Monday’s newspapers: Fat people rejoice thanks to ‘wonder pill’, and shed a tear for Simon Cowell

Leave a comment

Monday's Sun and Express (Pic: Nick Clapp)

Hurrah, it’s good news for fat people, at least according to the front-page of The Daily Express.

Their splash is about a “wonder pill” which has “more than double the slimming power” of current drugs.

Sadly, as we all know, stories like this have come and gone before.

New weapon against obesity

 Will this “new weapon in the battle against the country’s spiralling obesity epidemic” (wonderfully powerful language) work?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Page four of The Times today has a funny story about Boris Johnson getting up to his old tricks.

Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London has asked the “entire newspaper industry” to come clear about its use of phone hacking and similar methods.

Frankly, this is a pretty ridiculous suggestion, for two reasons.

Firstly, no newspaper in their right mind would confess to such tactics unless they absolutely had to.

Secondly, if they all did, then the amount of cases which would come to light would be staggering.

Shed a tear for Cowell

The most sympathetic (or just pathetic, depending on how you see it) story of the day has to be The Sun’s front-page.

It suggests that Simon Cowell’s “huge workload” could lead him to “an early grave.”

Now, not only is this completely unsubstantiated (the quote comes from a “source”) but even if it was true, it’s quite hard to believe.

Tough job

It’s not as if he’s chasing criminals or working long shifts on a hospital ward. He’s presenting TV shows. That’s not exactly stressful.

Even if it was, I’m sure he’s got enough cash to keep himself in good health.

Excuse me while I wipe away a tear.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Murdoch’s News of the World hacked phones? So what

Advertisements

Does the BBC need to change? From the groundbreaking to the overly sensitive

Leave a comment

How do you solve a problem like the BBC? The organisation has, over the years, gone from strength to strength and given us lots of great things.

But, for all the good it does, and all the new ground it’s broken since being created, there are times when it deserves criticism.

Take this weekend’s Grand National for example. The main event in the horseracing calendar is a world famous occasion.

Tragic event

Yet Saturday’s was marred by the death of two horses. This was obviously a tragedy, which needed covering.

Yet the BBC shied away from doing so.

Rightly, it received criticism for that. It may not have seen it as being a very sensitive or politically correct thing to do during the showcase event, but even so, an organisation like the BBC should have covered it in more detail.

Ammunition

It’s times like that which do the broadcaster no favours and give ammunition to critics.

Yet for all the damage it does itself, there are moments of genius.

Take a programme which I watched yesterday, called ‘The Truth about Lions’ (catch on iplayer if you missed it).

Brilliant wildlife shows

It chronicled the rise and fall of the animal in Africa, and was another in a long line of high quality wildlife shows which has been produced by the beeb.

So, what deserves more notice? The times when it makes mistakes, or the times when it blows us away?

It’s a hard one to decide, made more complicated by the fact that we, as viewers, pay the licence fee.

What do you think?

Sadly, it’s an issue which could be discussed in a lot more detail than I can go into here.

But what do you think? Should be more critical of the organisation? Or should we let it be?

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Murdoch’s News of the World hacked phones? So what

Get out and enjoy the sun!

Leave a comment

Just a very quick post to say…get out and enjoy the sun while you can!

As Brits we know that while conditions are as good as this (which sadly they rarely are) that we should make the most of them.

So get out there and soak up some rays while you still can 🙂

So Murdoch’s News of the World ‘hacked’ phones. So what?

Leave a comment

Is there anything wrong with phone hacking? I have to say, I don’t think there is.

Let’s face it, this kind of thing has been going on for years. To say it’s only a tactic that’s been used by the News of the World is too naive.

Journalists come and go between newspapers all the time, and so do their methods of getting stories.

All newspapers

I would bet at one time or another, all newspapers have accessed voice mails and messages in this manner.

But what’s the problem? Journalists uphold standards of journalism, and journalism in turn upholds standards of democracy.

News has a crucial role in holding to account those who need to be held to account.

Yep, in the public interest

The defence of ‘in the public interest’ has been used many times, but that’s because it’s such an important one.

As a society we deserve to know what those in power and positions of responsibility are actually doing.

It’s through methods like this (though not directly) vital stories about MP’s expenses and injustices have come to light. Surely that’s benefited society?

If those people who are being ‘hacked’ have done nothing wrong, then they have nothing to fear.

Celeb double standards

But what about celebrities? Don’t they deserve better? Well arguably yes.

But they can’t have their cake and eat it.

If they truly want privacy, why are they staging shots for the paps and doing everything they can to stay in the public eye.

You can’t phone a photographer to tell them where you’ll be to get your picture on page three of the Daily Mirror one minute, and then be complain when they try to get your messages the next. Double standards?

Our conversations have been listened to for years by the government’s own hacks as they bring about a Big Brother state.

