All entries for Saturday 04 November 2006

November 04, 2006


I’m doing a 9-month course which will turn me, Cinderella-like, into a broadcast journalist. It’s basically 9-5, five days a week, and involves a lot of hard work. None of this sitting on my hands, waiting for others to catch up that you might get on other courses.

All this hard work makes listening to the “RaW Speech podcast” rather painful. Because evidently it’s possible to make fantastic radio without sitting through two hours of shorthand every morning!

If I had iTunes or something I’m sure I’d be addicted to Fresh Perspective, but I’ll just have to keep checking the site manually to see when a new one is uploaded. It’s the Diary of ‘Miss C’, a wide-eyed fresher, and is completely brilliant.

Similarly good was Episode 1 of Menace to Society, which checks out some of the least well-known societies and shines the spotlight of publicity on them. This week it was the new(ish) Pole Dancing society, and the report was very professionally produced, except for a few very small sound level issues. I think even my tutors (who aren’t backward in coming forward with criticisms) would say it was very well done.

Listen to Menace to Society below, or head over to the podcast to listen to all of the highlights. I’m going to go and cry myself back to sleep now, wondering why I’m spending several thousand pounds on my course*.

*Not really.

Mixed Media Messages

As part of the Broadcast Journalism course at Cardiff I have to do something a little bit counter-productive and paradoxical:

Blogging On-Demand

Certain lectures have to be ‘blogged’ for assessment. But as the former editor of the Telegraph website told us yesterday, you should only blog if you’ve got anything interesting to say. And when it comes to many of these lectures, I don’t.

Blogging should be from the heart, which means you have to want to blog on a subject, not be told you have to. I’d be intrigued to know if anyone has successfully “blogged on-demand”, keeping up a regular schedule of entries, or had any success in blogging about topics they’ve been told to write about.

Surely blogging is a little bit like writing a novel, and how often do novelists get told by their publishers what their next book must be about?

I suspect “never” isn’t far from the truth.

So I’m afraid you’ll have to be excused a 200-word entry on the merits of broadcasting regulation, the divide between editorial and advertising or any of the other topics on which I have no great interest in expressing a meaningful opinion on.

Borat: Not 'A Great Success'

The important thing to remember about Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is that it’s not a parody of the people of Kazakhstan, as the hype would have you believe.

It is instead a Louis Theroux-like exposition of American people and their ability to be taken in by bizarre stunts, albeit with more jokes. The trouble is, this territory has been trodden many times, and the jokes don’t hit the target often enough.

There are some spectacularly funny moments, although you never quite know whether they’re staged or spontaneous. A scene with some college guys on a moving camper-van feels scripted and I wondered if the college guys were actors.

The subplot of chasing Pamela Anderson unfortunately doesn’t offer many laughs. Instead the film is based around a large number of small moments where something hilarious happens. Sadly there aren’t enough of these moments to carry off a 90-minute movie, and Borat leaves you wanting to laugh, but finding few good reasons to.

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