Five interesting things I’ve read this week…

1. Getting over a blogging breakdown < < < Headlines and Deadlines

Hurrah for my friend and colleague Alison Gow, who in this post, written as a letter to her blog, she explores the reasons behind a blogging breakdown – ie when you can’t think of anything to write. Alison also applies the same principle to dipping out various social media networks. I think anyone who has blogged will know where Alison is coming from – and perhaps the lesson is that there’s nothing wrong in saying nothing if you’ve nowt to say?

2. In the spotlight protecting the public < < < GMP blog

Greater Manchester Police chief Peter Fahy writes on his blog about the impact the media is having on major operations, looking especially at the Raoul Moat case. He argues it can’t be right for half of the commanding officer’s time to be spent handling the media, or that he/she has to consider how it might look on television as if he/she was a film director. While he’s also right to point out that some of the 24-hour news coverage went a bit too far, is it really unrealistic to expect that the commanding officer of a situation such as Raoul Moat has the media at the front and centre of his/her mind, given the media is the only sure-fire way to communicate with hundreds of thousands of people that there is a gunman on the loose? And as for having to think how any action will look, again, the media will communicate to the public and regardless of the angle the media put on a story, lets not forget that readers/viewers/users are capable of individual thought too.

3. News from the noticeboards < < < Talkaboutlocal

A really fun idea reported by Talkaboutlocal which has appeared on the Bournville Village website. Editor Dave Harte photographed a local community noticeboard and then reported what he’d learnt from it. I love this idea, and can’t help but think it’s something a lot of local  journalists should monitor too.

4. Why I Would  Do This < < < Arthur S. Brisbane

This is a fascinating column by the new public editor of the New York Times. It’s a job which, on the surface, seems a thankless one – acting as a representative of readers in the newsroom. But to me that’s exactly the sort of accountability which newsrooms need to embrace – especially given that we’ll be held to account elsewhere, more more frequently, whether we like it or not.

5. Why Tony Blair thinks he was an idiot < < < Open Secrets

The BBC’s Martin Rosenbaum looks at why Tony Blair, in his memoirs, feels introducing the Freedom of Information Act was such a bad idea. Probably for the same sort of reason that Chester and Cheshire West want to lock it behind a paywall – because it means they aren’t in control.

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