I’d say that’s more worrying than some millionaire actor or politician being rightly held to account.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Premier League football predictions: Easy wins for Chelsea and Manchester United, and Stoke to stun Tottenham Hotspur

Leave a comment

Saturday 9th/Sunday 10th’s premier league football predictions

To say it’s coming to the business end of the season is an understatement. There’s still a lot to play for during the next seven/eight games. Here’s how I think things will pan out this weekend.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton

1 – 2

Wolves have had some big wins at home this season, but most of the time they just haven’t been good enough. With Everton now safe and under relatively little pressure, I think they’ll nick this one.

Blackburn Rovers v Birmingham

1 – 1

One of those games which has draw written all over it. Both teams are on 34 points and need to win, but I think they’ll cancel each other out.

Bolton Wanderers v West Ham United

2 – 1

After their promising start to the season Bolton have somewhat fizzled out. West Ham will put them under pressure as they fight to survive, and a win would lift them out of the relegation zone. But they should have beaten Man U, and failed too, last week. Are they confident enough to do it? I don’t think so.

Chelsea v Wigan Athletic

3 – 0

As poor as Chelsea have been since November, they can’t fail to win this one. Wigan are pretty abysmal and there time in the Premiership looks like it’s over. Sorry Wigan, but you have no chance at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United v Fulham

3 – 0

Similarly Manchester United haven’t played well this year…but are still winning. This doesn’t look like changing tomorrow as Mark Hughes returns to Old Trafford.

Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion

2 – 1

Both teams look like they’re edging towards being safe. With Sunderland on 38 points, they should have nothing to worry about really, and should win this at home.

Tottenham Hotspur – Stoke

1 – 2

Yep, I reckon Stoke will beat Spurs at White Hart Lane. Spurs haven’t won since playing Milan. Not only that, but they haven’t played well either. Stoke are tricky enough as it is, but I think they’ll catch Tottenham cold.

Blackpool v Arsenal

0 – 2

Blackpool have faltered recently, and are now just a point above the drop zone. They couldn’t really have picked a worse time to play Arsenal, who need to win this to have any chance of winning the title.

Aston Villa v Newcastle

1 – 1

Two evenly matched teams, again I think they’ll cancel each other out. Aston Villa are still under pressure so need something from this game. Newcastle seem safe though.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Sorry ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish again

Leave a comment

So Kelvin, as you say in today’s Independent, you’d shut all the journalism colleges down eh?

He proclaims “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.”

That, for a start, is completely wrong.

If you’re to become a complete journalist and learn the real necessary skills needed, you need some kind of training.

Learning the skills

 How else will you learn about subbing, design, layout, interviewing, headline writing, use of pictures and how to structure a story to make it interesting, all at the same time?

If you took “the old-school route” as he puts it, you would be thrust into the job without having a clue how to juggle these requirements.

Yes, you would learn some basic stuff, but not very well or in any great depth.

No time to fail

On papers you don’t have time to fail, because of the pressure on you and the hundreds of people waiting to take your job.

You need time to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn about how a newsroom works before being thrown into one.

Best in the business

 There’s a reason I’m studying journalism at UCLan. And that’s so I can learn from some of the best former, or practicing, journalists out there.

The skills I now have can be applied to a vast plethora of jobs, not least PR, advertising, marketing, copywriting…the list goes on, and it’s a long one.

MacKenzie is living in a dream world if he thinks it’s that easy to “go straight from school and join the local press.”

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Friday’s newspapers: Independent’s Ivory Coast story breaks conventions and cash-strapped Cameron’s fly on Ryanair

Leave a comment

Whatever you say about The Independent, I don’t think anyone can deny that it often has great front-pages.

Today’s for example is striking, with a helicopter flying over the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, seemingly being fired at.

It doesn’t really follow the conventions.

 There are no celebs, no fancy graphics or over the top headlines. But for some reason it just works.

Brilliant

It’s brilliant front-page almost makes up for the fact the rest of the paper is full of black and white pictures, which still strikes me as strange.

There’s also an incredible story on page 11 of the paper, about a Swedish couple who went on a “catastrophic honeymoon tour”.

Understatement

Incredibly, their trip saw them go to Australia, South-east Asia and Japan. Erika Svanstrom says it “turned out to be a bit more than we bargained for.”

 That’s quite an understatement!

The Daily Telegraph has a great front-page story, about the government looking for a “Twitter tsar.”

‘Tough’ job

That’s right, someone is going to be paid £142,000 a year to send out “text messages” make initiatives “easy to understand”.

 Well, it’s a tough job…but someone’s got to do it.

The Telegraph, along with the Daily Mail, also has a fantastic picture of the Cameron’s in an airport departure lounge.

 But this isn’t first class, as you’d expect. This was with Ryanair.

 And as such, both David and wife Samantha look suitably fed up. Clearly the recession really has affected everyone.

Paying for Osborne’s petrol

The Daily Mirror has gone with a typical tory-bashing story for their splash, as apparently George Osborne “charges YOU for HIS petrol”, as they’ve put it.

Now, as much as it is bare faced cheek for him to claim petrol expenses, did we really expect anything different?

 At least it’s not a bloody duck pond! And let’s face it, if we were in a position to claim as much as this bunch of ‘politicians’ do, we probably would.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Older Entries Newer Entries