Friday, March 27, 2015

Cameron v Miliband - what did we learn?

To begin with, we learned that a debate is sometimes not a debate. Perhaps political leaders these days have to be isolated from each other in case they catch something. Both faced a grilling from an increasingly world-weary Jeremy Paxman, along with a series of not-too-difficult questions from an audience jollied along by Kay Burley. It was a strange compromise, generating very little in the way of passion or controversy.

Both leaders had obviously been heavily coached before the event, and you could see them almost bursting to get to their prepared sound bytes via a question vaguely related, or sometimes not related at all, to the point they'd rehearsed. They faced Jeremy Paxman across a weird object that may have been a bar table left over from Star Wars, or a fishtank that had fallen over. It may have been designed to keep them from doing a Clarkson on Paxman, but it led to them shouting answers at a bloke several yards away.

The expected line of questioning emerged; "So, Mr Cameron, you're a posh bloke with posh friends who are a bit dodgy aren't you" and "So Mr Miliband, you're a bit weird with a smarter brother, eh?" Both Ed and David handled things pretty well, with Ed clearly having been given a note that said "Show a bit of passion" and David having been advised to lean back and say "Let me explain..." as if someone was trying to stop him.

But what did we learn about the bid for number ten? Er..not much. Expectations were fairly low, and they weren't exceeded by much. In my assesment, Ed Miliband performed slightly better, and seemed to wrong-foot Paxman when he simply admitted that Labour had made mistakes. Cameron wasn't as strong as he might have been on the economy, but didn't do himself any real harm.

Overall, will it influence the result of the General Election? No.

Picture Credit: Creative Commons License

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Media Coach 27th March 2015


What’s the order of news?; Jeremy Clarkson; Zayn Malik; Oreo Eclipse; Mail a Spud; Taking a Stand; How re-bookable are you?; Mind your language; An interview with Walter Bond; Music from Mick Terry


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Media Coach 20th March 2015


Apple watch; Big Brother remains; We Want Plates; Starbucks and race; Joining me on the platform tonight; Ten Media No-Nos; The largest amplifier in the world; An interview with Julie Creffield; Music from The Lost Hollow Band


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Media Coach 13th March 2015


A slip of the tongue; Eurovision Song Contest; Terry Pratchett; Jeremy Clarkson; Ten perfect pitching tips; Inspired by true events; Message first, social network second; An interview with Kimberly Davis; Music from Mary Hopkin


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Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Media Coach 6th March 2015


The election begins; Hall and Oates; Leonard Nimoy; “Spock” your banknotes; A little less rabbit; Be Reliable- Be an Expert; E M Forster and LinkedIn; An interview with Wayne Morris of Guidebook; Music from the 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco


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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Media Coach 27th February 2015


Life is tough; Eventex; My Oscar winner; Sesame Street; Natalie Bennett; Four ways to ruin a speech; On the phone to the studio; Don’t rush to sell; An interview with Frank Furness; Music from Mick Terry


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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Media Coach 20th February 2015


Oscar time; An Apple disappointment; King and Escort; Barack Obama is what?; Dealing with Nerves; The Overtaking Rule; Picture this; An interview with Jeremy Lee; Music from Mick Wilson


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Friday, February 13, 2015

The Media Coach 13th February 2015


Brian Williams; The Visibility Summit; Jon Stewart; Pink Van Woman; Last-minute changes; Wave the flag; Why Social Media works for small businesses; An interview with Dan Poynter; Music from Mick Terry


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Friday, February 06, 2015

George Galloway in the Lions' Den - did the BBC get it wrong?

George Galloway was a guest on BBC Question Time last night. The programme was recorded in Finchley, North London, former stamping ground of Margaret Thatcher, and is the constituency with the largest Jewish population. Mr Galloway was clearly not destined to have an easy ride.

As it turned out, much of the programme consisted of audience members shouting at Mr Galloway, and his responses often being drowned out by further interruptions. David Dimbleby called for order on several occasions, and finally managed to quiet the crowd when he called for individual comments, though he managed to select two who opposed Mr Galloway, and one in favour.

I've worked with Mr Galloway on radio phone-ins (I took the photo attached to this piece), and though I don't know him well or agree with all his views, I believe he has a perfect right to express them. That's what freedom of speech is about.

The question that caused the row was about the unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the UK. It was: “Why is antisemitism rising in the UK and does a certain member of the panel bear some responsibility?”

In response, Mr Galloway said: "Antisemitism is a foul form of racism that in the 1930s led to the Holocaust. If I had been born then I would have been the first in the line in the recruitment office to fight fascism. Everything that has been said here with melancholy about the shadow cast by the rise in Antisemitism could be said many fold about the Islamophobia and fear of Muslims in Britain and attacks on Muslim property. Why can’t we all oppose Antisemitism and Islamophobia? Why not oppose the attacks not only on kosher, but halal?”. That sounds a fair response to me, but audience members kept up their barracking.
 
I believe the BBC made an error in setting up the show as it did, and the events were inevitable. Question Time is about comments on major news stories, and one of the most prominent, the Government takeover of Rotherham Council after a child abuse enquiry, wasn't even mentioned. Even Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary had an easy ride, after trying to argue that "flat cash" funding for schools was "Not a cut, since the money stays the same". She clearly hasn't heard of the concept of inflation.

No-one wants to watch a boring debate. However, setting up a situation where one panellist is subjected to abuse by a hostile audience is a shameful editorial act. I'm a huge supporter of the BBC when they get it right. This time they got it wrong.

Picture Credit : Alan Stevens

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Media Coach 6th February 2015


The power of propaganda; Last chance to win; Like a Girl; Brian wan’t there; How to be Original; The first time you meet a reporter; Novak Djokovic’s social media; An interview with Joe Vitale; Music from Ainsley Diaz Stevens


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Media Coach 30th January 2015


Benedict Cumberbatch; Oscar speech competition; Auschwitz survivors stories; Sarah Palin; How many of you are individuals?; Who are you again?; Recommend, Refer, Promote; An interview with Tony Hawks; Music from Henrik


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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Media Coach 23rd January 2015


Back from Bulgaria; Oscar speech competition; Jon Stewart; The drugs don’t work; Are you suffering from TMI?: Can I make my point?; The great pretenders; An interview with Blake Snyder. Music from the 1957 tail-fin fiasco.


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Media Coach 16th January 2015


David Cameron says no; High-level speaker coaching; Push-button cocktails; Steven Emerson; Don’t be a tease; Give me news now; The ten rules of anti-social media; An interview with Nick Bradley; Music from The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco


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Friday, January 09, 2015

The Media Coach 9th January 2015


A dark week for journalism; Virtual Speaking; Speaker Coaching; Charlie Hebdo; Fox News; Storyboarding your speech; Not being there; Who do you know who knows something?;  An interview with Judson Laipply; Music from Geoff Gibbons


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