to revisit this moment of TV history…

Highs today of 11 degrees in Lancaster and 12 in Aberdeen.

Finally the obligatory dog-pic photo. One has had a haircut, the other clearly needs one…

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

LinkedIn  Twitter

By |29 October 2023|

Media Training Update w/c 9th October

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

LinkedIn  Twitter

By |9 October 2023|




    Your Email

    Your Message

    Go to Top