Many will no doubt still be drawing breath after the week’s shenanigans at Westminster.
Even those who would claim to understand politics have been left astounded and mystified by twists which would have seemed unthinkable until recently.
When events are unfolding so fast is it the role of journalists to reflect that sense of disbelief? Or should they attempt to bring a degree of calm and certainty?
The opening of Wednesday’s ITV News at Ten has gone viral and was shown by the BBC on Have I Got News for You.
It certainly reflected how many would have been feeling – the events of Wednesday surrounding the vote on fracking and whether it was or was not an issue of confidence were a pantomime.
But could you imagine a BBC News programme opening like that?
Frankly if Huw Edwards or Sophie Rayworth had done the same, there would have been blood on the carpet somewhere in New Broadcasting House.
It would have made the row when Emily Maitlis suggested in a Newsnight intro that it was clear Dominic Cummings breached lockdown rules seem like a minor creative discussion.
Yet after a link like Wednesday’s on an ITV News programme, there is no row and little public comment.
Of course some of the reason why nobody seemed to be that bothered about Tom Bradby’s intro comes down to the ultimate nature of the BBC’s relationship with the government.
Some hostile MPs who like their names in print know they can call for funding cuts and even abolition.
The BBC needs to keep its powder dry so it can protect its journalists when they come under pressure for simply holding politicians to account or shining a light into dark corners.
If the BBC had “provoked” some Conservatives with a Bradby-style intro, it could have served as a handy newspaper and internet distraction from the real matter in hand – namely a government in complete chaos.
Rentaquote MPs would be telling sympathetic newspapers how the BBC needed muzzled or worse.
But, much more importantly for the corporation or any news editor, there is also the question of what viewers might expect from the BBC: calmness, doing nothing to undermine an impression of complete impartiality and seeking clarity.
When the news is dramatic, there is certainly no need to play anything other than a very straight bat.
Simply attempting to clearly explain and describe Wednesday’s chaos – as BBC political editor Chris Mason did excellently – is in itself very powerful.
In a sense comparing the two bulletins on Wednesday is like contrasting rival newspapers. The straight approach of a newspaper of record like The Times with a punchy tabloid speaking for its readers.
Neither is in itself right or wrong but the ratings seem to suggest the BBC approach wins – even if many may have shared the disbelief projected in Tom Bradby’s intro.
Last week we discussed whether the news really plays the same role on the two big channels. Is it the centre of gravity or a PSB obligation?
On Thursday afternoon, the BBC News at One gained a far bigger audience than normal as speculation Liz Truss was about to quit grew. It began with 3m and peaked as she spoke, at around 1.30pm.
The ITV Lunchtime News only registered a slight rise in ratings.
Later, the News at Six scored above 5m for the first time for several weeks – the ITV Evening News, again, had its normal audience of around 3m.
And if you wanted a late-evening round up, ITV News at Ten was – yet again – News at When. It went on the air shortly after 10.10pm – scheduled after an extended edition of DNA Journey.
No prizes for guessing which news programme had, by far, the bigger audience.
There is no bigger test of trust for the BBC than how it reports on an ongoing political crisis.
It needs to be more than simply fair and accurate. Getting the tone wrong in any sense on an occasion like this can have huge consequences.
PICTURED: Tom Bradby presents ITV News at Ten. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.