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Ears open for the very best black humour from your newsroom

The night I failed every mother in Britain

Facts. Powerful things, facts. And as C P Scott, the Guardian’s greatest editor said in his epic essay: ‘Comment Is Free, The Facts Are Sacred.’ In the old Farringdon Road HQ it was actually inscribed on the reception wall. It was a typographical mish-mash  typical of the Naughties but it […]

I downloaded you when you died

So here’s a pop quiz: which is worse? Knocking your door after you’ve died or right-clicking your Facebook feed and hitting Save As…? One intrudes on private grief but offers the grieving a choice in how content surrounding their loved one is shaped, the other leaves them alone […]

Is this headline too short?

Metrics. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. Actually, it’s the latter. Metrics are showing us a whole new way to appreciate – and measure – the perfectly crafted headline. Only the moon, and perhaps my expense account at the paper, waxes and wanes more than the […]

Batteries Not Included. Neither Are The Words

It was Jeff Jarvis who eloquently highlighted the rise and death of Ctrl-S. In Goodbye, Ctrl-S — Change Objects — Medium we are reminded that while technology has prevented volcanic meltdowns with Google’s Cloud perpetually saving blushes, hacks are also losing the fine art of writing concisely. There is nothing like […]

Journalese: Newslist

Let’s face it. The Bible, and much of subsequent history would be a lot more entertaining if Moses had dumped his tablets of stone and, instead, come down the mountain clutching a coffee-stained newslist. Out goes adultery, in comes Confessions of a Sexy Lovenest. The only difference between […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Specialist

Just like dog-lovers looking like the dogs they own, specialists are easy to spot. They’re the newsrooms finest. Walking libraries at the top of their field or, in the case of showbiz, at the bottom of the barrel, scraping with everything they’ve got. There are two kinds of […]

Death knocks: the dark side of journalism

Occasionally, broadsheets like The Irish Times lose the run of themselves and decide rank hypocrisy is order of the day. Death knocks: the dark side of journalism. The same paper which carried this piece decrying a fundamental tool of journalism  -speaking to people – carried a death knock […]

Survive Your Newsroom: The Cub Reporter

Quaint, ain’t it? Cub Reporter. Sounds fluffy. A doe-eyed little ball of cute fur waiting to roll over and have its tummy tickled. But don’t be fooled. This ancient old newspaper term for a trainee reporter actually masks a lethal combination of simmering ambition and soon-to-be boiling point resentment. […]