It’s hard to understand BBC’s “World Have Your Say.”

Posted on September 27, 2007. Filed under: BBC, journalism, media, talk radio |

So I’ve been trying to come to terms with the BBC’s call in show “World Have Your Say.” If you’ve read this blog at all you may have run into my snarky raging post about how crappy this program is. I still feel that way about this show in general but I’ve been giving it another chance and expecting less–a lot less–from the program and so I have this to say right now–

It still doesn’t do much for me. First, I still feel like I’m sitting in a college classroom listening to annoying people who talk just to talk. Also, frankly it’s hard to understand what a lot of the callers are actually saying because they either don’t speak English very well or the connection is poor or their accents are too thick. Nothing actually wrong with having a world forum in which to discuss world problems but is it good journalism when you can hardly understand what is being said? I’ve been tuning into this show pretty regularly now since it first starting airing in Portland this year and I find that this is a regular problem.

Another big problem I’ve noticed is that the hosts (and often there is more than one host taking any single call) often lose control over the subject material while they are trying to juggle multiple callers from multiple countries speaking multiple languages while talking over one another. Now I’ve got a pretty good ear but this is just silly. It’s no surprise that a lot of people use these kinds of shows to voice their own concerns and platforms but the hosts have got to keep things under control. It’s almost like they’re afraid to cut any off because they might seem too harsh.

I think this show sounds better on paper than it does on the air. It is informative and fun to be able to talk with people halfway across the world but it really needs to be cleaned up. It’s way too nice and nice doesn’t really work on the radio. And what is up with the cheesy British Dr. Who-esque opening music?

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3 Responses to “It’s hard to understand BBC’s “World Have Your Say.””

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O.k., let me get this straight… you tune into a program that patches in calls from anywhere in the world, then complain because some callers have thick accents? Like… omigosh! They sound foreign or something! I’ve listened to this show, and sure, sometimes it’s hard to understand what’s being said. But I’ve heard callers from places like Tehran, where they’re probably taking a risk just picking up the phone! And they go to the trouble to speak English! (Yes, I know, difficult to understand, bushy mustachioed English, but still.) Have a heart, PP. At least that show tries to be a forum for the average
person. Also, I’m curious, as I live in Portland (OR). Are you one of those crazy cat ladies? I’m wondering if you’re my neighbor. She keeps her drapes closed 24/7
and listens to am talk shows non-stop. If that’s you, and you’re hungry, I’ve got a bunch of expired pocket pizzas in my freezer. Just knock on the frickin wall.

Whaaat? I can’t hear you. Would you speak up? Wait, the line is fuzzy.
I do have a heart. It is black, cold, and made of metal. I’m a princess and I have high standards for everything including call in radio shows. The BBC needs to make it better. So what if the average Joe in Tehran is risking his life. If I can’t understand what the hell he is saying what’s the point?
You caught me on a bad day Henry Burke. My heart is barely pumping and it is bleeding rusty water. If you listen closely you can hear me tapping on your wall. Tap, tap, tap.

Off topic – Help with PM?
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