Friday, December 16, 2016

Facebook, what time is it?

A couple of recent items suggest to me that the Guardian really is in trouble, has no idea what to do about online, is wasting time trying to put a dent in Facebook.

Tuesday 13th , front page of G2 apparently Facebook has had a terrible year. Readers should delete their account at once. Various scandals, fake news etc.

Thursday 15th , "Google and Facebook will take more than 70% of all money spent on display advertising online in Britain by 2020" report by OC&C Strategy Consultants.

This is the real issue surely. Guardian in print seems to be full of scare stories, almost as many as when the web started to get attention. Almost nothing on what the Guardian offers online or what the plan is.

They do not seem to have realised why social media works. The web is two way, readers can be writers. I recently visited King's Cross and found the Midlands Shed is now a Waitrose. Not news, happened months ago. So the plan for a campus has been folded. This may have been the high point of the celeb option. Selling courses in lecture format is not an online sort of thing.

I now doubt if they will change. Welcome of comments? not very likely. Open discussion on what happened with Guardian Unlimited Talk? This will probably have to wait till after the next shock.

So I think a 50% chance of the print version closing Monday to Friday during 2017 is sounding quite a reasonable guess.

( continues re Education aka Tuesday on Hello Spiders blog )

Monday, December 05, 2016

immigration blind spots

Guardian seems very determined not to report Corbyn and colleagues. I watched some Sunday TV and notice what gets reported in print on a Monday. Mostly Boris.

Nothing about Corbyn in Europe that I can find.

The columnists, Matthew d'Ancona again on Boris, as a potential champion for positive views on immigration.

But what is lacking in mainstream politics is not opposition to immigration, but a sufficiency of voices willing to make the case for it. In this respect, Sir Oliver Letwin was quite right last week to tell the Times that the main parties have “made a terrible mistake” in failing to argue, with commitment and resolve, that “properly controlled migration enriches the country in every sense”.

No mention here for Dianne Abbott or Jeremy Corbyn. Is it Guardian policy to under mention them? it is getting more strange every day. To use a sports metaphor from Larry Elliott it is like reading a report on a cycle race where one team seems to have vanished.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Notes towards a persuasive counter-narrative

 Matthew d'Ancona writes about a drift to the right, Trump Brexit and Europe, then claims

a persuasive counter-narrative is conspicuously absent from mainstream politics.

This appears to be so as reported by the Guardian. Corbyn and Corbyn supporters only appear as trouble. Since the leadership election the approach seems to be to ignore Corbyn, not just find negative angles.

For example this report this morning puts Emily Thornberry right at the end of a story about the economic damage of leaving the single market. Online there is a video from the Andrew Marr show so the balance is slightly different. My own take was that Thornberry was perfectly clear on the Labour policy, also consistent with other front bench statements.

Chuka Umunna means well but I wonder why the Guardian features him as a Labour rep and often ignores those in the actual Shadow Cabinet? If the Remainers carry on with the economic case they will get support in the City and the House of Lords but Thornberry and others are working with the wider public. Needs a bit of space to report in full. Issues such as worker rights and the environment were largely ignored during the referendum. Needs a wider agenda to make sense outside the City and environs.

My guess is that space will appear online, not in Guardian print. But dialogue could continue.

More later in the week. How will Richmond be reported? Will it play well up north?

Editor Brand Dissonance Update

Possibly the Guardian, more than most of Fleet Street , is moving online to a globalised future. (The Mail is outside scope of this post, their online is a bit of a sideshow at least a bit different, not really trying to continue the same journalism values imho).

Trouble is that reading the print version is doing less and less to communicate what the online offer is about or how the reader is supposed to fit with it. Recently I mostly find writing about fake news on Facebook, dangers of mega companies, threats to educationa and the novel. Maybe it is just me but here are a few examples.

 It’s worrying that our young seem distracted and often depressed, and sad for those of us who have invested so much of our belief and our effort in print technology, that it – and the modes of being associated with it – appear to be in decline.

Will Self  Review Saturday

I’m also worried about how we use social media. The so-called neutral platforms facilitate hate against women, racism and homophobia, and they may have put Trump in the White House as well. It may not be the platform itself, but the way in which it favours those outside the conventional media establishment and its notions of balance. 

Rachel Holmes Monday

On Sunday John McNaughton put aside the ideas around the "netizen" or web "utopia". Things are very worrying.

What I cannot make out is what the Guardian Media Group is doing online. I still come across the website through Twitter links. But the dissonance comes about by comparing the print version. Is there a parallel universe of editorial where the web is more or less ok? Can't find it. What are the numbers on print sales? My guess is that the weekday print will vanish during 2017. 50 % confidence. Well enough confidence that it will be under discussion during the year and / or related events will actually occur.

According to Will Self "the age of bi-directional digital media only properly dates... from the inception of wireless broadband in the early 2000s" . However John McNaughton mentions earlier dates - "In the first decade after the internet we use today was switched on, in January 1983, cyberspace was a brave new world – a glorious sandpit for geeks and computer science researchers. "

More later on various dates. Will Self is closer to the Cluetrain Manifesto and the start of Guardian Unlimited Talk. This was actual social media, closed down by the Guardian without warning and without any option for readers to recover their own content. The facts are now obscure in any story told by Guardian staff. I cannot imagine any social media company doing such a thing. The Guardian editorial group must believe that their own content is the crucial bit. The conversation matters not. My guess is that things have now got worse. Much of the opinion copy is knocking online. How can it fit with other social media? Any numbers on how the audience finds the website? From the print version I guess the readers are just in a rush to unplug, if they find the argument convincing.

Monday, November 21, 2016

HE day as tech disruption, ramble till BETT

Leaving this post as Guardian related as tomorrow should be an Education day in print. Not sure if this continues, not much media today.

I have now booked three nights in London around time of BETT for me and colleagues from @wenotno and Wild Show on Phonic FM. We are mostly interested in radio but this can cross over into learning etc.

Found out about dif - digital innovation festival - through the One Planet MBA, sponsors of Tech Exeter conference. Tomorrow is HE day then on Wed Douglas Rushkoff

We don’t have to accept the rules of a 13th Century, printing press era operating system for our 21st Century economy. Real disruption would mean challenging the underlying OS, not just installing more extractive software on top of it.

From an interview but maybe more fully explained on Wed. Somehow the Guardian seems still with the printing press. They have not done a lot on the MOOC recently. Peter Scott refuses to write about them. They don't seem to have many reporters so rely on such academic sources for copy. Through Twitter I have found a video from 2014.

Time for an update on Futurelearn. And London University. Is there a business model yet? 

The Twitter for dif is 

My question is still about the buildings budget compared to online. Apart from OU / Futurelearn I think UK universities are still investing in iconic buildings. Blended could at least reduce the time on campus. It is even possible that there has been a bubble in student accomodation. More later.

Now watched the YouTube catchup on this morning

remark about campus unis about 27 min in.

@wenotno on @phonicfm between 12 and 2 Exeter time but probably an update on this much later.

Fact Check Please, why Benn left Shadow Cabinet @guardian

Report on deselection possibility today in Guardian

Benn was then sacked from his role as shadow foreign secretary amid claims that he was encouraging colleagues to resign as part of an attempt to replace Corbyn as leader.

No mention of stories in Observer and Sunday Times. Both clearly reported Benn as linked to resignation project. No way a party leader could live with this sort of report. Benn seems to have accepted this during phone call. Later he denied being the source of the story. So who was? How many versions of the print report existed? It seems to have gone from "Benn plans  to resign" to "Benn sacked in middle of the night" where "middle of the night" means leader sees the morning papers. If this story came from a source other than Bennor unknown to him who was it? Long enough ago for a bit of investigation. Somebody at Sunday Times or Observer probably knows.

Today Guardian story continues
A source close to Benn said: “Hillary is incredibly polite and a positive person and has welcomed the new [Leeds Central] officers.  
“The excitement in the media [over deselection] has been slightly distracting, but he is clear his number one job is to hold the government to account on Brexit. For many who want a good relationship with our Europe partners in the future, he is our last hope.”
He may be the last hope for Guardian readers who rely on the Guardian alone as a source of news. Unless they watch Andrew Marr show. No report on John McDonnell questions re Brexit this Sunday. Corbyn at PMQ? maybe this will be more reported. only time can tell.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Guardian Media Group needs an online extra in the struggle against Brexit

I am getting more convinced they have decided not to report Corbyn. Negative reporting during the leadership election did not do the trick so now they seem to just prefer the Lib Dems and the House of Lords plus the occasional Conservative MP.

Saturday story mostly about apparent splits around Keith Starmer. Thing is I cannot find what the difference is in what various shadow cabinet people have to say. They accept the decision from the referendum. There are policies for parliament to discuss. I recently saw John McDonnell on Andrew Marr show. The opportunity he sees is to meet with other left political organisations in Europe. I can't see where this clashes with anything Starmer has said.

Paragraph 12 just in the middle, the bit that interests me.

The Labour leader was praised at Westminster for his robust performance against Theresa May at this week’s prime minister’s questions, when he accused her government of being in a “total shambles” over Brexit.

Surely if the Guardian was mostly concerned with Brexit rather than rubbishing Corbyn, this is the sort of thing that would relate to the headline and be further up the story?

Then today Andrew Rawnsley writes about the difficulties for Liberal opinion faced with Trump and Brexit. Nine paragraphs in -

You can say the new “populists” are phoneys and presume their mendacities and contradictions will be exposed once people have experience of how they wield power. Jeremy Corbyn was doing that yesterday when he had a pop at the “fake anti-elitism of rich white men like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump”. The Labour leader makes a good point. But there was a better one he could have made. Why have a former commodity broker and a billionaire property developer proved more effective at mobilising voters discontented with their economic lot than did the Labour party at our most recent general election?

This is I think the only reporting of Corbyn's speech in the Observer. Corbyn was not fronting the Labour Party at the last general election. A bit more space could be given to the history around Blair and Brown and others who kept popping up during the EU referendum as arranged by Will Straw and Lord Mandelson. How well did this work out? Lord Darling sharing a platform with Osborne for example.

Trouble is that Guardian Media Group seem to be set on this path. They worry about the universities, UK image as well as research funding. Corbyn may be reaching a wider audience, much more likely if reported.

So the Guardian etc should be read alongside Twitter and YouTube as a way to reach the sources they choose to ignore and devote their journalism to hiding.

Monday, November 07, 2016

ITN vid now on YouTube, you decide where the damage is

Now found the ambush vid on YouTube

Why do they do this? A public event, every chance for press to ask a question.

Then on Sunday the BBC Sunday Politics ignored Corbyn in Sunday Mirror. Used this clip, nothing from the formal speech. Polly Toynbee follows up as if unaware of Sunday Mirror.

