Useful journalism sites

27 01 2011

If you don’t want to get left in the past then bookmark these sites. They’ll make you a net genius

online journalism blog

Nick Bergus

Steve Rubel

and if you’re interested in media news but don’t want to discuss it over the phone Mr. Coulson

Guardian Media and on Twitter

Alaistar Campbell’s blog and his Twitter feed

The Independent and Twitter





Election 2010, the end?

12 05 2010

Six days ago was my last day at Uni for the year but that’s not why I woke up a little excited (I’m not referring to my morning wood). It was time to do my democratic duty. A hop, skip and a jump to my polling station and I was amazed to find I was the only voter there.

One week later and there is, what looks like a very poor Pet Shop Boys tribute band having a love-in in the garden of Downing Street. We have a new prime minister and, for the first time in 13 years, a new party in power. Yet Cameron has to play nice with Clegg to live in number 10.

Though I never wanted a Tory PM at least we have the Libs in there to keep things from going a bit too Eton. A lot of Lib Dem voters are a bit dismayed at their party siding with the dark side but I think Clegg has played a blinder and giving his lot their first taste of power for 90 odd years. When, on Monday, he opened formal talks with the Labour Party he did his duty to the country by looking at every option and probably managed to squeeze more out of the Tories. Some silly woman rang Jeremy Vine to complain that this shouldn’t be allowed to happen and the Conservatives should be in power. SHUT IT WOMAN, we were witnessing the wonders of democracy being performed as they were meant to be.

Uncle Gordon had handed in his cards by this stage and probably earned more respect by that gesture than anything he’d done in the last three years. Jeremy Vine had to entertain the idiot classes again with this one. “We’ll get another  Prime Minister we didn’t vote for” I was tempted  to calling and inform the snot brained fools that in this country you don’t vote for the PM  you want, you vote for the party you want to run the country and whoever their leader runs the shop, OK?

Brown’s stepping down kicks off the race to see who takes over to lead the opposition, David Miliband has already stated he fancies his chances and I hope he gets it. Also being talked about are Alan Johnson, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman and Yvette cooper. Oooohhh don’t forget Ed Miliband, that would be fun to watch, him and David fighting it out: “Yeah well you used to piss in my bathwater.”

It’s all being so much fun I think we should have another election next week.





Group Blog

6 05 2010

My overall group blog experience was a good one; this is mostly down to the fact I had the privilege of working with a motivated intelligent group of people. We limited our number to four and although there were requests to join our blog such instances were swiftly dealt with.

My job was editor and chief and then we had a production editor, a social media person and a blog page enforcer. I don’t wish to upset anybody so I shall refer to these people as Mark, Victoria and Sophia.

My task was to inspire my people to write, there would be no problem here as everyone was brimming with ideas. Mark was asked to work out a time table to make sure posts were going up every day; I don’t think he needed to worry too much on that front. Vicky got us a page on Facebook which at its peak had 61 members and, director of decorations, Sophia spent an entire day in her back garden in the sunshine setting up the page.

I’m very proud to say that a number of other blog groups told me that they thought theirs and ours was the best. The page did look wonderful and everyone was brimming with ideas. By the end of the week my most difficult task had been to decide if I should allow a couple of little swear words slip through. I love swearing and I’m very good at it but I never like to see it in print. In my capacity as the leader I chose to let the swearing go, it wasn’t gratuitous and added a certain passion/humour where it was used.

As well as my posts, which I always tried to keep to the 300 word mark, I stuck up a few cartoons and after a while began crediting them (don’t want to get sued and lose my student loan). After having it explained to me 400 times I also learned what the difference between categories and tags is, I think.

Editing posts was my other task, luckily my team were mature enough to be open minded and listen to ideas. This was very much a two way thing and our final post on Camilla Chafer was written and re-edited by all of us.

An enjoyable experience and if I was required to do another group exercise I would imagine we’d get the old team back together.





