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  #1  
Old 05-29-2019, 02:40 AM
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What's the point of Royal Reporting? ITV interview with Chris Ship

ITV discusses the current dynamics in the British royal family in a conversation with royal reporter, Chris Ship (who used to work as a political reporter). He provides an interesting take on all the transitional changes and exciting milestones happening in the royal family today. He also gives his views on how social media is currently impacting the role of royal reporters:

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Old 05-29-2019, 01:08 PM
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Interesting video. I had only seen the part where he was talking about the hierarchy of the households.

Chris Ship is a pretty good reporter. He doesn't really take sides
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:12 PM
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Trying his very best to make his job seem relevant. He was in political reporting before and I think he is still on a steep learning curve. The interviewer was out of her depth as well. I just wish that those assigned to cover the royal family at least have some basic knowledge of their historical significance and an affinity for them, right from the start. I am not impressed by the two of them.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:31 AM
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^^ Yeah, you make some valid points I think. This interview overall is probably a reaction to the growing concern among royal reporters that social media and new technologies are in some respects limiting their importance as the only news framers, moderators and facilitators (both speculative tabloid and otherwise) between the royals and the interested public. They should all just get used to it though, and try to reflect on what they as journalists can do better and more professionally!

The female interviewer recently spoke to Claire Ptak in what was a less 'devil's advocate' stance. And Ptak was quite delightful. It's always fun hearing about cakes, cake flavors, and baking in general.

The suggestion that M&H's popularity impacts K&W is an over-anxious concern most likely harbored by old-fashioned royal courtiers, royal reporters, and insecure parties. I see the entire royal family working together and pulling together, as they always tend to do ultimately when push comes to shove. This is simply a period of adjustment with a lot of exciting milestones (weddings, babies, anniversaries, transitions) happening, along with new members entering the firm.

Meghan and Harry are assets to the firm and they are doing nothing but being themselves and trying to make a difference for the causes they are passionate about. So far, I think they have proven to be inspirational and influential. William and Catherine have a beautiful young family and they are adjusting to the needs and ups-and-downs of a growing family. I think William was not happy about having to give up his air ambulance work, but he has been applying himself to the Royal Foundation projects and initiatives and becoming comfortable with taking on more royal duties and contemplating the new role he will assume when his father one day inherits the throne. The Cambridge children will likely be into their late twenties to early thirties before William ascends to the throne. So the Cambridge family will benefit by having a lot of time together over these crucial growing years for the children.

I don't see any need for trepidation about M&H's popularity, none whatsoever. Such situations within the royal family always go in cycles. Fifteen or so years into the future, the focus will have shifted more to the Cambridge children and their cousins. Right now, I don't see why everyone shouldn't be happy about M&H finding happiness, passion and purpose together. That should be a contagious set of circumstances for the entire House of Windsor. They should all be enjoying their cake, and eating it too!

It's probably more that some courtiers are worrying about transitional concerns and their own jobs than it is royal family members experiencing over-much faux 'competition' angst.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:22 AM
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A very thoughtful post, and I agree. William and Harry are on divergent paths. One a future king, and the other a former "spare". Harry will support his brother and the royal family, but lead his own life and pursue his own interests. As well, he needs time to establish his own family, just as William did.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:02 AM
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The serious royal reporter is an expert in the subject of royalty. Has insight and insider knowledge, contacts to serious sources and will over the years establish a professional relationship with the royals and courtiers.
But first and foremost the serious royal reporter has gravitas, build up over years of serious coverage.

That kind of reporter will not die out for a long time yet.

The "tabloid-royal-reporters" will go down the path of so many other specialized reporters: Become a general reporter or find another job.
Their jobs has been taken and can easily be taken by any serious blogger - who will often do a much better job BTW!