I realise I am repeating previous post but just a recap now the vid appears.

Mainstream media is getting much worse as bias.

For news about Corbyn and McDonnell suggest a search on Twittter and / or YouTube.

By the way while repeating things, Channel 4 blocked the Last Leg complete clip from Corbyn's own YouTube channel. My guess is that Lord Mandelson or whoever arranged the TV schedule did not allocate Corbyn a lot of space. He turns up for the youth vote, copes with indignity, and then cannot take home a copy of his very sensible extended case.

Blame Corbyn. Of course, if you rely on just TV.

PS I wonder if the BBC will upload a clip of Polly Toynbee on Sunday Politics ? Let the public make of it what they can.

update @guardian reporting on #corbyn

The Monday print version is as disturbing as I could imagine based on TV and online over the weekend.

Corbyn is reported but very sliced up. Bottom of page 4 his readiness to welcome an election was interpreted as a threat to block brexit apparently, later amended to something else. Actually he made a clear statement at a public event on Saturday and gave an interview to the Sunday Mirror.

Polly Toynbee on TV chose to rely on the ITN ambush, so why this garbled version of a clear answer to the question?

Workers rights panel opposite page. half way though Corbyn on workers rights as a condition for supporting May on article 50.

So strictly speaking the reporting of facts is just about included. But the journalistic skill is invested in forms of obscurity.

Meanwhile Zoe Williams mentions the "once vilified figures who periodically pop up as the voice of reason" - Tony Blair, Nick Clegg, John Major. Thing is in parliament the official leader of the opposition has some basis for asking questions. Always more effective if reported. Yes you read this in a blog, sometimes lost on @guardian just my opinion.

A newspaper that ignores facts available from other sources just to fit their brand of opinion is in some danger if the echo chamber fails to resonate.

Labour supporters backing off so LibDems can win an election? Based on what would you think? Get ready for another Polly Toynbee on blame Corbyn.

What happened during the referendum is still obscure. Lord Mandelson may have been involved in some media arrangements. Corbyn was not fully reported. Project Fear was all about the economy as in the City. Worker rights no more discussed than the Sunday Mirror interview this weekend was reported by BBC or Guardian. So I think an understanding of what happened is getting more clear.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Guardian should study the Mirror, just my opinion

More later in the Fleet Street blog, things are becoming more clear.

But meanwhile watching the BBC I notice that the Andrew Marr press review had no mention of Jeremy Corbyn in the Sunday Mirror. A bit strange, some might think.

Later on the Sunday Politics Polly Toynbee opines that Corbyn is not prepared to answer a question about an early election. This is based on an ambush by ITN. At least they reported the main speech, unlike the Guardian website yesterday that concentrated on the refusal to answer.

You can see from the clip on the ITN link above that this question was not part of a formal press conference. I guess ITN could request an interview.

Or else read the Sunday Mirror. I guess the Sunday Politics is live so Polly Toynbee has a chance to read the Sunday Mirror before she has another go at Jeremy Corbyn.

I used to think the problem with the Guardian is that reduced resources have limited the scope of reporting. But now it seems the opinions are driving the choice of facts.

If there is a loose coalition of well meaning conservatives, LibDems and various columnists I think they should consider what the priority is. Is it so important to damage Corbyn that they ignore or distort anything he says about Europe? Was this so during the referendum? What was the damage from this?

Maybe all of Fleet Street has now become an opinion shop. They sometimes describe social media as an echo chamber. But they offer a predicted slant as the main benefit. By the way, I also think the Guardian has got it a bit wrong as to the number of readers who welcome the Corbyn bashing. There are probably a good few who would accept some direct reporting.

I propose to do a daily search on Twitter and follow the links. YouTube also a good source for direct info.

From the Sunday Mirror

Mr Corbyn’s bottom lines are:
  • UK access to 500 million customers in Europe’s single market.
  • No watering down of EU workplace rights.
  • Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.
  • Pledges on Britain picking up the tab for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Hard Fleet Street and Soft Fleet Street

Still thinking that Fleet Street is close to the City. They seem to guess whatthe City might like or at least benefit from. Will Hutton today calls for more energy against Brexit and claims that "the centre and left – and the best of the conservative tradition – can unite" . However he also says that " no success is possible without the full-throated support of the Labour party, strikingly absent from the unfolding trauma." Trouble is I think this statement is just untrue and I can only guess it is part of a continuing Guardian Media campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.

I cannot find any reporting in print of PMQ on Wednesday. Maybe benefits and disability are not news. Thing is, there was hardly any reporting on John McDonnell last week with fairly detailed questions on the economy. When Corbyn asks questions about Brexit will this be reported or will the same topics just turn up later from other sources, closer to the columnist views in general?

See the Fleet Street blog for more on Corbyn during the referendum.

For this blog I think the Labour Party / Brexit situation possibly needs more reporting facility than the Guardian can afford. They recently did a long read on tabloid problems but they might have considered their own situation. The reader sourced reporting from Liverpool was quite a bit different from the Westminster view. They need a lot of space to cope with what the readers find for themselves and the opinions they prefer.

"Full Throated" remain might mean supporting the City based case made by Cameron. Labour is probably going to be different to this. If Fleet Street , both hard and soft, just fails to report this then the Brexit case is going to carry on.

Since the print version was puiblished for today there has been a court decision. I wonder if Corbyn will be reported in the Guardian tomorrow? Dedicated blogger though I am, I also wonder how long to spend a couple of quid each day just to check what has not been reported.

