Archive for journalism

Hearsay, speculation and blatant invention by the press to increase circulation

13 April 2012
Ah, the British media at its best: It is necessary to pick through the reports carefully to determine what actually happened, as opposed to what was hearsay, speculation or blatant invention to increase circulation. In a further complication, most newspapers … [indulged in] lifting original reports from the previous day’s papers, summarizing them and then […]

It’s not as if the presenter on a TV news program needs to do anything other than look pretty and be drooled over, is it?

10 April 2012 , ,
Dear David Sexon, Thank you for letting me know that the new presented on the BBC breakfast show this morning “near-sleeveless” in a “short” dress that was also “tightly-fitted”. “She’s a bit of a wriggler” was handy to know, and I’m glad to have been warned that “you’re aware of her bare arms all the [...]

A reminder of why there’s more to the Daily Mail than meets the eye

4 April 2012 , ,
The Daily Mail isn’t popular with Liberal Democrat members. It is, however, popular amongst Liberal Democrat voters. If you’re one of the former puzzled about the latter, today’s edition provides a good example of one of the reasons why this is so: the Daily Mail has a leader on an issue of civil liberties, praising […]

There’s going to be some fun conversations between editors and journalists tomorrow

Imagine the scene… It’s Sunday afternoon and an editor is on the phone to a journalist. Editor: Thanks for filing this piece about the Lib Dem NHS debate. Journalist: Good piece, isn’t it? Editor: There’s just one thing I don’t understand. Journalist: Oh, what’s that? Editor: Well, you know how you say there was a […]
A horse

Today’s journalism in full, as seen from Whitehall

2 March 2012
Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. (Oh, and EU leaders sign major new treaty in latest attempt to avoid economic meltdown.) Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, […]

Polly Toynbee and journalism

26 February 2012 ,
A letter to The Guardian: Polly Toynbee writes (24 February) that journalists “précis a muddled reality into a narrative of right and wrong”. However, the very best of journalists manage to combine a clear sense of morality with an understanding of the muddled and complex nature of reality – presenting a fully rounded picture to […]
Fig tree leaves

Paul Waugh: 12 years ahead of the rest of the media pack

24 February 2012 ,
Paul Waugh*, writing in July 2000**: OMG! High cost of fig trees for Portcullis House! Rest of press pack, writing in February 2012: OMG! High cost*** of fig trees for Portcullis House!****   * An old journalist interjects: I wrote about it back then too! ** A young journalist objects: oi! some of us were still […]

How the Guardian makes the news, then reports the news

8 February 2012 , , ,
A nimble two-step from The Guardian: 1. Polly Toynbee sends tweet encouraging all and sundry to take part in an open-access online poll being run by the BMJ. 2. The Guardian reports result of said BMJ poll. Then only thing missing, alas, is: 3. The Guardian then realises that reporting a voodoo poll which its [...]

Why I (still) read the Daily Mail

2 February 2012 , ,
Four years on, I’m still a Daily Mail reader (even if they think I’m a foreigner). Here’s an updated explanation. I once rang the Daily Mail to mildly complain about a story I had a connection with. The journalist I spoke to put me on hold while he conferred with a colleague. At least, he thought he [...]

Media left reeling in shock as its stories turn out to be true

15 January 2012
Media Blog has the story of how three newspapers are all shocked that a story they had reported turned out to be right.