I’ve never wished to be particularly down on one paper, so apologies to the paper of my hometown, the Express and Echo, but because I probably visit their website more than most, they probably get a lot of criticism. And a couple of days ago they provided another example of why local newspapers are in all sorts of trouble.
On Tuesday, Exeter City met Plymouth Argyle in their first competitive meeting in eight years. Not the most significant fixture in a busy evening of football, but in local sport terms this was as big as it’s likely to get.
Friday 27th August: The day the station formerly known as Lantern FM was finally killed off. Outside of North Devon it’s doubtful any tears were shed, but it’s just one of a number of Global FM stations that are disappearing off the map.
It’s a subject I’ve returned to often and one I have an avowed interest in. Lantern were one of the first stations to give me freelance shifts. I can’t say my reporting was that great (North Devon’s never been an area I’ve ever been overly familiar with) but the station got by.
History be damned. You can’t get through a Prime Ministerial leadership debate without the urge to make the occasional sarcastic comment, and some cheese straws.
Twitter – and social media – can’t provide the latter but it made watching the first of the three leadership debates a lot more entertaining than if I was just sat by myself in front of the TV. And pretty much every big media player devoted airspace and column inches to just that.
And they’re off. We’re now well and truly into electioneering territory as Hobson’s Choice the General Election 2010 rolls well and truly into town. Forget any hope of finding out news that isn’t connected to three middle aged men trying to out-quip each other. It’s everywhere. Including social media. And as a recovering politics geek who spends more time than is healthy on these places, I find it all completely fascinating.
Rather glad that Ben Goldacre chose to write about the “Facebook can give you syphilis” non-story from last week. It seems everybody’s got it in for Facebook at the moment and while there’s a lot you can complain about, some of the ridiculous stories written about the site take bad reporting to a whole new level.
When somebody who struggles with most forms of maths and science at the best of times (ie me) can spot huge flaws in the science and maths and correlations, then chances are the facts behind said story are pretty poor.
Until this time last week, my knowledge of Peru probably extended as far as Nolberto Solano and Paddington Bear. And that was about it. Yet this last week has meant I’ve been reading more about the South American country than I’d ever have envisaged. And feel I know enough to blog a couple of questions over the natural disaster.
Before I do, I’m well aware that while my focus on here has been spreading the word about my girlfriend, now safely rescued, there is also a big need for aid and a human cost to this all.
Sometimes you get a shocking event that reminds you there’s more to life than football. When news first started filtering through of the attack, I felt sick. 2010 should be a celebration of African football. Instead, it turned the focus back onto the continent.
And through all this, there’s been some absolutely shocking reporting and opinion pieces from people who should know better online, on Twitter, on air and in print.
Chief among this is the idea that what happens in a war-torn enclave belonging to Angola is somehow directly linked to the World Cup in South Africa. It’s like saying the Balkans War raised questions about World Cup ’98. At best it’s ridiculous, at worst it’s lazy, irresponsible and patronising.
Ever since Murdoch brought paywalls back into fashion like bad mullets in indie videos, I’ve been wrestling with assorted pros and cons (having heard from both sides), so I thought I’d put them down here.
So, lets take this hypothetical. David Conn is one of my favourite football writers, and somebody I would be happy to pay to read his articles.
I also enjoy reading Gabriele Marcotti’s pieces and while I’ll make a point of reading them, I probably don’t like them enough to pay for them.
Yes, I’m still on a sabbatical, but wanted a quick mention of Google Wave, which I finally got round to signing up after having the invite sit in my inbox for a week.
First impressions… yes, well.
On one hand, I like it. There’s a lot of potential there. In term of work collaboration it could be very useful indeed – kind of inbetween a wiki and email. Certainly for small group based projects with plenty of distance between them there’s a lot a potential. I think Chris and I can both see it working with the twofootedtackle podcast as well.
In newspapers, Rupert Murdoch still very much matters. In the internet, his influence may not be as keenly felt, but when he speaks, people still listen, especially when what he says hints at blocking search engines from his news sites.
How likely is this to happen, and is this a Murdoch misstep or will he surprise us yet again?