BBC 6 minute English-Good News

BBC 6 minute English-Good News

BBC 6 minute English-Good News


Transcript of the podcast

Kaz: Hello I’m Kaz and this is 6 Minute English. With me today is Finn. Hello Finn

Finn: Hello Kaz

Kaz: So, what news Finn

Finn: Oh nothing new from me. Just the same old stuff, Kaz

Kaz: Oh well, you know the saying:no news is good news

Finn: That’s certainly true, Kaz

Kaz: It’s also relevant to today’s programme

Finn: How so

Kaz: Well, have you ever wondered why there’s so little good news around

Finn: You’re right, Kaz. It’s usually bad news that makes the headlines: wars, scandals, murders, financial troubles, disasters

Kaz: OK, so on the subject of bad news, let me try this quiz question on you. According to the BBC, three of the top ten most followed stories of 2012 were about the weather in the UK. But what kind of weather, though

Was it a) snow storms, b) flooding or c) heat waves

Finn: Mmm. I don’t think it could be heat waves because we’ve had a pretty awful summer. I’ll try a) snow storms

Kaz: Is that your final answer Finn

Finn: Yup. ‘Snow storms’ is my final answer

Kaz: OK. We’ll find out if you’re right at the end of the programme. But now, let’s hear from designer Wayne Hemingway. Now, he was invited into the BBC newsroom and his message to broadcasters was that they should look for more good news, rather than the disasters and grim events that lead most news stories. What kind of stories would he like to get more exposure

Wayne Hemingway

Perhaps it’s time to reflect a little bit about why the main news channels seem to help us concentrate on bad news stories and the seedier side of life. What bothers me is that on the whole, stories that could move mankind forward and positively impact on our lives don’t get the exposure they deserve

Kaz: Finn, what kind of stories would designer Wayne Hemingway like to see getting more exposure

Finn: Now he says that stories that deserve more exposure are ones about moving mankind forward and positively impacting on our lives – in short, stories about improving our lives

Kaz: Yes, stories that move mankind forward

Finn: That sounds quite grand Kaz – almost idealistic. I wonder what kind of stories do that

Kaz: Well, let’s find out. Here’s Wayne again, talking about just that. What two stories does he mention

Wayne Hemingway

In Japan scientists managed to create eggs from mice stem cells raising the hope of a cure for human infertility. The US Journal, Science, said it was one of the most important breakthroughs of the year but you’ve probably never heard of it. And in Israel, Izhar Gafni has developed a bicycle from recycled cardboard, which could bring cheap, clean transport to some of the world’s poorest and most polluted and congested cities

Kaz: So what are the two good news stories he mentions

Finn: The first is a breakthrough, a significant development, in stem cell research that might lead to a cure for human infertility

Kaz: OK and the second

Finn: A story about a bicycle made from recycled cardboard

Kaz: Yes, it’s a neat idea

Finn: He says these cardboard bicycles could bring cheap, clean transport to some of the world’s poorest, most polluted and congested cities

Kaz: Wayne Hemingway is passionate about getting his message across to broadcasters. He thinks that if we are constantly fed a diet of bad news, it’s what we’ll end up wanting. What word does he use to describe this situation

Wayne Hemingway

It’s like saying that tabloids sell more than broadsheets. If that’s fed to the people all of the time that’s what they want but, you know, surely we’ve got to look at things that make us happy sometimes rather than think ‘Oh I’m glad I’m inside in the warmth’, or you know ‘I’m glad I’m not in that country, I’d hate to be there’. It all seems to be a little bit crass at the moment and to me it seems to be getting worse

Kaz: Did you catch that word he used Finn to describe our appetite for bad news

Finn: It was ‘crass’. He said the situation was ‘a little bit crass’ at the moment – ‘crass’ – showing no intelligence or sensitivity

Kaz: And it’s a situation that he thinks is getting worse

Finn: So what can we do about it

Kaz: Let’s find out. Here’s Wayne Hemingway again

Wayne Hemingway

If you search the internet for good news stories there are various websites that address this but they don’t do it justice. Perhaps we need fewer crime and more design correspondents, more science reporters and fewer war reporters and that way we might just encourage people to go out and achieve more and put a smile rather than a grimace on the face of the people at the bus stop

Kaz: Finn, what do we need to redress this situation

Finn: He says that perhaps we need fewer crime correspondents and more design correspondents

Kaz: OK, as a designer himself that makes sense

Finn: Yes, but don’t forget that design is an important contributor to the British economy – so more of those stories would improve things

Kaz: OK. And what else

Finn: More science reporters and fewer war reporters

Kaz: Yes, he says that this would encourage people to go out and achieve more

Finn: He says it would put a smile on people’s faces, rather than a grimace

Kaz: Well, that’s all we have time for today. But before we go though, the answer to this week’s question. According to the BBC, three of the top ten most followed stories of 2012 were about the weather in the UK. What kind of weather was covered

Was it a) snow storms, b) flooding or c) heat waves? Now Finn, you said

Finn: Well, I said a) snow storms because of the snowy weather we’ve been having recently. Was I right

Kaz: I’m afraid not, Finn. The correct answer was … b) flooding. Thanks very much Finn, goodbye

Finn: Goodbye

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