(Labour supporters backing off in Richmond just to make life easy for the Lib Dems? Not very likely unless something positive happens somewhere else. Just my guess ) 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Short term test of Guardian politics follow the columnists

I have more or less given up on Fleet Street reporting Corbyn with much accuracy. Anyway my idea at the moment is to ignore this for a while.

Today Zoe Williams proposes left unity around a Liberal Democrat candidate in Richmond. Seems to be a continuation of the weekend press. Adam Boulton is standing by for "the rebirth of the remainers". Nick Clegg is on ITV attacking the "Brexit Press".

A couple of things could be expanded.

The Tory chaos surrounding Brexit is the point at which we realise how many fundamental values the left shares – on a spectrum from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, to the architect of New Labour, Peter Mandelson (on the single market)

Could we have a b it more clarity on John McDonnell and the single market? I think he and Corbyn have a clear view but this is not often reported. Indeed it is sometimes claimed to be vague.

Perhaps the most understandable fear is that any alliance, between any combination of centre-left to green-left parties, spells the end for Labour, whose internal tensions are only ever alleviated when it can promise electoral dominance. It may be comprehensible, but it’s yesterday’s politics, and traps us in this egregious dichotomy where either Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters must take the whole country with them, or he must be obliterated to make way for “sensible” Labour. It’s time to start considering a new reality in which the two wings of Labour, whether as two separate parties or within the same party, draw energy from one another and the vision they share.

This sounds wonderful but I am still finding that Corbyn is not much reported. OK the Guardian may well believe that the Richmond election is best served by quotes from Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson etc. However Corbyn gets to ask a few questions once a week and McDonnell provides a lot of economic policy detail. Others may well repeat the same points but there is no reason not to report them. Unless you still have some habits formed during the leadership election or some other wierd

No, stop there. Just till the test of the Richmond election, maybe the Guardian columnists have a point.

But if it totally obscures the official Labour case this may be a bit of a worry.

From the north, the just managing, the left behinds, whatever you want to call them, it may all seem a bit metropolitan.

So the Corbyn ideas about worker rights and extra budget for regions etc may come back later. Maybe even somewhere in the Guardian sometime soon.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Guardian still very confusing

I heard John McDonnell on Today prog and he seemed to be making sense. It was ahead of an announcement I think. So have looked in print Guardian but not found anything.

PMQ reporting was ok, mention for Corbyn. I did tweet support for the Guardian take on this.

But all I can find is John Harris. Very dismissive of Labour, then promo for the Liberals.

Search on Twitter finds this online I cannot see how this shows Labour not interested in access to EU market.  Maybe I missed it in print but similar things keep happening so I now go to Twitter for the news and the Guardian for rather strange opinions based on their own selection of the news such as keeps me guessing.

More reporting please, or maybe invite John McDonnell to fill a long read in his own words?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Corbyn now not much reported

I have not done a thorough study but this is a note a bit longer than a tweet. I will come back to longer posts sometime soon, together with more in the blog about Fleet Street and Europe.

I found out that Corbyn was in Brussels last week from a tweet linked to the Daily Express. I don't think there was anything in the print Guardian. Search through the Guardian found nothing online. Search through Google found this blog post with not much reporting if anything.

The week before he asked some questions of the PM about Europe that were fairly strong I thought. Again not much reporting, detail to follow.

So my guess is that although Corbyn is leader of the opposition the Guardian has not much intention of reporting what he has to say. The weekend before that the Observer editorial demanded he do more on Europe. So you might think they would report what he said and did.

So situation continues as in the referendum period. Corbyn is making a case but is just not reported, especially by the "soft" end of Fleet Street.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Is Neil Kinnock in print for @guardian on #corbyn and #remain ?

Yesterday I saw online an opinion from Neil Kinnock and a news story around it. This repeated the claim that Corbyn is to blame for the Brexit vote because of a poor contribution to the campaign. I saw some negative comments on this on Twitter, some about Kinnock in general, and a robust defence from   .

I was interested to wait till it appeared in print. Would there be any context such as facts about Corbyn during the actual referendum?

Today I find there is nothing in print at all. Maybe I missed it yesterday. If anyone knows where or when Kinnock was in print please let me know.

As in previoius posts my impression is that Corbyn contributed a lot and the idea of blaming him for losing votes seems to have been around for a long time. Spectator podcast had the "give him enough rope to hang himself" narrative as early as during the first leadership election.

So maybe somebody realises this is getting a bit thin and the Kinnock comment is free is not being promoted.

What would be interesting is how decisions were made as to who got which slots on TV. How closely was Will Straw working with Downing Street. Honors list might be a clue. Who had the idea that Lord Darling should share a platform with Osborne? Did Corbyn know this was going to happen?

The Guardian has got another story about leaked emails showing reservations about #remain. Actual Corbyn views and actions are way down the text. I wonder if there are any emails showing how Corbyn was treated by the #remain players. If the gameplan for any election or vote is to blame Corbyn later then there must be some difficulty in the situation.

Anyway, main point today is just to check a fact. Kinnock not in print so far.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Margaret Beckett MP , request for comment

This is only a blog but I am trying to move forward a bit in the social media discussion around the Labour leadership election. Anyone can respond to the Today prog  @BBCr4today     so this is another version.

