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Longer odds

Posted by Henry on June 18, 2003

In Reply to: A question posted by Mei on June 18, 2003

: Hi,

: Could anyone help me with the bracketed sentences? I don't quite understand.

: Miller (1993,1994), in his research into media portrayals of the conflict in Northern Ireland during 'the Troubles', argues that current affairs and documentaty programmes were frequently regarded by government officials as the most difficult to manage:

: (It is precisely for this reason that official agencies attempts to elucidate the exact nature of queries and even of proposed programmes before permitting access. The access that is granted is heavily bounded by the interests of the sources, but in the end they are betting on slightly longer odds with hard news stories, which have less space and time and are less likely to do investigative reports. )

: Thanks a lot.

The official agencies find it easier to manage briefer news reports than current affairs and documentary programmes. Any access granted to reporters in Northern Ireland must protect the source involved. The news stories offer longer odds. This is a betting term and I am not sure of the intended meaning here. I think it means that for the agencies the rewards will be greater from the news stories.