The future of broadcast news

Following a positive reaction to my proposal to reclassify many apparent crises as palavers, or even kerfuffles, I have taken a few minutes to blue-sky the Kerfufflometer, which I believe will add to the Talknormalist content of broadcast news. I know that many influential broadcasters are avid readers of this blog. You know where to find me.

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4 Responses to “The future of broadcast news”


  1. 1 Chris Long August 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Ok so I know people’s hearts will sink when they see it’s me but I am trying to help – really.

    First off I would like to point out that the Scottish cerfuffle has been around for ages and it arrived in print in early 1800 so it might be worth doing a check on that too – kerfuffle is dated around 1946 so has less of a linage.

    Palaver is a ‘fuss or drawn out process’ (Portuguese origin via Africa I believe) and crisis is a turning point. Drama is well, a drama.

    Might I suggest a slight modification to your labelling so that it starts with a palaver and when that goes unresolved it turns into a kerfuffle (cerfuffle) THEN a crisis, as a tipping point is reached and THEN a Drama as the disaster unfolds.

    Just a thought, I’ll be collecting my coat if you want me.

  2. 2 Tim Phillips August 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

    So on the kerfufflometer, or cerfufflometer in Scotland, we’d label the important end as a drama, then a crisis, then a k(c)erfuffle, then the unimportant end a palaver. If we are dealing with the future of news we need the props to be labelled correctly – so your intervention is, as ever, valuable.

  3. 3 Hamish Kuzminski August 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    You need “right old pantomime” somewhere on the continuum – probably more serious than a kerfuffle, but less so than a palaver. You might also consider “proper to-do”.

  4. 4 Tim Phillips August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Maybe we need some kind of language police too, whose job would be to say “move on, nothing to see here, it’s a right old pantomime, nothing more”. Though that approach hasn’t worked optimally during the phone hacking drama/crisis/to-do, I’ll admit.


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