I am slightly asleep when listening to Today but I think I heard that most of the £25 vote forms rejected were because of previous membership of the Greens. Not sure how that will help with tactical voting in 2020. But anyway the main event was an interview with Margaret Beckett. As reported in the Guardian -

She said some in Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle appeared “perfectly happy” for a split to happen, adding: “I’ve got no idea what they think is going to happen in the future or whether they actually don’t care at all what happens in parliament.”

 As mentioned previously I am now using the hashtags #nonspiracy as well as #remain and #corbyn. Rather than just raving on I have accepted that there has been no conspiracy to blame Corbyn for lost votes / get rid of him. But I am still puzzled as to what happened. I still think Corbyn was under reported during the referendum. So how were decisions taken? Lord Mandelson on Laura Kuenssberg report seemed upset that Downing Street took control. Will Straw part of Cameron honours. Did Corbyn end up on the Last Leg on his own initiative or part of a series of media deals? If Lord Mandelson has been correctly reported in suggesting moves against Corbyn should wait on vote problems what to make of comments in media from undisclosed sources that Corbyn is terrible etc.? When did this start? Certainly I think the #remain case would have worked better if Corbyn was reported.

How did it come about that Lord Darling shared a platform with Osborne to announce a "punishment" budget? My guess is that if we knew about the "nonconspiracy" around this we might know more about the "nonconspiracy" around Corbyn.

Apparently there has been a random sequence of events. Hilary Benn is reported in the Observer and Sunday Times but had no idea at all how the report happened. Later it is mostly just mentioned that he was sacked. Most of the Shadow Cabinet resigns, apparently in a series of individual decisions. The PLP continues to be what appears to be a series of events intended to destabilise the leadership. Personally I find it even more shocking to be told nobody had thought this through than to consider it was some sort of plan.

But the danger of a Labour split must have been considered at the time. You would think.

Meanwhile the Guardian , back on topic for this blog , has repeated reports on every form of Trotskyist or Bolshevik organisation ever to exist in the UK. In most cases there is a named leadership and a postal address.  So far as I know there has been no Guardian reporting on who is involved in #savingLabour or where the money is from.

Anyway I am sticking with the #nonconspiracy idea unless I get some solid info on something else. There is just a random set of people who more or less know how to work with each other. No detailed script.

On a previous occasion when social media was under scrutiny for a lack of politeness that some MPs found shocking, Margaret Beckett said something like it did not worry her because "I don't do Facebook". So I don't really expect to get any direct comment from her. But possibly someone will add something. They may or may not be Labour voters. Considerate Greens maybe. Any comment welcome, especially clues on how the #nonconspiracy actually works.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Guardian advert clue for MBA cost story, check at BETT 2017

Following previous post about Guardian story on parental funding of bring your own Apple device, today I find an advert for online courses from Liverpool University. Checking the website I find some details but no clear claim made about costs. Then I find a website, Startclass, that seems to have some numbers. they show Liverpool MBA cost at under $20,000 compared to similar at over $100,000. Now these numbers may be out of date. I have tried other search on Startclass that suggests they concentrate on the USA, (Exeter is in the UK by default, just my take but not much easily found about our local uni) Also I realise that as a Russell Group member Liverpool is not going to advertise strongly with the feature of saving money. However they are clearly promoting online options, a move on from just the MOOC. Questions about costs do arise.

At BETT previously I have not been able to discover much from the Leadership streams, either for HE or FE. Presumably moves towards online courses are considered. FutureLearn may turn up as part of BETT Futures but the OU has stopped having a stand. BETT 2017 is towards the end of January so a good time to check some facts. Have any schools or universities got a clear plan for moving online or using more tech such that there are lower costs for staff and buildings? Is this evident in how courses are promoted? Student feedback so far?

By the way, based on visiting the campus in Exeter and Lancaster every so often my guess is that the budget for iconic buildings is still steady on course.

Meanwhile I have been thinking about the Guardian story and the way parents are expected to pay the costs of tech as an extra. What about a Chromebook or similar? Has it got to be Apple? other tech is available. BETT worth a visit even if you just think of learning as something at home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tech for Education, Guardian has missed the crunch time my guess

Education pages yesterday complain that parents are expected to pay £785 extra for an iPad for each child in school.  Tom Bennett from ResearchEd explains that tech may not be needed. This seems to continue a long line of such articles. They do have a point. Schools should by now have worked out some savings on buildings and staff costs so that tech resources are free for students. But there has been no encouragement of this from Guardian coverage.

Page 13 report from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology that children who play games on computers get better results on subject tests. Peter Etchells from Bath Spa calls for more nuanced data and more research to discover what is happening "if anything".

Peter Scott recently wrote about the troubles of UK universities post Brexit. He made no mention of technology as an option that might be positive. Polytechnics now usually described as "post 1992" without any consideration of tech as such. Outside the UK there are universities with the word "Technology" in the title.

Peter Scott a while ago promised not to write about the MOOC. He sticks to this resolve. My guess is that the technology around the MOOC is now doing well in the locations where it has been acted on. I think the Guardian fails to report anything because they don't really have a plan to get beyond print and somehow think that readers will be happier if online is played down in all respects.

Not sure where or when but some sort of news event will crop up eventually. Search on Twitter could be a way to find it.

Print version seems at another angle to online

I continue to update the Blog about Fleet Street and Europe. It seems to be becoming more about television. But often the Labour Party aspect gets more space than seems balanced. It is still interesting how the Guardian and BBC spin things around Corbyn. But more should be in this blog.

