Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Another comment came from 'Localreporter': I work on one of the above papers, about to be moved to Ilford - miles off patch.Since the centralised CMS system was introduced not long ago, which is obviously enabling this move, it has been evident that quality has declined. We are often being told to "write to fit" the space provided, so stories with worth are being squeezed into nib size, and rubbish that would normally be used as space fillers is being given more room than it deserves. All so that pages can be "sent off" to production, and all part and parcel of this centralised subbing system. Working in Ilford, several miles and over an hour's journey off patch, is going to be yet another recipe for disaster. All very demoralising..."
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
I'm assuming that this happened soon after the shooting on Saturday (Hackney Hive version).
The NUJ reported: "A police Sergeant approached Valino telling her that she was disrupting a police investigation and to hand over her camera. After protesting to the Sergeant that she was in a public place, outside the cordon he had no right to take her camera, he grabbed her wrist and pulled out his handcuffs. Before he could put the cuffs on she handed him her camera. He then left for five minutes before coming back, bringing Valino inside the cordon and asking her to show him the images and deleting them. Valino was told that she could come back in a few hours to photograph the scene."
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Friday, 30 April 2010
In the Jerusalem Post her friend Julie Burchill, godmother to her three daughters, wrote that she: "gave her (Moore) the green light to take up with my second (Jewish) husband shortly before I dumped him. “Why don’t you ‘comfort’ poor Cosmo?” was the way I phrased it, to her slightly repelled fascination. Didn’t stop her, though!"
In the Guardian her daughter chips in: "Her middle daughter, Bliss, 19, has just wandered in and out in search of toast, and on hearing that this is an interview, has said that all she really knows about her mother's life is she was "a junkie for about 10 years."
The Guardian writer points out this was a joke and, later in the interview, Moore says: "I'm not a junkie, like Bliss said, but I can say that I've taken drugs and liked it. I can't pretend otherwise. The fact is that, now, if you're of a certain generation and you haven't slept around, taken drugs, you're just not normal, so what are we going to do? . . . Do you want the people who represent you to be flawed, or to embody this perfect ideal? Because we've had the perfect ideal, and that's given us the bloody expenses scandal and two wars."
Monday, 26 April 2010
But the Hackney Citizen (and Hackney Voice) project is worth a look. There's an impressive response rate from candidates but the real story might be in who didn't answer what questions.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Polly Rance, head of the borough's media and communications department said her department should not be cut during the recession. But would she allow the heads of other council departments to defend themselves from job cuts in a public arena?
In her latest piece in PR Week she defends Hackney Today, part of her communications empire: Councils would welcome resolution on publications debate (April 21 2010)
In an earlier piece (October 9 2009) she made a case for maintaining the size of the communications department:"In a recession the need for clear, accessible comms is greater than ever, as residents seek advice on debt, jobs and housing."
Compare Rance's recession plan with that of another Hackney Council officer who has been in the press - Gifty Edila, head of the borough's legal department. When she was interviewed by The Lawyer in November 2009, she said: “We’re in a recession and that’s impacting on the public sector, but we have to make sure we streamline resources while recruiting really talented people to fill the large number of vacancies we carry.”
Phrases like "streamline" and "large number of vacancies" are not used by Rance.
Is the communications department on a level playing field with other council departments?
Another council officer who has been interviewed or written for the press in the last year is Risthardh Hare, group head in the borough's social services, he reviewed the film Precious for the Guardian.
There may be more - I haven't seen them.
Monday, 19 April 2010
This is odd considering Magnum stood as a Green Party candidate in Clissold in the last election (2006). What's doubly odd is that there is no Mischa Borris, the Green Party Mayoral candidate, in the paper's who's who for the Hackney Mayoral race.
I hoped this could mean one of two things. Either the Boff interest was a double bluff and Magnum was master-minding - in his own words - "the intelligence wing of the Green Party" or hated his former colleagues at the Green Party so much he'd turned to the Conservatives.
But Magnum said neither interpretation was correct: "I left the Green Party. I left because I didn't think being a member of a local party would be compatible with what I'm doing now. I'm still friendly with them but I'm not involved in it."
Apparently the lack of Green stories is because the Green launch has come a bit later than the others. "We're not avoiding them... I've known them for ages and I still speak to them. But it's not like this is the intelligence wing of the Green Party, they don't know anything before it gets published."
So, what's with all the Boff coverage - as opposed to the lack of Borris coverage ? "We've done stuff with Andrew Boff just because it's interesting." He said Boff had approached them with his story about the council refusing to print his election address.
