Sunday, 27 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 27. Listening.

Fill in the gaps

1. As far as I’m (1)______________, we cannot trust the news we read
these days.
2.  Journalists have an (2)_________ to grind.
3. I think it’s very rare to get a truly (3)__________  journalist.
4. You (4)____________ on one side or the other.
5.  I think there are some journalists who cannot be trusted. They have an (5)__________.
6. They aren’t there to (6)__________________, they’re there to sell newspapers
7. They’re being paid and effectively they’re the (7)_____________ for whoever is paying them.
8. Isn’t the job of a journalist to be (8)____________?
9. If somebody comes up with a piece of (9)_____________.
10. a piece of received information that they’re (10)____________.
11. Isn’t the job of a journalist to get to the (11)___________ of that.
12. The bigger issue here if (12)____________ is that they’re there to sell newspapers
13.  From what I can (13.1)____________ about the nature of the (13.2)_____________ idea of being a journalist, what a journalist is after is the truth.
14. A journalist may go to work for a particular paper that’s got a particular (14)_________
15. that journalist may (15.1)___________towards one side of the political (15.2)___________ or the other.
16. I would say they are still after truth at (16)______________.
17. Surely any journalist (17)____________________ is going to make the case for both sides?
18. Anybody just arguing one side in a totally (18)____________ way is not going to be taken seriously.
19. Why are there so many (19)____________ trials then if we can trust everything journalists write?
20. People and journalists included will write something trying to be impartial and they, they won’t
realise that actually they have a (20)___________ on it, you can’t help it.
21. Surely the people being (21)___________ are just people who didn’t like what was said about them?
22. The basic honesty of journalists is probably not to be questioned but there might be a few (22)_________________?
23. There are journalists who are bad journalists, who are (23)__________, who give other journalists a bad name.




KEY

1. concerned
as/so far as I am concerned: used to give your personal opinion on something. E.g. As far as I am concerned, you can do what you like.



2. axe
have an axe to grind: to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause. E.g. She had no axe to grind and was only acting out of concern for their safety. These criticisms are commonly voiced by those who have some political axe to grind. University professors don't have an axe to grind. Their business is doing research and teaching. In good faith, they try and produce things that are of value to society in general.



3. impartial
impartial: not supporting one person or group more than another. Unbiased /ʌnˈbaɪəst/. (opposites: partial. Biased). E.g. to give impartial advice. As chairman, I must remain impartial. 



4. side
side with somebody (against somebody/something): to support one person or group in an argument against somebody else. E.g. The kids always sided with their mother against me.

 

5. agenda
agenda: a plan or aim that is kept secret. E.g. The Minister seems to have her own agenda. There is no secret agenda to increase taxes. I think there are some journalists who cannot be trusted. They have an agenda.
hidden agenda: the secret intention behind what somebody says or does. E.g. There are fears of a hidden agenda behind this new proposal.



6. tell the truth
tell the truth Other expressioons with tell: tell a joke, tell a lie, tell a story, tell the time, tell a secret, tell the difference between, tell apart, tell your fortune, tell the future (= to know what the future will bring)
Say vs. Tell Practice  

Say or Tell Quiz




7. mouthpiece
mouthpiece (of/for somebody) a person, newspaper, etc. that speaks on behalf of another person or group of people. Sp. portavoz. E.g. The newspaper has become the official mouthpiece of the opposition party. The Press Secretary serves as the President's mouthpiece.


8. rigorous
rigorous: /ˈrɪɡərəs/ done carefully and with a lot of attention to detail. E.g. a rigorous analysisFew people have gone into the topic in such rigorous detail.The second team adopted a much more rigorous approach to the problem. 


9. nonsense
come up with something to find or produce an answer, a sum of money, etc. E.g. She came up with a new idea for increasing sales. How soon can you come up with the money?

nonsense: ideas, statements or beliefs that you think are ridiculous or not true. Rubbish. E.g. Reports that he has resigned are nonsense.You're talking nonsense! 