Found this link through Twitter. Long interview by Ewen MacAskill but I have not seen this in print. Maybe I missed it but seems mopre likely the Guardian is hiding things. G2 today  features Tom Watson on the Trotskyists in the Labour membership apparently. Nothing about who is behind #savingLabour.

So my guess is the Guardian will connect a bit online still but the print version not so sure.

Monday, July 25, 2016

more about the absence of any sort of plot re #Corbyn

Various bits about Corbyn and Labour Leadership will be in this blog because else the #EUref blog will be out of proportion. I still think the rewriting of referendum story as part of the leadership story is interesting but not so interesting to forget what the blog was about to start with.

Anyway here is a quote from Liz McInnes MP found through a tweet by Polly Toynbee.

Since my resignation I have been bombarded with conspiracy theories from some of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. I would like to confirm that I was not bullied into standing down, as some would have it. I have not been offered a job/promotion or any other incentive, another favourite conspiracy theory. Nor was I ‘got at’ by plotters, indeed I am unaware of any plot ever having existed. The series of resignations appeared to be an organic process triggered by the sacking of Hilary Benn, leading to members of the shadow cabinet considering their own position and making their own decisions. Some of them, like my colleagues Lilian Greenwood and Thangam Debbonaire, have since written very eloquently about their own experiences of Jeremy’s leadership. Their accounts are shocking and, knowing both Lillian and Thangam, I have no reason to doubt them.

This is where I find things hard to believe. Repeating previous blogs I get the early versions of newspapers in Exeter. Both Observer and Sunday Times had stories of  a move or whatever you want to call it against Corbyn with the Hilary Benn name very clearly reported. Later stories seemed to start with Benn being sacked for no clear reason. I do not see how any leader could allow the stories to be published as first appeared without doing something.

Later we are told that Hilary Benn was not the source of either story. So who was then? No plot, no coup , just a series of personal decisions made on the spur of the moment without any long term plan. Surely not.

This is just a blog so I have n way to find out other than ask questions. Not sure who reads this anyway. Somebody at either the Sunday Times or Observer might have a rough idea of how things come to happen. It was not that long ago.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

more investigation please @guardian #plot #coup

Having read much of today print Guardian there are a few things I would like checked out.

Decca Aitkenhead for interview with Len McCluskey puts a couple of words or phrases into quote marks-

"the plotters" and "Blairite grandees" as if these terms were about something imagined or made up for some spurious motivation.

I am still trying to make sense of proper journalism such as the Guardian given what I know from tweets and links.

For example this video, uploaded to YouTube by Portland Communications on 30th June

There is not a complete plot here. Other than regime change, the phase when Corbyn might not have gone is a bit vague, but there is mention of possible candidates and it is hard not to imagine that someone from Portland has not had conversations.

Corbyn heckles as reported on BBC news turn out to be from individuals connected with Portland and the Lib Dems. I am assuming this as fact based on tweets. I realise response to this blog is asking a bit much but I have not seen any refutation of these facts in main stream media. So the attack on Corbyn came very fast after the EUref result.

Steve Richards suggests the attempts at a coup were uncoordinated. This may be true but is hard to believe. He writes that Hilary Benn had nothing to do with the reports in the Observer ( also Sunday Times but not mentioned in Guardian) . In Exeter I think I get the earliest version of the papers. Later ones from what I hear reported a sacking for no good reason. From the story I saw I don't think Corbyn had any alternative. How did the story happen?

Recently there has been a well funded campaign by #savingLabour though no info about who this is or where the money comes from. the Daily Mirror did have some info but not followed up in more recent stories.

Angela Eagle had a website registered some days before she decided to run. Maybe this was just another PR being over hasty? but again how could this happen?

I am often half asleep when listening to the Today prog but I just about remember a suggestion that words like #plot and #coup could be seen as bullying if linked to the PLP in a tweet. Well all I can suggest is that in the absence of transparency speculation is more possible and imagination can take various forms.

Anyway, Steve Richards is surely right that there can be some sort of Third Way. Possibly what Corbyn actually said during the #EURef will be reported, discussed and amended. Something like that is clearly needed as part of the post BREXIT debate. So more on this later.

But meanwhile I find the idea that recent events were just a series of isolated decisions without any awareness of a series of consequences to be actually more shocking than the theory around #plot and #coup.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Daily Mirror has info on #savingLabour

I rushed into too many tweets yesterday about the lack of reporting on #savingLabour. Had the info come in a different order I would not have been so blunt about the Daily Mirror. I found it a bit strange to report J.K.Rowling as a supporter of #savingLabour when there is no information at all on who organises it or how it is funded.

I later found a Mirror report from 7th July that names Reg Race as having a connection with an address linked to the website.

 asked if he was the sole person involved with the site, he said: "Absolutely not - it's a whole bunch of people".he said the group was planning to announce more about itself in due course. 
but as far as I can tell this aspect of investigation has not featured in more recent stories. It is interesting that Reg Race has a connection with the NHS
He is a director of Quality Health Limited, the country's biggest provider of NHS staff surveys working for 360 health trusts.
Despite being listed as the managing director on the firm's website, Dr Race said he is now retired and the information is out of date.

given the concerns about Owen Smith in the Times it is surprising that more journalists are not interested in this situation.
Search on Twitter will reveal speculation. But in fairness to Fleet Street it should be acknowledged that the Daily Mirror is on the case.
Meanwhile the Guardian has several pages in G2 with an update from the SDP years with some guidance on which groups may support Corbyn. However nothing about #savingLabour at all that I can find. Still, the leadership campaign has only just started and the Guardian has a lot of space to fill.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Guardian advertising standards, who is @savingLabour ? , journalism as curiosity @ewenmacaskill

Blog post expands on tweets from last week and weekend.

