Memories set in stone

May
31

Artist Gunter Demnig makes brass cobbles he calls stumbling blocks that are set into the pavements of Berlin. Most have engraved in them  the word, "ermordet" - murdered. Others say, "Flucht in den Tod" - "killed whilst trying to escape." Each marks the home of a victim of the holocaust. Joanna Robertson, the BBC's Berlin correspondent, wrote about them in a compelling edition of From Our Own Correspondent in which she described the physical and psychological legacies of history that surround and influence residents of the German capital, including her own four-year-old daughter.  It is one of the finest FOOC's I have heard.  

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Are Liberals really liberal?

May
30

Poor David Laws. My sympathy is total. From the moment he burst onto the scene as a member of the Liberal Democrat coalition-negotiating team it was plain that he had gravitas. That precious commodity is recalled more often than it is witnessed in today’s Whitehall. Members of a political generation who fought in wars, built businesses and employed people before they got elected often had it. The modern class of former lobbyists and special advisers lacks it as completely as a fish lacks feathers.

 

 

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Tom Walker Foreign News Award

May
28

This message just in from Val Harper, foreign manager at the Sunday Times: On behalf of the Tom Walker Trust, The Sunday Times would like to invite proposals from your journalism students suggesting a foreign news story. They should submit their entry by email directly to me, they can submit more than one idea. The closing date is July 1st, 2010. They also need to attach their CV with their entry. The Tom Walker Trust was started a few years ago in memory of our dear colleague.  This special award offers a great opportunity to a student wishing to tackle foreign affairs and to develop his or her own idea for a report in the field. The winner will receive £1,000, four weeks experience on the foreign desk at The Sunday Times and the chance to work with a senior correspondent as well as doing his/her own assignment. 

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Year 2 meeting: final year projects

May
27

Just before the second year undergraduates head to the pub to celebrate the conclusion of your final exam this afternoon, it's time to look forward to next year. Before term ends on 18 June, you'll need to have submitted a number of outline proposals for your third year projects. We'll be going through the rules of the project module, explaining what is expected and detailing how to submit your proposals at a session in the newsroom at 11am on Wednesday 2 June. There'll also be the chance to ask staff any questions.

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Education policy

May
27

Among the most pernicious myths in British politics is the quaint delusion that academic selection is a Conservative policy that Labour has always opposed. The truth is rather different and yesterday,  as Michael Gove freed schools to do almost everything except select according to academic ability, the Guardian asked me to write about it. My column seems to have provoked interest in some quarters, support in several and incandescent fury in others. I'm sure you have views. Feel free to share them.

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Times and Sunday Times launch paywall

May
25

The sites News International hopes will persuade readers of the Times and Sunday Times to pay for online journalism were launched this morning. Take a close look.  They are free to view for the first month, but will retreat behind a paywall after we've all had a good chance to sample the wares. Will the experiment generate revenue to pay for journalism? John Witherow, editor of the Sunday Times, has predicted that his title will lose 90% of its online readership. But he hopes that losing a vast number of uncommitted readers will be more than compensated for by the 10% who truly appreciate good journalism. James Harding, Editor of  the Times, explained the argument on Today. The world of journalism is watching to see if this will work. Optimism is not widespread, but many people who do not believe paywalls can pay hope they will be proved wrong.   

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To pay or not to pay?

May
19

That was the question on today's edition of BBC Radio 4's Media Show. The Guardian's Allan Rusbridger, an opponent of paywalls,  debated with News International's John Witherow, who will introduce one next month.  I thought Mr. Rusbridger's hostility to direct payment was less pronounced than on previous occasions. So, perhaps he is beginning to question the wisdom of his strategy.  You can judge for yourselves by listening to this intriguing debate between two of Fleet Street's most eminent editors.

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Editing opportunity

May
17

I am looking for someone who wants to help me edit my film from Iraq. It follows reporters working in Baghdad, Falluja and the Kurdish autonomous area as they work on a story and looks at current reporting practices in areas of conflict.

Initially the work is to transcribe and assemble interviews. There may be a chance to work on sequences, structure and voice over as well.

This could be a good piece to show potential employers and places at which you want to do work experience.

Richard

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Fine Sunday journalism

May
16

 At their best, serious Sunday newspapers put the week just ended into context and write the first draft of big events. Today's Sunday Times does it brilliantly in this authoritative account of the negotiations that brought about Britain's first coalition since Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee parted company in 1945. This is diligent reporting at its finest.   

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CfJ students at the heart of political drama

May
11

First year undergraduate Melanie Wimmer, centre, takes note - in impeccable Teeline - of Tory deputy leader William Hague's point of view while on work experience last week at the Kent Messenger Group. With thanks to KMG for the pic.

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