The Desert Sun Podcast #007

I’m a bit fed up with writing at the moment, so I decided to do a very short solo podcast on my problem with mainstream media journalists on Twitter.

You can listen to it on iTunes here, Player FM here, download it here, or listen on the blog by clicking the link below:

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12 thoughts on “The Desert Sun Podcast #007

  1. The funny thing is that despite all their experience and despite all the money behind them, they have so few followers. Like, Oliver Kamm has 25K followers. He’s a Times journalist. Claire Lehmann who is rather new to the journalism business and runs Quilette from, I presume, a small business unit, has 5 times that. And despite all of Kamm’s “no-one will hire you if you work for RT”, Max Keiser of RT also has about 5 times the followers of Kamm.

    I’m not too worried because the MSM is basically an irrelevance now. Guido Fawkes’ little band of helpers seem to break more actual news than the nepotistic cretins than make up most of the MSM.

    On your other point about amateurism, this is a problem everywhere. Charities are particularly bad for it because they’re highly trusted names and long after they did any good, people will still keep giving money. There’s a number of large charities where I wonder why the hell people give money. And because they no longer have much real purpose, they get diverted into doing other things. But I think Google has the same problem. There’s clearly a lot of people in there just because it’s a company with a lot of fat to gnaw on.

  2. The funny thing is that despite all their experience and despite all the money behind them, they have so few followers. Like, Oliver Kamm has 25K followers. He’s a Times journalist.

    Exactly. All he’s done is turn up on Twitter bringing a handful of Times readers with him; by being on Twitter he’s not adding anything new to the knowledge out there, which is why his follower count is relatively small. Whereas:

    Claire Lehmann who is rather new to the journalism business and runs Quilette from, I presume, a small business unit, has 5 times that.

    Because she’s bringing something new that the Oliver Kamms weren’t providing. People therefore flock to her message.

    And despite all of Kamm’s “no-one will hire you if you work for RT”, Max Keiser of RT also has about 5 times the followers of Kamm.

    Ah yes. Kamm got his job at The Times almost certainly due to family connections having never worked in media before, and now sees fit to give career advice to young journalists. Not only does he give no examples of anyone who’s career has been ended by working at RT, nor suggest an outlet to which they can apply where a degree from Oxford and a host of family connections is not required, but he also doesn’t realise the claim is nonsense anyway: journalists are not responsible for the editorial content, and any hiring manager will know this. And whatever you think of RT’s editorial line, their production quality is second-to-none. If you did a stint there as a cameraman, I hardly think you’d be blacklisted thereafter. Most amusingly, Kamm likes to reproduce the email he sent to RT when they asked him to be on their show: it’s several years old, suggesting they asked him only once, so it’s not like they’ve bothered him since. And RT even asked me to be on their show, so it’s not like they only target big-name journalists.

  3. Showing your age Tim!! (And your preference for reading rather than listening/watching the media). Though turns out everyone else is doing it wrong too…

    https://www.businessinsider.com/ariana-grande-last-name-pronunciation-video-2018-8

    Fear of pronouncing things wrong, plus my somewhat misplaced accent, explains why I am far too chicken to dare sticking my thoughts on video/podcast. Good for you for daring to put a literal voice to your figurative one.

  4. Laughed so hard at this the wife got angry.

    ADNAN’S STORY

    Raised here. Sold crack in his teens. Deported to a land he doesn’t know

    Only then did I realise there was a deportee on board. “Help!” he yelled, sweat pouring off him. “They’re taking me to Mogadishu.”

    Thinking of this cheeky little chap wandering aimlessly round Mogadishu searching for fried chicken has had me bursting into fits of giggles all morning.

    HAPPY DAYS.

  5. Adnan’s story cheered me up no end. I look forward to more foreign criminals being deported.

    Unfortunately I doubt we can deport them as fast as the Border Farce is ‘rescuing’ them.

  6. Thanks for the short format, you are finding your voice now, always a pleasure to see you in my podcast feed.

  7. I agree Tim, but I’d go further.

    Let’s be clear about what Kamm et al are doing. They are not conversing with the hoi polloi; they are advertising their products. Opinion columns that are behind a paywall (Times, Telegraph, Economist, FT etc) are not part of the conversation on Twitter because people can’t link and share the content in the way they can with e.g. Daily Mail or Spiked, so they have to force it into the conversation themselves.

    You know this is what they are doing, because their IYI bleatings are completely in line with their paper’s editorial line, and the tweets are placed, with mathematical precision, in the centre of the Overton Window of the day.

    It is obvious when you compare the tweets of Kamm et al with someone like Toby Young who clearly tweets from the hip and brings a personal touch to his twitter activity. Oliver Kamm may as well be a bot.

    It should be labelled as advertising, and Twitter should be charging them money.

    But, if journos are bad for bringing their polished pablum to the pub, then MPs are ten times worse, rocking up on Twitter thinking this is the answer to their engagement problems, rather than committing effort to acting with integrity and treating their constituents with respect, which is hard, and can’t be delegated to an unpaid intern.

  8. One small observation on ‘best-selling.’

    Back when I worked in newspapers this could freely be bandied about (“The region’s best selling paper”, for example) because it was held as being reasonably without sin as the rag was the ‘best’ of the ‘selling newspapers.’ Being the best of them all, in the newspaper’s own opinion of course.

    There was also the deliberate confusion of the ‘largest selling’ meaning, in at least one case I knew, the largest number of pages and therefore print matter, not the largest actual sales.

    It was also pointed out to me by someone in the sales business that a ‘best-seller’ in the book world often meant much the same thing, but also no-one really defined what ‘best-selling’ meant. How popular was popular, and with who? Was it selling three hundred copies? Was it merely being named somewhere on a list of books being sold (and this was further clouded by the practice once of record companies buying their own singer’s discs to move them up the charts. There was nothing to stop publishers doing the same.)

    So, in short, ‘best-selling’ really doesn’t mean much at all.

  9. It should be labelled as advertising, and Twitter should be charging them money.

    This is a great point!

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