Sunday, April 11th, 2010

The Tweed Run

Highlight of the weekend – chancing on the mass handlebars of the second annual Tweed Run, which took place on Saturday, April 10. Kicking off at midday, several hundred tweed-clad riders pedalled from somewhere near Trafalgar Square to Bishopsgate, naturally taking in Saville Row on the way. Any proceeds go to the Bikes4Africa charity. Frankly, […]

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

How even ‘accurate’ journalism misrepresents the facts

Not quite in the Modern Media is Rubbish league, but still an interesting example of how journalism, even when it’s mostly factually accurate, still manages to misrepresent the world it reports on. From the Financial Times Weekend Magazine comes a photo essay on How modern Britain spends its Sundays, complete with a potted summary by […]

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

How 10 years has changed my freelance work week

How has the past decade of technological and business change in print publishing changed freelance patterns of work? A lot, as it turns out. Here, for the sake of example, is a comparison between a representative week’s work for me as a freelance sub/writer in around 1999 and the work I have been doing this […]

Friday, July 31st, 2009

When news mattered

Back in 1940, people would stop outside the local newspaper office to read the headlines posted in the window. Well, there was no rolling TV news or internet… Image from the ever-browsable Shorpy (motto: “Always Something Interesting”).

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Living history

As I’m drowning in web taxonomy at the moment, let’s take time out to enjoy last weekend’s English Heritage Festival of History. I joined 1,000 happy historic re-enacters in a field in Northamptonshire to watch a mini re-enactment of D-Day, be shown how a Sten gun worked and enjoy all the grisly details of Tudor-style […]

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Um – who survived the Yemeni air crash?

History is rewritten by the internet, as yesterday’s five-year-old boy survivor of the Yemeni air crash off the Cormoros islands today morphs strangely into a 14-year-old girl. I’m sure it’s nice that the incorrect official statements have been corrected. But I’ve noticed that sometimes this has happened without much acknowledgement of the change. So Google […]

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Saving the web for posterity

I posted here about how knowledge on the web, and on digital media generally, disappears – risking the impoverishment of future historical research. Just before I could post this follow-up, Jessica anticipated me and commented that I should try Well, guess what – this is all about that. A recent interview with British Library chief Lynne […]

Monday, April 20th, 2009

The internet really does destroy history

I posted recently on how the internet destroys history – and gratifyingly it seems I am not alone in my fears. Thanks to Unbound reader Lucian Hudson for alerting me to this story from Australia, in which the National Library of Australia warns of a “cultural black hole” for future historians if web material is […]

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

London plane crash 1950: how the internet destroys history

Yes – a spectacular air crash in a north London suburb (Mill Hill, where I grew up) killed 28 people and demolished a local house. It should be all over the internet, right? It’s not. I wondered why. The story: a friend of mine asked me to research an air crash in London in the […]