Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm back....
after a small interlude which was terribly journalistic and didn't at all involve being out of the country near some mountains. case any of the Scott Trustians are reading.

I'm due to give a seminar at the Reuters Institute of Journalism in three weeks entitled Can You(Tube) save the World? How user generated content is changing how natural disasters are reported.
Do you agree with the premise? I am panicking slightly at the thought of talking for half an hour on the subject.
Anyway I think UGC won't take over journalism but it is definitely altering it - disasters that we would have waited days to get reports back from in the past are now being heard about within hours. That doesn't mean to say that citizen journalists will take over the world but you can't have a situation like the (perhaps apocryphal) story about how the Bengali famine of the 1940s was covered - a paragraph in the Times.
Two months later.

Finally - thanks to Adrian Monck for this on nobility and journalism -
I'm not sure I agree. I would love it if it was a higher calling - but I am always fervently reminded that until recently in censuses and other social class evaluations journalism comes firmly out as a grubby trade not a profession - and perhaps we should remember that.

That's enough from the ivory towers for today anyway....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not gone but certainly forgotten

MSF on the world's top ten forgotten crises - a good reminder -

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The award-winning Morning Report.......

OK as Natasha says it's not entirely a scientific peer-reviewed poll - but still - I'm thinking positive in 2007 (one of my resolutions is to avoid usual Welsh Presbyterian gloom-laden attitudes this year)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

That's Life???

Watched This Life + 10 on BBC2 last night. Oh dear. A real disappointment - and one which the reviewers seem to agree with as well...
Here's what I found a let down
1. Anna - a strong character who dominated the original reduced to a former alcoholic desperate for a baby. The only good bit was her rant over the dinner table about how women are in a no-win situation - but then that was completely and utterly nullified because for the rest of the time she looked cowed and desperate.
2. Was Miles's house not the ugliest place you have ever seen? How could everyone rave about it? Plus how could he ever have made that much to buy that place...?
3. What kind of advance did Egg get so that Milly could give up work to be with Oscar? Given even supernovelists tend to get a third on signing the contract, a third on delivery and a third on publication, his agent must have been Ed Victor.
4. Warren and Anna co-parenting. Not convinced
5. Miles's hair....Surely a plot development all in itself
On the plus side - liked the idea of the young filmmaker they were all obsessed with and while not totally convinced by the device, it did mean we could have some good pieces to camera. Egg's envy of Miles's riches - that dreadful moment when you realise that some of your friends are just so far ahead of you financially you will never be on a level playing field again. The point was well made about 30 somethings worrying they have made the wrong choices. And the dancing to A Design for Life was authentically gruesomely ten-years-too-old bad. I am never dancing in public again.
So I learned one thing from it at least.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hello 2007

And some poetry/song to kick off thanks to the Glasgow Media Group and their quotation of Ewan MacColl and "An Item of News"

Living by proxy in the half light
Items of news slip by like flakes of food in a fish tank
Between the un-seating of a royal jockey
And the bland insincerities of talking heads
We see for an instant the awkward dead
Heaped carelessly at the corner of a street
Like brushwood piled for burning.
This wood is green, unsutiable for firing.
Sap still comes from the stricken limbs of striplings,
Broken boys and girls
With faces made anonymous by death.
Only a tear in the knee of a pair of jeans,
A shoeless foot unnaturally bent
A rucked up sweatshirt revealing pitiful flesh
Reminds us that they once possessed a singularity
Beyond the comprehension of the killers
Who stare at the camera lens with eyes
As blank as bottle tops