Tania Steere shortlisted for prestigious Guardian competition

Second year undergraduate Tania Steere has been shortlisted in The Guardian's International Development Journalism Competition, which aims to highlight some of the issues that are faced by developing countries and are under-reported in mainstream media.

Tania's submission, Escaping poverty on the back of a chicken, was based on a programme of education and support for young girls in Nigeria. Impressively, it has earned her a place on the competition's 'professional' shortlist, along with seven others; the competition is also open to 'amateur' journalists.

The Guardian International Development Journalism Competition

The Guardian recognises that some issues faced by the developing world can be overlooked in the media.  In its fifth year of being run, the competition involves writing a feature 650-1000 words on 'an aspect of global poverty that deserves greater media exposure'.  Around 40 of the best entries will be published on The Guardian website, then 16 finalists (eight amateur, eight professional) will be flown to a developing country where they will be tasked with researching a new assignment.&

Guardian's three little pigs advert: an instant classic

I've just seen the Guardian's new TV advert for the first time. It's superb.



cartoonLet's face facts.

Kelvin does it again

Kelvin MacKenzie has called for disciplinary action against teh Guardian's Nick Davies and Alan Rusbridger in this Spectator column. Normally with Kelvin he seems to over exaggerate things so he can get attention (although I have no idea if they are actually his views or not). This time though, considering his nickname for the Guardian is the "World's Worst", I think he might be deadly serious...

Reading The Riots makes me proud

Reading the Riots is a fascinating investigation into the UK summer riots, led by the Guardian and the London School of Economics. I stumbled upon it via Twitter and after looking at various pieces on the website, it left me with a great sense of pride.

The Met Retreats?

The Crown Prosescution Service has persuaded the Met Police not to use the Official Secrets Act to pursue Amelia Hill, the newspaper's reporter who disclosed that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked. It is not yet clear that the Met will abandon its pursuit of Hill entirely. Readers will remember that police investigating phone hacking were  seeking an order under the Official Secrets Act to oblige Guardian journalists to disclose the identity of  sources who gave them information about the scandal. Geoffrey Robertson QC said  "If the journalists are jailed, it will be an ironic tribute to the stupidity of Scotland Yard: a police service that fails to investigate criminal hackers and puts in jail the journalists who exposed them."  The press has been unanimous in its condemnation of the Met's approach with ideological rivals including the Daily Mail wading in to support the Guardian. But this may not be over yet. Continue to watch, read and debate.

What is fairness?

Today's report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has provoked much debate about those complex concepts 'fairness' and 'equality'. It will provoke a lot more. In modern political parlance 'fairness' has the definition of a failed blancmange and is used with all the deliberate lack of precision previously reserved for that now meaningless term  'progressive'. 'Equality' is assumed to be a virtue despite the political regimes that champion it (China, North Korea, Cuba...)  This excellent piece by Julian Glover lays a crucial foundation for understanding. Glover argues that fairness has become meaningless largely because it is widely assumed - not least by the EHRC -  to mean the same thing as equality. Plainly it doesn't. He goes on to suggest that sincere left-wingers should embrace inequality as the inevitable and desirable consequence of any version of fairness worth aspiring to. Discuss, please.     

Sofa, so bad

That's the verdict of the Guardian's Hadley Freeman on Daybreak, ITV1's new breakfast programme.

What a strange thing Daybreak is looking set to be," she writes.

Afghanistan & Wikileaks: Julian Assange at the Frontline Club

On Monday Wikileaks released a mountain of documents on the war in Afghanistan through the Guardian, the New York Times and German weekly Der Spiegel.

The picture painted is chaotic: failed attempts to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Afghan people, numerous incidences of civilian casualties and evidence that both Iran and Pakistan are helping the Taliban.