Monday, October 30, 2006

Something like reporting

Monday evening
Development spend: same
Emails sent today: 10
New cheeses tasted today: two

I remembered to buy a Guardian today. On my way to buy cheese I remembered it was Monday.
I've struggled with knowing what day of the week it is for years now. All my time in newspapers I only ever knew what day it was tomorrow. Now, since I moved to home working, I have to check my diary and count to make sure it's not the weekend. Hence my frequently forgetting to buy The Guardian for Monday's media section.
Which is a shame because I actually read a lot of the articles now rather than head straight for the jobs section.
Like today's story about government attempts to limit use of the Freedom of Information Act so even fewer people get to find out about mistakes, ineptitude and wastefulness of public bodies. Apparently too many journalists are using the Act to request information. If only.
I think the majority of journalists are sitting in courtrooms, or council meetings, or interviewing relatives of dead people or hanging around outside Kate Moss's house to have time to ask searching questions of government departments.
The article defended The Guardian, as second to the BBC for flooding officials with FOI requests, for having only submitted 250 requests last year - not the 500+ it was accused of.
If reporters at local newspapers had the time and were given the support to be equally as conscientious about using the FOI Act to get answers to those questions press officers avoid answering, we might have something like open government in the UK. And something more like reporting.


I spent much of today sending emails to bloggers I've never met in the hope that they'll point some of the people they come across in sweeble's direction.
There are some great blogs out there, thousands of people writing amazing stuff for a few hundred people to read.
Sweeble is a place on the web where individual stories can be told without setting up a blog to do it. But it will only really work if it also becomes the place where hundreds of thousands of people go to read those individual stories.

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