BBC Parliament’s ’92 Election Bonanza

In February I blogged about the beauty of news in its purest form and why it is worthwhile reviewing news from the past. My main point was that when news is processed into documentaries for example after the event, that raw instant reaction and early analysis is lost. Yesterday’s broadcast of the BBC’s 1992 election coverage as live on BBC Parliament hammered this point home. Continue reading

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The beauty of raw news

Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when a big story broke. Whether it is waking up in a Bangkok hotel to find that Michael Jackson had died or hearing about the 7/7 bombings on your radio during your journey to work you are consuming the news in its rawest form: live, rolling news as it happens.

Whilst I love documentaries, packages and films, news in its purest sense does have a beauty. The impact of those first reports is lost with editing and hindsight. You will never recapture that moment again. Continue reading

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Melting pot or goldfish bowl? BBC exposes engine room to the public gaze | The Independent

Melting pot or goldfish bowl? BBC exposes engine room to the public gaze – TV & Radio – Media – The Independent.

This is nothing new. It was revealed by the Broadcasting House project manager in Ariel – the BBC’s in-house magazine – about 18 months ago. But it is fantastic news that the BBC has stuck with this part of its plans to promote the openness of the newsroom.

For more on this and other initiatives to move the newsroom back into the community, please see my feature for the Journalist in the February / March 2011 issue. I also blogged about newsroom openness at the time.

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Student journalists in the community: Learning and legacy

Hyperlocal blogs are a great way for student journalists to get some experience of reporting, community management and online publishing. But what do their potential readers think of student-run hyperlocal blogs? Members of a community in Sheffield recently gave student bloggers a very hard time when they attempted to engage with their potential readership.

The problem seems to stem from the fact that there are two universities in Sheffield, plus a very good further education college, and therefore a lot of students working on community-based projects. Not only do you have journalism students working on community-based projects, you have film makers, geography students, law students and nursing students. At any one time there must be hundreds of students making contact with community groups and local online forums.

Now, there are of course some fabulous examples of students who have done fantastic things for a community as part of their course or with a student society. There are law students who have helped to challenge wrongful convictions as part of the Innocence Network and there are many other fantastic examples of where student projects have been a force for good. Continue reading

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Could the Mail bring some colour to India’s media?

Originally uploaded by littlesaint_uk.

I’ve just returned from a trip to India where I traveled around the southern states of Karnataka and Goa. It’s my third visit to India and each time I have kept up with world news mainly through Indian newspapers like the Times of India and the Hindu.

Having briefly worked on an Indian paper, I am interested in how the media there is affected by the changes to the industry that we have face in Europe. One thing I have noticed is fewer features and original news in Indian papers than previously. This is a shame both for the reader and for India-based journalists, many of whom must be itching to bring hard-hitting stories to their readers’ attention. Continue reading

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Where are the women?

Originally uploaded by MeLicA.

This morning Radio 4’s Today programme hosted a discussion between three successful career women about the existence of a glass ceiling preventing women from progressing in their careers. It was part of former Commons speaker Betty Boothroyd’s stint as guest editor of the show.

The discussion involved Lorraine Heggessey, the first female controller of BBC1, Lucy Neville Rolfe, executive director and a member of the board of Tesco  and Rachel Lomax, former deputy governor of the Bank of England. They agreed that often women need to speak up a bit more and overcome the barriers in their own mind, such as fear of failure.

Heggessey said men are often better at pointing out all the things they can do whereas women are often stuck on what they can’t do. If men do get that voice in their head “they squash it down,” she said. Continue reading

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Mojo working

Originally uploaded by littlesaint_uk.

Mobile phones have come a long way in just a few years.

I got my first mobile little more than a decade ago and back then even texting was a novelty. Now you can shoot, edit and distribute video and audio on one smartphone. In fact, even professional broadcast journalists are using them to produce their packages.

Smartphones potentially turn us all into broadcast journalists, but in this article for The Journalist magazine I explore how smartphones offer print and online journalists in particular an opportunity to become multimedia reporters.

The key thing is to learn how to use a smart phone to create a quality mobile journalism (MoJo) product. That’s something many journalists, including myself, are still working out. It is a very exciting time.

Turn to pages 12 – 13 to see this feature.

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BBC staff banned from having rubbish bins near their desks to stop them being “territorial and defensive” – Telegraph


BBC staff have been banned from having rubbish bins near their desks to stop them being “territorial and defensive”. – Telegraph.

I’ve been in a few newsrooms now and while I applaud the attempt to get staff out of their fiefdoms and mixing with people on other desks, I can’t see how this heavy-handed policy is going to work. Is forcing staff to walk to the photocopier to dispose of their banana skin really going to help them come up with the next big story or technological innovation? Somehow I doubt it.

One year of freelancing

Last Tuesday, I marked the first anniversary of going freelance full time. It was quite a satisfactory landmark because I would never have thought that I would ever be self employed at all, let alone for an entire year. Business studies was one of my weakest subjects at school and I am sure my teacher would be surprised to hear that I am a relatively successful sole trader.

Back on 23rd October 2010, I wrote about what I had learned about freelancing from my first two weeks. Looking back at what I wrote, it is surprising how little has changed. I am still doing shifts, many booked in the last minute, it is still a feast or famine and I still have slack days. Continue reading

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What I learned from being a kitchen hand

Originally uploaded by The Clarity.

It’s a tough time for graduates and other young people in the job market at the moment. A BBC programme Up for Hire Live is exploring youth unemployment and recruitment, whilst following the experiences of four job seekers.

One of the themes that the programme explores is the perception that many young people are not prepared to do any old job in order to achieve their aspirations. Social media round ups throughout the programme revealed another side of the story. Young people ARE applying for these so-called menial jobs, but they are seen by employers as overqualified and uncommitted. Continue reading

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