I didn’t get round to trying the Speed podcast last week after all. But I’m very pleased with myself for managing to get three runs in despite the week’s social busy-ness, several late nights and two and a half days of gorging on bad, bad (but so good) foods courtesy of VegFest. Actually, the gorging provided motivation (damage limitation). I did two more Stepping Stones runs and one to my own music. The latter was the fastest, in spite of a lot of faffing with my phone. This was due to a last minute decision to make it a Nine Inch Nails-themed event, in memory of the Cardiff gig on Wednesday, via a few songs ripped from old CDs and/or the Soundcloud app. Having now looked into this a bit more, it seems Deezer will be a better soluion.
Talking of apps, my counter one has stopped working, so I’m now relying on Sports Tracker’s voice feedback for my “You’re a third of/halfway/two-thirds of the way through” alerts. That, and using the same route most of the time.
Cycling-wise, I’ve been trialling a new D-lock carrying system, namely a bungee cord wrapped around my pannier rack, after seeing this on someone else’s bike at the Space for Cycling rally. It’s working a treat so far, though I did snap the lock onto my finger on Thursday and it’s still a little tender (hurt quite a bit at the time). Also slight complication to pannier(un)hooking, but the improvement to the (un)locking faff makes it worth it I think.
Only one educational event this week: the Bristol Cable’s Journalism with Integrity workshop led by Mike Jempson, a long-time journalist and unionist who is also Director of MediaWise and a senior lecturer. A sobering look into moral and legal considerations of reporting.
Mike Jempson’s exhortations of transparency, objectivity and rigour were very appealing to this INTJ, yet a reminder that good journalism is hard work because it means that something that sound like a good story with no reliably-sourced facts to substantiate it requires either finding said facts and writing in a way that is “relevant to your neighbours, not just your friends”, or a pass.
Or, I got to thinking, the right angle. I’ve been pondering what I could do for the Dignity March after they issued a call for bloggers, social networkers and photographers to help publicise their campaign. I think the lessons from John Henley’s talk are particularly important for such a story and in the current climate. His only answer to my question about how to make more people interested in an unpopular subject affecting a minority was to show the human, emotional side. And this, he had told us earlier, is best done via video, while data is more easily digestible as a graphic, and text is best used for discussion of ideas; and a mix of the three increases a digital visitor’s “dwell time”. So I have a method; but the clock is ticking if I am to employ it in any way useful to this cause. Day jobs have their drawbacks.
Going back to Sunday’s workshop, the most shocking thing for me was delving into defamation/libel/slander. It made me realise how suddenly my life could be turned upside down for blithely expressing an opinion or other statement that someone/an organisation could consider/claim to be a threat to their reputation. I don’t know how common it is for independent bloggers to be sued for such things but I will definitely bear the three essential criteria for defensible defamation in mind: truth (ie based on undeniable facts), honest opinion (one that any honest person might share), public interest.
This got me wondering how the hell critics and comedians do their jobs, as I made a mental note to delete a gratuitous line in my review of Wednesday night on another blog that was purely, as far as I can tell, a matter of taste. And how, if it was on a blog people read, I would have had to post an apology instead of deleting the dubious material.
Also, bloggers beware – if you pre-moderate comments (ie choose which you publish), you are liable for their content even if someone else wrote them.
There are some very complex considerations when covering court cases, some of which went hand in hand with special privileges card-carrying journalists have in relation to them, such as permission to tweet proceedings (which may be retweeted but not commented on).
Talking of Twitter and responsible journalism, here’s a great thread where Kerry McCarthy MP challenges a Bristol Post headline.
Finally, an interesting concept was briefly brought to our attention: the “right to be forgotten”. Apparently the expectation is that after 9 months people forget the details of most news stories and most of the people in them, but the digital age has made this less linear if people’s past is only a google away.
Popped into the Greenbank to meet the member of its staff coordinating the exhibition and have a bit of a recce. This was really worth doing as I got to see that there are two different types of wall space available (all bricks, but with a choice of just red and a mix of red, yellow and brown). As most of my large pictures will have rusty hues on unframed canvas, I have requested one of the multi-coloured walls so they stand out more. I’m now wondering whether this was the right choice and may revisit it, especially since I’ve given up on artificially extending the photos to make them wrap (most will have black edges, one of them dark grey ones).
I have now ordered a first batch of these canvases, using photos that looked good in the test prints; fingers crossed they turn out all right too. I found that upon closer inspection, the test prints that were disappointing were different from the way the photos looked on any of my devices, not just my dodgy desktop PC’s monitors. When I pointed this out to Photobox, they promptly gave me credit to have them re-done. This is scary in terms of not knowing what to expect from the canvases, but good news in terms of using my existing computer equipment for photo editing. Certainly can’t fault Photobox for responsiveness. Almost everything I ordered yesterday has been despatched today; I expect the thicker canvases to be on their way tomorrow.
I took some photos of Boney M (who were great) on Friday night at VegFest, having scored a free ticket – quite a challenge what with dusk, dark skin tones, sparkly outfits and one silky white one, and the crowd. I haven’t quite reached the optimal levels of photographer rudeness needed to get to the best viewpoint if I’ve not camped there before anyone else has arrived, and I’m not sure I want to. But I got close enough that one of the superfans leaning against the fence took pity on me and let me have her place for a bit. None of the pictures were really good SOOC. I must practice more so I can take pictures in any condition that don’t need (much editing), not least because of lack of time.