From the BBC.
RSS in Plain English is a great introduction to RSS and using RSS readers to keep track of news and blog posts. From www.commoncraft.com.
The radio documentaries, aired by the BBC World Service, look at what we would be missing if everday mundane things had never existed. This week they look at copper. “Without copper there’d be no lighting, electrical power for lighting, no radio, no renewable energy systems, no working automobiles, air conditioning or refrigerators, no digital electronics, no computing, no safe drinking water distribution…
Every now and then newsrooms receive edicts banning overused phrases and ungainly words. The use of access and impact as verbs springs to mind – something we were on constant guard against on the Business pages of the Daily Telegraph when I was there a few years ago. Apparently, this is nothing new. The NZ Herald in its 1966 Manual of Journalism exhorted its writers thus: “In recent years, without making them pass any sort of entrance examination, we seem to have admitted dozens of words which usually have little excuse for appearing in a newspaper. Some examples: ‘Few air services operated yesterday because of fog.’ Why not: ‘Fog stopped most air services yesterday.’
Another piece of nostalgia from the NZ Herald Manual of Journalism 1967. Pneumatic tubes as a story delivery system within newsrooms were before my time but what a shame, they look cracking.
From the NZ Herald Manual of Journalism, 1967, a NZ Herald reporter breaks news from the scene of a fire via the radio telephone.
A nice observation about email expectations from Merlin Mann, a software usability expert quoted in Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: Email is such a funny thing. People hand you these single little messages that are no heavier than a river pebble. But it doesn’t take long until you have acquired a pile of pebbles that’s taller than you and heavier than you could ever hope to move, even if you wanted to do it over a few dozen trips.
Country Calendar must be one of the few New Zealand media institutions that truly count as ‘iconic’. The weekly programme, which casts light on NZ farming, hasn’t looked back since its launch in 1966 and the current theme tune must be one of the most readily identifiable sounds for any Kiwi. This clip gives a glimpse of what the programme used to look, and sound, like.
Phrases and terms have a way of getting mangled over time and it can be hard finding clear examples of what is and isn’t right. Philip Corbett, a deputy news editor at the New York Times who’s in charge of its style manual, does a fine job explaining how to use ‘beg the question’.
For the nostalgics among you, here’s a cracker of an educational video from the days when women worked on the social pages, typesetters ruled, sub-editors wore visors and syndicated copy was mimeographed.