Magnum - who has no background in journalism (I failed to ask him what his professional background was) - said "Hackney Council rejects mayoral candidates election address" was a "brilliant story" but hard to substantiate, which was probably a pop at the Hackney Press office which took its time confirming Boff's story.
Magnum says: "When I look at our homepage, it does look a bit Boff-tastic, but he's just given us the best stories." As an antidote he says Boff might have slightly brought the problem on himself by not attending relevant meetings and leaving it all to the last minute.
In contrast Magnum says the Greens have provided press releases about more money for pensioners which, while worthy, are unlikely to prompt the kind of reactions that Boff's problems have - lots of comments can be found at the end of the story.
Otherwise, has the Hackney Citizen overtaken the Hackney Gazette as the borough's main newspaper? While Magnum can point to a print run of 20,000 free newspapers, a statistician might balk at comparing this to the Gazette's weekly 8,000 sold newspapers. But according to Magnum his 20,000 probably means a readership of around 60,000.
Compared to the Gazette's full time editorial staff of 7 - four reporters, news editor, deputy editor, editor (that doesn't include sport, advertising or circulation) the Hackney Citizen doesn't have any paid staff. According to Magnum, the advertising revenue goes back into the circulation.
Meanwhile Magnum says he's watching for any web activity from Archant which owns the Gazette. He says the privately owned newspaper group has upgraded some of its local news sites.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Meanwhile these Hackney blogs/websites have put in some hours to investigate issues in the borough.
Loving Dalston exposes idiotic bicycle rules on East London Line.
East London Lines uses Freedom of Information Act to investigate unused property in Hackney while 15,000 are on the housing waiting list.
Stokey Talk talks about the value of votes in Hackney
and more recently about the East London Line extension and general election in general.
Hackney Voice unearths the precarious fate of Hackney Wick's artist community
And Hackney Citizen sets up online Q&A with candidates from the borough's two constituencies (you need to register before 5pm on April 25th to take part).
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
The company claims to have backing to the tune of £10.5m but a number of inconsistencies have been pointed out by James Ball also: Helpmeinvestigate
and: Journalism.co.uk (5th Feb - The London Weekly Paper exists) and Journalism.co.uk (2nd Feb - The London Weekly: Some unanswered questions) and Guardian (Jan 27).
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Last week Bailey attacked councils for producing "mini Pravdas" and yesterday branded an Audit Commission investigation that found little wrong with them as "a complete waste of time".
But councils suggested she was not acknowledging the financial benefits to Trinity Mirror of printing the papers.
"While local newspapers might not get the traditional advertising they once did from councils, the newspaper industry is benefiting in other ways, such as through print contracts with local authorities," said a spokeswoman for Hackney council.
"In Hackney we have an excellent working relationship with Trinity Mirror who print our council paper and who put a huge amount of effort into pitching for the contract.
"It seems odd, to say the least, that Sly Bailey so vocally opposes those publications which she is happy to print, and happy to bill us every month for."
Thursday, 7 January 2010
Earlier this week the Guardian journalist Tim Dowling revealed that working for the Gazette was his dream job. His story on Monday described doing work experience on our local rag:
"Have you ever done a death knock?"
"No," I say, feeling the blood drain from my face. I want to go home already.
Starbrook (editor) has a chat with reporter Victoria Huntley about an incident the previous week when a local man doused himself in petrol and set himself alight in front of his estranged wife and their two kids. He tells her to go out and find the family, and instructs me to go with her. It will be my first death knock...
The Press Gazette noted the coincidence: "Tim Dowling you’re in luck – Hackney Gazette is looking for a chief reporter"
Saturday, 26 September 2009
DA You have a very knowing manner on screen. A sort of knowing…
NR [Laughs.] You're thinking of something slightly ruder than that. Do you mean sort of sneering?
DA A little bit like that…
NR I don't want to come over as sneery. I shouldn't.
DA Are you grateful that you're pursuing your career in a broadcasting environment very different from that in the US, where you have to be quite good-looking?
NR [Laughs.] Oh dear, oh dear, she says I'm sneering?DA I'm just asking!
According to Wikipedia she was a researcher and reporter at Thames Television from 1980 to 1983 and then a researcher and reporter at TV-am from 1983 to 1985 before becoming a press officer at the Greater London Council under Ken Livingstone from 1985 to 1986 and Head of Press and Public Relations at Lambeth Council from 1986 to 1987.
