Tell Laura I Hate Her

I’ve made this point before; journalism is perhaps unique as a career where you can expect to be openly, personally abused simply for reporting what others have said. And as public figures, perhaps we should accept that strong differences of opinion are part and parcel of the job. It’s even harder when you’re part of…

Sold : Dancing Hamster – £40m

The sale of a group of radio stations to a much bigger company often brings with it anxiety among staff, doubts over job security and a collective sigh among the anoraks that things will never quite be the same again – and wouldn’t it be nice to bring back some old heritage brand names. Yet…

Can I have a “P” please, Bob?

Like music playlists, there is one aspect of our industry that can only be looked at subjectively. No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to be impartial about personality. In recent months, it’s been well documented that BBC Local Radio is going through yet another period of attempting to define the “P” word with…

Rocks and hard places

I should open this blog with a disclaimer that these are my views as a Journlaist, and not necessarily those of my employer. The piece is meant as an observation of the relationship between reporters and their sources, and may well stimulate some debate on the subject. Since the start of the year, I’ve been…

Mind Your Language

What do ISIS and The Daily Mail have in common? They both try to change behaviour through fear. I can’t claim the credit for that assertion. It came from one of my friends when discussing the Dail Mail’s latest hateful and untrue article where it’s claimed the BBC has banned the term “terrorist” when referring to Islamic…

Style or Substance?

If it hadn’t been for ITN, newscasters might have never appeared on screen. When ITV launched in 1955, it was the first British TV network to introduce the concept of a face the audience could welcome into their homes. Up until then, the news had – at best – consisted of simple, straight commentary over…

Ratings or Reputation?

Last week the latest audience ratings for UK radio were published. As usual there was more spinning from station managers than Alistair Campbell in a gym class armed with comedy plates. And, as usual, the raw numbers can never tell the whole story. In unashamedly blowing my own trumpet, I’d like to think that my…

News At When?

You have to hand it to ITV News. The refreshed News at Ten, featuring a single anchor in the form of Tom Bradby, appears to have been a ratings success, at least so far. The Press Gazette quotes a Times article suggesting that the flagship bulletin is pulling in half a million more viewers month on month….

An Interesting Conflict

When it comes to local news and loyalties, you can bet that sports fans won’t give you much credit for anything you write or broadcast. A fiercely partisan and subjective part of the audience, they’ll always be quick to tell you when you get things wrong. And you do so at your peril. So it…

A Matter Of Factual

Here’s a question. What actually constitutes news these days? Of course, there are as many answers to that question as there are listeners to your radio station of choice. And it’s long been claimed that “the news” is gradually being dumbed down by just about anybody from Radio 4 downwards. Targeting the news to a particular…

Katrina – and the radio waves.

On a thoroughly dark day for journalism – in which two US journalists were apparently shot dead by one of their own disgruntled colleagues, it’s easy to see why our profession has something of “a reputation” – and all too often, the wrong reputation. However, it’s worth reminding ourselves – and the rest of society – why…

Crowded House

A tweeter suggested that it must be a quiet August week when – arguably in an overplayed gesture of preaching to the converted – the Radio Times is chosen to reveal research suggesting that Licence Fee critics couldn’t really do without the BBC. The experiment saw a group of households chosen to be deprived of the Corporation’s services for…