Posts tagged with ‘journalism’

Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War by Svetlana Alexievich

Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl was one of the best books I have read for the Read The World challenge, and so I thought I would read this as well. It is, again, a compilation of verbatim transcripts; presumably somewhat edited, if only to remove the interviewer’s questions and comments, but with the rhythms and untidiness of normal speech. […]

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

Voices from Chernobyl was written in 1996, ten years after the reactor meltdown. It is an oral history of the disaster; that is, it’s presented as a series of ‘monologues’ by people who were involved in some way, with titles like ‘Monologue about War Movies’, ‘Monologue about the Shovel and the Atom’, ‘Monologue about Expensive Salami’. […]

Out of sync

It’s always odd when you find yourself out of sync with public opinion. Specifically at the moment it’s the phone-hacking thing… there is a growing strand of opinion that the reaction is overblown and hysterical, that the media is only obsessed with it because it is a story about the media, that we should really […]

In defence of tabloid journalism (sort of)

The irony of the current situation is that at a time of much hand-wringing about the future of journalism, the News of the World was one newspaper that was actually making plenty of money. Unlike, for example, the Guardian, who exposed them. Or the Times. And I like living in a country which has a […]

The news of the News of the World

It has been an extraordinary run of events at the News of the World over the past week. The analogy that sprang to mind when I was lying in bed last night was, of all things, the fall of the Berlin Wall. I know that must seem like a ludicrously overblown analogy, particularly to my […]

Flat Earth News by Nick Davies

This book apparently started as an attempt to get to the bottom of a particular news story which went around the world but turned out to be, broadly speaking, a load of cobblers: the Millennium Bug. Davies wanted to trace the process by which a story could start with such limited foundations and keep going round […]

Egypt, the cricket, and dead tree news

The current situation in Egypt has been the second thing recently that has made newspapers feel like a ludicrously old-fashioned technology. The first, more trivially, was the cricket. England were playing in Australia, and because of the time difference, each day’s play was starting just before midnight and running until 7.30am — optimally designed to […]

Fuck BP

I find it rather depressing that the British papers have decided to start defending BP against Barack Obama. I should have seen it coming: it’s never a surprise to see journalists and politicians rally to support the rich and powerful in their hour of need. Personally I think it’s a good thing that BP is […]

Ospreys, monogamy and stupidity

There’s an exceptionally stupid article by Magnus Linklater in the Times today. He talks about the recovery of the British osprey population over the past 50 years with reference to their apparent monogamy and long-term pair bonds. The article ends: What the osprey demonstrates is that, whatever indiscretions may be committed in the course of […]

Brilliant BBC fact-checking

BBC London, reporting on some building developments which are being held up by protests from English Nature, announced that the three key bird species were ‘Dartmouth Warbler’ (actually Dartford Warbler), Woodlark and Nightjar. But the really amusing bit was that the Nightjar was illustrated with film of some Wigeons. It’s always slightly unnerving when journalists […]

Bad science reporting

Ben Goldacre says (full article here): There is one university PR department in London that I know fairly well – it’s a small middle-class world after all – and I know that until recently, they had never employed a single science graduate. This is not uncommon. Science is done by scientists, who write it up. […]