Tuesday, May 15, 2007

News, new, slow news day

I don't really have much to lose with most parts (a few nice, notable, exceptions, who are the only ones likely to be reading this) of the BBC these days, so what the hey.

Turned on at 5.30am to get straight into day whatever of the Maddyfest. Concerned journalists and anchors here and there swapping war stories about how the beastly Portuguese coppers don't give press conferences BECAUSE THEY ... ER... 'WE' NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON!!!! No irony at all when they interview a Brit policeman who mutters that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing here to be allowed to get on with their jobs rather than having to tell the bad guys (I didn't mean the media, but...) every ten seconds what they may or may not be doing to satisfy the demands of the media.

And now, having got that off my chest, here is the rest of the news.

Seems a highly-funded bunch of academics has announced a study that pumping out endless 'We're all toast' climate change doom 'n gloom stories to a willing and eager ratings machine such as our media... isn't helping much. Check back a few years to see why I can only ponder, with some rueful shaking of head, that I wish I'd said that. Oh, I did. Along with a few (not many) others. And I told a few media outlets, such as the BBC, but maybe offering a word of caution on the responsibility of outrageous reporting wasn't quite in keeping with their journalistic standards of... 'WE'RE ALL DOOMED! - say eco-activists with book tours', vs. 'NO, WE'RE NOT! - say big-oil funded deniers'. Which ever way, the ratings flames are fanned to good effect by those less interested in the truth, accuracy and a better future tomorrow, than a good headline today.

And so we come to Declan, 'discussing' (if that is what his slot can be called) train travel today, looking as cute and cuddly as ever in his Thomas the Tank outfit on the footplate of a steam train. Now, remind me, how do these things work? Oh, yes, they burn vast amounts of of coal, and not very efficiently belch it out of their smokestack. Ah, well, a little artistic licence in the name of good TV, eh? But one wonders when he'll be off to the Arctic to 'study' global warming.

Anyway, a point was made. The eco-family tested out a train and the car. Train = fun. Car = chore. No contest. But... Train = loadsamunny, plus lots more per person. Oops. There's also the small matter of where you are setting off from and going to. Plus flexibility. And convenience. And...

I am leaving soon for the first day of the Total Packaging Show at the NEC. I need to get there, do the biz and get back. Money, time and convenience. On a good day in the car outside of rush-hour I can get there in about an hour, and back to get in more work, for about a tenner in petrol. In that time I may just about have got a bus to Gloucester to the station, if one runs at the right time and there is a train. And I have a family to feed by every minute of my day being used to try and make my business work. Because the demands of those in power require that.

Sorry, no contest. So I am not sure what point was served by the piece, as it merely served to confirm my situation. As far as I was aware, not one jot of 'discussion' about how to improve matters was attempted. Plus ca change...

But I think they are flying more reporters to the Iberian Peninsula. The weather is lovely there at this time of year, I gather.

Indy - Wild theories and a warped sense of priorities - at least they didn't also put the latest 'scoop' on the front page.

Indy - Reporting The Hunt For Madeleine: Media and police collide on the Algarve - Has a nice sense of irony and moral outrage, though you do suspect they are also not averse to feeding off it all. One thing that does come across, to me at least, is how sidelined the actual finding of the little girl has become to the process of reporting upon the cirrus surrounding it.

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