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Joss Stone and shaping the 24/7 news agenda

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment
Joss Stone

Joss Stone: Arresting new single

Currently, both the BBC baby farm – sorry, BBC News – and Sky News are featuring heavily and tweeting louder than an evening chorus the news about blue-eyed soul singer Joss Stone and arrests surrounding an alleged “murder plot”. Both the BBC and Sky seem to rely heavily on that increasingly deranged and hysterical font of breaking “news”, the Daily Twittergraph. Even to the extent of  sharing the same phraseology and “spokespersons”.

Hmmm. Stone of course was the artist who attracted widespread opprobrium from the bien pesantry in the UK media in 2007 by affecting an American accent at the Brit awards. How dare she sound something like George Dubleya! Boo! Hiss! Gerrer orf!

But in these days of Hopey-Changey, that’s OK now, so it seems she has been rehabilitated by the North London chattering classes. Huzzah!

What none of these news reports thought fit to mention is that she has just this week released a new single, Somehow, taken from a new album, LP1, due for release on July 26. I’d have thought these facts might have relevance to the story. But obviously they were unaccountably not included in the original press release. Or, if they were, the journalists for some reason thought fit not to include them, despite finding a lot of other superfluous rubbish to include, including the telling details of  – to quote the BBC – “swords, plans of the singer’s home and” – a real gothic, Burke and Hare detail this – “a body bag”. Surely there was a phosphorescent-fire breathing hound somewhere in there? We are talking about Devon, after all.

Well, call me a cynic, but isn’t the coincidence of a singer coming back in from the media cold with a just-released single and an upcoming album, with a red-hot, hold-the-front-page story of possible kidnap and murder which might have been ripped straight from the pages of a Victorian penny dreadful enough to make even the Twittergraph’s fearless investigator of “quirky internet stories”, Andrew Hough, pause for thought? Maybe not.*

For the record, I enjoy Joss Stone’s singing. You can hear some tracks from the new album at her website. She sounds as good as ever.

Personally, I don’t give a monkey’s what she talks like at some arse-licking industry award show like the Brits. There, she could moo like a cow or honk like a flatulent goose for all I care. She certainly wouldn’t sound any worse than the journalists at the bleeding-edge of our shiny new 24/7 news cycle.

* UPDATE: Or maybe so. I notice at 1.16am this morning, the Telegraph website had taken down Hough’s original story, plus some other “related” stories.

Warning Will Robinson!

August 21, 2010 Leave a comment

OK, a good joke, but I think you’re going to need to run off quite a lot of copies of these sticky warning labels for newspapers for just one edition of, say, the Daily Mail:

Warning labels for newspapers

Churnalism alert

Categories: churnalism, The press

Twitter ye not!

August 4, 2010 Leave a comment

(Part 1 of our exclusive, blockbusting, circulation-and-click boosting serialisation of How To Keep A Low Profile, by Max Clifford.)

According to the Guardian:

Twitter follower of Kanye West

Steve Holmes: "It’s crazy. I’m getting messages from people I don’t even know."

In other news:

  • Stop following me, says Kanye’s Twitter friend – The Independent
  • Kanye explain why it’s me – The Sun
  • Rap star Kanye West follows one Coventry man on Twitter – BBC
  • Coventry teen who is Kanye West’s only Twitter friend has ‘no desire for fame’ – Telegraph
  • Fame is a vacuous thing, says Steven Holmes – Topnews
  • Kanye West twitters ‘causing unprecedented global warming’, by Ben Webster – The Times

etc, etc, etczzzz

(Post © Beating-Private-Eye-To-The-Punch.trash.com)

Which is it, then?

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Standard headline

Evening Standard, July 22

Telegraph headline

Daily Telegraph, same date

Would it be cynical to ask which reporter might have got lunched?

Categories: churnalism, The Telegraph Tags: ,

Hooray! Correct use of “pressurised” spotted

June 7, 2010 Leave a comment

From Richard North’s EUReferendum website, about the euro:

What we have been seeing, says Steven Barrow, a currencies analyst at Standard Bank in London, was “the market pressurized the whole of the eurozone.”

Quite correct, at least in its use of “pressurise”, which, as eny fule kno, means:

produce or maintain raised pressure artificially in (a gas or its container)

It does not mean “press”, “force”, “persuade” or any similar simple synonym that lazy, unthinking churnalists in the MSM commonly use it to sound big and clever.

What Mr Barrow is saying is that the markets created such an “atmosphere” within the eurozone, in the same way a plane does within its passenger and flight crew cabins, that the euro reacted in a certain way.  An apt and therefore striking metaphor.

Given the weblink on Mr North’s page and the American spelling “pressurize” I take it this is from the Wall Street Journal, which is hidden behind one of Mr Murdoch’s fabulous (but doomed) new paywalls, so I can’t quote from it directly.

Categories: churnalism, fad words, Jargon

Horses for courses at the Times

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Times:

Jamie Baulch, the Olympic silver medal-winning relay sprinter, is to race against a horse for charity. The man v horse event over 100 metres, which takes place on June 30 at Kempton Park racecourse, Surrey, is believed to be the first of its kind.

What, the first one ever? I think not. I came across the Man Versus Horse Marathon some years ago – it’s an annual event that’s been held in Wales for nearly 30 years.

Instead of just relying on the press release, why didn’t the Times churnalist (cunningly going under the nom de folie of “Home Staff”) just do a Google – who knows, he or she might have picked up on this fairly lengthy Wikipedia entry.

I thought that these days they taught nothing but Googling in journalism colleges. If they’re not even teaching that, gawd help us.

♣ UPDATE: The ever-alert Tim Worstall has picked up on this story, and notes that Jesse Owens took up racing horses to earn money after the Berlin Olympics.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Llinos Mair Jones on Sly Dai (that’s the rider and horse) beat Haggai Chepkwony (human) by 10 minutes at the 2010 race in Llanwrtyd Wells. The Sun had it that Chepkwony was “pipped” by Sly Dai, which is a fairly loose use of “pipped”, even for the boys at Wapping.

Categories: churnalism, The Times