Category: journalism

Student journalism: the next generation

My career as a writer is entirely the result of becoming involved in student journalism, which itself is probably the result of the deathly dull engineering course I’d enrolled on. So I was quite flattered to be invited to deliver…

In for the count

A bit of variety is always welcome, and the surprise June 2017 UK general election provided a surprise assignment for me from television news broadcaster ITN. The task: attend the ballot count at a nearby constituency, and be the first…

My own Bourne identity

IN THE 2002 movie, super-cool uber-spy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) battles to discover his identity by way of fast cars, beautiful women, big guns, and huge explosions. This has very little in common with what I’ve spent the last couple of…

Open University plays fast and loose

I’M ASTONISHED to see that the Open University has suppressed a comment I left pointing out a basic error on one of its new YouTube videos. Universities are supposed to be about sharing knowledge, not suppressing it, and the OU of…

The day I met Neil Armstrong

If you know only two things about Neil Armstrong, you will know that he was the first man to set foot on the moon, and that after his adventures in space he retreated to the quiet life of an engineering professor. What seems to…

I’ve been called worse

Having just filed my latest contribution to Laboratory News, I kicked back for half an hour to read the previous issue – which had been lurking on my desk for a couple of weeks. My monthly column is Lab Babble,…

Sustainability vs legacy at London 2012

I’ve spent enough time in committees and struggling against bureaucracy to really appreciate the recent BBC sitcom Twenty Twelve, a spoof fly-on-the-wall series which has been uncannily prescient about some of the issues around the real London 2012 Olympic Games.…

A free agent

Today, Friday 26 August 2011, is my last day as an employee of Centaur Media. A few weeks ago, the company announced wide-ranging redundancies and a major internal reorganisation. I fully expected my position as editor of Laboratorytalk to become…

Cat and mouse on Broadwater Farm, 1985

The riots and disturbances of the last few days in English cities had me casting my mind back to the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot, thinking of the similarities between the circumstances, and recalling my own slightly surreal experience of policing on…

All change

I’ve been asked a few times in the last week or so about what is happening at Centaur Media and what the implications will be for Laboratorytalk and the other Pro-Talk sites. To answer this we really need to untangle…