I realise there is general interest in data protection and various groups connected to the Labour Party. However I am concentrating on @savingLabour as it is still a mystery. I am surprised that there seems to be nothing in mainstream media explaining it.

Today there is an ad in the print version of The Guardian, bottom of page three. No address is shown. From the website also there is no address or way to locate any named person.

Couple of questions anyone might consider. Has the Guardian got any standards or guidance that might relate as in what sort of advertising it includes? If it was for an election I think the promoting agent should be identified. Has the Labour Party got any views?

Second question, is any of this of interest for mainstream media? @savingLabour clearly has some funding. Who are they? Where is the funding coming from?

To simplify, the Guardian seems to have two voices - most staff columnists well connected to London PR, and then @ewenmacaskill on an occasional trip to Liverpool with the help of Guardian readers. There may be interested Guardian readers even closer to King's Cross.

Search on Twitter reveals several links to supposed information about @savingLabour . But we live in times of challenged facts and speculation about the motivation of the twitterers. There is value in proper journalists checking out this sort of thing, possibly with public support.

Could truth turn up in a tweet?

Only time will tell.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Who is #savingLabour ? clues please, project for Guardian readers?

Reading the Observer and watching Sunday Politics I gather that social media is facing a reputation problem. Andre Neil suggests the Labour Party is now the Nasty Party, based entirely on what is said about the tweets.

My guess is that the conversation would be less heated if there was some answers to the questions and a bit of transparency. Words like "coup" and "plot" are used to describe something that seems to be happening even though the leadership is obscure.

BBC has not as far as I know investigated the heckles they reported. Tweets suggest they were linked to Portland Communications and the Lib Dems. Both were part of suggestions that Corbyn has lost support because of the EU referendum so could be seen as setup for later moves. But no mainstream fact check so far. That would have cleared the air but I have to say my guess is that the claims about Portland Communications and the Lib Dems are probably true as far as the heckles go, at least about the connections. No evidence of a sustained plot but nothing reassuring in the BBC reporting.

So I think it should be public who is backing #savingLabour. If it is true that they are paying for Facebook ads, where is the money coming from? i am not alone in this. Search Twitter on the #savingLabour tag and you find similar queries.

I find the Guardian quite hard to predict. They probably will publish opinions close to the PLP. But they also send intrepid reporters to Liverpool and welcome contributions by readers.    @ewenmacaskill Maybe they will find the answer. Or it will just turn up on Twitter.

It is clear who is supporting #savingLabour from tweets by Ben Bradshaw and @ChukaUmunna so this is welcome. What I find disturbing is a project on this scale without any clarity at all on how it is organised, who is involved, or where the money comes from.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Corbyn balance depends on scale and print version of @guardian

If you look carefully on the Guardian website you can find some reporting of the views of local Labour Party members when they happen to be also Guardian readers. It is very much different to what you might find in print.  PLP secret discussions were all I could find in the printed version.

Even as lobby journalism there are some unanswered questions. Extract from linked article

Smith said he was not prepared to see Labour split, did not take part in a coup orchestrated by those on the right of the party and would never be part of any breakaway faction.

Well, could he say a bit more? Could he name names? What right wing coup? Somehow the reporting of the PLP is usually with anonymous sources and very discreet until the charismatic leader emerges.

Meanwhile Ewen MacAskill is retweeted with reporting on an actual motion. Repeating my previous tweet, this is normal procedure not a bullying tweet or whatever is often claimed in mainstream media. 

So this situation remains hard to assess. There is a fringe part of the Guardian that relates to what I recognise online as apparently close to local membership. But the print bit is still in the lobby. Not sure what the scale of any of this is in actual numbers round the UK. Time will tell.

Future of print newspapers and social media looks more certain.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Update on Corbyn and Guardian

My guess is that this story about Eagle was written in London. It appears like a lobby sort of thing.

Whereas this story from Liverpool is much closer to what you may find on Twitter. Ewan MacAskill has previously asked for help from Guardian readers. Not sure how this is working out .

But there seems to be a divergence, lobby journalists at one end and online at another.

I am interested in what Corbyn has to say and disturbed how badly he is reported. But this situation is also of interest just as a test of social media sort of surviving in a mainstream context.

Twitter not an echo chamber btw. Many stories of bullying and soforth coming from sustained tweet campaigns in newspapers and tv. So far "bullying" term not applied to those keeping others off the ballot. But will this help to calm things down?

Normal practice on moderation suggests some response to concerns and a flow of information.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Corbyn reporting could be a tipping point for Guardian

There is some balance but in general the Guardian seems pretty much with the PLP and worried about the bullying from social media, Twitter and Facebook etc. There was a sort of counter last week, David Graeber on why the elites hate Momentum. But this is rare and not written by the staff regulars. Graeber sees the Corbyn social media as a threat both to Westminster politics and the normal role of journalists.

Since the leadership election has been clearly going to happen there has been increased coverage of the supposed bullying nature of tweets from Corbyn supporters. I am not a member of the Labour Party but I have been struck by the misleading reporting of Corbyn during the referendum. I am concerned that the views he represents continue to be fairly represented.

