Welcome to my weekly round-up of two blogging highlights from the past week: the post that I found most interesting or enjoyable to write and the post from someone else that I found most interesting or entertaining.
A post from me…
Economic statistic of the week: how the cuts compare
A Parliamentary answer has revealed how, when it comes to most services, it turns out Labour was planning bigger cuts than the government:
Against the benchmark of what public spending would have been if welfare rules and the like had been left unchanged and other public expenditure increased in line with inflation (i.e. DEL spending increased in line with inflation, AME spending based on no rule changes), Labour was planning to cut spending by £56 billion.
By contrast, the Coalition Government is planning to cut spending by £81 billion. The difference between these two figures is made up of:
Higher efficiency savings: £7 billion
Welfare and related savings: £18 billion
Lower national debt interest payments: £3 billion
… but also higher departmental spending (DEL) by the Coalition compared to Labour’s plans of £2 billion.
… and a post from someone else
Al Jazeera: Leading The Citizen Media Revolution
Charlie Beckett points out the key role that Al Jazeera has played in the Middle East unrest. Its rolling news service has relied on but also magnified the coverage available via social media and widespread cheap cameras:
Al Jazeera’s Qatar-based 14 person team devoted to social media serves the English and Arabic website and newsroom teams. I was surprised at the lengths they went to verify the material and to confirm the identity and location of, for example, any Tweet-based information…
As a media organisation, this has been a break through moment for Al Jazeera, in the same way that CNN’s coverage of the first Gulf War gave it pre-eminent global media profile.
Read the full post from Charlie Beckett here.