24 August 2008

Media Diet Week 34

Press: not much to comment on this week. The postie delivered my mail on Thursday and the "flumph" as it landed on the mat was eerily quieter than previously. Probably because I've cancelled my subscription to Press Gazette. I'm still in two minds about having taken that drastic step as I miss it. However, the revamp of PG's website is looking promising, although it's disappointing to see the loss of the Knowledge section. I picked up a copy of Women's Fitness to read on the train the other day, drawn by the coverlines. Inside, though, it had no distinguishing features from any other fitness mags aimed at women. Just the same old, same old serving of diet, exercise and beauty. Even the exercise pages were woefully thin at just a page or two with not enough detail - the "drop a stone in 4 weeks" feature listed lots of exercises but no information on how to do them. Very helpful. And an article on swapping jogging for fell-walking will be useless for most readers, who probably don't live within an hour's drive of their nearest hills...

Blogs: well, the blog du jour of the past week was apparently this one, after my post on sub-editors. First, Greenslade picked it up, then it attracted attention here, here, here, here and here. Not to mention the comments on my original post by Jeff Jarvis, among others. Looks like I touched a nerve, then... I'm pleased - this is an important debate to have. I can see the validity of the argument that news blogging is about the here and now, the immediacy of getting the news out there, rather than worrying about the typos. But there's a deeper argument to consider, about the need to maintain literacy standards across the board, not for journalists so much as readers. Somehow, I don't think this topic is going to go away. On a different note, I'm really enjoying the emergence of the new TNTJ blog ring run by young journalists who are blogging on the future of journalism. It's got off to a great start and I'm looking forward to following these young hacks.

TV/radio: quite apart from the saturation coverage of a certain sporting event, the TV schedules have been really dull this week. Must be late summer, that limbo between some series ending and the start of the autumn season proper. I watched Boris Johnson discover his roots on Who Do You Think You Are? despite not being a Boris fan. It was unexpectedly interesting, despite Johnson's regular yelps of "Cripes!" and "Wowee!" I suspect the next episode, with Jerry Springer, will be a lot better, though, not least because Johnson has little charisma on camera.

Books: it's been a busy week, with little time for bedtime reading. I have managed to start Alistair's Campbell's The Blair Years, however, although I've only read the foreword to the paperback edition and the introduction so far. I suspect this is going to take me several weeks to get through, while I read other books alongside. But so far, so good (the book, not Blair).

4 comments:

Anne Brooke said...

Boris is fabulous! He has loads of charisma! We did love that episode and I am so looking forward to his hoovering up of the thrones of Europe. King Boris - I always knew it would happen someday ...

:))

Yes, the JS one should be great - very interesting indeed. How I love these programmes.

Axxx

wordsmith_for_hire said...

Boris - we'll have to agree to differ! I think it's enough that he hoovered up the mayoralty of London...

WDYTYA is always interesting though- I just love hearing people's stories which are often incredibly fascinating even when very ordinary.

Martin Stabe said...

The Knowledge section is still there in the new PressGazette.co.uk navigation structure.

We've only renamed it "How To" in the menu bar to save space and make the section's content clearer to those not familiar with the magazine:

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/section.asp?navcode=166

wordsmith_for_hire said...

Thanks, Martin. I did find that confusing - I'd already seen the the How To tab on the menu bar. Pulling it down reveals How to Pitch, which is also on the Freelance tab so I thought there was simply some replication going on there.

Maybe it should have been left as The Knowledge - there's already more than enough change going on for readers to cope with...