I’ve remarked before about the way BBC journalists – presumably in the spirit of accessibility and inclusivity – have taken to explaining references that 10 years ago would have needed no gloss; thus, a mention of Hamlet becomes “Shakespeare’s play Hamlet” and so on.
But some other aspects of our culture have become embedded in the stuff-you’re-assumed-to-know box, and remarkably quickly at that. A year ago, I’m pretty sure I’d never heard of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), but today a BBC website story not only refrained from explaining what they are (there’s a link to a separate article that does that) but didn’t even say what the abbreviation stands for. Or whether “a professional NFT collector” is a real job.
And just as I’m about to hit send, another BBC-related thought. Geronimo the alpaca met his fate today; it was a bit of a silly season story, and some questioned why a culture that happily slaughters thousands of animals a day should fixate on this one beast. Evan Davis, on the PM show, mused on similar lines, as an explanation of why he wasn’t covering the story. But surely by doing so, he’s covering the story. The only thing worse than being talked about, as Wilde nearly said, is having one’s purported newsworthiness dismissed live on Radio 4. Well, that and being shot in the head by a vet.