Posts Tagged 'Birmingham'

Big changes for The Birmingham Post – reaction round-up

We’re just come back from a big announcement about the future of Trinity Mirror Midlands, part of that was a major announcement about the future of The Birmingham Post.

I think I want some of the dust to settle before blogging my own thought (and don’t want to gazump my Editor!), but I thought I’d provide a bundle of links to other people talking about what is happening.

I will post my thoughts a bit later, so if you want to leave some questions in the comments, I’ll try and answer them. Suffice to say there are some very interesting times ahead.

Advertisements

Beautiful Day in Brum

Brummie Sunset

I’m in the mood to assert my English-ness: What glorious weather we have had today!

This was the view from the window of my flat this evening. Absolutely beautiful, wish all Sundays in February could be like this one…

Brum Tig: I’m “It”

In a bid to draw attention to the plethora of interesting Birmingham blogs floating about on’t Internet, Jon Bounds of Birmingham: It’s Not Shit has started Brum blog tig.

The rules, according to Jon, are:

  • Each player starts with an odd, but fun, fact about Brum and one odd, but fun, fact about their blog.
  • At the end of your blog, you need to choose two people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Tag your post “birminghamUK” and “brumblogtig” (the second one is a memetag).
  • People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (with their version of the post) and post these rules (or link to them here). They can tie it in with their particular subject if they so wish.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So my Brum fact:

Did you know that the lifts in the Mailbox each have different voices recorded by people from BBC Birmingham? One of them is definitely John Craven, although I’m yet to figure out who the others are!

(As an aside, over the way in Walsall Art Gallery the “voice of the lifts” is Noddy Holder)

And my blog fact:

According to a colleague, I technically could have been fired for starting this blog. Somewhere in my contract – apparently – there’s a clause about not publishing information about my employer, or something like that.

It was lucky that, when I decided to start blogging a little over three months ago, I didn’t think to look at my contract. It was doubly lucky that, when the people I worked for found out about the blog, they supported it instead of giving me my P45!

I’m tagging Tom Lennon and Bunny Bissoux.

Twitter: a case study

Yesterday I logged on to Twitbin and saw that bounder had tweeted about Birmingham’s Conservative MEP website using a picture of Birmingham Alabama by accident.

The story ended up making the nationals (due to a press release by Labour who, apparently, didn’t credit their original source). But bounder’s tweet got to me well before then and about five seconds before one of my colleagues put down the phone to a contact who had rang him about it.

Now it was always going to be my colleague’s story as he has far better political links. But, if it shows one thing, it shows how Twitter can be a rather speedy way to transmit a story.

I just wish the Twitter feed on this website updated faster – so far it has been as slow as a very slow thing going slowly. Grr.

New Year’s Resolution

Last year I had no New Year’s Resolutions. This year they are longer than my arm.

Some are typical (eat less, exercise more), others less so.

There is one that I would like very much to keep, but not sure how practical it is in my position. But hey, stuff it, I’m going to give it a go:

My new year’s resolution is to try to avoid writing any articles that involve fretting about Manchester .

Never once have I seen an article in a Manchester paper fretting about what Birmingham is up to and I wish we didn’t do it so much.

Yes, I know I’ve written about Peter Saville as part of the creative director stories and I do refer to Manchester as an example of good self-promotion. But, if these issues come up again, (and I expect they will) I will have to think of other examples and ways to write them.

Merry Christmas!

Birmingham Christmas MarketI’m going offline for (only) a few days, so I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Chirstmas and to thank you all for turning what started as a little experiment back in September into a major obsession!

Seriously! I love this blog. It has been a great thing to write for and it is wonderful to get the comments that I have. It’s all been very exciting.

I’m now hooked on blogging and I hope it will help make 2008 just as interesting!

J.x

(Pic taken at Birmingham’s Christmas Market by Tim Ellis. Check out the Birmingham Flickr group – it’s a thing of beauty.)

Why I might be obsessing over brand Birmingham

Press conferences in Hong Kong are strange affairs. If the subject being questioned is not a politician, the default position of journalists is wildly deferential.

Now I’m not saying that’s altogether a bad thing, it’s just odd and makes the one British journalist stand out as a bit of a… well… tough cookie.

So, I was the big bad journalist when interviewing Tom Dixon, the former creative director of high-street furniture chain Habitat, at Business of Design Week in Hong Kong the other week.

Mr Dixon seemed less than delighted to find that, amongst the throng of polite Hong Kong and Chinese journalists asking to impart the secrets of his success, there was a British scallywag questioning his sincerity about environmental issues.

He had been saying how bad it was that design was focused so heavily on consumer goods. I found it a bit rich coming from a man who continues to make his money from the sale of faddy furniture – much of which has a high plastic content – so I asked him whether he felt guilty about it.

He answered the question well enough admitting that he was a hypocrite, but that he was trying to do something about it by developing environmentally friendly furniture as creative director of Artek. Not groundbreaking for a man who has enough money and influence to do something really incredible, but certainly a start.

What I found totally unacceptable, however, was the conversation we had when the press conference came to a close.

I can’t remember how we got on to it, but he had mentioned something about working with motorcycle firm Triumph (which was founded in Coventry). The rest of the conversation is how I remember it, not having my notepad open at the time.

Me: Yes! Thank you very much, that might be a Midlands angle. I’m from The Birmingham Post you see and I’m looking out for Midlands-related stories while I’m over here.

TD: You are from Birmingham? I feel your pain.

Me: Actually, I really like the place.

TD: Really? Why? It’s got a terrible reputation for design.

Me: I think you’ll find there are a lot of good design companies in the city working really hard and they are helping to build up Birmingham’s reputation.

TD: Are they? Well… good for them.

The last comment was said in such a patronising tone it made my blood boil. But there isn’t much you can say when you’re fighting old, ingrained stereotypes. Admittedly, I should have asked him if he’d ever visited Birmingham, but instead, flustered and cross, I just walked off.

Now, I know there are good things going on in this city. Those who work in the creative industries in Birmingham also know there are good things going on. But time and time again in this job I am faced with people peddling this anachronistic image.

I suppose you could say it doesn’t matter what these people think. We know Birmingham has a lot to offer, if others aren’t interested they can sod off.

Well… yeah… but the problem is they do. They sod off to other cities in the UK and we lose out. Our situation is exacerbated by condemnation from influential figures such as Mr Dixon.

This annoys me because there is absolutely no concrete reason why this should happen, except because of an outdated image.

That’s why I’m obsessed with brand Birmingham. If ever a UK city gets undersold, it’s Brum.


RSS Direct Tweets (via Yahoo Pipes):

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Want to follow all my Tweets?

Please sign up here.
View Joanna Geary's profile on LinkedIn

RSS Uberfeed (all my feeds together):

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

What I'm looking at (Del.icio.us):