Thursday, 25 June 2009

Suicide ain't painless

Today I witnessed the ultimate death of my newspapers.
The money hungry whores who pay themselves vastly inflated salaries to run this company have signed the death warrant and now it is just a matter of time before the advertisers carry out their wishes.
In their infinite wisdom, my so-called bosses decided to reduce pagination over summer in order to cut costs. So far so sensible. It is a season where newspapers are always likely to make a loss. I expected to lose a few editorial pages as part of this drop in size and was actually looking forward to taking the foot off the gas a little and having a bit of fun.
The plans for my new editions landed on my desk this morning and to be honest I felt like walking out there and then.
Instead of a few back of the book pages being dropped, the fucktards in charge have fundamentally destroyed the layout of my papers.
Full page ads are normally forbidden from the front of the book in order to give our dear readers the impression what we bring out is actually a newspaper. Now they litter my early pages.
Back of the book far from being pared down is obliterated.
I proudly boast a post bag that fills itself thrice-fold on a weekly basis, such is the debate and respect our newspapers hold among the public.
I could devote two full pages a week to them and often try to. Instead under our ‘new look’ streamlined edition I get a half. Barely enough for a quarter of my post bag......
A new ad appears on the front page as well just to add to my growing sense of fury.
I have about a quarter of the space I traditionally had with page shapes that look as though they have been put in as an afterthought to pad out the lovely advertisements.
It’s a fucking joke and it is taking all my composure to not walk in and smash the MDs head in with my lap top.
This is a sure fire way to destroy all of the hard work, respect, and kudos, my team and I have put into this paper making it, what I think is, a bloody good weekly read.
You may as well shut the fucker down today. These short term fuckers have no interest in newspapers or what they are actually for. They just care about the bottom line and making their monthly figures look good.
Over the last six months this company has instigated a raft of cost cutting measures which have all added to the intense pressure of this job. But we have coped but this latest initiative is one money grubbing policy too far.
I’m no commie and I understand times are hard and company’s have to make money but this is fucking ridiculous.
To have such little respect for our readers is what really makes me laugh. Do these utter fucking management idiots think readers won’t notice that it only takes them a few minutes to flick through the tiny amount of editorial we can give them as opposed to the 20+ good sized pages we spill blood each week packing full of news and features before.
The readers and advertisers found out about our 'cost-cutting' distribution cuts quick enough. Especially when paperboys got sacked by the dozen.
The cunts claim this is a short term measure. I think they are full of shit. I think they are lying rat faced weasels who should fucking kill themselves.
The paper will become a laughing stock in a few short weeks, just another free sheet chucked in the bin.
That really fucking hurts.
I pride myself on the papers I bring out. It’s a direct reflection of what I am capable of doing. And I used to hold my head up high in the towns my papers come out in because I was proud of what we do.
Now I just really want to cry.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


I'm pretty much going out on a limb with this one but fuck it. What in the name of retarded Jesus is the fucking big deal about Twitter?
All the techno spazzes in our office are obsessed with it. Twatting this, retwatting that, sitting on your twat deck, twatterating. If I want to tell everyone when I have just taken a shit I generally announce it as I walk back in the office doing up my zipper. But telling strangers who slavishly follow your inane shat? Fuck that.
Twatter is the status update off Facebook you fucking moron sheep. It's not cool, it's not a new form of media. It's a pretentious wank machine for boring people with nothing to say.
Our newspaper's Twatter page (not set up by me I hasten to add) has 120 Twatters following it. We have a readership of more than 132,000 on one of our titles alone.
Fuck Twatter.
We saw a slight flurry of Twatter related stories in the press but nothing compared to the massive flood of Facebook, eBay and Friends Reunited stories. That is how much of a non event it is.
Twatter doesn't even have a picture function.
Even my mobile has that and my mobile is shit.

The web. Saviour or Satan

I love the web. I use it every day. I am pretty much fucked if I don't get access to a lap top. It's a bit like when I first had a mobile and thought of something and could instantly call a mate and tell him about it.
With the web - think a thought and google it, brilliant.
But is it the future of journalism? Our retard bosses think so and I think I have earlier covered adequately why.
But think about the web. How many sites do you actually visit on a daily basis? Even on a weekly basis? Sure my favourites list is populated with at least 70-80 sites that I think I need to know about.
But daily I look at my newspaper websites, my opposition websites, Facebook (natch) BBC (shit hyperlocal by the way you over paid fuck hounds) HTFP, Fleet street blues, Press Gazette (although I wonder why I bother) Mediaguardian (get more local paper coverage you sandal wearing hippies) and clearly some porn.
Weekly even less. Sometimes I think about spring cleaning my favourites - but sometimes I think about cutting down on drinking too.
Google alerts fill my email basket with all the news I feel I need. The rest of my daily shit comes from whatever I google (or Bing if we really have to go down that copycatted soul sucking Microsoft thieving route - how much money do you need Bill Gates!!).
So, as a self confessed internet nut I visit less than a dozen sites daily. And, if they are not updated regularly, I spend less than half an hour doing it.
So how can the internet be the future?
Now clearly, if you are reading this, you read blogs. And if you like piss poor ones, you have found a home. But this ain't journalism. This is cant, rhetoric, drivel, rant. Opinion not fact. NOT NEWS.
Is this our future? I love news and I love getting and disseminating news and the internet can be the perfect tool.
My point - and I think I have one - is, with most web users looking at a handful of sites each day, will your news stories still mean the same as they do when you present it in a newspaper with the mix and balance and design we spend hours on each day?
Or will it become a google alert that a reader doesn't even bother to open because you aready read the first par.
More on the web another head is hurting thinking about it!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Epsiode IV..............Public relations

