01 August 2008

Media Diet Week 31

Press: it was with something approaching alarm that I read Press Gazette's report on the magazine-sharing site, Mygazines.com (and I'm not linking to it). It's another route to infringing copyright of writers and I sincerely hope that it will, indeed, be taken off the internet asap. Bad enough that we have to google ourselves regularly to see who is stealing our work and not paying us for it, then serve DMCA notices, but I imagine copy theft on Mygazines.com won't show up so readily in the search engines. Incidentally, Charles Arthur of the Guardian regularly takes a pop at copyright infringers on his blog. It's top stuff.

Blogs: Daryl Wilcox, who runs the very useful ResponseSource resource for hacks has written a fantastic post on the transparency of his company's database. This was in response to Sally at Getting Ink, who noted that Cision are trawling again. I was among many (probably thousands) who received the email from Cision requesting my details. I've yet to respond as I fear receiving yet another deluge of unwanted PR spam. I get quite enough already. And I don't like being on databases where I have no control over the integrity of my entry. So I guess for now I'll be giving Cision a wide berth. The public discussion is really important, though, so thumbs up to Sally and Daryl for initiating it.

TV: programme of the week was, for me at least, House of Saddam. Critics were comparing it to The Sopranos in both the previews and reviews. I've never watched the Sopranos so can't compare, but this was fantastic telly - intelligent, well-scripted drama that was absolutely gripping, with quality acting and a sense of real insight (allowing for the fact that obviously artistic licence has been taken, although the Radio Times for this week carried a feature that noted the amount of serious background research that went into it). I was disappointed that Kelly won Missing Top Model as I'd really expected Sophie to triumph, but the judges never seemed sure whether they wanted a model who happened to have a disability or a disabled role model who could model. Whatever, it's been an intriguing look at notions of beauty and disability and raised a lot of important issues.

Books: it's been a slow week, so I'm still on Mark Billingham's Death Message. I had an Amazon splurge last weekend, though, so I have a nice, shiny stack of new books to keep me entertained over the summer, so I'll be reviewing them here as usual. When I finish Death Message, anyway...

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