media, blogs, analysis & comment

Archive for July, 2007

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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The BBC gets an apology…


The BBC may actually be forgiven for feeling a little hard done by in the case of the recent so-called “misleading footage” of the Queen.

The rules generally state that the broadcaster is liable for the content, even if they haven’t made it. Its the broadcasters responsibility to make sure that content is accurate and fair and that’s why an apology to the Queen was quick in coming, even though the footage had technically not been broadcast.

Well, the RDF Media Group, who made the documentary have now apologised to the BBC for providing the misleading footage in the first place. This apology in itself now raises a few questions which surround this issue. Firstly how can mistakes like this be prevented in the future and secondly if broadcasters such as the BBC commission outside companies to make their programmes, how can they be sure that the finished article is accurate and fair? especially if they weren’t there when the footage was shot?

This case highlights the fact that the camera can lie, a further question may be how often has this happened in the past?

A day in the life… Via a blog

The morning editor of BBC News 24, Simon Waldman has given us a glimpse ito ‘Waldman’s world’ via posting on his blog.

He’s basically blogged his way through his morning shift, presumably to be read by those who were surreptitiously keeping up to date via a browser hidden behind the spreadsheet.

The blog gives a good insight into the challenges that face a rolling TV news channel. Some stories can be planned for, they’re already in the diary but lots are reported on by cool, calm and collected newsreaders reading out a script written by a frantic, overworked script writers and news Editors. As the blog shows too, sometimes as the nature of events unfold, the news team have to change things quickly.

You can read all about Simon’s shift here.

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The BBC says sorry: To the Queen

The BBC has apologised to the Queen after a trail for a new documentary appeared to show Her Majesty storming out of a room during a photo shoot.

The trail, made for BBC One, showed a series of events out of chronological order which gave the impression that the Queen had stormed out of a portrait session with Annie Leibovitz. This was not the case.

The BBC issued the following statement. (EDIT: MediaGuardian is now reporting that the offending trail was made by an outside company.  This would not absolve the corporation if it had broadcast the trail but in this case, it could alter things)

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