media, blogs, analysis & comment

Forgive and Forget?


The Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender says they have now ‘forgiven’ Sony for using the Cathedrals likeness in a violent computer game.

Sony used the Cathedral as the backdrop for one of the levels in ‘Resistance: Fall of Man’ in which you have to shoot all the nasty aliens, apparently even if they are at prayer. The game which features on the new PS3 console recently failed to win an award at the BAFTAS for computer games, which are awarded in the UK.

This news leaves me slightly confused. Sony themselves say they do not regret using the Cathedral’s representation and have refused to remove or re-program the software. The Dean also acknowledged that Sony don’t feel as though they have done anything wrong. So what are we to make of the ‘forgiveness’ offered?

In my opinion, very little. It is pointless offering forgiveness to Sony who have not asked for it. Rather this just makes the Cathedral ministers look ‘holier than thou’ which is probably quite apt I guess. I would further recommend caution to the Cathedral authorities with ‘forgiveness’ PR stunts, we’re not playing games here…


Cyberbullies to be targeted by schools

The UK Minister for Schools has called on teachers to tackle the growing problem of ‘cyber bullying’ by young people.

Ed Balls commented that as technology has become more prevalent in society through websites such as myspace and facebook, so too has the reported cases of online abuse. Examples include threats of violence, intimidation, cyber-stalking, harassment via email and even threats to kill.

The government are also taking the issue seriously and they have launched a new website for anyone who needs help or more information with regards to hi-tech bullying.

ITV admission over ‘faked’ death


Forget the competitions, the latest TV blunder is literally a matter of life and death.

An ITV documentary initially claimed that it ended by showing the death of an Alzheimer sufferer, who in fact, went on to die three days later.

The programmes creator, Paul Watson told BBC News: “My crime is that I did not compile that press statement and that I did not read it sufficiently clearly, if indeed I did see it properly and I’m sure I didn’t”.

The footage actually showed Mr Pointon slipping into unconsciousness rather than ‘passing away’ as claimed initially by ITV.

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All change for Church posters?

The Church ‘industry’ may be in decline but thanks to some media-savvy pastors, the writing on the wall may point to better times ahead.

BBC Radio 4’s ‘word of mouth‘ programme recently featured the motorbiking minister Paul Sinclair, who also goes by the name of the ‘faster pastor’.

Paul’s expertise lies in advertising and his church posters have turned both heads and headlines over the years but his aim is to use media in a positive way to fill the pews. Churches have traditionally been reticent to use media techniques to get their message out however an increasing number of congregations are becoming much more media-savvy, some even employing press officers and creative specialists.

You can listen to Mr Sinclair’s interview here.


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Login to shape Conservative policy…


At a time when the UK Conservative party continues to face a policy identity crisis, they are using the web forums to fight back.

The Tories have already been quick to jump on the technology bandwagon with ‘webcameron‘ and a dedicated YouTube channel however this new initiative promises to offer something quite different.

Visitors to the website are encouraged to register and login to the forums and take part in shaping policy by leaving comments and making suggestions on the website.

At the moment, there’s also a competition for people who register and take part. Five people will ‘win’ the opportunity to meet the Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron.

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Tarrah Chuck!

Liz Dawn who plays Coronation Street’s Vera Duckworth has announced she’s walking down the cobbles for the last time.

The 68-year old actress has played the character for 34 years and she makes up one half of one of the most long suffering TV couples in British television.

Ms Dawn has cited health reasons for her departure and is expeced to film her last scenes before Christmas.

You can check out corrieblog for all of the latest Coronation Street news and info.

Competition crisis at the BBC

When it rains it pours, especially for the BBC. In the same week which ushered in an apology to the reigning Monarch, competitions have been suspended across the board as more stories of rigged phone-ins have come to light.

The details don’t make good reading as its clear that some of the BBC’s biggest programmes and initiatives have fallen foul to style over substance. It seems that in many cases, rather than announcing technical difficulties, the public have been misled instead.

In some cases, pre-recorded programmes have been transmitted as live and people have been mislead as to how the competitions have been run, with production staff and friends calling in to collect the prizes.

It would appear that the BBC staff have chosen to ignore the production guidelines and instead, try to keep the programmes running as smoothly as possible which would beg the question: Why bother with a competition in the first place?

Competitions can net thousands of pounds per hour for broadcast companies but as the BBC is funded by the license fee, most of the money is donated to charities. Despite this, the BBC could easily end up with a red face to go with the red nose.

You can read Chris Evans’ blog post regarding this issue here. You can read about the latest fake phone-ins here.


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