It has been a reading time over the last couple of days – plus I played hooky with Rachel yesterday to go to the cinema and took my bike for a service this morning, so I’m catching up.

But a few things around and about that have caught my eye.

A good article by Steven Wells on boycotting the Olympics, as much for the way it has become “irrevocably lost to corporate capitalism” as for China’s human rights record.

I’m still undecided what to do, but the fact we’ve now booked ourselves a holiday which starts the day before the Beijing Games suggests I won’t be doing too many couch potato impressions for these Olympics.

Nikki Aaron gives us another snapshot of her ex-pat life in Beijing ahead of the Olympics.

There is a welcome return to our TV screens of Dragon’s Den and a welcome return to the blogosphere after a temporary break from Le Craic – and these two forces have collided with Le Craic’s review of the first episode of the Den’s reappearance.

It saves me the bother. Dragon’s Den isn’t up there alongside The Apprentice in my book, but it usually throws up some interesting talking points.

Last night’s opener had the band looking for financial backing to help make them the next big thing; a novelty sheet to effectively divide up the bed and create a barrier between you and your sleeping partner of choice; and the machine that turned air into water. Only one of these got an investment, can you guess which?

Joanna Geary raises a few interesting questions about journalists and journalism and whether reporters who earn their stripes on regional titles are still cut out to make the move into nationals.

There is no doubt that times have changed and I’m glad I trained on a regional newspaper 20 years ago and not more recently.

Some will have you believe that a journalist’s career ladder should always lead up to the dizzying heights of the national titles in London, but these days that is simply no longer the case. There are plenty of examples of regional newspaper journalists who are making their mark on a national and even international stage – Joanna herself being a prime example.

It is a sign of the times that the environment I was fortunate enough to be trained in – where newsdesk and the subbing team took time out to tell you where you’ve gone wrong and point you in the right direction – has largely disappeared.

But London still isn’t all that.

And finally, who wants to see a dustbin lorry that has tipped over?

Caught on camera by a regional journalist (ooops, he is a sales manager) after the accident happened outside his newsroom.

Journalists (sales managers) taking photographs?

It wouldn’t have happened in a newsroom in my day…and thankfully (on so many levels) that day has long gone.

7 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, I am so glad that you and Rachel still play together instead of fighting over sheets, duvets and drawing nightly battle lines over whose leg is allowed to stray where. In fact, those “inventors” need to seek professional help, urgently.

    What a lovely expression “playing hooky”; had never heard of it before.


  2. Steve Green says:

    Journalists (sales managers) taking photographs?

    It was a case of having to i’m afraid, no staff photographer in the office and a decent local news item happening right outside the door…….couldn’t NOT get a photo really 🙂

  3. Paul Groves says:

    Hi Steve: Sorry I called you a journalist to begin with – typical hack, never checking his facts thoroughly.
    Some good shots. I hope your paper is putting them to use?

    I vividly recall my (pre-digital) days as a trainee reporter, having an argument with the picture editor about the lack of available photographers and suggesting he gave me a camera so I could do it. The sharp intake of breath around the newsroom lasted a good 5 minutes 😉

  4. Steve Green says:

    The paper ended up using two of the photographs and I am sure one would have been front page if it wasn’t for the arrest of some bloke in Belgrade……..great local news item that!

    From what you say, the lack of photographers in the ‘local’ media seems like it has been an age old problem and one that will only increase as the public are more able to take useable pictures and submit to newsrooms quickly and easily.

    Our photographer on this occasion was ten miles away and wouldn’t have made it over in time, I was one of roughly ten people who took photos of this incident so availability of material would have been quite high…….and this was only a minor incident.

    News reporting is evolving at an alarming rate, particularly the way news and media are gathered. Interesting times ahead for any of us in the business.

  5. Paul Groves says:

    Steve: I stopped trying to figure out editorial decisions a long time ago, particularly as I’ve spent time making them 😉

    I’ve been out of the newsroom environment for a little over 2 years and the amount of changes in that time has been enormous. I’m quite envious in some respects, but for all sorts of reasons I’m also quite glad to be out of the newsroom these days.

    I think it is fantastic that there were 10(ish) people out taking photos – and that your’s will get used.

    There will clearly always be a place for trained snappers and journos on newspapers, but there are so many more opportunities to get everyone (other members of the staff and more importantly readers) actively involved in producing the paper.

    I hope you got a picture byline.

  6. Steve Green says:

    I hope you got a picture byline.

    Ha, I wish!

  7. Paul Groves says:

    Steve: Clearly some things don’t change on newspapers 😉

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