Adam Curtis on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe

Not to become some sort of Charlie Brooker hosting site, but I thought this short on the rise of “oh dearism” in news reporting from documentary maker Adam Curtis was right on the money.


Favourite magazines and magazines vs the internet

On Thursday I spent all afternoon making a podcast. I went to Borders and interviewed some members of staff about what was selling well in their varied magazine section and harassed people browsing. I cut it all together on Audition. It was a thing of beauty (well, not quite, but it was decent). Then the next day when I came in to upload it, the university computers had decided to eat all but 1.26 seconds of it. Classic. I guess the lesson is never leave anything until tomorrow that you could do today. Or never trust university software.

All this is just preamble to say, I have made another on a similar topic (see below), but using only my dictaphone and Audacity (open source software which I actually preferred using to Audition). So I apologise for the slightly dodgy quality.

This is about what magazines people are loving at the moment, and whether they would prefer to use the internet to read them, or the physical copy.

No need for men’s monthly magazines?

With Maxim having folded last week and Arena having vanished, founder of Loaded James Brown has written a piece in the Observer about how there is no longer a need for the men’s monthly magazine, as men have weeklies (Nuts and Zoo, great…), frees (Shortlist, better) and male-aimed newspaper supplements such as Observer Sports Monthly to read. He adds that broadcast media now produces more male-friendly programs than it used to, citing Top Gear, The Wire and Sky Sports as examples

One of the final covers of Maxim magazine, which will become an internet only title. Image from

One of the final covers of Maxim magazine, which will become an internet only title. Image from

But much broadcast content is aimed at women and although the women’s monthly market isn’t in great shape, ABC figures show it is doing better than the men’s lifestyle mags. Brown suggests that this is because women’s publishing has a wider range that appeals to most ages and demographics.

Read the rest of the article here.

I’m not sure myself, but would be interested to know what you think: has a bombardment of other media made you less interested in men’s monthly magazines? Or were you never that interested in the first place?
And what’s the difference between men and women when it comes to magazines?

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe

After having said that I don’t think his columns in g2 are as good as they used to be, I turned to Newswipe, Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker’s take on 21st century news reporting, to remind myself how sharp he is.

If you haven’t been watching this, you should. It’s on BBC4 at 10.30 on Wednesday nights. Here’s a (rather long) taster. 10 minutes, yes, but worth it. Keep watching to the end and there are some great The Day Todayesque visual metaphors about the credit crunch from Five News.

And talking of The Day Today, how great was that? Every time I watch Channel 4 news and their love affair with graphics, it makes me think of it. News has truly eaten itself.

Here’s Chris Morris (love him) starting a war:

Strange search terms

Perhaps because I’m new to this blogging lark, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the stat counter. How many people are visiting, what they’re looking at and, most of all, what gets entered into google to throw up my page.

Most people unsurprisingly search for “magazines”. Any post with “magazine” in the title gets more hits. Curious, I entered “magazines” into google. I trawled through 15 pages of search results before I got bored and gave up. So, people who trawl through how ever many hundred and then click on this: I salute you. And apologise if the content is not at all what you were looking for. If anyone could tell me how many pages it is, I would be interested to know.
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British Press Award Winners

The British Press Awards took place last night in London.

The Times won the top prize and was named Newspaper of the Year for it’s “all round excellence.” I’m not normally a Times reader myself (it comes from being brought up in a house where you’re force-fed the Guardian and the Indy from a very young age, I think), but on the occasions I do buy it, I find it a good read.

The Guardian won best website for the second year. I love the Guardian website. I spend too much time there. Especially when on work experience, ahem. It’s streets ahead of other British newspaper sites, in my opinion.

Guardian writer Charlie Brooker was named columnist of the year. I do like a bit of Brooker (Screenburn and Wipe especially) and was a bit star-struck when I met him in a pub last year. However I think he’s been going off a bit lately. His vitrol doesn’t feel as real as before somehow. Of the nominees, I think I would have preferred to see Johann Hari from the Independent win.

The Mail‘s women’s magazine You won supplement of the year. I don’t (won’t) buy the Mail but when I see You in waiting rooms and the like, I always pick it up. In fact, my mum’s taken to stealing it from the communal area of my Grandma’s sheltered housing, depriving the elderly. It’s usually got great content, but I wouldn’t put it on a par with Observer Woman.

Gillian Tett from the FT was named journalist of the year for her coverage of the world’s economic “meltdown”.

The Guardian liveblogged the event and has a full list of winners here

tell! magazine taster

tell! magazine cover - if you think that's bright, wait until you see the real thing

tell! magazine cover - if you think that's bright, wait until you see the real thing

After two weeks of eating, breathing and sleeping (or rather not sleeping) tell! magazine, we sent the final PDFs off to the printers on Friday. Today Chris (our illustrious editor) and I (not so illustrious production editor) visited the printers in darkest Middlesex, along with Nat and Nick from X-City magazine, to sign off the proofs. It all looks great so far and it seems as if the last two weeks of intense work have really paid off. The hard copy will be available for free in selected places in London from April 7th – I’ll let you know exactly where nearer the time.

For me, the past two weeks have been the best of the course and I’m feeling bereft without production fortnight to think about. It’s made me remember that I love the production side of print media as much as the writing, the whole package is what I went into journalism for. And as cheesy as it may sound, the team spirit in the ‘office’ was amazing.

Publishers of independent magazine Little White Lies told us last term that they launched during the last recession as they couldn’t find jobs. If this lot of graduates are in the same position this time around, maybe we’ll have to think about starting our own publication.

Watch this space for news on the launch of our hard copy edition of tell! In the meantime: