I lost my job the day my son, Joe, was born, so my work-life balance as a freelance journalist has been tied to my children growing up. I’ve given them breakfasts, packed them lunches and cooked them dinners. I’ve got them to school and gone on trips. Continue reading →
I don’t believe the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) press office answered my questions at all. Do you? My email correspondence is in this blog.
The FCA is the super-regulator for the financial services industry. It took a public pounding from MPs and a published report last year over briefing a journalist too much information too early. Perhaps it is being over-cautious now.
Not ready: BT failed to provide phone or broadband
BT Business just failed to move my phone and broadband on the moving date. What a useless service. I am now without remote back up.
In June 2010 I blogged about how we set up the remote back-up system and why it is important to back up remotely in the event that the unthinkable happens. And now, because of BT’s incompetence, I don’t have that working. I could lose everything in the next few days. Continue reading →
Unless you are Facebook, dealing with Apple as an iOS (iPhone app) developer is challenging. Facebook managed to do two updates within 24 hours but Apple never even looks at my updates for five days and can take almost 24 hours to reply to basic communications.
After protracted correspondence after my latest version of the-Zebra app was rejected, I asked Apple, seven hours after my last communication, if I should wait up for a response or could go to bed. Within minutes my app was reviewed, approved, sent to the store and put on sale. Continue reading →
I had a letter from a graduate that was just so appalling – they invariably are – that I started to write to tell him. My wife said the criticism might be enough to push him over the edge so I stopped myself.
She’s probably right. But how is he ever to know that he is getting it so wrong? As his errors were similar to errors I see in these sorts of begging letters all the time I wondered if I should share the lessons. Of course I am an arrogant know-it-all, but this is what I would have sent: Continue reading →
The press must be able to shine a light on politicians
I have written to my MP, Joan Ruddock, asking for her support for press freedom against proposals for legislation to introduce a regulator. The text is below:
Dear Ms Ruddock
Please do not vote for any legislation to establish a regulator of the press. There has been a long-established principle that the state should not intervene in the freedom of the press and this remains important.
Please stick to principles. Please do not vote for statutory regulation (or regulation with a statutory backstop) just because the Labour Party is in opposition and wants to give the government a bloody nose (as it did recently over the zero budget increase for Europe). This is too important for yah-boo politics. Continue reading →
Proper journalists such as me are supposed to hate citizen journalists. In fact, we’re supposed to call them “witness contributors” or something else suitably PC, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). Well I don’t. I like citizen journalists. I like a lot of user-generated content.
I like the fact that communities get involved, tell us stuff, send in reports and photos and now take video and audio and comment. It adds loads and takes away nothing. I too am a citizen journalist – last week for BBC Radio’s cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and for Test Match Special. Continue reading →
This blog post is written using Dragon Dictate voice recognition software for Mac. On Sunday I broke my right arm just below the shoulder. Although I have insurance, it made more sense to try dictation software to see if I could continue working.
I’m sure with practice get faster, but it goes at this speed the whole time, I’m going to be unable to be productive. For example that last sentence I dictated with only one mistake–the software thought I said reductive instead of productive. Continue reading →
I recently completed 10 months as acting news editor of the insurance industry legend Post Magazine – so called because it was the first magazine ever sent by post. It has been going since 1840. I saw a lot of changes in those 10 months.
We switched format from newspaper to a smaller magazine design. Initially we could still put news on the front page but that was dropped in favour of a magazine cover each week. News stories inside were replaced with more analytical, heavier researched pieces. News went online. Continue reading →
I stopped commissioning stories for AOL Money this week – Wednesday to be precise. I started commissioning the predecessor site Daily Finance in December 2009. Recently I worked on the design and build of the new site and the integration of DF and its sister title Walletpop into AOL Money.
It has been a labour of love. The old DF CMS tells me “You have written 312,078 words on 522 posts.” I’ve written a fair few thousands words for AOL Money too and I have commissioned millions more. I’ve known it was coming to and end, looked forward to it even, but I’m feeling a bit sad too. Continue reading →