Old dogs fail to learn new tricks - according to journalism cliché survey

All journalism students may be urged to “avoid clichés like the plague”.

But new research by Factiva today revealed that many journalists cannot resist the temptation to fall back on well-worn phrases.

The research looked at UK newspapers and websites between January and June 2006 and found that “at the end of the day” was the most popular cliché – with 3,347 mentions.

Next was “in the red” (1,877), “in the black” (1,620), "level playing field" (1,264), "time and again" (819), "wealth of experience" (724), "time is running out" (654) and “clean bill of health” (462).

Other old favourites still cropping up frequently were “split second”, “carnival atmosphere” and “eleventh hour”.

The research claims that Newsquest Media’s local newspapers are the most likely to use the phrase “at the end of the day” with 288 mentions between January and June. Next was BBC News Online (160), then PA’s newswire (154) and finally The Guardian (117).

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