QUESTION TIME LIVE

5 05 2010

We started with a question regarding Cameron’s impression of Clegg. Hague was quick to claim victory for the Tories and slag Brown about his lack of agreeing with Nick. Campbell loved having his boss in the limelight and spoke of how the media have ignored him but all the Lib Dems knew he was great for years. Ann Leslie, even though she is a Tory voter, did stick the boot into Cameron and had a bit of a go at Clegg for being a bit of a nobody then praised Brown for managing to remain standing. The Welsh lad said they were all just the same person, agreeing about pensions, the Pope’s visit, Afghanistan and the expenses scandal. Yvette cooper took on a strong pro-Europe stance, funny that it was Cameron’s weak point.

Anyhow a question was asked by a gentleman called Otto who I had got talking to outside and I knew what he was going to ask, I was determined to be heard. “Following the stories of donations going straight into Nick Clegg’s bank accounts, are the Lib Dems really any different to any of the other parties?”

This gave Hague another chance to go for the jugular, claiming Clegg had no right to carry on his holier than thou attitude. Campbell defended it (weakly) saying the donor hadn’t been given a peerage, but the money is now spent and that Clegg did give copies of his accounts to the House of Commons authorities.

Look at the screen while this point is been made and you see me, hand aloft itching to get stuck in. Then at 24mins and 55secs in my big television debut. I decide to compliment Gordon Brown on his performance in the debate before asking why he talks about cleaning up politics while still putting up candidates who were caught up in the expenses scandal.

Yvette Cooper was given the opportunity to reply and I was so excited about having just been on telly I forgot to listen. When she finished talking there was a round of applause which, instinctively, I joined in on. Having since watched it back I realise she just avoided my question and I should have really stood up and shouted at her.

The next topic was: Will a hung parliament be damaging to the UK? Campbell straight off with a no and saying Ken Clarke shouldn’t be saying such. Hague tried to counter this but Campbell kicked his arse. He did raise a couple of sniggers but his judo skills didn’t help in this verbal affray.

A great comment from the audience followed when discussing economic recovery that taking money from small business’ and giving it to the state was such a waste we may as well burn it (how dare this man try to upstage me on my big night).

Leslie was complaining that her vote didn’t count where she lived because it was such a strong Labour seat; Sir Menzies was quick to point out that if it wasn’t a first past the post system this wouldn’t happen. Cooper very nearly stumbled but caught herself in time before uttering when Gordon was elected Prime Minister (that never happened Yvette hee hee).

So who won well in this order:

1-Sir Menzies Campbell

2-That fellow from Wales

3-Hague and Cooper drawing

5-The frightful right-wing hack.





GROUP BLOGGING

3 05 2010

My overall group blog experience was a good one; this is mostly down to the fact I had the privilege of working with a motivated intelligent group of people. We limited our number to four and although there were requests to join our blog such instances were swiftly dealt with.

My job was editor and chief and then we had a production editor, a social media person and a blog page enforcer. I don’t wish to upset anybody so I shall refer to these people as Mark, Victoria and Sophia.

My task was to inspire my people to write, there would be no problem here as everyone was brimming with ideas. Mark was asked to work out a time table to make sure posts were going up every day; I don’t think he needed to worry too much on that front. Vicky got us a page on Facebook which at its peak had 61 members and, director of decorations, Sophia spent an entire day in her back garden in the sunshine setting up the page.

I’m very proud to say that a number of other blog groups told me that they thought theirs and ours was the best. The page did look wonderful and everyone was brimming with ideas. By the end of the week my most difficult task had been to decide if I should allow a couple of little swear words slip through. I love swearing and I’m very good at it but I never like to see it in print. In my capacity as the leader I chose to let the swearing go, it wasn’t gratuitous and added a certain passion/humour where it was used.

As well as my posts, which I always tried to keep to the 300 word mark, I stuck up a few cartoons and after a while began crediting them (don’t want to get sued and lose my student loan). After having it explained to me 400 times I also learned what the difference between categories and tags is, I think.

Editing posts was my other task, luckily my team were mature enough to be open minded and listen to ideas. This was very much a two way thing and our final post on Camilla Chafer was written and re-edited by all of us.

An enjoyable experience and if I was required to do another group exercise I would imagine we’d get the old team back together.





