Well known Sky News Political Correspondent, Beth Rigby, has had many negative comments on the way she speaks, not like they’d get away without abuse over their spelling ‘electrocution’ instead of ‘elocution’. The fellow friend of the one in question, Oliver Kamm, has joined her clique by arguing that the media should have more regional accents due to them being more inclusive, diverse and relatable?
As the media, in this technological age, is always in our faces, the debate on whether it should include private school Londoners or everyday working class accents from good old Bradford, is growing almost as fast as kids are getting IPhones. Shouldn’t it represent us? We are the ones who are payin’ for it. Why should people have to follow English Language theorist – Labov’s research and ‘converge’ their accent when it is a normal and ordinary thing that everyone has?
The time of BBC English is gone so why shouldn’t it be replaced with the wide spread of accents available in the UK. The TV personalities we have all grown to love such as Christine Bleakly and Cheryl Cole, represent people from all over Britain as all people watch TV (even if you deny it) and should feel ‘included’ and not ‘excluded’ shown in theorist – Ives Bradford and South London study. Only pedants care whether someone pronounces the ‘-ng’ the ‘correct’ way. Even the BBC’s governing body admitted that “The media is too London Centric” but why do people have such a big problem with it?
Maybe these accents are ‘unfashionable’ or ‘unattractive’ but these are part of everyday culture! Being surrounded by them is normal and these accents would not be any different if they were on TV. Beth Rigby’s Estuary English is not to be questioned as she does not choose to code switch but instead talks in the way that she always has. It is easy to understand, inviting and friendly, isn’t that what people want to hear when they wake up? Why don’t people spend more time correcting people who use the wrong ‘you’re/your’ which is an actual problem for the English Language, instead of an everyday accent?