Caught on Camera: Grim Reaper spotted in hospital

The Grim Reaper....In a hospital

Blink and you’ll miss it – but here’s the Grim Reaper caught on camera at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Sort of.

It’s a screengrab from the video below, which was recorded by staff at the hospital to try and encourage people to wash their hands more frequently when in hospital. I might be being sniffy (and not just because I have a cold) here, but I never quite understand why hospitals have to keep reminding their staff about washing their hands. Newsrooms don’t have signs (or videos) saying ‘reporter, pick up your pen,’ do they?

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From sex toys to holidays in Merry Hill: A top 10 of Royal Wedding PR stunts

royalweddingcarAn email landed in my inbox last week from the hotel chain Jurys Inn. The firm wished to announce that it was so bowled over by the impression Pippa Middleton made at the wedding of her sister, Kate, to Prince William, that they wanted to do something to celebrate.

Their rather belated reaction to the wedding was this: Anyone could Philippa or Pippa could stay at a Jurys Inn hotel between now and the end of June and get 10% off. Just for being called Pippa. Really.

Should Pippa really be minded to switch from the Goring Hotel to a Jurys Inn, I suggest avoiding the ones in Newcastle (it’s in a horrible location and the steak on the restaurant menu has more in common with a wellington boot than it does a cow) and Birmingham  (Reminded me of a mental hospital from a horror film, and that was before I discovered just how expensive the car park was.) The one at Angel in London is pretty good though – and just a brief cab ride away from the Palace!

Joking aside, the Jurys Inn press release is probably the last in a long line of royal wedding-related PR stunts. So, to celebrate, I searched one of my favourite crowdsourcing tools – the Response Source newswire – to find 10 other barely plausible Wills ‘n’ Kate-related press releases:

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Is this the most jaw-dropping CCTV still ever?

Do you remember the days when a police call which involved a promise of CCTV was pretty much always guaranteed to end up with a long battle with technology or a trip to the cop shop to pick up a grainy image which had more in common with Magic Eye pictures than it did with 20:20 sharp focus?

Friday’s first edition front page of the Manchester Evening News carries what I think is probably the most striking, and shocking CCTV still I’ve ever seen on a newspaper:

Manchester Evening News front page
Manchester Evening News front page

Police released the footage of Dale O’Malley being hurled through the air following a hit-and-run at the request of his parents in an attempt to catch whoever was responsible. (Full story here).

To me, it’s a good reminder of the power of a good CCTV still, often overlooked in the pursuit of CCTV video. And proof that a picture can still tell a thousand words.

The Benny Hill newspaper headline which proves it pays to keep it simple

Sometimes, a clever headline isn’t required. Sometimes, just telling the facts in the headline makes the newspaper leap out from the shelves. Here’s proof from the Loughborough Echo:

Loughborough Echo Front Page
Loughborough Echo front page

You can read the story in full here, remind yourself of the Benny Hill theme tune here, and see why Steve Dyson likes the Echo so much here.

The Royal Wedding: Front pages from the provinces [gallery]

The Royal Wedding.
The Royal Wedding.

So that was the big royal wedding then. While there has been a lot of coverage of how the TV did in covering the big day, and how the national press dealt with the celebrations (and how it will cover the honeymoon), there’s been little said about the regional press.

Juggling the balance between national and local news is always a tricky one on a big occasion (One website I work with had a glut of messages on its Facebook pages saying ‘We want local news from you, not royal wedding rubbish!’).

So I thought it might be interesting to get together as many front pages as I could from Saturday, and plot them on to a map. Most papers did splash on the wedding, with many packing pages full of street parties. A day most regional press photographers won’t forget, I suspect.

Here they are in a gallery below:

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When words make for a great picture (or why we should still love the news bill)

North West Tonight
North West Tonight

If a picture can speak 1,000 words, what does the picture above tell us about the power of a good newspaper bill?

North West Tonight, the BBC regional news programme for the North West of England, used a photo of a bill from the Macclesfield Express to illustrate a story about a nursery which had closed suddenly.

It certainly tells the story better in the background more effectively than the alternative shot of a nursery building the vast majority of viewers would never have passed.

But it also illustrates, to me, the enduring power of a good news bill, and the impact it can have in a community. They remain powerful tools for local newspapers.

(For readers not in the North West, the answer to the question you’re asking about the picture is: Yes, that is Gordon Burns, ex of the Krypton Factor).