Read this: BONUS Sir Harold Evans
Summary: PodcastDownload MP3 www.bbc.co.ukBONUS Sir Harold Evans…
BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 bonus interview for you podcast listeners to Harold Evans was the editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981 among his many achievements was the papers campaign to win compensation for victims of thalidomide the morning sickness drug that was later shown to cause severe birth defects.
He famous he fell out with Rupert Murdoch after the Mogul took over the times in the early 1980s and then say Harry moved to the US where he continued his career to Harold knighted for services to jainism is recognised as a master of concise reporting.
He's just published a new book do I make myself clear in which he sets out his principles and my head first one is the sentence Ling Leyton two sentences secondary the specific of the words not too many abstracts and so sentences.
Be about bricks birds, but rather about circumstances and abstracted Thursday I have my strongest points is most people have a terrible infestation of predatory clauses which means that their praises infected by long opening closes and you don't know where the hell you're going until you get to The End by which time you forgot the way you began, so I called this two pretty Tree Close I can give you a example of the example of give us an example, but I give you a perfect written by distinguished economist finally because neither the restructuring of insolvent sovereigns your recapitalization of zombie banks.
No ring fencing do sovereigns that are most likely solvent, but vulnerable to a liquid is he and bushes have been addressed decisively and completely, as the Predator Claus
Tight financial conditions in intensifying fiscal austerity will contribute to European recession in 2012 and possibly beyond is 52 words you don't know what the hell figure is in a get the end.
This is akin to the man who stood out circumference rule while they were arguing inside and he finally realised what was happening not solids or I'm terribly sorry to interrupt handlers an important meeting and that you asked me to sign a non-disclosure form, which have done but in the circumstances prevailing at the moment.
I have to say the buildings on fire is there is the effect of the pressure called most most business language is absolutely right with Pretty Things I would mention is zombies avoid zombies full out of your zombie is a noun the Swallow the verb I came to the realisation.
Lsmo is a very significant person in the universe realisation of course is the extraction the verb is I realised and language is full of these abstractions rather than specific at the other thing of course.
That's what I call Faisal awesome crazy awesome is my lesson for fresh later and later supervising is absolute devoured by Flesh Eaters which he succumbed to his injuries.
He died then.
You've got play listens here to 35 acres of lands.
What else it will depreciate in value, but succumbed to his injuries is a set of three words is a synonym for he died is what you're saying that people should try to vary broadly speaking use simpler words and fewer words which is a Japanese
And the people line-up for the train when the train comes in the big muscular guys should push them in because the space inside his tight and that is a metaphor for what happens with people's rice rice is will try and push it more more facts so my emphasis on not necessary.
I'm sure if the sentence is all the time but generally the average length of a sentence be on 34th words is getting ink off your have to know what where you're going and insurance in of historic Lee sentence that has declined from around 50 words to around 12.
Hemingway is blame for this but it's not that is part of the development of language.
Whereby which freezes substitute for close it so we all of us now.
It's right much more clearly in terms of sentence length and fortunately the sentence lengths of confused by abstractions by Zombie by Percy Wood
How English is actually getting worse today? I'm interested that you mention these other of Hemingway because he was a course in his novels in particular the master of clear pros.
Hemingway was also a master reporter.
What do good clear prose stylists and good reporters share a life 'coz.
I always said you have to be able to serve not enough.
She said she noticed that matters the details that you notice.
You're not simply suffuse with detail you have to notice something significant which is one of dickens's of course you know about uriah.
Heep is symbolism mean by the hand-washing so one should get that picture in your mind of uriah.
Heep washing hands having the the notice in the detail that significant revealing is a skill which has to be learning but uriah Heep in the washing your hands is also very vivid metaphor it awakens an idea and imagination and it goes against Wales idea, but
Orwell wrote the most celebrated essay about playing English where do you define your recommendations for clear pros from George Orwell well, if this is what Churchill said in a dress to Roosevelt it we shall not fail or falter.
We shall not we can all tired as a sudden shock of battle know the laundry on trousers vigilance and exertion will where is the elephant on delivery but what really mattered was that he wrote in the active voice simple and what he said was given the tools and we will finish the job and many of those words had only one syllable when you hear we shall fight them on the beaches.
We shall never surrender.
There's a Latin 8 words with very few syllables and short sentences a short clauses address people to date somebody today addressed to President Trump Woodside him donators the implements and we will finalise the assignment.
He wouldn't even understand that sorry about that Mr President I mean nobody would understand exactly let's move to talk to about women reported that that are that kina to the telly detail that obviously your moral qualities as well, which you showed over your career which good reporters need where should a good report a train you train a local papers at local papers in Absolutely central.
Where all the answers about the decline of the roof repairs one thing with his neglected because they're closer to the ground.
They can start observing something which can become an investigation which can be here campaign which can become a reform so some of the things I did in when I was anything local newspaper like for instance incidence of cervical cancer in women began with the local observation with what people was telling me in still just step could be the start of local papers have very important for the training the main you say
And the specific heat of local reporting which is much more conducive to good writing and clarity of information than some of The Pretenders abstractions of political speeches, but there is a review going on in to a local Media in Britain right now Dame Frances cairncross is undertaking his magnificent and what's your advice about what people can do about what does the most people seemed a broken business model classified advertising is down few people are paying for local news what if anything.
Can you do to reverse that but there's nothing in the things in the King's Cross review which really appealed to me the number one the online entities which of Rob newspaper to classified all the advertising heavily me received from prosecution.
