Women war correspondents


During the Second World War, pioneering female war correspondents insisted that they could go anywhere as long as they had a typewriter and a toothbrush. Author Sarah Blake was inspired by them and she has recently published a novel, The Postmistress, in which the heroine broadcasts from London during the Blitz. During her research for the book she took a close look at the careers of several excellent women journalists including Martha Gelhorn, Clare Hollingworth (who witnessed German preparations for the invasion of Poland) and Sigrid Schultz. Blake has written about these fascinating women in this feature for Stella, the Sunday Telegraph colour magazine. Many thanks to Lesley Phippen for spotting it.   

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Daniel's Sky Diary


 I start my 4-week work placement at Sky on Monday as part of the Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship.

For those of you who want to follow my progress or just want be generally nosey, I'll try and update this new blog every evening, recounting the day's activities.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer break so far!

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Historical economics


 Once in a while I read a column and really, really wish I had written it. For weeks I have been looking for the historical analogy with which to illustrate the argument that removing debt from the economy is not the same as taking money out of circulation. Dominic Lawson in today's Independent has found exactly the right example: Frederic Bastiat's advice to the French National Assembly in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. In doing so Mr Lawson also offers a compelling antidote to the argument that reduced state spending is inimical to growth. He also offers a powerful incentive to read and reread the history of the French revolution. It inspired Karl Marx too, of course (the revolution that is, not Dominic Lawson's column).  

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Watching England lose


For the best piece of writing on England's shambolic performance against Germany in South Africa, it stands to reason that we must turn to an Irishman writing in an American magazine. Roddy Doyle has form writing a good game; his description in The Van (I think, though I prepare to stand corrected) of Ireland's 1990 World Cup penalty shoot-out is terrific. And his piece for the New Yorker shows he's lost none of that lightness of touch. He starts the piece wanting to back England to demonstrate his country's post-post-Colonial state. He ends it "cheering on every German attack and sneering at everything English." A friend texts him. “'Did u see the disallowed goal?' I texted back: 'Yeah. A disgrace.' Then I added, 'Brilliant.'"

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A volcanic eruption and the downfall of General Stanley McChrystal


The volcanic eruption in Iceland didn't just disrupt flights across Europe for a few weeks in April, it also played a role in the downfall of the commander of the United States' operation in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.

President Obama yesterday sacked the four star general after comments in a Rolling Stone profile piece came to light. (By the way, here's the full article).

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More success: the shorthand hall of fame


More shorthand succes to report. Rebecca Hughes has passed at 110wpm, and Zehra Mullick at 100wpm. Nice work both of you.

So Becci sits atop the new CfJ Shorthand Hall of Fame, which I've now set up as promised. Can anybody beat her to the Olympian heights of 120wpm? 

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Shorthand success


Congratulations to several of our undergraduates for their success in the latest round of NCTJ shortand exams.

First years Sophie Jackson and Melanie Wimmer passed at 70wpm.

Danielle Cheney, Joe Cladingboel, Alex Dack , Harriet Robinson and Eva Tsipi all passed at 60wpm (Alex and Eva both scored 100% accuracy).

They join James Averill, Dan May and Nicola Sturmey who all passed 60wpm in May (James at 100% accuracy).

And second year Lucy Ross-Millar passed at 90wpm.

Well done to all. I think it's time I created a Shorthand Hall of Fame for the web site.

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Self op convergent reporting in Kyrgyzstan for Al Jazeera


The UN Security Council has condemned the escalating ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, calling for calm and the restoration of order following the bloodiest ethnic clashes seen in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Self-op online and TV reporter Robin Forestier-Walker reports from the Uzbek side. Robin feeds the VO and pictures to Doha, where they assemble his video story. Shows what you can do solo in a difficult situation.

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The iPad for journalists


I think the CfJ needs some shiny new kit that we can slip into our oversized pockets. Imagine the possibilities for online or TV news days…

- We could blog on the bus back from Chatham
- Use it to read our scripts, whilst filming live into the studio on a mobile phone
- Edit photos on to go

Check out Not on the Wires’ video all about the possibilities for journalists using them.


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Amateur Amputation


No other topic seems to get first year politics students riled like devolution. After a week of epic revision on the subject, I feel like a proper devolution expert, William Wallace style. And with all this talk of budget cuts and lack of economic growth, hero of the masses Jeremy Clarkson proposes a (radical, if not a bit tongue-in-cheek) solution to this problem and the devolution question. It's an entertaining read in the middle of humdrum revision, one that I think Tim, you might just oppose to the hills.

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