Author Topic: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?  (Read 2865 times)

mattc

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2019, 02:26:02 pm »
Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.
I think podcasts can be good when they're a discussion about something worth discussing between people who know and care about that subject and are able to convey their knowledge and care to an ignorant audience.
Yeah, there has to be some "value add"; some sort of performance.

A good play gives you a lot more than just reading the script; and reading the transcript of a good lecture/lesson is usually less beneficial/enjoyable.

Turning news stories into videos to put on a website - like the Beeb seem addicted to - pleeeeease no!
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ian

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2019, 02:48:37 pm »
Well, video (and podcasts) can be engaging if there's a good presenter, of course. Which is a big if.
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 03:48:40 pm »
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

The Guardian website.
C4 news
Twitter (mostly #FBPE)
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 04:48:14 pm »
I think one of the negative effects of digital media is that everything has to be short

Unless it's another sodding video, or worse - a podcast.

I suspect this is a sign of age – unless there's specific visual information, I don't see the point of having someone stand in front of a screen and read a script. Of course, then people have to make pointless animations or make people stand in the middle of field to give it 'some value.' I could have read the information in 30 seconds, but no, now I have to sit there for 5 minutes. But marketing will insist 'it needs a video' and sadly, they're probably right.

The mega-Global Data-Mining Corporation of Menlo Park, USAnia deserve some of the blame for this.  They've been inflating their engagement figures for videos for years, to the effect that all the marketroids believe that people pay more attention to video than text.  Hence everything's a video.


Quote
Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.

My objection to podcasts - other than having become rather culturally Deaf in 16 odd years of living with barakta[1] - is that I can't listen to speech in a moving vehicle without being unreasonable travel-sick, and if I'm not in a moving vehicle, reading is much higher bandwidth.  And as a general rule I'd rather read an essay than a transcript.

In principle, podcasts are brilliant - anyone can make a radio programme about something interesting and find a relevant audience.  Just not something I really have room for in my life.  I accept that other people will have good reasons (eg. dyslexia or visual impairment, or spending a lot of time on the move) for thinking the exact opposite.

Videos I mind less, iff the subject matter justifies the use of video in the first place.  As someone who doesn't have speakers connected to my computer, I do wish people would subtitle them properly.  No, I'm not putting my headphones on just to find out what your 45 seconds of talking head is saying.


Quote
But the bane of my media experience are the Twitter stories. There's a good dozen in the Guardian today. Reporting on people being angry or offended on Twitter, illustrated with their Tweets. It's not news, not everyone uses Twitter, and frankly I don't care what people on Twitter think (if indeed they do, which I doubt). It's just lazy journalism to fill space cheaply.

It's the way they use screenshots of tweets, as if that were somehow authentically documenting an event, rather than linking to them like Berners-Lee intended.   :facepalm:

Images of text is a big enough problem on Twitter.  We don't need the media encouraging it.


[1] I've basically given up on radio; unless there's a specific programme that's worth putting my headphones on for, I won't deliberately generate confusing background noise for no good reason.
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2019, 04:51:40 pm »
I look at various Polish news sites most days, because I can and because it's fun to see places and remember living there, but TBH the news varies little from the UK. A couple of English sites I like a bit are https://theconversation.com/uk and https://www.citymetric.com though the writing in the latter is extremely variable.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

ian

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2019, 05:04:55 pm »
The thing about the Tweet stories is that it's mostly the opinions of random people. Alistair Staircase doesn't like it. Nor does Jane Cabinet. However, Sophie Stopit thinks it's great. Uh? What great insight am I supposed to arrive at through the opinions of a small, random bunch of people?

Even when it's not the opinions of non-entities, is anyone actually surprised when Donald Trump used the paltry wealth of characters to express another half-witted, half-formed view? Or that Piers uses it yet again to prove he's a – no, the – colossal bellend. These are self-evident properties of the individuals in question.

That said, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2019, 05:20:02 pm »
Twitter's fine, as long as you read people you actually know (or sources of genuinely entertaining content or useful information) and avoid the bottomless pit of Brexit'n'Trump, Nazis, TERFs, Gamergaters, etc, just like you have to everywhere else on the internet.   It also helps if you don't try to use it as substitute for  a) a realtime chat system  or  b) a proper website.

Anyway, where would we be without @WorldBollard  @Ratvaark  @MachinePix
 @TheRealSheepOfTheDay  @Bollocksinfra  @BollocksWeather  or all the government cat accounts?

