BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch


10:05 am - March 7th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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Last week we reported that some BBC editors were asking their journalists to replace the word ‘cuts’ with ‘savings’ in their coverage, presumably to be nicer to the government. More on that is coming soon.

In the meantime, some readers highlighted already published examples of this practice.

Neither of these headlines actually make much sense… what’s a “savings threat”?

If you see any more examples please get in touch.
(story 1, story 2)

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Hans Wildebeest

They should use ‘savings’ instead of ‘cuts’ once for every time they use ‘investment’ when they mean ‘spending’. That way we might have slightly more balance.

2. unpaidlabour

Rumor has it that Muammar Gaddafi has instructed Libyan journalists to use “demographic readjustment” instead of “death toll”.

http://unpaidlabour.wordpress.com/

I was ambivalent about ‘savings’ vs ‘cuts’ without specific examples, but those headlines are ridiculous.

I wonder if I’m suffering from Poe’s Law here, but do you think those headlines are protests against being told to use ‘savings’ instead of ‘cuts’?

These look like literal edits designed to make a point. And a good point I suggest.

#savingsnotcuts

6. Mr S. Pill

Ha! This made me smile. Clear evidence that a) BBC journalists are using the government issued “advice” against them and b) the story that the BBC denied existed to Lib Con is actually true.

Good on the BBC journos, I say – more amusing headlines please. (“Savings worry as libraries face closure” perhaps?)

7. Chaise Guevara

Agree with everyone who thinks the editors are deliberately screwing with the policy. Bonus points for anyone who replaces the verb “cuts” with “savings”: “Goverment Savings Hospital Budgets” or something like that.

8. Chaise Guevara

…or “Mr Smith defended his home from the armed burglar, despite suffering several savings from a knife”.

9. Mr S. Pill

The first saving’s the deepest…

10. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

pc gone mad.

Make three diagonal savings in the flesh of the sea bass on both sides of the fish, going right down to the bone (but not saving through the bone).

12. Brian Routh

This is the real truth behind the so called news http://vimeo.com/20715539


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  2. ukbudgetcuts

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  3. Tim Montgomerie

    Interesting from @LibCon: When should the BBC say "cuts" and when should they use "savings"? http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  4. Geoffrey Pearson

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  5. Rosa

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  6. Anthony

    RT @TimMontgomerie: Interesting from @LibCon: When should the BBC say "cuts" and when should they use "savings"? http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  7. Andrew Griffiths

    BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Q4vCUqJ >> This is an absolute digrace.

  8. Andrew Griffiths

    BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Q4vCUqJ >> This is an absolute digrace.

  9. Charles Wilson

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  10. Charles Wilson

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  11. Carl Baker

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  12. Justin McKeating

    'Savings threat' : http://bit.ly/e2N8JL

  13. Jane Gould

    RT @TimMontgomerie: Interesting from @LibCon: When should the BBC say "cuts" and when should they use "savings"? http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  14. Pauline Hammerton

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  15. James Iain McKay

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  16. sunny hundal

    BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  17. r@v

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  18. Sali Owen

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  19. deanh2011

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  20. robwinder

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  21. Humphrey Cushion

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z < ha ha!

  22. Gareth Winchester

    BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" my wrists…

  23. manishta sunnia

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  24. Jane Phillips

    RT @humphreycushion: RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z < ha ha!

  25. MerseyM

    RT @humphreycushion: RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z < ha ha!

  26. Roger O Thornhill

    Leftie BBC bias! RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/03/07/bbc-news-savings-cuts-watch/ via @libcon

  27. Hannah M

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  28. Carolyn B

    RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" m …

  29. Richard

    "Savings threat.." brilliant. RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  30. Dicky Moore

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  31. Allister Hayman

    Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O #localgov

  32. Rick

    RT @ajrhayman: Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O

  33. Patrick Osgood

    RT @ajrhayman: Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O

  34. DisabledPeople

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  35. Oasis Caretaker

    “@libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://t.co/zrfhm7Y”>&gt; BBC doing favour to government with language change #ukuncut

  36. wmd-gnome

    RT @libcon: BBC News 'savings' & 'cuts' watch http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  37. Martin Crozier

    RT @sunny_hundal: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch, part 1 http://bit.ly/e3sB5Z

  38. Gareth Winchester

    @SilverAgatka You've missed the point. See this article for the reasons http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/03/07/bbc-news-savings-cuts-watch/

  39. Patrick Butler

    Amusing examples of BBC contortions over use of word "cuts" from @sunny_hundal http://bit.ly/gY7tco

  40. Sam Cassman

    BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/A35X4AW via @libcon

  41. Debra Allcock Tyler

    RT @patrickjbutler: Amusing examples of BBC contortions over use of word "cuts" from @sunny_hundal http://bit.ly/gY7tco

  42. WeLoveLocalGov

    RT @ajrhayman: Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O

  43. luce mon

    RT @ajrhayman: Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O

  44. Steve Chambers

    RT @ajrhayman: Dear oh dear, BBC using 'savings' instead of 'cuts' has led to some odd headlines – savings threat? http://bit.ly/h0ka1O

  45. UK Autism Campaign

    RT @BrokenOfBritain: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://fb.me/UOQARxxC

  46. Humphrey Cushion

    @robinbogg oh dear, that's not good ; ) Was a good tag, started in response to this: http://bit.ly/fXIQXl by @dnotice

  47. sunny hundal

    RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" m …

  48. cowan88

    RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" m …

  49. Elena Blackmore

    'Savings' and 'cuts' – stupid (and questionable) re-framing by the BBC ('savings proposal to close schools'?!) http://is.gd/Crq4Hm

  50. Jill Hayward

    RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" m …

  51. Mike Currie

    RT @dnotice: BBC News ‘savings’ & ‘cuts’ watch | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/JTkcpvN via @libcon <- These make we wanna "saving" m …

  52. Tim Holmes

    Craven & cowed BBC begins adopting Govt framing on cuts: http://bit.ly/h5lfA4 http://bit.ly/gY7tco http://bit.ly/e5Z3cF http://bit.ly/fEz2Gm

  53. JamieSW

    RT @timbird84: Craven & cowed BBC begins adopting Govt framing on cuts: http://bit.ly/h5lfA4 http://bit.ly/gY7tco http://bit.ly/e5Z3cF h …

  54. Ma

    RT @timbird84: Craven & cowed BBC begins adopting Govt framing on cuts: http://bit.ly/h5lfA4 http://bit.ly/gY7tco http://bit.ly/e5Z3cF h …

  55. EXCL: disagreements rage at BBC London over ‘cuts’ v ‘savings’ | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] unearthed several examples of BBC online using ‘savings’ in absurd contexts. A complaint was also lodged by Labour […]

  56. Art, Propaganda and Protest « beyondclicktivism

    […] is not a great surprise that a news organisation happy to describe “cuts” as “savings” is just as happy to pin the blame on the […]

  57. Steven B

    @LordSpur Anti-cuts protest! (Which is what the BBC were calling it) http://bit.ly/gY7tco http://bit.ly/hkM1iI

  58. Tim Holmes

    "… under pressure to make substantial budget +savings+": just heard on @BBCradio4. And it's not a one-off: http://t.co/luysj0HI @libcon





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