Wednesday’s Media News


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1. Removed to make this post less popular with search engines.

2. I hope you’ve set about downloading the security update for whatever system you’re on. The Mac (Intel) update was an 130MB monster.

3. This is an interesting news story, with a bit of local interest. It’s a fascinating insight into the tricky interface between news and the law. Clearly, we’ve known all along that reckless cycling carries a maximum penalty of a £2k fine. When the event happened, in April 2007, the law was the same as it was the day he was found guilty. But the reporting of all this controversy waits for the trial verdict, and its now that we hear the dissent over what he was charged with in the first place. The real point here is to link (as ever) this singular event to a wider issue, in this case the common complaint that cyclists don’t obey the laws of the road. This is often the subject of texters and phone-ins on 5live. Motorists just hate to see cyclists jumping red lights.

4. Interesting tie-up between Flickr and Getty Images, one of the bigger stock photography agencies. As is quite often the case when Old Media meets New, Getty are quite late to the party. iStockphoto has been doing this kind of thing for a while. User-generated content (quality control is very high, and they won’t take any old snapshot), which can then generate a small amount of income over time. A friend of mine got a new lens out of it, anyway. The Getty-Flickr deal is invite-only, which will make 99% of Flickr users feel bitter and rejected. Welcome to my world, Flickr-ites.

5. In another example of Old Media meeting new, former Daily Mail TV critic Jaci Stephen seems to have discovered The Onion, the spoof news site, which has been a staple of office time-wasting (along with FaceBook, YouTube, B3TA, and All Your Base Are Belong To Us) for at least a decade. Jaci Stephen’s departure from the Mail was reported upon by The Guardian back in December last year. Then she was described as “ebullient and highly readable”, which seems an odd description for anyone who writes for Associated Newspapers. Lo and behold, her first Guardian column appeared in February 2008, and she’s been popping up occasionally since.

Anyway. The Onion. Can be funny, but the amusement level is proportional to the amount of time you spend bored out of your skull sitting in front of a computer in an office. I always find that reading the headline is enough, and the articles themselves are superfluous. As to the (more recent) TV news spoofs, I find it hard to see anything here that hasn’t been done before by Monty Python, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Chris Morris, John Stewart and even the Two Ronnies. It’s spoof news, you know, like a sketch? On a sketch show? You know, like, “Scorchio!” and, “Ef ef ef ef, ef ef ef ef, efef efef, Chris Waddle.”

24-hour news is, like the fashion industry, an easy target: it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

6. In the 80s, in the second-heyday of CND and in the last years of the Cold War, this was the kind of event that would have us all convinced we had but days to live.