Jul 29

Telegraph Visit

Telegraph Visit

Last night, I went along to The Telegraph to take part in a focus group, about various aspects of the paper. A completely mixed group discussed values, requirements, possibilities and likes and dislikes (yes, I’m being vague, they’re doing research and it’s polite not to mention what on) It was a surprisingly fun 90 minutes as we all got a chance to express what we thought of the paper. Then we had a quick tour of the newsroom which gave me an insight into what happens.

  • it’s a hub and spoke mechanism, with the editors meeting taking place in the centre. the closer you are to the centre the more ‘important’ you are in making editorial decisions.
  • The working environment looked great but they seem to cram a lot of people in. When we walked through, it was extremely quiet but I’m guessing noise can get loud when busy
  • Despite all the technology present, there was still a layout board with a bunch of papers and a scalpel sitting there.
  • The news and information input is large – as in huge screens. They have screens showing all the major news channels, the website and a updating list showing the most visited pages on the website, to generate soem healthy competition
  • They have what looks to be Twitterfall running continuously on a big screen, with an eye on the trending topics.
  • I loved the reference library; I want one
Jul 11

Books June 09

  • Summer in the City, Pauline McLynn. Following the lives of a group of people living on one close in London, it’s initially confusing, as you try and work out who all these people are and how they are connected, but it all starts to make sense and come together nicely. Everything ends well, a good story
  • The Dirty Secret Club, Meg Gardiner, US Thriller about a forensic psychologist who constructs the state of mind of dead people, playing a central role in the cracking of a murder plot. A little over the top, but good read.
  • Azincourt, Bernard Cornwell, Cornwell turns his attention to the 100 Years War, focusing on a bowman who marches with Henry V, ending at Agincourt. Basically, this is Sharp but just set in a different period. Same type of hero who gets through battles despite the odds, war and battles and same writing style.
  • Kings of Albion, Julian Rathbone Another historical novel, this time set in the War of the Roses, what happened when the English got fed up of fighting the French for a while and decided to fight each other. The style vould not have been different, focusing on a ‘tourists’ version of visiting the English, full of satire and subtle comedy.
  • Uglies, Scott Westerfeld. I’d read a lot about how good a YA book it is, but I was slightly disappointed at it, because it was not as expected. I still loved the book but for some reason, I expected something different (although not sure what!). No matter, it was still an excellent read, telling the tale of Tally, growing up in a world where on reaching the age of 16 you get to become a ‘pretty’, get made beautiful and move into the adult world. But all is not what it seems.
  • Trust Me, Jeff Abbot. A familiar tale – in fact, Id read something similar recently – of circumstances pushing an ‘innocent’ on the run, where they learn more about themselves and those around them. Here it’s all tied into global terrorism conspiracies. However, it’s going to be most memorable to me as the first book I’ve read where Twitter is namechecked and plays a small part of the plot.
  • Silks Dick Francis. Another strongly plotted racing thriller, this time co-written with his son. I’ve got a lot of his books, always awell put together story.