A new week and there is a new era and a brave new world kicking off a new round-up:

The Birmingham Post has relaunched as a compact as part of the radical overhaul of newspaper publishing in the Midlands.

First impression last, so they say. And by and large first impressions of the smaller Post are positive and it looks as if the tricky transition from broadsheet has been a success.

I say tricky because other broadsheet to compact moves, both within and outside the TrinityMirror stable, have not gone well. Too often other newspapers appear to have been diluted by the change, but the Post still looks, feels and reads like a quality publication.

The increased emphasis on business – although, in truth, the Post has been primarily business-focused for several years now – means there is a big difference in content as well as style.

It will have to remain a tentative thumbs up for now. Judgment remains reserved as I want to read all five editions over the next week to see how the paper flows and where hard news, sport, lifestyle and culture all fit into the new-look.

Another review in a few weeks – once the new staffing structure is also in place – would probably make sense too, along with a look at how the “old media” printed paper works alongside the “new media” approach of the website, blogs, videos and other innovations.

TrinityMirror is investing in the title at last – along with its sister papers the Post has a whizzy new newsroom in the regenerated Fort Dunlop – and there is a TV advert to woo new readers (I like the Tron-like feel, maybe a few digital journalists in hi-tech, multi-media catsuits would have been a good addition?).

So far so good. It also seems quite appropriate that the first supplement in the new-look Birmingham Post is on Emergency Planning.

Elsewhere the Government plans to crackdown on motorists who abuse the blue disabled parking badges.

New powers are being introduced, along with holograms on badges to stop forgery and checks on users’ eligibility are likely in the future.

I am slightly concerned about the checks on eligibility – as history suggests sensitivity does not always characterise such crackdowns.

Plus, it would be good if there was such a high-profile campaign and new powers focusing on those able-bodied drivers who park in disabled bays.

There is some more UFO news, with the revelation that back in 1991 the captain of the Alitalia airliner shouted “Look out!” to his co-pilot at the sight of a brown missile-shaped object shooting past them overhead.

I’m still amazed that more convincing proof of ET and his mates has still not been forthcoming in spite of the technological advances of recent years.

The truth is out there, probably.

And scouts are to get sex education advice for the first time.

Visits to sexual health clinics will also be added to the scouts’ usual programme of events and tasks.

The visits are aimed at explorer scouts aged 14-18 “to break illusions of what these services are and improve the uptake of advice”.


2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, luckily (if only to save you time and my wordy comment) I don’t live in Birmingham. So nothing to say on the new style BP (I barely read my own local paper – though they’ve just sent me a hefty bill for subscription).

    To start at the bottom (of your post): Sex education. Which, in this household, is most successfully conducted at home – the place where it should be. Paul, I can’t even begin to tell you how appalling it is what passes as such in schools. Years ago I went to one of those events that schools hold for parents – to see what my offspring is being instructed in. Awful – and mainly by video. So much for the personal touch.

    Even only recently, Felix came home and said something to the effect that, at school/college, sex is made to sound more like a disease catching exercise than something to be enjoyed. He envies me my time as a teenager when all of us – and particularly parents of girls – were only concerned about avoiding getting pregnant – and, by golly, we were lucky. The pill had been invented.

    Not that I am knocking young people, scouts, whatever, being made aware that there are places (clinics) they can go to if caught out by the undesirable.

    On parking – by email.


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