Sunday, 24 May 2009
My brother-in-law hasn’t stopped voting and I haven’t started so the argument was probably never relevant - for some reason he votes and for some reason I don’t. I don’t have faith in my argument that it is all too complicated - it could be used to justify not getting out of bed in the morning - but it has become my excuse for not getting involved. At least not as a voter.
I am afraid to step into this arena now. I fear that my opinions are half-formed, adolescent, embarrassing. I am afraid that if I try to express a view on the issues, rather than my lack of confidence in the system, my ignorance will be exposed and ridiculed. Politicians and the people who surround them appear to spend a lot of time exposing and ridiculing each other and I assume that they would happily do the same to me.
Now, having set it up as an act of selfless bravery, I reveal that on Saturday, I went to the first political event I have ever been to in Hackney – apart from a couple of council meetings.
The reason I could stomach it – or even contemplated going at all – was because of this blog. I assumed it would allow me to hide behind the cloak of journalism. There was another reason too: on Thursday I found out that I might be made redundant and I didn’t feel like sitting around thinking about it.
So going to Hackney Unite’s 'candi-dating' event wasn’t really a tentative step in my journey toward democracy but I’m aiming to write up the experience over the next couple of days.
Here’s the Socialist Party of Great Britain's candidate’s take on the day and a quick mention by the Lib Dem candidate.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
A month later on 7 July 2005 real bombs went off in London killing 52 people and injuring 700.
On 21 July a man tried to blow-up the 26 bus on Hackney Road not far from this newsagents in a follow-up attack.
According to reports from the scene of the failed bombing, witnesses told the police that there were "strange smells" and white crystals around the unexploded bombs.
Perhaps these witnesses thought that these bombs were similar to all the other ones that allegedly and endlessly exploded around the borough. But it wasn't all rubbish. I worked not far away from this spot for one of the papers whose bill posters are featured in the photo. I can't remember the ricin terror, the triad bomb or Europe's war with France.
But I do remember in 2001, just after the 9/11 attack in New York, when one of my colleagues asked the editor (who sat next to me at the time) what the funny looking powder on his desk was... "someone's sent me some anthrax" he said.
The building was evacuated and I remember being terrified and embarrassed. I think I sided with the serious worried people, not the people cracking jokes about death - which turned out to be a mistake. The police turned up looking bored and wandered into the building without even putting their masks on - apparently they had dealt with hundreds of hoaxes.
Judging by the photo above my colleagues and I managed to keep that fear bubbling for four years before it was justified.
Anyway, I spent ages copying out the quote below expecting it to link seamlessly with this subject. I'm sure there is a link but it's 2am and I've failed to find it. It is a depressing description of how journalism failed to deal with something real and terrifying, the main point it makes is: "Conventional journalism could no more reveal this war than conventional firepower could win it, all it could do was take the most profound event of the American decade and turn it into a communications pudding...."
In his book Dispatches Michael Herr said that conventional journalism failed to deal with the extreme circumstances of the Vietnam war - although it doesn't seem to work particularly well under any circumstances: "And just-like-in-the-movies, there were a lot of correspondents who did their work, met their deadlines, filled the most preposterous assignments the best they could and withdrew, watching the war and all its hideous secrets, earning their cynicism the hard way and turning their self-contempt back out again in laughter."
"If New York wanted to know how the troops felt about the assassination of Robert Kennedy, they'd go out and get it.... They knew that, no matter how honestly they worked, their best work would somehow be lost in the wash of news, all the facts, all the Vietnam stories. Conventional journalism could no more reveal this war than conventional firepower could win it, all it could do was take the most profound event of the American decade and turn it into a communications pudding...." - Michael Herr, Dispatches.
Perhaps a communications pudding is all we should ever expect.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
The councillor who might be able to help is Cllr Rita Krishna, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.
At the moment this blog is what some might call 'churnalism' - copying everyone else's news. So nothing more to add to this at the moment. Is there another way? Maybe http://www.flatearthnews.net/
So back to the churnalism:
The story of what appears to be another gang killing unfolds in court. Prosecutor says a gang called the London Fields Boys had "violence on their minds" when they allegedly killed 14-year-old Shaquille Smith in London Fields in August 2008.
Hackney Council has successfully prosecuted two home owners for making alterations without planning permission. A report in Planning Resource said: "Both owners have spoken to London Borough of Hackney planning officers and agreed to carry out remedial works to resolve the breach. If this does not happen, the council will prosecute again."
Diane Abbott gets a mention in a Times comment piece: "It's a hard life for women about the House" describing the lot of women MPs, but it doesn't look like anything new.
Old but just for sake of having somewhere on this blog - children's charity, Chance UK wins funding reprieve from Hackney Council.