Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Photojournalism today

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but newspaper photography is now rarely about news. Sometimes the connection between the story and the image is tenuous, sometimes downright misleading, and sometimes just daft. A few recent examples:

The story is about people in housing benefit. The stock image is of the Barbican in the City of London, where one bedroom flats fetch over £900,000. I suspect that few residents are getting housing benefit.

The story is about female employees at tech firms being offered the chance to put off having children by having their eggs frozen. "Find me a picture of some frozen eggs", the art director cried.

The story is about Bitcoin. Every story about Bitcoin has a picture of a coin. But the whole point is that it's not a coin.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The other Robert Wallers

Please excuse the egocentricity of this post, but I'm excited to discover I am listed in the Wikipedia entry 
'PG Wodehouse minor characters'. Well, a character with my name.

I've often wondered why every other Waller I come across seems to be called Robert.

There's obviously the Bridges of Madison County one, but there's also an election expert who emerges every four years or so, a psychiatrist whose emails I occasionally get by mistake, and the Rob Waller Band (which I only discovered by vainly googling myself). And my grandfather.

Fats Waller was an exception, of course. He was Thomas.

When I worked for the Open University in the 1970s, there were three Wallers on the staff, all Roberts. One of them was in the IT department, and as design tools became computerized our interests converged, and I started to be less and less sure whether mail was intended for me or him.