Friday, 30 November 2012

A few pictures of Ramsgate Christmas lights a sketch in a The Belgian café, and some reflection on local media.

 Once again apologies for the picture quality, I used my mobile phone which doesn’t work so well in the dark.

 The town council seem to have excelled themselves this year




 The lifeboat station is also treed up
 The moon however
 is difficult competition
 even for the larger decorative balls


 sorry about my rather unsteady hand
 The Belgian Cafe doesn't look much like the sketch, spot Andy.

but the it doesn't look much like the photo either.

I had a bit of an uphill struggle today trying to explain to local journos why they should engage in some investigative journalism. I spent a long time listening to the equivalent of a vegetarian expounding the moral reasons why they won't eat road kill, obviously just saying they don't like the flavour of meat wasn't on the menu.

21 comments:

  1. So you had a bit of trouble trying to explain to local journos how they should do their job! Is this yet another of your fields of "expertise"?

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  2. Michael,

    Just ignore anon 7:45 and keep up the good work.

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    Replies
    1. No worries, I didn’t say I was unsuccessful, just it was an uphill struggle. Part of the problem is that newspapers are struggling to survive in what are very difficult times and so they just don’t have the amount of staff they had.

      Nonetheless a bit of a state of mind is coming about where a lot of the content is press releases and letters and when something like Cllr Drivers letters appear which do seem to warrant further investigation, this doesn’t seem to occur.

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    2. Michael,

      I think they lack both the means and the will. Which is a shame because we need a good local press.

      Delete
    3. It’s a bit of a sad old story John, I had a bit of a phone around the locals and then the nationals, a mixture of charming individuals who frankly admit that there isn’t the time to cover anything well, to the outright arrogant who think that being a journalist makes them some sort of superior being.

      If you discover an interesting news story some time I recommend you do the same, phoning around the papers, interestingly some of them don’t even seem to phone numbers for their news desk on their websites.

      Delete
  3. anonymous 7:45 AM,

    And what if any is your field of expertise?

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    Replies
    1. Probably don't have one Zip Hydroboil. I'm just amazed how many subjects Michael thinks he's qualified to educate the public on.

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    2. Anonymous 5:12,

      Be amazed if you wish. This is Michael's blog. He maintains it and as such is free to comment as he pleases. Why this makes you bitter amazes me.

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    3. Anon 5:12 It's a sad day when someone like Michael, who is doing the job of the opposition and the press combined, is subjected to vitriol. If you don't appreciate what he is trying to achieve for the good of the community, it might be best if you didn't post. Unless of course, you have some vested interest in supporting the pathetic excuse of a Council with all their lies and deceit that we all have to endure on an almost daily basis. Believe me, you are in a minority.

      Delete
    4. Well now Zip & Anon, please don't get too upset. It is Michael's blog and he's the one that configures it to invite replies. It's only his groupies who get tetchy when those replies dare to challenge the validity of his knowledge.

      Anonymous 6:38 PM - Why would it be best if I didn't post? Wouldn't the blog have little significance without differing points of view? You use harsh words about the council, I trust you can back them up with some evidence?

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    5. Anon personally I find critical comment helpful, it makes me think about what I am doing. My media experience all relates to writing this blog, which like it or not a lot of people seem to read, the counter on the sidebar appears to confirm this.

      I have considerable concerns about the future of local media, I notice for instance that you haven’t commented on the Isle of Thanet Gazette website, no one has since the 23rd of November. Sad to say if you do comment there it is unlikely you will receive any response.

      Mostly the national media are doing better with the internet, though I think the key problem relates to how anyone gets paid for writing news, when it is mostly freely available on the internet.

      Advertising perhaps, I just read the news on a national newspapers website and tried turning the adblocker program off that runs in the background on my web browser, not something I will do in a hurry again.

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    6. Anon 5:12 and 9:11 Differing points of view and critical debate are to be welcomed, but out and out vitriol achieves nothing. You say I had harsh words about the Council but what do you expect. When do they achieve anything? Councillors spend all their time bickering about the most ridiculous childish subjects with which few of the public have any interest. Many are an absolute disgrace and should never have been put forward to represent the two political parties. The problem is that those with the ability wont have anything to do with local politics or TDC, for fear of being dragged down themselves. How have we achieved having two Cllrs currently on remand. We are so used to their appealing behaviour that it is now accepted as the norm. All the while this nonsense goes on and on and on, the officers run the council to their own agenda with no scrutiny whatsoever. Where is any vision for Thanet? If you can identify where the Council are taking us, please be my guest, or Michael's. All we hear of is cock up after cock up followed by cover up after cover up. I see that the cabinet member for Corporate Services has made a Council announcement on her political blog, about the animal export catastrophe. In view of current legal proceedings and the possibility of a huge claim against the Council, I hope that announcement received legal scrutiny before being published. I somehow doubt it.

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    7. Anonymous 9:11,

      You are being disingenuous. You did not challenge the validity of his knowledge. You did nothing more than make a snide comment. As you are doing once more by the puerile use of the word groupie. Still why am I bothering with you. You have got the attention that you seek and need as the troll that you undoubtedly are.

      Delete
    8. Thanks Zip Hydroboil, but isn't calling me a troll somewhat puerile? As for my "snide comment", if you care to look back you'll find a question mark at the end of the sentence which indicates it was a question, not a comment. Michael has answered that question in his 9:44 PM reply, and now readers are better able to assess the validity of his comments.

      Anonymous 10:53 PM, I think "vitriol" is a little strong, especially when Michael has stated that he finds critical comment helpful. I actually agree with a lot of what Michael says, but I do think he should moderate his comments by stating they are his opinion and not necessarily based on fact.

      I love my town, and I hate seeing it rubbished by a lot of miss-informed tittle-tattle from unqualified bloggers who do nothing for the town except drag it down.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous 19:11,

      No, I do not accept that referring to you as a troll is being puerile. I sincerely believe that you are behaving as an internet troll.

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    10. So by insisting I’m a troll you’re suggesting that questioning the validity of Michael’s comments is “off topic” and has the intention of disrupting on-topic discussion? I think this tends to validate my use of the description “groupie”, which Wkipedia describes as “An enthusiastic or uncritical follower”.

      Delete
  4. Could that be Andy 3rd from the left?

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    Replies
    1. That’s what I thought Pat, frankly I was quite surprised, this sort of very quick sketch in not good lighting isn’t intended to get likenesses of individuals, I think the idea – which is well beyond my abilities – is to try to capture the place.

      When I got home and published it on the web, I looked at the photo of the sketch as though it was someone else’s and found I was trying to identify the people who work behind the bar.

      Andy seemed a definite and I have some hazy notions of the others.

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  5. One might say the visual essence of Andy was there...a shadowed fuzzy face and a hint of glasses. The minds eye fills in the rest...

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  6. Strange isn’t it Pat, the minds eye, the drawing business really just leaves a few squiggles the paint splodges, making the squiggles and splodges in no way helps to understand the result.

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