10. spouting
spout: to speak a lot about something; to repeat something in a boring or annoying way. Sp. parlotear. E.g. He's always spouting off about being a vegetarian. What are you spouting on about now? He could spout poetry for hours. She could do nothing but spout insults. The article was full of the usual clichés spouted by fashion editors.  


11. bottom
get to the bottom of something to find out the real cause of something, especially something unpleasant. E.g. I won't rest until I've got to the bottom of this! 



12. you ask me
if you ask me: (informal) in my personal opinion. E.g. Their marriage was a mistake, if you ask me. 


13.1 gather
gather: to believe or understand that something is true because of information or evidence you have. E.g. As far as I can gather, he got involved in a fight.From what I can gather, there's been some kind of problem.



 13.2. dispassionate
dispassionate: /dɪsˈpæʃənət/ not influenced by emotion. Impartial. E.g. taking a calm, dispassionate view of the situation. A dispassionate observer.



14. angle/ axe to grind
angle: a particular way of presenting or thinking about a situation, problem, etc. E.g. We need a new angle for our next advertising campaign. You can look at the issue from many different angles. The article concentrates on the human angle (= the part that concerns people's emotions) of the story.
have an axe to grind: to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause. E.g. She had no axe to grind and was only acting out of concern for their safety. These criticisms are commonly voiced by those who have some political axe to grind. University professors don't have an axe to grind. Their business is doing research and teaching. In good faith, tey try and produce things that are of value to society in general.



15.1. err 
err: /ɜː(r)/ to make a mistake. E.g. To err is human…
err on the side of: display more rather than less of (a specified quality) in one’s actions. Sp. pecar. E.g. it is better to err on the side of caution.
15.2. spectrum

spectrum: /ˈspektrəm/  spectra (pl) /ˈspektrə/ a complete or wide range of related qualities, ideas, etc. E.g. a broad spectrum of interests. We shall hear views from across the political spectrum.



16. its heart
after: trying to find or catch somebody/something. E.g. The police are after him. He's after a job at our place. Journalists are still after truth at its heart.
heart: the most important or basic part of something. E.g. Cost-cutting is at the heart of their development plan. These questions go to the heart of the current debate. The heart of the matter/problem. The committee's report went to the heart of the government's dilemma. The distinction between right and wrong lies at the heart of all questions of morality.



17. worth his or her salt
surely: used to show that you are almost certain of what you are saying and want other people to agree with youSurely we should do something about it?It's surely only a matter of time before he is found, isn't it?   

worth your/its salt: deserving respect, especially because you do your job well. E.g. Any teacher worth her salt knows that.

case (for/against something) a set of facts or arguments that support one side in a trial, a discussion, etc. the case for the defence/prosecution. Our lawyer didn't think we had a case(= had enough good arguments to win in a court of law). The case for/against private education. The report makes out a strong case(= gives good arguments) for spending more money on hospitals. You will each be given the chance to state your case. A case can be made for reducing taxes right now.



18. biased
biased: /ˈbaɪəst/ biased (toward(s)/against/in favour of somebody/something) having a tendency to show favour towards or against one group of people or one opinion for personal reasons; making unfair judgements. Partial. (Opposite: unbiased) E.g. biased information/sources/press reports. A biased jury/witness.



19. libel
libel: /ˈlaɪbl/ (n) the act of printing a statement about somebody that is not true and that gives people a bad opinion of them. Sp. difamación, calumnia. E.g. He sued the newspaper for libel.



20. slant
slant (on something/somebody) a way of thinking about something, especially one that shows support for a particular opinion or side in a disagreement. Sp. enfoque. E.g. She put a new slant on the play. Her book looks at his writings from a feminist slant.

somebody can't help (doing) something: used to say that it is impossible to prevent or avoid something. E.g. I always end up having an argument with her, I don't know why, I just can't help it. I can't help thinking he knows more than he has told us.