There is a reason they call PR the Dark Side. Like Luke Skywalker was told by Yoda, the Dark Side is quick and tempting and easy.
And so is PR. Think about it. You are a trainee journalist on 14-16k a year. Your boss is screaming at you to tie up the story about a local crime/council dispute/health debacle and all you are waiting for is the 30k a year police/council/NHS fuckwit's quote. Basically you fucking hate them all.
However, you soon realise that said fuckwit's job is a piece of piss and so next time one of the retards climbs up the greasy pole you apply for their job.
The money is good and the job is easy.
This is the Dark Side.
Before long you become the same jobsworthy/pedantic/corporate shit-eating mother fucker you despised in those few short months you encountered them on the other side of the fence.
In the whole of my career, I have met two or three decent press officers who understood not only their own job, but the job of those people they serviced.
The rest are power crazy, bull shit artists who, not only convince themselves they were once great journalists, but now are wannabe media manipulators of the highest order. Forget the fact they work for Flangeshire Borough Council or Bellend Police Service.
The worst of their breed still claim to be hacks....always making the excuses or apologising for why they are bull shitting you. A few of them even throw a few titbits out to make you their friend. But ultimately they are all dogs. Lying for their masters because they decided to take the easy way out.
The only easy way out for these soul-sucking arse holes is the business end of a shot gun.

PS Yoda also said a lot of shit about fear and anger being the path to the Dark Side but he WAS a fucking muppet, so fuck him!


You may think that I am a perpetually angry individual, but it is not the case. I admit to occasional bouts of apopletic rage but I find it healthy and often cathartic.
I use rage to do my job. I use it to clear my system. I use it to give a fuck.
In the job I do I get angry about anything that doesn't go my way - even if I don't care about the story. In fact, if I feel that someone is doing something they shouldn't, it often makes me give that little bit more of a shit about the tale.
I am angry when PRs refuse to tell me the basic facts. I fume when a story we had in the bag ends up in the rival. I am fit to kill when projects go tits up because someone (usually a PR) fucks up. Shit, if someone send me a stupid press release that has no relevance to my title I am known to phone them up and serve them an earful of diatribe.
I use and harness my anger so that officials, councillors, press officers and coroners clerks can't push their petty bureaucratic bullshit on me.
When the red mist comes down, I will spend hours, days or even weeks proving that a prick was wrong. I will write letters, legal challenges and fire off countless FOIs in a attempt to find out the truth.
I was once likened to a Rottweiler in my refusal to let go of a story. I spent six months on one story because I knew it to be true and officialdom continually denied it. (It made the splash).
But it is this anger that makes me, I think, a good journalist. This sense of rage can be used to defend the corner of those stories you have done a hundred times before.
Many would think the weekly battle with the council or police press office would grind you down. I love it.
I am happiest dealing with an inane complaint or a holier than thou press officer. Give me a jobsworth every day of the week. The best thing about these cancers-on-society is that if you know more about the rules than them they are wholly fucked.
Rage, however, is likely to be the cause of my early death, hence no pension provision, but I can accept that.
As long as they are more angry fuckers behind me.

Lies, damned lies and the management

Do you know what I hate about newspaper managers? It's not that they are cunts. I can deal with nasty wankers - plenty of councillors fit this description. It's not even that they are liars, I deal with bullshit every day.
The reason why I hate newspaper managers is that they are lying cunts who think you do not KNOW that they are lying cunts.
Take my MD. To your face nice as pie. Behind your back snidey and sniping. So far so management arsehole.
But when he tells you that the newspaper you work for must make cuts to survive, ony to find out - three months and eight editorial redundancies down the line - that the paper is still making a healthy profit, albeit reduced from pre recession years, you are understandably angry.
Next we are told that cutting distribution will cut costs. Only by X per cent maximum you are told. Of course what they fail to tell you is that they had already cut distribution by X per cent so in reality you are XX papers down.
Who fields the calls? Certainy not the rat faced weasel who ordered the fucking thing!
Pagination must come down to save on printing. Fair enough you think until you realise its not just lost news pages at the back of the book but the cash hungry whores are changing the fundamental feel of the paper by selling everything that ain't nailed down. By this time, if it weren't for the copious amount of cheap grog you are necking, you are murderous in your rage for the short term attitude of the greatest bunch of newspaper murderers you have ever known.
Newspapers aren't dead - they are being slowly euthanised by the very companies that purport to care for the product.
Every cut in staff, every drop in promotion spend, every page lost or copy not delivered is slowly strangling the life out of newspapers.
It's not a public apathy that is killing the local paper - it is its own management's short termism to grab a few extra quid.
I am not advocating journalists running papers -for fuck's sake most of us can't run our own lives - but at least consult them.
We know what the readers - our customers, our advertisers - want and think. We live and breathe what we do. We ARE our newspapers.
Please stop systematically raping us you management cunts.