I’M GONNA BE ON TV

24 04 2010

In my capacity as your guide through the madness that is the election campaign I put myself on the front line for you all, jumped on the grenade by agreeing to be in the same room as William Hague, and attended Question Time in Greenwich.

QT Sudio

I was required to get there at 18:00 to watch the leaders debate before hand, this didn’t start until 20:00 so I stuffed myself with BBC cheese and pickle sandwiches for two hours. Then into the studio with approx 150-200 others to watch round 2 of the debates on Sky.

The biggest laugh of the evening from the crowd went to David Cameron’s outstanding impression of Nick Clegg (Rory Bremner recently complained about how difficult it was to do an impression of Clegg, maybe he should go round to Tory HQ for lessons). Brown got a great dig in early comparing the other two to his children arguing at bath time. Cameron then got beaten up by Clegg on the question of Europe; he couldn’t defend accusations that he was siding with the far right parties in Brussels. He did have his moment to shine when he accused Brown and Labour of lying in their election leaflets when claiming the Tories were going to make basic cuts to the NHS.  The last laugh of the evening went to Clegg, when discussing deporting illegal immigrants he said the government can’t deport them if they don’t know where they come from.

Cooper

Happily I was spared the usual nonsense of all the parties claiming they won the debate, I had to rehearse for my appearance on national television. And that’s what we did for the next hour and a half. Mock panelists asked mock questions by an audience getting all giddy at the thought of being on television.

Then the man himself appeared, David Dimbelby, he took a quick audience poll to see who won the debate and the majority went with Clegg. Sir Menzies Campbell could be spotted in the wings giving a thumbs up, to join him on the panel were Yvette Cooper, the work and pension secretary, Elfyn Llwyd, Welsh fellow if you hadn’t guessed already, leader of Plaid Cymru, Dame Ann Leslie, former journalist for The Daily Mail and William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, who is surprisingly tall and, as we were to learn before going on air, practices judo.

Then it was lights, camera……

images from: futilitymonster.files.wordpress.com/…/qt.jpg

www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23646…





THE INDEPENDENT

20 04 2010

I’ve decided to have a little look see at how the papers are holding up to their position as the forth estate in the coverage of the elections. So we’ll begin over here on the left with a look at The Independent.

This paper was recently bought by the Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev for a pound and that’s the same amount I paid for it today.

The front page has the decency not to bombard us with the election instead opting for one small picture of Cameron and ‘Election 2010 Pages 9-15’. True to their word they avoid all mention of anything Westminster until page 9 and I get to read about that volcano instead. Then everything goes very Lib Dem, that wouldn’t have been the case a week ago.

No deal with Cameron after the election, say Lib Dem voters

And off we go on our swing that always goes to the left. Labour remain ignored by the headline writers all the way to page 12, instead we’re told about Tory damage limitation for the ‘worst campaign in history’ and then it’s Lib Dem heaven. Articles that paint a wonderful human picture of the party’s struggle to satisfy the media attention since last Thursday’s Nick Clegg show.

When we do get to the current goverment it’s a piece on, not quite flavour of the month/what was your husband watching on telly? Jacqui Smith. Yes the epicentre of the expenses scandal, The Independent make sure to remind us of this in a separate insert into the main story. It is a fairly forgiving piece; painting Jacqui as a woman about to embark on the fight of her life to retain her seat. They describe her as ‘ refreshingly accessible’ when comparing getting an interview with her as opposed to the stories they have heard about her and lambast the Tories for not already making her Redditch seat a certainty.

The Tories get the double spread of the last two pages for an interview withMichael Grove the shadow Secretary for State and Schools. It’s the usual get the digs in carry on between the two parties. Petty stuff initially, how the Tories will change the name back to the Department for Education, before the Labour mess ups get a mention. ‘It’s profoundly wrong that children can be re-admitted to schools where the head has excluded them’ smaller class size, reform of the exam system, you don’t need me to tell you, we all know this tune.

The Independent is good, you really know you’re miles away from tabloid land but it just doesn’t light a fire under the bottom.

Gotta go now, Paxman’s on telly.