Archive for the 'politics' Category

advertising vs protesting


Originally uploaded by Luis Rubim.

Oh dear, a good idea in the brainstorming session… a very bad idea to do it next to soliders mothers who are holding large images of their dead sons.

Mind you there were all sorts of protesters there. I saw one guy protesting on his own about Freemasons.

Gordon Brown about to visit the Queen

Tony Blair – Gordon Brown handover – 14

Originally uploaded by

He looked very happy, there was some polite clapping, in contrast to round the corner on Whitehall where every car that went in or out of Downing Street was boooed.

More here

Creative of Tonbridge Wells

There was a nice article in the Independent yesterday talking about the outpouring of creativity following the new Olympic logo announcement. Send us yours they say, shame they’ve not got round to publishing any yet. The Daily Mail has, along with the Sun and BBC online as well as the 2012 group themselves.

Let’s face it this logo was doomed from the start, the likes of the Mail and Express had probably written the copy months ago, they were only going to be satisfied with the Queen mum dressed as a beefeater upon a union jack draped bulldog jumping Big Ben or something. There’s now a a lot of ‘what’s wrong with the old one!’ (We see this a lot when the Bank of England introduces new shaped currency – though there was little fuss about the new £20 notes strangely) A lot of people want to keep the logo that won us the games, maybe because it’s tied up in our minds with 7/7?

So, as in times past, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, outrage, disgrace, and a ‘child could do that’ etc… so far so British. The natural perpetual state of the Englishman is to believe the country’s going to the dogs, to rack and ruin, stop the world I want to get off. We’ve become a nation of complainers, not in a ‘out on the streets storming the barricades’ kind of way, but in a moaning letter writing way, complaining not about erosion of our civil liberties or the right to protest within 1 mile of the ‘cradle of democracy’, but on the choice of contestants on a TV game show – after all it’s far easier to dash off a email or add a splurge a comment on a website about something inconsequential these days that actually do anything about it.

Except in the case of the London Olympic logo lots of ‘children who could do that’ have actually had a go, as well as teenagers and adults. Despite what you think of the logo, you can’t deny it’s been a catalyst for the public to start designing – that’s a good thing I think. No one did this when the Millennium Experience man logo came out, and everyone hated that remember?

Mullenium Man logo

Mullenium Man logo


So a similar outpouring of moaning; ‘waste of money’ looks rubbish – zero creating a better version as far as I remember. Why is that? Well I reckon its two things. One, we have better access to creative digital technology, we can not only create stuff much easier, but we can distribute and promote it much faster too. We’re more visually fluent, we’re taking more and more pictures of our lives, and are world is now saturated in imagery. Second is the fall of the expert – or perhaps that should be the rise of the amateur – With vast amounts of information and increased leisure time, anyone can voice their opinions on everything from creationism to composition.

This isn’t always a good thing mind. If you look at a lot of the entries, they look like t-shirts you see in souvenir and other tourist stalls and shops don’t they?

And I should know having had a job in Athena on Trafalgar square in 97. Is London no more than Big Ben, beef eaters and the underground roundel? We’re often guilty of over-venerating our design classics. The routemaster bus: outcry at its replacement, but they were cramped, noisy, a nightmare for the disabled and most were over 50 years old. Scott’s Phone box: 80 years old and now only used for prozzie cards and for drunks to have a piss in, be honest when was the last time you used one?

You can see how this design came about, ‘we want something youth, something different’ was the brief, it’s in every brief. And so they tried for something different, and let’s be honest, every other Olympic logo has sucked; 5 daubs of abstract colour and the rings, silly mascot, and forgoten before the Olympic flame has cooled – yawn.

We’ve got five years; maybe it’ll grow on us? Here’s my favourite.

bit of politics.

NEWSFLASH – I’ve swtiched my blog to wordpress as it’s £0.00 and Typepad was £24, however I’m still in transisition so am posting to both for this month.

Politics: First off, I put all my details in the BBC budget calc.. and the result said ” You will be £117.56p a year worse off” Shit.

Secondly I get this in my inbox thanks to HearFromYourMP

Just a quick note to inform anyone interested in my work as their local MP that my website is now up and running. There’s lots more information still to add but I hope it’s a good starting point. I would welcome any feedback – please use the contact details on the website – or any thoughts on features I could incorporate in the future. And if there are any specific issues you would like to bring to my attention please do so via the website. With best wishes, Tessa Jowell

Followed 17 minutes later by:

A useful piece of information omitted from my earlier message
was the website address which is Sorry!
Tessa Jowell

Nice to see our Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (and my MP) well versed in composing an email… still I guess we’ve all done it.

I’ve also had the most foodie week known to man, but more on that once the tech has settled down.

Does the Independent’s picture editor work part time?


One large image (and that on a Saturday) and two ‘question’ diptychs.. I’m just getting a bit bored of the graphic design approach, it’s all a bit to statistical. (Though I wonder if they tried the Simon Hugh story with maps and stats?)

And all this when there’s some really powerful and strange images on the wires like these.
OrangesThe caption for this says: Masked Palestinian gunmen of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a militia linked to the Fatah movement hold their rifles in front of media members during the group’s a press conference in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006. Palestinian gunmen said Thursday they would target citizens of France, Norway, Denmark and Germany in Gaza unless the four governments apologize for a newspaper cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, published in several European newspapers, that has riled the Muslim world. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) But for me the really weird thing is those oranges, it’s just not something you really see together, oranges and RPGs.

