Archive for March, 2010

Ashcroft dom goes on and on

March 18, 2010

Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft is still on the hot seat despite documents showing that he did not have to be a full UK taxpayer to become a Lord.

It was widely believed that Ashcroft had agreed to pay UK taxes in order to become a Lord. However, the document leaked to the BBC confirms that the Government did not make this a stipulation for Lord Ashcroft when accepting his peerage. He and the Tory party didn’t help matters by initially refusing to clarifying his position.

William Hague, who as party leader nominated Ashcroft for a  peerage back in 2000, crowed today about the peer being vindicated. He said “The idea that this was a secret Tory deal for Lord Ashcroft to avoid whatever people thought he should have paid is rather blown apart by the knowledge this was all copied to Downing Street,”

However, Foreign Secretary David Milliband retorted “It is now clear there has been a decade of deception at the top of the Conservative Party and I repeat my call, which is backed today by a former Chief Executive of the Conservative Party, that David Cameron sacks Lord Ashcroft.

“As for William Hague, he needs to explain why it’s taken 10 years to drag the truth out of the Conservative Party and why he continues to obfuscate today.”

The saga continues.

British TV adverts rule the world!

March 14, 2010

Many people will agree that Britain produces the world’s best television commercials. Even the Americans doff their caps to the ingenuity of the British advert. Now I’m not talking about rubbish like ‘We buy any car’, but stuff like the Hovis ad that was voted best of the last decade. I only saw it for the first time recently and it’s great. One of the things I missed living in the U.S was the good old British advert. Americans have some good ones, but the majority aren’t very subtle.

BBC video content review

March 14, 2010

The video content on the BBC website is quite extensive. The BBC news site has a section dedicated to both audio and video.  It shows the strength of the organisation that they are able to post a wide range of news topics with video content. Ranging from news through to health issues.

Most of the content is accompanied by a brief description of the story. All of the videos are summaries of news reports that run on the BBC news channels. It follows the traditional route of television reporting. So there’s nothing groundbreaking to see.

I love the video content on the BBC site. It’s so varied and also reliable. The only frustrating aspect of the site is accessing the video content from outside the UK. Some of it is restricted to people around the world, which is extremely frustrating as many people want to watch these videos.

Worst. Site. Ever

March 7, 2010

Worst website that I’ve come across must surely go to Havenworks. It’s a complete and utter mess. Cluttered from top to bottom with various news stories mainly from the political sphere.

The biggest problem other than all the stories crammed onto the one page; is just how long the page itself is. It will take days just to scroll down to see to view other content. There is absolutely no way anybody would spend the time doing that.

The design of the site is also very unfriendly to the eye. There’s just too much information on screen to comprehend. The whole point of having a website, especially one that has political news, is for it to be user friendly. Make it easier for users to find the stories of interest or something specific. It’s of no use to anyone in its present guise.

This website pretty much sums up the current political malaise in Washington D.C. Looking at this site is bad for your health. I started to feel ill. So to our American cousins, make sure you’re health insurance is valid and up to date. You may just need it after visiting this site.

U.S President’s Spoofed

March 4, 2010

Great spoof of the five most recent President’s of the United States featuring some of America’s famous comedians. It features Jim Carrey as Ronald Reagan, Will Ferrel as George W Bush, Dan Akroyd as Jimmy Carter and Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford. The whole thing is directed by Ron Howard.

Black Genocide

March 4, 2010

According to some groups in the U.S state of Georgia, black children are an endangered species.

The anti-abortion groups have placed huge billboards across the city of Atlanta saying that abortion is killing off the African-American race. Their argument being that white people have deliberately targeted black women for abortion to reduce their numbers. They even go as far to equate it with slavery.

When I lived in Atlanta, I worked for G-CAPP (Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention), which helped to educate young girls on pregnancy and to limit the numbers of children they had.

This was for various reasons. Ranging from  lack of education, poverty and being able to to fully understand what raising a child involves. I think this ‘genocide’ argument is very disingenuous and misleading.

The Journalist reborn

March 2, 2010

The following is from the New York Times. Veteran New York news anchor, Chuck Scarborough, gave this advice to a soon to be journalist.

Question:

As an upcoming university graduate with a concentration in journalism, my biggest worry is about being able to obtain a job in the future. In light of all the disappearing journalism jobs, what advice do you have for aspiring young journalists?

— Posted by Alina

Answer:

Embrace change and be prepared for it. With every news organization disseminating stories over multiple platforms, the next generation of journalists had better be able to write brilliantly for print, shoot video, be facile with nonlinear laptop editing, enjoy blogging and understand how to use social media.

In human history, information has never been so available or so easily shared. There are many dangers in the torrent of data in which we are constantly immersed, but there are unprecedented opportunities for dedicated, passionate journalists to tell their stories and build their careers.

The slow death of the local newspaper

March 2, 2010

I watched the BBC regional programme Inside Out for the East Midlands recently.

There was a report on the local newspaper industry dying off. It also highlighted how local newspapers are no longer sending journalists to cover court cases or council meetings.

You can have a look at the programme here. It will only be available until March 9th.

Soul Survivors

March 2, 2010