By

Broadsheet Clickbait – Benedict Cumberbatch on Islamic State

Broadsheet Clickbait

Continuing our series of amazing ‘serious’ newspaper stories, here is Benedict Cumberbatch – the Sherlock actor – providing his much needed insight into dealing with the Islamic State.

Check out some other entries after the jump.

Read More

By

Broadsheet Clickbait – Steve Jobs

Broadsheet Clickbait

Oh dear. The Independent is so lost in chasing for clicks with tawdry headlines that it’s even contradicting itself in its body copy.

The reason for this is that The Indy got its lead and idea from Pando.com in a story entitled, “Newly unsealed documents show Steve Jobs’ brutal response after getting a Google employee fired“.

It’s not just the combination of the headline and story body that are staggeringly annoying, look at the wording of that copy: Read More

By

Cosmos Rebooted – In the Face?

Carl Sagan

I hear that the relaunched Cosmos TV series has included a little hagiography of Giordano Bruno as a martyr to Copernican science, and I sigh…” Philip Ball

Philip Ball is an author of several books on aspects of science and its interactions with other aspects of culture. Philip worked for Nature for 20 years as, and I quote from him, an editor for physical sciences (for which his brief extended from biochemistry to quantum physics and materials science) and then as a Consultant Editor.

Phil also writes the science blog for Prospect Magazine. Phil’s sigh is not just naysaying for the sake of it.

Ball’s comments on Giordano Bruno and his inclusion at the start of the Neil deGrasse Tyson fronted Cosmos reimagined (aka The Because Science TV Show) refer to the animation, 11 minutes of it, at the start of the show that once again repeat the canard of Bruno as a Martyr of Science. Let’s look at the video first.

Read More

By

Shredding

My Twitter feed often throws up random juxtapositions and contrasts, this one grabbed my attention this afternoon. Feel free to send me any you see.

How to use the verb, "to shred" kids.

How to use the verb, “to shred” kids.

By

Value of Journalism – a Challenge

Hearst vs Pulitzer, a terrible war.

Hearst vs Pulitzer, a terrible war.


This, I hope, is a hard challenge for every hack or journalist who as ever used a specific quote with the lead-in and lazy line: “George Orwell famously said…” without citing where and when he famously said it.

Equally, I hope it’ll be an easy challenge for any researcher better than I am or with great access to more correct indices or a better working knowledge of Orwell’s works. The quote in question is:

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.”

It’s a great quote because it seems idealistic and brave, straightforward and honest. It looks like something Orwell, who went to the Spanish Civil War and to the slums of Wigan and to the flophouses and kitchens of Paris and London to write about what other people didn’t want reported. Unfortunately George Orwell has been turned into a Saint by both sides of the political divide. This means that a quote that sounds like an Orwell ideal. However…
Read More