The Guardian is losing print circulation and hopes to find a business model online. See previous posts for facts and comment about Guardian Unlimited Talk. Briefly, they scrapped the original social media and then Comment is Free seems increasingly intended for a smaller group of writers with comments not much welcomed. Now the rude nature of Twitter land is a frequent theme for the columnists. this is getting a bit out of proportion.

I still read the print version of the Guardian, but mostly just to see how things are spun and which bits of online will turn up. If Twitter is the most reliable way to find the content that interests me then I suppose print will be less compelling in normal times.

If the Guardian continues online I really do hope there is some thought about how the people that tweet are represented. they may be the same people who are supposed to check the website.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Hello @emilybell not just liking tweets, more complicated than that

My blog posts are getting spread out over several blogs, well at least three. May sort this out after my break at the end of this week.

Meanwhile links to two recent ones. EU referendum post mostly about the Guardian and another one about Chilcot to be updated later.

Emily Bell today seems to claim that the online aspect is the cause of a lack of fact in the Brexit situation.

Not sure this is true. Guardian seems to have decided long ago that Corbyn is a loser sobest to get rid of him, My take is that his campaign was strong, just not reported by @guardian and others who might be expected to. Sundayt Mirror print version, not sure if this is available wherever Emily Bell is, was a reminder of how Corbyn could be presented. Guardian was just negative, always an anonymous opposite comment and that is just the PLP leave aside how the BBC will add to it.

I lost trust with the heckles. One might be from @portlandcomms another from a Lib Dem. Lots of suggestions on Twitter. But no official fact check or refutation on mainstream media. So I continue to believe the tweets on balance, whjatever I see on @BBCNewsnight.

@guardian now has a reporting trip to Liverpool and social media or some sort of crowd sourcing. Shows slightly different result to the take from columnists in the "lobby" . Emily Bell please consider how this comes over for the average punter.

No surprise that Corbyn is direct on social media, breaking now as they say.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Guardian readers invited to citizen journalism, could be too late

I bought the paper and have now found the online version. Apparently Guardian readers will become members and then help to report on what Guardian readers think.  In print on  a Saturday. Surveys show anger at sniping by MPs. Thing is, we have no idea who these MPs actually are. The leader may be Eagle or maybe someone else much the same but joined after Iraq votes. Is there anger at Guarcian journalists who build stories and comment around the supposed views of these MPs ? Could you guess from the comments on opinion? Polly Toynbee is upset at the comments on an opinion from Gaby Hinsliff. Why not consider the feedback as if it may be valid in some sense or possibility? Or just have a look at Twitter as if some of it might link to accurate info?

My guess is that the balance of Guardian journalism will stay much the same, the print sales will decline, the online approach will not adjust. Hope I'm wrong of course.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hello @guardian please watch @jeremycorbyn on @YouTube

I have been working on a blog about Fleet Street and the Europe debate. It is called Fleet Street in Europe and Cyberspace. It continues but I have decided to move my thoughts about the Guardian back here. The main issues are about the Brexit press and what happened, how this decision was made. The Guardian is the paper I read most often but it is not a large part of the story.

No doubt the Labour Remain case copuld have been stronger but there is not much Corbyn can get over if he is not reported. the Guardian may have decided some time ago that another leader would be a good thing so Corbyn should be undermined on every occasion. I just don't know. But I have noticed that when he makes a speech it is rarely reported in a straight manner. Of course it is now clear that the anonymous quotes from other Labour MPs are well sourced so maybe don't blame the journalists. It has been explained that they don't really hate Jeremy Corbyn, it is much more complicated than that. They would prefer to be closer to power and exciting events. So an interview with David Cameron is front page on the eve of poll even if the main concern is Labour voters and research shows he has a negative effect.

Anyway, see previous blog for more of this sort of thing.

Recent notes.

"The left right business will be less important than who has some charisma" Polly Toynbee reviews the press.

Paul Mason opinion as tweet link has over 800 likes over 800 retweets, not sure when this will be in print. Can't find it but have skipped the g2 so far today.

Opposite the editorial in the print version Zoe Williams writes that "Corbyn has opposed the EU since the 1970s...nothing suggested...that he had changed his mind." I honestly find this amazing. She must have relied on the Guardian reporting only. Corbyn ran a solid and consistent campaign on social media throughout. Find the Sky News on YouTube. He puts a complicated case but it is listened to.

Re the editorial, splitting the party and the MPs could happen whether it is a kill or just a wounding, hope you think about this as the non coup continues


Anyway, this blog is about the transition from paper to online. I happen to think that Corbyn did a solid job with the youth vote and ok the luvvie cosmopolitans who tend to tweet. This part of the UK may get larger. Few cannot find YouTube even if Channel 4 restricts the copyright on their content.

Theory around citizen journalism has been around for about a decade. The Guardian seems to be moving more towards celebrity opinion than costly reporting. They may survive online but I fear the conventions around the print version may not be revised in a timely manner.

attempts calm tone to refute alarming claims about social media as blog continues

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Streaming music, maybe the web is one way to find it

Some links

based on print version of Guardian today, here is link to web page

thing is, the popcast is only about three minutes in and they start complaining about different versions of YouTube uploads so the stats are not comparable. Why do they need this info? Are they part of a community where opinion is shared? through likes or attention or suggestions?

Not the sort of aspect that ever comes over in Guardian print. If the message is DEPEND ON THE CRITIC IN PRINT IGNORE THE WEB then this means you can review your own book

seems a good idea I will think on