The Missing Link?

December 28, 2008

In terms of blogging, Jeff Jarvis sagely advocates doing what you do best and linking to the rest.

With information overload on the net, why not link to sites with better material or technology, and stick either to the things you know inside out, or have exclusive knowledge about?

A point reiterated whole-heartedly by sports writer Rick Waghorn, the brains behind myfootballwritter.com, a programme based on football, but facilitating his wider vision; to enable local journalism to flourish.

While his ideas are potentially intriguing, in practise his concept does not seem to be catching on, and Waghorn has already had to abandon two fledgling projects.

In fairness to him, the current economic climate can’t be helping much, and in theory both Jarvis and Waghorn are barking up the right tree.

But the problem with this attitude is it regurgitates content. If, as Waghorn promotes, big news organisations like the BBC trade better quality interviews with stories they haven’t the manpower to cover from local media, it follows that invariably you will keep seeing the same material – interviews, footage – on different sites.

And without a healthy sense of competition within the media, we could be moving back into the very era of journalism we are currently trying to detach ourselves from; the monopolisation of the media by a chosen few.

Robert Peston is a prime example. Widely known as the journalist of the financial crisis, Peston boasts unrivalled contacts, exhaustive knowledge and credible insight. Millions link to his blog – why say it when someone else can say it better?

Consequently he enjoys a fearsome presence in financial journalism. And although it would be unfair and untrue to accuse Robert Peston of single-handedly causing a recession, with God-like stature he stated: there will be a crisis. And it was so.

It is difficult to compete with such a fountain of knowledge. And whilst changes in the media industry which encourage journalists to specialise are in so many ways a good thing, as Nick Davies maintains in his book, Flat Earth News, this can also contribute to churnalism. If we are not careful, Davies argues, the free-for-all edge will be taken out of journalism, and thus, its integrity.

The web offers journalists the opportunity to tap into an enormous wealth of content and this is changing the way they collect information. Additionally there is a growing thirst for specialist journalists from readers whose expectations have risen because of the in-depth information already available on the internet. 

Using the example of Peston, those without his array of contacts can gain a useful insight into the finacial market by linking to his blog. But a balance must be struck so this technology can be used in a creative and thoughtful way.

Tights, glorious tights!

December 7, 2008

For the lithe-limbed, choices are endless.

Swirls, tartan, shocking pink, paisley –  you name it, you can probably find it – Mod Cloth and their peacock feather tights are a particular favourite of mine.

But if your legs are shapely rather than gazelle-like, even a hint of colour adds pounds.

I have coaxed myself into the changing rooms many a time, in the hope that funky tights will not do my (unfortunately short) legs an injustice…to no avail.

Each time I once again promise myself faithfully to black leg-wear; a colour with which you simply cannot go wrong. Not only are they fantastically slimming, but they make even the most crutch-skimming of clothes socially acceptable.

Dependable they may be, but with so many wierd and wonderful tights in the shops this season, you cannot help but feel a little out of the loop.

The answer: Chanel!

Chanel have up-ed the anti with their two-toned tights. Epitomising cool, classic chic, they are perfect for office-to-party wear, but most importantly, they give your legs a wonderfully polished, chiselled look, thanks to the leg-lengthening strip at the back.

Attributed to MissLovely

Vogue’s Jessica Bumpus advocates Chanel’s sheer variation (see here) which, darker above the knee than they are below, are equally desirable – and add a surprising amount of length to legs too.

For a more affordable variation on a winter necessity, River Island do 40s-style tights; neutral with an iconic black line running up the back. Accessorize have the same in black.

For tights-enthusiasts, Csakura has a great blog on Fasity (see it here).