Most such reporters won't be missed, except as a topic to discuss on royal fora...
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosana
A very thoughtful post, and I agree. William and Harry are on divergent paths. One a future king, and the other a former "spare". Harry will support his brother and the royal family, but lead his own life and pursue his own interests. As well, he needs time to establish his own family, just as William did.
I agree, but I also think some royal courtiers, the mainstream media (and some royal reporters and tabloids) are a little too caught up in and overwrought by the charm of the Sussexes and their widespread popularity. As a result, this unnecessary anxiety has likely been inevitably trickling into the relationships between the Cambridges and the Sussexes (via interfering royal courtiers). Plus, welcoming a new family member with a strong personality into the mix can always lead to a period of adjustment, particularly when an ancient family business is involved.

In addition, Harry and William have always had a jovial, yet intense sibling rivalry that usually manifested itself via teasing each other mercilessly. There are plenty of snippets of their teasing interplay seen in documentaries available on Youtube. Of course they love each other and they have a tight bond forged by love, familial ties, and wrenching grief. The relationship between Harry, William and Kate also underwent a buddy-like transitional phase after the Cambridges' marriage, which in part is what led to the positive and transformative creation of the Heads Together campaign. But no one should have expected Harry to be the jocular, third-wheel hanger-on 'spare' with the troubled past forever.

Every family goes through growing pains, but most do not have to endure the white-hot glare of fishbowl publicity, endless media speculation and nasty tabloid headlines. Just as both brothers went through periods of difficult interaction with their father, they have recently been going through a difficult period of adjustment with each other. This is partly due to Harry coming more into his own as a substantive public figure in his own right, after meeting and marrying his soul mate. Harry was always popular, but he is no longer the third-wheel bachelor cut-up with a propensity for being moody, partying and getting into mischief with his mates.

It appears to be taking the royal reporters, as well as the Cambridges some time to adjust to the grounded, more mature Harry. He has not essentially changed, he's only been more fully embracing the caring, dynamic, and purpose-driven man he began learning how to become in Botswana and in the military. He has settled into himself and become more confident, disciplined and mature as a result of now having a strong, savvy woman by his side. And also finally having a child and a strong family unit of his own, which he had always dreamed of having.

As I said before, this should be a happy time for the House of Windsor, and a celebratory time. There's no reason for anyone to be feeling overshadowed. That's just silly and short-sighted by everyone engaging in such negative, self-indulgent distractions. Harry has grown up, and it's about time for the royal reporters and royal courtiers to recognize that fact and to do some growing up themselves!
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler
The serious royal reporter is an expert in the subject of royalty. Has insight and insider knowledge, contacts to serious sources and will over the years establish a professional relationship with the royals and courtiers.
But first and foremost the serious royal reporter has gravitas, build up over years of serious coverage.

That kind of reporter will not die out for a long time yet.

The "tabloid-royal-reporters" will go down the path of so many other specialized reporters: Become a general reporter or find another job.
Their jobs has been taken and can easily be taken by any serious blogger - who will often do a much better job BTW!

Most such reporters won't be missed, except as a topic to discuss on royal fora...
I think the point Muhler is that even for more serious-minded royal reporters, the nature of the reporting game has changed with the advent of social media. And of course, the tabloidy rags, baseless stories and trolls that saturate the Internet have further complicated serious reporting.

I also sense that Chris Ship and other reporters are feeling a bit uneasy about the Sussexes having flipped the royal pregnancy ritual script. Indeed, they are also nervous about M&H finding ways to get their messages out without having to cater to specific journalists or having to rely on what they wish to communicate being filtered through the usual status-quo journalists pecking order.

Twitter and Instagram are huge game-changers in how news is communicated, broken down and understood. The thinking public has a mind of its own and the resources to not only go beyond simply accepting everything royal reporters are framing, spinning and selling, but to also create their own blog reporting and/or Youtube channels. It can be for the good, and also for the bad and for the trivial. There is so much nonsense one must filter out on the Internet, before finding worthwhile information.

We are in the midst of substantive transitions within global culture, within British culture, and within the British monarchy. It's too early to make definitive predictions about the ultimate outcome.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:50 AM
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Well, Darwin was right, wasn't he?

Survival of the fittest. Only the best (and serious) royal reporters and those who can adapt quickly and well to changing circumstances will survive.

And circumstances have changed!
The royals produce, increasingly professionally made (and personal) material, for free. Directly to the consumers. I.e. us.
Leaving tabloid reporters as the middlemen, left behind in the dust.
Of course they are whining.