I should add the latter to my list of news sources, really.  Always handy to know when there's a rat in Downing Street...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Jaded

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2019, 05:57:32 pm »
The thing about the Tweet stories is that it's mostly the opinions of random people. Alistair Staircase doesn't like it. Nor does Jane Cabinet. However, Sophie Stopit thinks it's great. Uh? What great insight am I supposed to arrive at through the opinions of a small, random bunch of people?

Even when it's not the opinions of non-entities, is anyone actually surprised when Donald Trump used the paltry wealth of characters to express another half-witted, half-formed view? Or that Piers uses it yet again to prove he's a – no, the – colossal bellend. These are self-evident properties of the individuals in question.

That said, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.

To be honest, that is the problem with all snippets on the internet. Random people getting their 15 nanoseconds of infamy, and some of the more unpleasant ones doing it as often as possible.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2019, 07:17:19 pm »
I let most of my magazine subscriptions lapse because small children and lack of reading-length commute meant the unread pile was reaching embarrassing levels. I keep meaning to re-subscribe to the New Yorker, because I think its long-term writing is pretty uniformly excellent, but haven't got round to it. The Economist was good commuter reading and helped provide a different perspective to my usual lefty fare.

For most of my news news it's the Beeb and Graun online, supplemented with overseas media as appropriate. I decided to kill the Today programme years ago, and switch to R3/6Music, which did wonders for my morning mood.

Twitter has its downsides, but it's also genuinely useful, especially for specialised fields; I follow colleagues and subject experts, and get a lot of interesting stuff through that way that I wouldn't otherwise.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2019, 07:32:12 pm »
As a snowflake lefty millennial cyclist the Guardian online subscription is the obvious choice for me, although I will dip into the Mail to see how the other half think...

Blogs are good as long as their authors maintain them - although very hard to monetise which can lead to lack of motivation.

Twitter remains useful for interesting stuff*, often find it's "normal" people with 1,000 to 10,000 followers who do the most worthwhile tweets as opposed to celebs or high profile experts.

*and driving meme formats into the ground
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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2019, 09:09:47 pm »
Mainly BBC Radio 4 and World Service.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2019, 09:26:34 pm »
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #37 on: January 15, 2019, 11:29:32 pm »
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.


Radio Tirana, I remember that on SW back in the late 70's.  I think they hated everybody.
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Adam

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2019, 04:10:40 am »
The Week is good, to get a fairly balanced overview.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

ian

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2019, 09:39:37 am »
Come to think of it, I get all my news from Number Stations.
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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2019, 09:42:53 am »
Come to think of it, I get all my news from Number Stations.

I'd expect nothing less from a thought leader...

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2019, 09:44:16 am »
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.


Radio Tirana, I remember that on SW back in the late 70's.  I think they hated everybody.
TBH I don't remember anything they said, I just remember the brass notes played over and over followed by "This is Radio Tirana" in various languages. The principles and policies of autarchic stalinism passed me by.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2019, 10:02:29 am »
As mentioned above, R4 and R5 are pretty good, but the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers. Teenagers who will look at it and think "What is this patronising shit?" I only ever user the BBC for sport results/analyses - Football, Cricket etc...
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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2019, 10:05:43 am »
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1

Jaded

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2019, 10:18:32 am »
It is trying not to compete with traditional media, like The Daily Mail.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

ian

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2019, 10:41:08 am »
To be fair, the BBC is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't. People will always complain. Complaining about the BBC is a great British institution, like going to M&S to moan about the clothes.
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Mr Larrington

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2019, 10:46:30 am »
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

+1 :thumbsup:
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2019, 11:35:10 am »
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1
Does it succeed? I doubt it.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2019, 11:48:54 am »
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

+1

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2019, 11:53:47 am »
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1
Does it succeed? I doubt it.

Not so much teenagers, as fondleslab-based video-watchers (there may be some overlap).  I'll give them some slack for excessive use of video because it's the BBC, and video is what they do.  What bothers me more is the use of misleading headlines for clickbait.  They're funded by TV Licences, why do they need clickbait?  And that they've lost their edge in terms of being quick to have a story - it used to be that you could rely on the BBC website to be up and have *something* about a current event.  They're now no faster than any other news source, and sometimes conspicuously fail to report things in a way that's hard not to see as censorship.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...