Music To My Ears

The headlines are rightly focussing on the Government’s deal to make the BBC pick up the tab for paying the Licence Fees of the over 75s. But yesterday also saw a smaller, yet significant announcement that could ultimately shape one of the services the BBC provides to you. And it’s personal, because it happens to…

Hold The Front Page – but be prepared to justify it.

I remember it well. 0745. The story had been running since my first bulletin at 0600 when the phone call came. A press officer demanding that I don’t run the story at 0800, and if I did there would “be consequences”. Being a good journalist (and trusting the rather more senior journalist who had written…

It’s All A Conspiracy!

Over the weekend I decided to take a break from the news. Yes, I largely ignored bulletins for the whole of Saturday because, quite frankly, I was knackered – and getting a bit bored with the post election fallout and the jolly yet sombre recollections of VE Day. So I initially missed the story which…

British Bashing Corporation

It doesn’t really matter what the BBC does with Jeremy Clarkson, because the printed press will do anything to discredit the Corporation. On a daily basis, you can search around newspaper websites and find countless examples. Take this contribution from the Nottingham Post. On the face of it,  a good news story – Songs of Praise brings…

London’s Brilliant Creation

Next time you watch a TV news report containing a press conference, look towards the bottom of your screen at the microphones. There’s one logo you’ll probably see more than any other – that of LBC. But this is not a story of anorak spotting – it’s about the almost unseen growth of an increasingly…

Credit Where It’s Due

The great and the good of local journalism gathered in Salford today for a forum ambitiously entitled the “Revival of Local Journalism”. It was hosted by the BBC to debate the current state of our industry, against the harsh background of technological innovation, greater competition, job cuts and – critically – falling sales of local…

What The Duck?

Bank Holiday Tuesdays are usually pretty boring affairs news wise. Public bodies are largely dormant, the most serious crime is often a city centre brawl and, frankly, nobody can be bothered with consuming hard facts. But this Tuesday will be different, at least in the cosy bubble of “the media”, with the launch of Notts…

Here Isn’t The News

It’s the end of an era. Paxman quits Newsnight, and amid the speculation of who can fill the space left by his gnashers there’s a raft of superlatives from the bosses saying how wonderful he’s been. I admire Paxo for many reasons – not least the fact that he won’t cross an NUJ picket line….

Information Underload

When large numbers of your listeners are caught up in the heart of a story, involving and engaging them is just as important as informing them. Aside from on air content, a radio station’s website can add context and detail which you simply can’t fit into a three minute news bulletin. But how you do…

I Didn’t Tell You So

Lesson number one in the media industry is : never listen to the gossip. It’s notoriously wrong. And so it was when, a few weeks ago, I wrongly predicted that the end was nigh for Smooth Radio. Told to sell assets by the Competition Commission, and having taken Smooth off the national DAB Radio network,…