So the tabloid reporters go two ways:
A) Write "click-bait-articles" i.e. articles that are pretty liberal with the facts, to put it mildly! But that only works so far. After a while the readers lose all confidence in the reporters personally, especially those who have an agenda, be that hostile or overly positive. And the readers turn to other, more reliable coverage.
B) Become more serious. But that's time consuming and the number of well-researched articles will as a result of that drop markedly. Sadly editors and paper-owners think in quantity rather than quality.

So yes, there will be fewer tabloid-royal reporters, because most of what they write can be done just as well, and I dare say much better, by an amateur on a blog or forum.
Bloggers don't have the same opportunities as journalists, but they have a worldwide network ready at an instant to help out with local coverage or background info and also eye witness accounts.
And in case of mistakes (unwittingly or otherwise) other royal watchers will point it out on the spot.
In contrast to journalists, bloggers also needs to maintain credibility. If that credibility is compromised seriously the blogger is history in the eyes of most royal watchers. A blogger or a forum with an agenda soon lose credibility and is after a while reduced to an echo-chamber used by a few like-minded. (See the anti-X royal blogs out there.)
Also in contrast to journalists, bloggers and their assistants are often genuine experts in the field they cover. And a group of amateur-experts can cover an area much wider than a royal reporter who is pressed for time and who has to churn out an X number of articles over a given period.

So yes, the tabloid-reporters have reason to fear for the future. Because their days of monopoly are over.
Why should I as an interested royal observer rely on what royal reporters write in one or two major news outlets, when I have so many other sources at my disposal, just by grabbing my phone?
If a royal I'm interested in visit Faraway-town I seek the local coverage, which is often much more comprehensive and more balanced, not to mention factually correct. I check the local Facebook updates.
Many different news sources, including amateurs, bloggers and tweets provides a much better, more diverse and more in depth and reliable coverage than a tabloid reporter, who often has an agenda or will "adapt facts" to suit a story.

But the serious, well researched and time consuming royal reporting will stay alive and well.
There will always be a market for a good interview. For good background documentaries. For seriously researched critical articles. For well-researched coverage of special subjects, like jewelry or palaces. And for well-made historical books or documentaries.
All that still sell like warm pastry.

But the tabloid-royal reporter needs to shape up, go private or go extinct.

And they will only be missed by those with a twisted sense of humor...
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:02 AM
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Sure, there's not a lot to disagree with about what you are saying. It's just that I'm approaching the topic a bit differently from you. The point is that everything is changing on a global scale, as we know. And that means none of us truly have a good handle on what the eventual outcome and playing field will be like even one or two years into the future.

The other thing is when we break down the underbelly of what Chris Ship and the off-base interviewer were discussing, we see that there is an underlying premise of concern about the Sussexes somehow changing the nature of the royal reporter game, when in reality, the Sussexes are only a manifestation of how global change and royal family change is and has been happening culturally, structurally and technologically for quite awhile.

Also, the bogus fear that the Sussexes are somehow overshadowing other royals, holds no water. Anyone who feels overshadowed already has some personal issues that only they can work out on their own. No one who is comfortable in their own skin and confident in their own goals and life purpose is going to feel threatened by other dynamic individuals who are simply and graciously being themselves. Some royal reporters are merely blinded by their own ignorance, wallowing in their own prejudices, purposely creating distractions to write about, or simply feeling threatened by change and by their own inadequacies.

In fact, I doubt there have ever been many serious, thoughtful, in-depth royal reporters. It's more just a group of royal admirers who enjoy following royalty around pretending to be responsible journalists, when in fact many of them are probably too latched on to vicariously writing about royal celebrities, royal traditions and rituals, and fantasizing about the royal lifestyle, while setting themselves up as experts. Quite often, they are reduced to the tabloid dreck and trivia level.

