I didn’t really miss too much on my 10-day break – apart from war in the Caucuses, the fastest jogger on Earth and the tale of two Birminghams.

So a short catch up.

Fellow WMBN member DJ Francis gives his views on the future of journalism, suggesting the confusion and turmoil the industry is finding itself wrapped up in is largely of its own making.

But there is plenty of hope, as long as newspapers and journalists stop looking for an off-the-shelf social media solution and start developing opportunities for themselves that suit their particular needs.

I tend to agree that the one size fits all approach seemingly adopted by so many will do more harm than good. But my biggest concern remains the fact that although we’re seeing more investment in  technology, we’re not necessarily seeing the right kind of investment in new (and old) talent to make best use of it all.

The Olympics has started apparently.

I have dipped in and out – very impressed with our cyclists, rowers, sailors and gymnasts, bored by Paula Radcliffe – but my couch potato status of previous Games has not returned.

The Olympics in 2008 does throw up various talking points and issues – Gengen Genocide is the mascot the Chinese don’t want you to see. One of them is the corporatisation of the Olympics.

Thanks to Eyecube for pointing me towards The Economist’s look at the business of sport. This is a topic I’ve been looking at in recent years, not least due to one of my freelance projects 18 months ago.

It is also an issue that, like religion and politics, divides opinion. There are those who maintain business has no place in sport, they tend to be the ones who cite the damaging impact pumping in all that money has on the great mythical beast known as the “grass roots fan”.

Sport and business do need to mix these days as they both need each other.

What has been interesting is the fact that the corporate giants who have invested tens of millions in sponsoring the Olympics are not getting much change out of British coverage, as it is the ad-free BBC that has the rights.

It seems we’re more inclined towards the Famous Five and the BFG than some of our more heavyweight literary giants.

Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl have eclipsed Jane Austen, Shakespeare and Dickens in a poll of the nation’s favourite writers for the 2008 a Costa Book Awards.


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