They are not responsible for what they publish.
They made no effort to publish original score.
Izzie Steele it from newspapers, but your first point is they shouldn't lose the America for what they carry and they should accept the responsibilities in publishing.
This is what care course recommend secondary care services recommended which is entirely just another portion of the exaggerated revenues of the Monopoly Sergio Perez should come to the printing press to come to the Press May 3rd of May 2016 will Reading Russian propaganda, so while it's nice to have Facebook in a picture of my daughter getting married whatever it may be that that sort of social enjoyment of benefit is actually not worth watching sacrifice or it I'm glad we got introducing giant so quickly let me ask you clearly has Facebook been a benefit to democracy.
No, no, it's not because it is misled more people the example.
I gave you a 50 million is just one example.
I said it was wrong with Facebook the moment they accepted advertising at Mr Zuckerberg lamentations of apologies and all this county are betrayed by the exit from because greed overtook virtue Facebook if you were subscriber would have one thing which would be obviously as described you put Facebook as an advertising medium exalts money over everything else but Facebook would say if they were in this room that in terms of how they trying to put democracy and they obviously very idealistic this Incredibly Close is Nick there are busy very idealistic about their influence and democracy they say they connect people from around the world.
They're lower the barriers to entry into public conversation and the above all they give people a sense of what's going on and most of the information on Facebook is good and reliable information.
About things they care about their first of all course most of the information Facebook just not send anybody serious.
It's not saying anybody's to a tsunami.
It's not investigating a medical fraud not doing any of these see they don't put their enormous power to use let's talk about your time of the Sunday Times you talked about Facebook with talk to about local news you said you don't think Facebook is being good for democracy.
You don't think Facebook is being good for journalism.
I want to talk about Rupert Murdoch has he been a force for good first of all in Britain first reference remarks at a recognised is very brilliant man in a very persuasive person with some edit many original ideas respect for the integrity of journalism is not one of them the brexit campaign isn't example in a minute so many things with their influences Malone and consistent with line through all the semi Monopoly newspapers, so
The influence is actually being to lure the standards of journalism.
Saying his defenders with say that when it came to tabloid newspapers.
He gave people great choice and increase their sale there when it came to cable and satellite TV he took on The Cosy establishment of the BBC and now 30 years on Sky is just been sold for billions and billions and billions which means it was a pretty well-run company investing in the British economy paying taxes and creating job only thing you have to do is stereo chill and watch Fox News in the United States Fox News which is the most popular news channel are is basically a propaganda machine for instance if something is going to suggest as Hillary Clinton maybe less than the villain.
She's painted it won't get the airtime so was election was actually and continues to this day Mr trump as a personal friendship with Rupert Murdoch Rupert is.
Always very good.
He's had an influence on three continents Australia campaign to get rid of politicians.
He doesn't like England at the brilliant journalism of various tabloid in Edison close, the door closed turn off the light switch in someone and then across the United States so the influence of that one man partly by his brilliance and partly by his lack of respect for independent journalism has been filled with poor consequences in three continents see this was a time extraordinary influence and power in newspapers with your books have at chronicled.
Do you think that websites today and we're speaking not long after the New York Times has just published a 13000 word investigation into Donald Trumps tax affairs.
Do you think digital and digital only publications can have the influence today the newspapers had 40 years ago.
it is important about the force of the institutionalized press when you have a major story in the telly turn off or whatever maybe which is picked up and re investigated and so on and so on so until a point of conviction is reached in the public mind that's very very important in this will happen with thalidomide in the cinema case present from publication once it between two schussenried press was liberated when at the parliament was liberated in Farnham was liberated because this speaker Selwyn Lloyd agreed to having a debate on something exactly and that came from your institution account for my pain is one of the big changes extraordinary Revolution changes in German is it today journalism and something it's called the mainstream Media is under attack from people of all hues who say that the media is just
The elite part of the establishment, do you have any sympathy with that view?
A little sympathy because when you look at the 11th and report and look at what happened to individuals who were persecuted who was Liza made miserable for a few stupid gossip paragraphs all to the enlargement of the circulations in the enrichment of newspapers then you'll understand why there's a fury about the elite you begin to think they'll there's something wrong here.
I think it's such a tragedy that the British government now the Tory government has refused to do Levinson part 2 because that's an investigation of the relationship with corporate level between government and son so when you have a government which will open the door to the single not for Mr Morocco some other person that's not lose your sense that compared to when you left when you left for New York in 1984 when the new River murder took over there.
Times newspapers compared to their newspapers have declined and Influence has Rupert Murdoch now declined and Influence I think he is extremely able he knows where the neuralgia points are in Pembroke opinion.
He knows where The Weakness are among different prices in Seoul to see much of him.
Do you say that occasionally music the best single thing that was said was that a Rupert Murdoch's Merseyside the carnival is liberated the herbivores when I was doing the thalidomide final reporting after we won the European Court of Human Rights bit of is a great Triumph liberating the entire British press from the restrictions of Kempton Court the unions deprived that print run that night about a million copies.
So when Rupert Murdoch absolutely brilliantly introduced Wapping I forgave him.
I think 92% let me ask you find me to Howard Evans lot of people tend necessarily instinctively know the answer to this.
Why do we need journalism today how you must have generally journalism relevant questions because journalism I hope manifest themselves by first of all by Curiosity and then she have curiosity should get out of the business straight away.
She has a permanent marker journeys forehead should be why? Tell him.
Thank you very very much indeed for your time.
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