Any truly serious and thoughtful reporter or journalist interested in writing about the British monarchy are probably from the academic world of history and biography, and/or sociology and psychology. Or else from the world of popular entertainment news and journalism which these days is rather surface and trivia-oriented, rather than thoughtful, in-depth, hard news-oriented.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:42 AM
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Muhler wrote:

So yes, the tabloid-reporters have reason to fear for the future. Because their days of monopoly are over.
Why should I as an interested royal observer rely on what royal reporters write in one or two major news outlets, when I have so many other sources at my disposal, just by grabbing my phone?


MaiaMia wrote:


Any truly serious and thoughtful reporter or journalist interested in writing about the British monarchy are probably from the academic world of history and biography, and/or sociology and psychology. Or else from the world of popular entertainment news and journalism which these days is rather surface and trivia-oriented, rather than thoughtful, in-depth, hard news-oriented.


Yes, and the lines are blurring between royalty and celebrity to an alarming extent in the coverage they are producing. The younger royals are realising what a powerful tool they have in instagram, twitter, etc. which bypasses entertainment journalists like the ones in the video above and leaves them scratching their heads to create a "story" which their audience would want to see or hear. The Queen took an early lead in this, I am happy to say, to speak directly to her people from the time she dedicated her life to her country. And continues to do so with her Christmas messages, for instance.
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MaiaMia_53 View Post
Sure, there's not a lot to disagree with about what you are saying. It's just that I'm approaching the topic a bit differently from you. The point is that everything is changing on a global scale, as we know. And that means none of us truly have a good handle on what the eventual outcome and playing field will be like even one or two years into the future.

The other thing is when we break down the underbelly of what Chris Ship and the off-base interviewer were discussing, we see that there is an underlying premise of concern about the Sussexes somehow changing the nature of the royal reporter game, when in reality, the Sussexes are only a manifestation of how global change and royal family change is and has been happening culturally, structurally and technologically for quite awhile.

Also, the bogus fear that the Sussexes are somehow overshadowing other royals, holds no water. Anyone who feels overshadowed already has some personal issues that only they can work out on their own. No one who is comfortable in their own skin and confident in their own goals and life purpose is going to feel threatened by other dynamic individuals who are simply and graciously being themselves. Some royal reporters are merely blinded by their own ignorance, wallowing in their own prejudices, purposely creating distractions to write about, or simply feeling threatened by change and by their own inadequacies.

In fact, I doubt there have ever been many serious, thoughtful, in-depth royal reporters. It's more just a group of royal admirers who enjoy following royalty around pretending to be responsible journalists, when in fact many of them are probably too latched on to vicariously writing about royal celebrities, royal traditions and rituals, and fantasizing about the royal lifestyle, while setting themselves up as experts. Quite often, they are reduced to the tabloid dreck and trivia level.

Any truly serious and thoughtful reporter or journalist interested in writing about the British monarchy are probably from the academic world of history and biography, and/or sociology and psychology. Or else from the world of popular entertainment news and journalism which these days is rather surface and trivia-oriented, rather than thoughtful, in-depth, hard news-oriented.
Well, the Sussexes have merely adapted to changing circumstances and begun to take control of at least a part of their public image. Something that is happening in practically all other monarchies these days. Evolution in progress to remain Darwinian.
That's no different from companies and firms, which is basically what the royal families are. PR-firms or performers if you like.
And of course any firm wish to present their own controlled image rather than relying on most unreliable journalists and papers, who do not share the same agenda.

I disagree a little with you in the last paragraph. I won't go into how it is in Britain, but when it comes to the Continental royals, some of the most interesting and best selling books and interviews are made by hardcore fact finding, investigative journalists. More often than not with a solid background in hard news coverage and political coverage.
Other interesting coverage is made by historians (of course) but also journalists who specialize in subjects the royal they wish to cover also has a keen interest in, say sports, art and culture as well as travels/ethnography.
The more "soft" coverage, that is often defined by lots of photos, often on a more personal level, and lesser in depth coverage are more covered by the royal reporters from magazines and tabloids.

I thing there is one fundamental difference between the BRF and the Continental royals; The legislation and press traditions are much more different in Britain than on the Continent.
The press can indeed be critical of the royals, but on a different level and if they come up with too many made-up stories they face a genuine risk of ending up in court or being censored by the national media watchdogs.
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