Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 | Books

Jon Ronson’s 2012 book “Lost at Sea” looks at the many weird cases he has reported on. There are loads. Over the years Ronson has covered many memorable stories and scandals.

Other times he has just gone for a nosy around. Take Deal or No Deal for example. He takes us inside the strange world of the constantly hyped up contestants. Accommodated together in a hotel in Bristol the producers report back to Noel Edmonds on how everyone is feeling. As Ronson points out:

Endomol realised that isolation makes good cults, and good television

He visits Indigo Children. These are children that have psychic powers, the next evolution if you will. They communicate telepathically, but also on the internet.

He signs up to do Alpha at the Holy Trinity Brompton Church and meets Nicky Gumbel. He does not find god, but he does go on their weekend away to see if anyone starts speaking in tongues. Lots of people do.

In an experiment to see who is offered the most credit cards and loans he sets up a dozen personalities with different magazine subscriptions and hobbies to see what happens. Predictably it is the unemployed gambler who is offed them all.

When he borrows an Aston Martin to re-create one of Bond’s journeys, he cannot help but note that everyone is checking out the car – thus would actually make a rubbish vehicle for a spy.

In a surprise twist he signs himself up to a Paul McKenna week-long workshop headed by NLP co-founder Richard Bandler and finds that NLP actually helps his anxiety. Not sure what to think now.

Finally he ends on a story about actually being lost at sea. Apparently every two weeks someone disappears over the side of the cruise ship. International waters are essentially lawless, especially as cruise companies register their ships in “flag of convenience” countries.

I really enjoyed reading the book as they were all interesting stories. Do not pick it up expecting resolutions though – most of the mysteries are just left unsolved and without conclusion.


In the public interest?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

Recently, The Sun broke ranks and published naked photos of Price Harry in Las Vegas.

The Sun claimed that the pictures are in the public domain, so they might as well print them. Which, I think most of us can agree, is a really rubbish excuse for breaching someone’s privacy.

Their other defence was to suggest that it was in the public interest to see naked pictures of Prince Harry.

Now, perhaps I am a little out of touch with the old generation, but I utterly fail to see how someone being naked at a party in Las Vegas is in the public interest. He might be third in line to the throne, but first in line to the thrown is Prince Charles – a man who supports homoeopathy and suggested he should be defender of the faiths, even though the title defender of the faith was specifically given to Henry VIII for attacking other religions.

More importantly, though, public interest is an important defence. Sometimes you need to break the rules because it’s important for the media to support something – take the New York Times publishing some of the information Wikileaks released about the US military gunning down innocent civilians for example.

Using it for this kind of nonsense (naked photos of Prince Harry) is a real problem because it weakens the argument when newspapers actually need to publish something that is in the public interest, and hands the government a loaded weapon when it comes to shooting down the need for a public interest defence.

The Sun has been journalistically irresponsible. But what should we expect from the same scumbags that shat all over 168 years of British newspaper history because it turned out they were doing very illegal things.

Causing trouble

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

I’m just listening to the news on 6Music and they are talking about the fact the MOD has lost loads of personal data again.

The story leads, “serial incompetance is how the Conservates described it.”

I mean, what is the point? Who cares what the Conversatives think? If you give it some thought, they are obviously going to be condemning it. But why make a big issue that the Conversatives happen to say that? I’m sure most people condemn it. How is such news reporting doing anything than stiring up trouble?

Surely if the BBC wants to report on the issue as unbiased balanced report should be the way forward. Why don’t they get someone on to say “actually, I think it’s great the MOD lost everyone’s personal data.”

Obviously the answer is, because that’s just retarded. Nobody would say that because it’s not an issue, it’s something that happens and the fact that the Conversatives also happen to condemn it along with everyone else in the country, isn’t news. It’s just cheap, intellectually bankrupt journalism.