I liked this one from AP too.
FlagPalestinians burn a Norwegian flag (believing it to be the Danish flag) in front of the European Union headquarters in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, January 30th 2006, to condemn publication of cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in Denmark.

David Data

Brings a new meaing to “You’ve got the Con…”David_data

Were all reporters now (?)

Yesterday I went to ‘We are all reporters now?’ a presentation by Vicky Taylor and Guy Pelham from BBC News. It dealt with the covering of 7th July and the role user generated content can play in news reporting.

The presentation began with a slide to illustrate traditional photo journalism, images of Life magazine’s moon issue, Don McCullin’s shell shocked solider and some other classic imagery, all taken by professional photographers and sent back to a magazine maybe months later to be published.

The presentation then went on to talk about how News Interactive have actively encouraged users to send in images, emails and SMSs. Either by sending it to 07921 648159 or mailing to

They then went on to talk about the actual events of the 7th.. how emails from users were ahead of the authorities, giving them a more informed picture of what was happening on the ground. One email read: “My gf works up by Holborn and has just called to tell me a bus has exploded outside her office in Tavistock Square, bodies strewn all over the road”. This came in at 9:57am, when the emergency services were still talking about power surges on the tube.

So, emails come in first, then images, most of which were verified and checked, and then used on News 24. Then a little later came the video footage. One movie actually went out whole, with no professional shots in at all, just a voice over the low res images describing the events as they were happening. And this went out on the Six o’clock news.

The next and most interesting slide illustrated server load. As you know the less robust homepage servers were running really hot… News have a more battery approach to their servers and so I think they coped a little better.

Here’s the slide showing the 7th of July against other world events. Simply incredible.

Some more stats.. Have Your Say normally gets 10,000 emails a day and emails to your pics average 100-200 images a week. On July 7th they got 20,000 emails on the London Bombings, 1000 images from the public and 3000 SMS messages. That is a lot of ‘reporters’ in the field. And two weeks later on the 21st, it happened again…

Guy then talked about the knock on effect. When a warehouse caught fire in Wembley, normally not that news worthy, they still got 3 videos and over 20 pictures.. people now know they can send in stuff and get it published.

This is a complete paradigm shift for News and the rest of the BBC. Hopefully we’ve now proved ourselves a hub of user generated content. There were some good points made in the Q&A that followed that addressed this. One older guy in the audience echoed Guys earlier ‘not my generation’ sentiment by asking ‘why do people do it?’ Well it’s the same answer as I talked about in the post below.., the iPhoto generation, people now share images not for money, but for kudos. Danny O’Brien at Open Tech talked about the de-coupling of fame and fortune, and perhaps this is the result of that.. that you can get fame and kudos simple by sharing, like this for example. It’s peer group admiration, mixed with hero syndrome and recognition, in short, ‘I was there therefore I’m important’ and the photograph is the witness to that event. In that respect, it’s transcended traditional photographers. That’s why all the best shots of the bus were by amateurs, taken before the police put up the white screen, and as Guy went on to explain, the Met even set up exclusion zones over the sites so helicopters couldn’t get the shots.

The question of payment again came up. This was answered with, ‘you send it to us, you give it us for free’, or ‘if it’s at the right price, we’ll pay for it’. The other thing to bare in mind is that this story present a unique scenario for this paradigm shift to grow in. When the transport system itself shuts down, you can move photographers around. That’s why the other main source of ‘holding’ footage was from the BBC’s traffic cameras positioned around London.

The presentation ended with the first slide, only with the ? removed. I’d sort of disagree a bit, as they made quite clear in the presentation that it’s still them in control, they apply the same journalistic principles to all submissions, they check against the editorial guidelines, they will not do a Peers Morgan or a BBC World/Bhopal and get caught out.. So maybe it’s ‘were all camera (wo)men now’ ?


In other news, today was a Thursday and London was on high alert. There were six police officers at Gipsy Hill station this morning, and some at every station I went through on my way to work. Coming home each platform at Clapham Junction has on average three officers on it… which kind of made me laugh when the ‘pickpockets operate on this station’ auto-announcement cam over the PA. Is this what a policed state looks like.

Also on the footbridge over the station I saw officers do a stop and search on a Asian guy, Search_claphamjunction. It’s hard to see what’s going on but basically two WPCs asked if they could look inside this guy’s bag as he came up to the footbridge from the platform. He was smart looking , but did have a long raincoat on so they searched his bag and his person as well as taking down a few details… the picture’s poor as I was try to act normal as another PC was nearby keeping an overview of the situation. After the police said good bye I approached the guy and told him I worked for the BBC. I asked him if he objected to what had just happened. He said no, it was all done politely and he didn’t mind at all.. in fact he said he’d be worried if they weren’t carrying out searches… but imagine doing that five/six times a day?

Today’s other ‘terrorist news’ was the end of violent struggle by the IRA. It’s mad to think that after nearly 40 years this has come to an end, and I was thinking about how that has touched my life.. what a month.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
February 2020
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