Lazy Journalism

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 24th August 2014

A few weeks ago I wrote about the difficulty of comprehending many of the actors, presenters and young people of today.  The blog was picked up by a journalist and he politely asked my manager if he could interview me.  I'd voiced an opinion so it would have been churlish to have backed out.

He wrote an article for the Saturday Mail Weekend section and they had the courtesy to use a current photo. Today a friend sent me a copy of an article which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph.  Not only have I never heard of the female who appears to have cobbled together a piece based on York's article and my blog but the photo ................It is prior to 1982 because the necklace I'm wearing was stolen from a BBC Dressing room in that year.  She did not even have the courtesy to ask for an interview.

It reminded me of a time, in my newsreading days, when an article supposedly written by me appeared in a downmarket magazine.  The bold title was "My trouble with Men by Jan Leeming' It had been cobbled together from quotes (taken out of context) and articles by other journalists.  It was only at the bottom of the offending piece that a name was printed and it was that of a male journalist.  

Just for he record I am not a journalist and never have been.  I have had a lifetime in broadcasting as an interviewer, presenter, programme host, have written, researched and presented programmes  but there is a big difference between being a  broadcaster and a journalist.  

Incidentally I've no desire to return to the days of clipped speech spoken through lips which hardly moved.  My son says that my speech is more relaxed than it used to be, but I am still comprehensible from Lands' End to John O' Groats.  Foreigners in the Cathedral,  where I'm an Assistant, often compliment me on my speech and state that they can understand everything I tell them and they have no idea that communication was my business!  Recently a Frenchman complimented me on my speech and then said that he felt the young 'Ate' their words!!!!

I've received dozens of emails from the public saying they agree with me about diction.  Time was when people aimed to speak better and many is the time when I'd be in a taxi in London and the cabbie would say 'I wish my kids spoke like you'.  Nowadays quite the opposite is true and the well spoken try to dumb down.

Speech is the main form of communication.  (We also communicate with our eyes, hands etc) If the speech is incomprehensible then one has failed in the intent.

I may be an old fuddy duddy but there are certain standards which I feel should be upheld.  I was appalled when watching the Westminster Service to commemorate the beginning of the 1st World War and there was some important person (you had to be important to get an invite)  wearing a suit but with a shirt and no tie.  

I'm glad I was born when I was - England was truly a great place in which to live - a place where we had respect, a sense of shame and a work ethic, and  I hope I don't have the longevity of my parents and that I'm well out of here before I see the complete demise of what was once a fabulous country.

Addendum - It would seem that the article has been mis-interpreted and is being put forward as a dig at BBC newsreaders.  It was no such thing.  Newsreaders are the least offenders with regard to comprehensibility.  The lack of communication lies predominantly with younger actors and actresses and programme presenters.


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