Monday, August 11, 2008

Press Gazette: What will the liars, chancers and buffoons read now?

I’m not too fussed that Press Gazette has gone monthly after 43 years as a weekly trade mag for hacks, though one is always sorry to hear of redundancies. It had bored me for years aside from Rob McGibbon’s excellent news-setting interviews when Piers Morgan co-owned it. And the Grey Cardigan was slightly amusing (only) on Liz fucking Jones.

Though PG dutifully covered the various categories of journalism waywardly, it was clearly too enamoured of national newspapers and their ghastly, pompous, prematurely aged staffers. Did you ever read much about the personalities on Sky Text, Psychic News, Woman & Home or Reader’s Digest? Are there any? Whole areas of journalism were virtually ignored while the publication cheekily sought subscriptions from them. Its British Press Awards excluded most of its catchment readership from nomination: so I have to laugh when one of its former editors, Ian Reeves, whinges in the Guardian today about how the papers let his mag down. The only reason why PG obsessed about the nationals was because most of its reporters were hoping to win the attention of a Fleet St editor for career purposes. Oh yes you were.

This didn’t stop the mag though from boring us with its regional press coverage (cue bad haircuts, bad skin, bad teeth, abnormal scrotal bulges), its media commentariat reviews (inclusive of four old bitter farts so far as I could see) and an interminable how-to section for aspiring journalists – like, who gives a diddlysquat anyway? Everyone knows journalism is for chancers, liars and buffoons.

But I do think Morgan should pay the Grey Cardigan the £2k he’s owed.


Liz said...

I haven't seen a dog-eared copy of UKPG for years. It was always the first casualty of cost cutting in the newsroom and I could never be bothered to buy my own to read about blonde glossies in the boardroom.

What did for it was Hold the Front Page where impoverished editors can take out cheap ads for staff.

A better read than both is The Journalist if you can get past the leftie dogma. An added bonus is the remedial English column by Chief Sub.

I learnt all what I no from hime.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but Sarah Sands now edits Reader's Digest, with the admirable Jane Mays of the Daily Mails atypically excellent book page soon to join her. Worthy of coverage, especially from the likes of the oh-so fem-fem Madame Arcati....

Madame Arcati said...

Now that the delightful Sarah is at Reader's Digest one never hears of her: she has disappeared because Digest is not the sort of magazine media journalists want to work for when they grow up. Why do you think MediaGuardian only ever writes about Murdoch or the BBC - because they're angling for jobs. Most of them are careerist creeps. However, Arcati will remedy all that - if you've any Digest goss, send it over.

I don't know that I am oh so fem fem: I really don't see that in the mirror to be honest.

And Liz, thank you for the recommendations. I think I prefer my media coverage in Private Eye. Learning that Celia Walden thinks her father George is the most influential person in her life - he doesn't think women writers should use words starting with g - is not to my taste.