Friday, December 03, 2010

Football, journalism and snow

 click photo to enlarge
Does the journalism that we consume through our newspapers, TV, radio, the internet and the rest reflect the way the general public sees things. Whilst each medium clearly is a mouthpiece for its owner and the chosen editor, it should surely seek to mirror, in some way, the views of the intended readership. I pondered this question as I glanced at the column inches devoted to the fact that the UK is not to host either of the next two football (soccer) world cups. The build up to the FIFA vote was headline news across the country, as was the "dream team" of Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham, who were all wheeled out to promote the bid. Then there was the sub-plot to the main story - a programme on BBC TV that exposed the "money for votes" corruption and the self-serving nature of the whole selection process - which the papers saw as an unpatriotic "spoiler" that had the potential to scupper the UK's chances. In the event the UK had no chance, got nowhere near being selected, and after that fact became known the newspaper stories turned to either the heartbreak and anguish of it all or to the perfidy of the process.
None of this reflected my feelings, or as far as I'm aware, the feelings of anyone I know well. A great many people were as indifferent to whether or not we hosted the world cup as they were to the Olympics being here, and certainly felt that greasing the palms of narcissistic FIFA was demeaning. The whole episode did offer a little humour in the area of journalistic fawning however. The example that made me laugh out loud was the BBC radio presenter who, before playing a recorded clip of David Beckham's words of support, described it as "eloquent". Now David Beckham has been, and may still be, a good footballer, but eloquent he ain't. And so the extract proved, each sentence seeming to include a "you know" or an "obviously", or both, the whole passage a jumble of unremarkable and awkwardly assembled thoughts.

As I thought abut what I might do with my day I decided not to join my fellow citizens in an orgy of wailing and teeth-gnashing as we ponder a world-cupless future for the UK, and instead went for an afternoon walk with my wife and my camera in the hope of securing at least one reasonable snowy photograph. These were the best I came up with - my wife "Nordic walking" across the fields, and a shot of some old fleur-de-lys topped railings around a grave in the local churchyard - the latter a shot similar to one of the same subject covered in hoar frost that I posted a while ago.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1 (Photo 2)
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 24mm (300mm)
F No: f8 (6.3)
Shutter Speed: 1/500 (1/320)
ISO: 100 (800)
Exposure Compensation: 0 (+0.33) EV
Image Stabilisation: On