Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back for good
I've returned from the essential (ahem) research trip to Wengen full of good intentions, although I woke up feeling down this morning. I was in Oxford yesterday at the RISJ where I took in a seminar on the Canadian press 1890-1930 by Gene Allen. I was struck by one thing he said

"Newspapers do not tell you what to think; they tell you what to think about"

Now up to a point Lord Copper. The example Allen used was that papers tell you not whether Gordon Brown is a good PM or not, but the fact they write so many stories about him that he is someone you ought to be thinking about.
This may be true of the Canadian press in 1930 but I'm not sure that it still stands in the British press of 2008.

My favourite question of the day was from John Kelly (as always) who asked Prof Allen about the demise of the bus plunge story (see this reference to
Meanwhile, Matt (see above) as always provides the best commentary on l'affaire Derek Conway.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We Save the Children - Can YouTube?

Nifty headline courtesy of Save themselves......went in to give my seminar; only one person fell asleep and they were related to me so that must be a triumph (surely) trying to work out how to put up my paper here. Will do so tomorrow. Also proofreading final version of my Nuffield lecture for the printers; so much for a week off...

I bought a hat for skiing on impulse afterwards that I fear makes me look like an expensive east European hooker; I showed D, he doubled up laughing and said "No no not an expensive one."


Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunshine on a rainy day
I am back to Oxford this week to update my research for a paper I'm doing for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism; back to thoughts about where aid agencies and journalists are at. I am overexcited at going back - I've booked my room at Nuffield where I am now an associate member (get me!).
Trying not to think about the fact I'm also juggling writing a talk for SCF UK on user generated content. It's nearly done. While doing it I came across this excellent piece on technology and humanitarian aid from The Economist last year and these thoughts from a Sri Lankan journalist on the limits of citizen journalist in Sri Lanka
In the meantime, I am stocking up on oily fish and strolls in the park after investigating vitamin D for the Telegraph....I was much taken by Julie Mytton's suggestion that the reason we don't hear much about this Cinderella vitamin is that there's no money in it as you can make it yourself by going out in the sun..

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Round- up

The US election just gets more and more fascinating....I thought I had misheard the 7am headlines this morning with a Clinton victory - but no there it was.....astonishing.......
Am looking forward to Super Duper Tuesday even more now....

In the meantime however Peter Horrock's latest speech on citizen journalism is thought provoking, given that he says that Twitter provided an early indication on how Iowa was going to go....wonder what happened with Twitter in New Hampshire....

Meanwhile I've been writing on various different things - aid agencies for AlertNet and Jeremy Clarkson for the Telegraph....

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pain and prejudice

Spent Weds night re-reading Sense and Sensibility in order to write this piece. I've always found S&S dark but going through it again I was surprised at how dark I found it. Even when you're laughing at MRs Palmer's silliness, or Marianne's extremes I found it increasingly unsettling. As for Lucy Steele - brrr the woman is a menace.
Still don't get why Elinor goes for Edward Ferrars either.

The US election doesn't disappoint this morning with upsets by Obama and Huckabee triumphing. Huckabee I was not so surprised at because of the evangelical organisation on the ground. But - having watched the Ten last night where Clinton's supporters seemed so organised - all those Harvard PhDs clearing snow - I was surprised she's ended up in third place. Mind you I wonder how all those Harvardites went down there...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Caucus countdown

I am excited beyond belief by the kick off tomorrow deciding who will be Democratic and Republican candidates. One I still am not sure who are going to emerge the victors. Two the whole Democrat approach to caucuses is just so random. The country that leads the world in democracy can as the Times pointed yesterday end up with a different candidate if someone walks into a kitchen by mistake.
Sort of.
I like this joke (also from the Times). How many Republican frontrunners does it take to change a lightbulb? Two - one to change the bulb and another - Mitt Romney - to attack his record.
Changing times?

Just to note that on the BBC Breakfast 8am bulletin I noticed this morning that the BBC credited the Red Cross for its footage from Kenya. I note that it was also done with the Serbian story of abuses of the disabled before Christmas - where the script also was careful to state that the BBC could not verify the charity's word. So it seems there is a sea change in the BBC at least about more credit of NGO footage compared with the past. (Interesting there is now no link to this story on the BBC site...)

By the way if my Dec 31 post sounded terribly smug I apologise; I was feeling upbeat but that can come across as annoying