September, 2006

BBC Banned

So following last week’s Panorama into football bungs, Sam Alladyce, the “embattled” Bolton manager has imposed a ban on the BBC at all his press conferences. He now joins Sir Alex Ferguson in refusing to talk to the BBC (Fergie is unhappy at the way his son was treated in a previous BBC documentary).

Now if Alladyce feels that he has a legal complaint against the BBC, then he’s every right to have his day in court if that’s what’s needed. But the BBC pays his club a share of the £xm a year that is paid to the Premiership for radio and television rights. As such, however unhappy he might be, he should be contracted to make post match comments much as American sportsmen and women, or tennis players are obliged to.

These petty vendettas aimed against broadcasting organisations who have the temerity to conduct investigative journalism is frankly sickening and puts football in a terrible light.

He and Ferguson should be fined each and everytime they refuse to appear on a BBC camera or conduct a post match radio interview of at least two minutes, with suspension if they continue behaving that way. It’s the very least that the licence fee payer deserves.

On a separate subject entirely, what the hell is The Guardian doing employing Russell Brand to write a “sports” column every week? They’re having a laugh aren’t they – except that it’s not a very funny laugh. I did enjoy last week’s Independent on Sunday review of Brand’s radio show though (can’t find it online – sorry).

ITV News Exclusive

The second item on tonights main news bulletin at 10.30pm was about breast cancer and featured an “exclusive” interview with Nicole Kidman. The words “ITV News Exclusive” stayed in vision for much of the interview. Well – they wouldn’t want the BBC to nick it would they?

Boat on a Stormy Day

Boat on a Stormy Day
My favourite picture of this trip so far. Yes – a certain amount of processing has been applied, but it’s more to do with the power of RAW and using two versions of the photo blended into one.
I spent a lot of time burning the clouds then undoing what I’d started.
I think the only thing I’d change is the framing of the actual boat which was a little off.

Tax Breaks For Record Companies!

Seemingly, the BPI is calling for record companies to be given tax breaks! This seems to be the latest hare-brained scheme for British record companies to make more money for themselves. It seems that when they’re looking for new artists, it’s not because they might hit big and earn loads of profits, but they’re actually carrying out “research”.
On that basis, any business investing in new products deserves tax breaks. And that’d be, er, just about every business out there.

Blood, Sweat and Tea


I saw Tom Reynolds give a talk about blogging from work a year or so ago at an NTK event, but I must admit, that I hadn’t really spent much time reading his blog.
Blood, Sweat and Tea is a compendium of entries he’s made over the last couple of years or so, which means that it’s actually all available free on the web. In fact, better than that, you can download the full text of the book from the publishers’ website.
But I still went out and bought a copy of the book after I’d read a few pages online. A properly bound book is still easier to read than pages of A4 from a laser printer.
The author works for the London Ambulance Service, practising in Newham and the surrounding east London area. As such, he’s called on to tend to the needs (or not) of many of life’s less appealing subjects. This he does with humour – there probably isn’t another way of doing it mind you.
The book is written in short chunks – well it is a series of blog entries – with only reader comments missing, although they’re referred to on a few occassions. You certainly learn about life for Ambulance crew, and learn a few things you’d perhaps rather not. TV, it seems, is not really all that accurate – a lot of people end up dying no matter what you do.
My only real criticism of the book is that read in a day or so, it can be a little samey. Reading the blog over a year spaces similar stories out so that you just begin to realise that the same things happen over and over. But reading about them in a book feels a little repetitious. I’d have liked to have read more of his general entries that talk about the sorts of things that can happen rather than a strict diary of that particular day.

ITV Must Carry on with Kids Programming

I’m delighted to learn that Ofcom has refused ITV permission to reduce their CITV coverage any further. As I’ve argued here before – if they don’t want to offer public service broadcasting, then they’re welcome to hand back their scarce spectrum resource and add themselves to the bottom of the list on the Sky EPG as “just another broadcaster”.
Their current problems are not going to be solved by ditching their future viewers. Instead they need to look to their commissioning editors.