Home » Archives for July 2006

Month: July 2006

Road Tax: 1 in 40 evaders caught

Another fine piece of work from our noble tax-supported civil servants:

Never mind what Benjamin Franklin said about there being only one thing in life that was certain–death and taxation. You can’t even rely on that any more. It seems that the chances of catching a road tax dodger is just one-in-forty according to a recent Whitehall watchdog report. Apparently there are 1.55 million untaxed vehicles in britain and the number of people not paying their Vehicle Excise Duty is still increasing.

So that’s nice. We’re funding a big old department in Swansea, who not only managed to miss 1.55m people, while catching a tiny fraction of that number? Sounds like money well spent, doesn’t it?

BigLorryBlog has plenty more to say about road tax, too.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Communites: the future of trade press?

Roy Gleenslade reports on Sylvia Auton, chief executive of IPC Media, and where she sees the company going:

But, in recognition of the move towards a screen-based world, she says much of her energy is devoted to trying to apply magazine brands to new media.

Antony Mayfield made the same observation about United Business Media‘s plans yesterday, and went on to predict a tough time ahead for trade titles:

They are vulnerable for many reasons – they often serve sectors and audience niches that may be better able to serve themselves via online communities. Some depend on classified job ads for a great deal of their revenue (a business which is easily distintermediated by the web) and their legacy infrastructure, their commitments to print based business models can make it hard for them to move quickly enough to take advantage of the fast-evolving online media world.

He is, of course, quite right. These are going to be testing times for trade media, but very exciting ones, too. (Of course, I’m a bit of a change junkie. Other people’s views may differ…)

Journalists take themselves too seriously

Jeff Jarvis suggests that the video below shows that journalists have no sense of humour.

Certainly, they’ve completely failed to get the point here. I was channel-hopping last night, trying to build up the energy to shift myself from the too hot sofa to the too hot bedroom, when I found a show on BBC4 about the history of the Tory party. It had a clip of Winston Churchill, in his swimming trunks, no less, sliding down a water slide into a swimming pool. It was a strangely touching moment, a little glimpse into the man behind the image, from an age when the press was far more deferential than it is now. I don’t think returning to a deferential attitude would do anyone any good, but an interest in who our politicians are beyond the obvious prurient interest in sexual misdemeanours, would engage people in politics a little more.

There seems to be a mindset amongst journalists and politicians at the moment that politics is Serious, and should be treated in a Serious way at all times. The truth, of course, is that politics, like all human endeavour, has its fun side and its serious side, and the media should really be reflecting both.

We seem to have developed an idea that the route to serious, professional journalism is to conceal the human within the journalist at all times. Blogging, thankfully, is starting to erode that edifice.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Will today’s teenagers be reading tomorrow’s magazines?

Here’s a post from YPulse, a blog which tracks the interests of Generation Y, which should send chills down the expensive suit-clad backs of magazine publishers everywhere:

Media for the Next Generation:

I was pretty surprised when I received an alert that Teen People was going out of print, just as I was when the news about Elle Girl dropped weeks ago. Surprised yet not so surprised once I thought about it. This must have sent chills down the spines of staffers at Seventeen, CosmoGirl, Teen Vogue, etc. The writing has been on the wall for some time in terms print magazines and this generation of �totally wired� teenagers. Go digital. Go mobile

Teenagers are only reading magazines with an online presence. And sometimes not even then.

What does that mean for us in business publishing when they enter the workplace? It means we had better be ready for them.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

David Cameron on Farming & Rural Life

Farmers Weekly David Cameron logoThe Farmers Weekly podcast interview with David Cameron feels like it should have got more publicity than it did, if only for the revelation that Cameron grows cucumbers outside his kitchen window. It’s a nicely-done, fairly relaxed piece, recorded in the back of Cameron’s car on the way to the Royal Show.

FWi interview with David Cameron

Hang on, shouldn’t it have been done on the back of his bike?

[Disclosure: this is another bit of �employer pimping�, but only because I genuinely liked it]

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Google Backlash: power without responsibility

More and more publishers of all stripes, it seems, are growing slightly uncomfortable with the growing power of Google over what gets read and what doesn’t. Two very different takes on the situation flowed into my RSS reader this morning:

Google, for all its coolness and �don’t be evil� ethos, is becoming as secretive and closed as that cooler tech firm, Apple. However, Apple is pretty much just a minor player in the PC market, while Google rules the web.

Technorati Tags: , , ,