The all singing, all dancing blog of Alex Guite

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Investigative Journalism

Only days after revealing in an exclusive survey that "the London workplace is fizzling with sexual tension", thelondonpaper continue their public service journalism by asking the question "office flings: fun or folly?". Apparently a series of "surprisingly frank video interviews" with young members of the public helps to answer this troubling question. Just so that readers can get a better handle on this complex issue, they commissioned yet another survey, this time by YouGov, to reveal that "one in five has had an office fling". Naturally, they want to hear your views about this.

Oh well, at least thelondonpaper allows me to read some frankly excellent tabloid headlines without the bother of being seen with a copy of The Sun.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Goats on a blog

Here's another story about goats which I spotted on the BBC News last week.

Yesterday I finally saw Snakes on a Plane. It was excellent. When I go to the cinema I'm generally looking for a few things from a film, this one ticked all my boxes:

  • Comedy stereotypes
  • Gratuitous swearing
  • Excellently quotable one liners (I almost clapped when Samuel L. Jackson delivered his famous catch phrase. This is a family blog so I'm not reproducing it here.)
  • Cliched love interests
  • Snakes on plane
  • Central protagonist faced with difficult decision, makes right choice
  • Two unlikely friends bought together by circumstances
Finally, whilst researching a goat image to accompany this post I came across the website of the British Goat Society, The URL isn't lying, their website is all about goats. Apparently one of their aims is to "circulate knowledge and general information upon goats". Personally I find the printing press and the internet pretty efficient ways to disseminate information, but perhaps we do need to fall back on other tried and tested methods. Such as goats. So look out for goats carrying encyclopedias and current affairs magazines.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This week has been an excellent week for London young professionals aged 18-35: when they leave work they are currently the key demographic in a battle of media titans.

Two free evening papers have just been launched: the London Lite, allegedly as a spoiler to the Monday launch of thelondonpaper. If you're into this sort of thing, the BBC News magazine had a good article explaining the media politik behind this. They even found space on their webpage to mention that many young people already get much of their news from the Internet and therefore are accustomed to free news.

On Monday I picked up both papers, first sampling the London Lite and then reading thelondonpaper in St James Park. How London am I?

Neither of them are challenging to read and both present the news in such small bite-size chunks that it sometimes feels like eating dust. Without water. thelondonpaper has an interesting 'interactive' element in which readers are invited to vote on whether to keep or ditch a columnist. How very empowering for us readers.

Overall I'm preferring thelondonpaper, although I think this may be because it's more colourful and I'm easily swayed by these sort of marketing tricks. Certainly I wouldn't normally admit to reading or even liking a Murdoch publication, so something about it must be working for me. It seems to be even more trendy and hip than the London Lite. This all makes quite a change from reading The Guardian (which I have to pay actual money for, how 2005). For instance I don't think The Guardian would ever have commissioned, or even classed as news, the "exclusive survey" which thelondonpaper did this week, which apparently "confirmed that the London workplace is fizzling with sexual tension".

What will be interesting is how the politics of these papers play out, although perhaps it's too much to hope for that in a city which returns a majority of Labour MPs that at least one of these newspapers which Londoners will take home from work might at least take a centre left slant.

Finally, here is a story about goats from what is still my favourite source of free news.