Wellbeloved’s sausage and bacon
After 31 and half years of being a vegetarian, this month, I started eating meat and fish again. It wasn’t a rushed decision. It was something I had been considering for years. And no one thing triggered it. There were lots of reasons.
The first reason for eating meat was that I no longer believed my original premise for becoming vegetarian – that it was morally wrong to kill animals. I had not believed that for many years. But the status quo was that I was a vegetarian and I needed to be convinced to proactively change. Continue reading
I’ll drink to that (Flickr: e_calamar)
Here’s a post-Leveson quote: “Not all journalists are listening in on our telephone conversations or stalking the celebrities that sell their newspapers. Should we actually be looking more closely at ourselves?
Why do we care what Sienna Miller and Hugh Grant are up to? And do we really want our politicians to control the only people who are able to hold them to account? What will be next in line to face regulation? Twitter? Blogs? Democracy?”
And so it goes on in a more positive light: 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
Leveson reading a “trusted friend”?
Leveson’s report includes just 456 words on magazines, if you exclude the case studies on OK, Heat and Hello. It makes just two references to the “4,765 business to business magazines” and barely touches too on the “515 consumer magazines” he mentions.
Leveson does say: “Whereas newspapers are essentially ephemeral, and understandably have developed a reputation as tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers, magazines are kept and referred to because they are considered to be a “trusted friend”.
He also says: “Most of these consumer magazines are specialist interest titles of varying sorts and are not engaged in the sort of news and current affairs reporting, or reporting on individuals, with which the Inquiry is primarily concerned.”
So the question for Leveson is, why try to regulate them? The question for the NUJ is why they called for huge swathes of their honest and ethical members to be treated like criminals?
Leveson, wrong, wrong and then wrong again
The press were fascinated by Leveson today but the public were interested in the simultaneous event going on in court where SAS soldier Danny Nightingale was released – after a press campaign to free him. Hurrah for the press.
Leveson did not ask for examples of good journalism, only bad, so that’s all he got. The Leveson report is an example of biased research and reporting. A statutory regulator would fine him and demand a right of reply. Continue reading
Tweet to Aggers and reply
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
Yesterday I recorded Treasury press officer, Andrea Geoghegan, refusing to give me information she had to hand revealing exactly how much worse off the Treasury thinks the Budget will make families. I published it on Audioboo and wrote about it on Daily Finance. It has caused a stink.
Does the press officer deserve it? Should I have named her? Did I give her a fair chance? I’ll tell you how I behaved writing my “Treasury tries to kill Budget cost story” then you decide. Continue reading
Should journalists mention facts that will play up racism, even though the source seems impeccable?
I did a story yesterday about insurance fraud on Daily Finance. In the course of interviewing the lawyer, she made the statement that the defendants refused to testify in court because they would have had to swear on the Qur’an. Continue reading