Archive for the ‘bbc’ Tag

Journos Ask: Does Grey Matter?

Is going to a talk at the London School of Economics “relevant”?


I guess it’s all subjective. But here are some inscrutable facts:

Monday 23 February 2009, a debate at LSE:

Why did nobody see it coming? Reporting the Global Crash of ’08.

The panel included: Vince Cable (Lib Dem MP), Gillian Tett (Financial Times), Alex Brummer (Daily Mail) and Evan Davis (BBC, Dragon’s Den).

They were asked questions like:

– Did the media know that the crash was coming?

– If they did, why didn’t they warn us?

– Is it the media’s role to speculate?

Evan Davis (BBC) explained that the media tends to report – and has to report – key news that’s either good or bad.

There’s simply not time, in mainstream broadcasting, to digest the grey filling in that black and white sandwich.


Is that what bloggers do? Is that what people Tweet about? Is that how people use and consume the bulk of their online media? I must have missed that party.

Publishing stories is fast and personal now. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s good to be subjective. It’s better to start a conversation with the wrong opinion than sit back and smugly wait.

At least two of the panel were bloggers. There was no lack of knowledge, insight or erudition on display.

Does publishing red-tape let journalists down? Or has big media been as complacent as the global economy in following – and promoting – its own “dominant narrative”?

Big questions for a Monday night. Few answers. A thick wedge of grey. Just like this post. But I did warn you.

How to VJ #1

We bump into each other at the bar.

You: So you’re going to write some stuff about VJing?

Me: Yeah, it’s something I get asked about. Figure I should put some thoughts down. I taught myself through trial and error – it’s hard to find anyone who can give practical advice.

You: But what’s the point? Where do you start? Most people haven’t heard of VJing.

Me: I’m going to start with a question. 

You take photographs. You write notes and doodle.

You have eyes and those eyes see hundreds and thousands of things every day that arrest you.

Any mark you make, any visual record you take of the world around you, whatever your eyes process – could all be used in VJing.

Focus your mind on the frame. That’s your first blank space. What can you make or find to put in it?

Until you consider that, you shouldn’t start. The BBC recommends starting with a camera and a computer. Their advice is sound, but they’ve skipped a few beats.

Your material doesn’t need to be filmed, for one. You don’t need to use software, for two (more on this later).

You can use anything that’s visual. You could use words alone, if they’re written well. Play a Nina Simone record and tell a story about multiple orgasms in North Korea, if you like.

Just get the frame in your head and start filling it with your eyes.

Up next: #2 How can it dance?