Reporting the future

One thing that really irritates me is the new habit of the media of reporting things that haven’t happened yet.  This applies particularly to speeches made by politicians.

The report will read something like “Mr Cameron is giving a speech tomorrow on terrorism/the economy/the EU.  He will say that…”

What is wrong with reporting the speech after it has been given? After all, the following day there will appear another report which says more or less the same thing. Except of course it will now be in the past tense.

I suppose one might argue that if a draft of the speech is issued beforehand then whoever is giving it has a chance to make some prior modifications depending on the reaction.  However, in the recent case of Ed Miliband, giving his leader’s speech at the party conference in 2014, all that became apparent was that he forgot to include some of the most important things.

I cannot believe that we need news so instantly that it appears before the event has occurred.  It is a form of hysteria.


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