21. libelled
libel: /ˈlaɪbl/ (v) to publish a written statement about somebody that is not true. Sp. difamar, calumniar, injuriar. E.g. He claimed he had been libelled in an article the magazine had published



22. bad apples in the cart
a rotten (or bad) apple: informal a bad or corrupt person in a group, especially one whose behaviour is likely to have a detrimental influence on the others. E.g. looks like we hired ourselves a bad apple.



23. partisan
 partisan: /ˌpɑːtɪˈzæn/ / ˈpɑːtɪzæn/ showing too much support for one person, group or idea, especially without considering it carefully. One-sided. E.g. Most newspapers are politically partisan.

non-partisan: not supporting the ideas of one particular political party or group of people strongly. E.g. senior civil servants are non-partisan and serve ministers loyally irrespective of politics.

name:  a reputation that somebody/something has; the opinion that people have about somebody/something. E.g. She first made her name as a writer of children's books. He's made quite a name for himself(= become famous). The college has a good name for languages. This kind of behaviour gives students a bad name.


Transcript: M1= Man 1 w1=woman 1 M2 = Man 2 w2 = woman 2 
M1: As far as I’m concerned, we cannot trust the news we read 
these days. 
w1: Mmm
M2: Why not?
M1: Because journalists have an axe to grind.
M2: What? That’s debatable.
M1: I think it’s very rare to get a truly impartial journalist. I don’t
think it’s within human nature to be impartial. You side on one
side or the other.
M2: Why why would a journalist want to be partial? Why would a
journalist not want to be impartial? Surely that’s the job of a
journalist.
w2: Oooh, I don’t know about that.
M1: It it is … why?
w2: No I I’m agreeing with you. I’m just saying I think there are
some journalists who cannot be trusted. They have an agenda
… they, they aren’t there to tell the truth, they’re there to sell
newspapers … or they have an axe to grind.
M1: Yeah, it’s a job, they’re being paid and er effectively they’re the
mouthpiece for whoever is paying them.
M2: But isn’t the job of a journalist to be, to be rigorous. I mean
if somebody comes up with a piece of nonsense, or just
whatever er you know a piece of received information that
they’re spouting, isn’t the job of a journalist to get to the
bottom of that and say: what do you really mean by that, have
you got proof of it, who, you know, what are your sources?
That’s their job, surely?
w1: Exactly, you know they’re going in there asking where’s the
evidence for what you’re saying? They’re not just going to say,
you know – oh you tell me every sheep in Wales is blue and
they’re not going to go ooh right I’ll just write down every
sheep in Wales is blue. They’re going to say right, well show
me photographs, take me and show me these sheep.
M1: But but the bigger issue here if you ask me is that they’re
there to sell newspapers and newspaper owners have political
agendas.
w2: Quite frankly, it’s a business as well isn’t it?
M1: It’s a political business.
M2: From what I can gather about the nature of … of the
dispassionate idea of being a journalist, what a journalist is after
is the truth. If that journalist then goes to work for a particular
paper that’s got a particular angle … a particular axe to grind
then, certainly that journalist may err towards one side of the
political spectrum or the other. But only a bit, I would say. I
would say they are still after truth at its heart.
w1: Exactly. Surely any journalist worth his or her salt is going to
make the case for both sides? Anybody just arguing one side in
a totally biased way is not going to be taken seriously.
M1: Why? Why are there so many libel trials then if we can trust
everything journalists write?
w2: And from what I can gather, people and journalists included
don’t even know that they’re biased and they’ll write, you
know, something trying to be impartial and they, they won’t
realise that actually they have a slant on it, you can’t help it.
w1: I find that highly unlikely. I mean, they’re not stupid people, are
they?
M1: Some of them are, for some newspapers, the way they write,
incredibly stupid.
w2: But surely the people being libelled are just people who didn’t
like what was said about them?
M2: Could we … do you think we could agree that the basic
honesty of journalists is probably not to be questioned but that
there are a few bad apples in the cart?
w2: Yeah.
M2: And that there are journalists who give other, you know, who
are bad journalists, who are partisan and who are arguing a
particular political slant who give other journalists a bad name.
M1: Well, I’d say that there are a few bad carts rather than a few
bad apples!

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