Experimental Music Love

November 5, 2009

The Write Factor

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My entry for STV’s Write Factor competition thing.

—–

Am I the Scottish Richard Littlejohn – Nick Griffin’s favourite columnist and the man who described the deaths of “disgusting, drug-addled street whores,” or those five women with names, families and their own personal stories of trauma and addiction that saw them compelled into working as prostitutes in Ipswich before being murdered by Steve Wright in 2006, as “no great loss?”

The short answer to that is ‘no’. The longer answer is ‘nnnnnnoooooooooo,’ though perhaps with an expletive or two in front .

But why I would even ponder such a query may be the more pressing matter here. And the more involved answer to that question comes from this column, and the reason I am writing it.

For in their attempts to showcase the work of up-and-coming Scottish journalists and writers, Scotland’s ‘fastest growing major web-site,’ STV, has set up the imaginatively titled ‘Write Factor’ offering a £5,000 contract for someone who is indeed the Scottish version of the Daily Mail’s prized possession, or, in the further words of the position’s description can ‘provoke people as much as Joan Burnie or Jeremy Clarkson.’

Because that’s what a news website needs – provocation from more gossiping old-crones (yes Clarkson, you’re a crone), so adamant in their own moral superiority and so unwilling to see two sides to a story, regardless of how offensive and misinformed their own take may be.

I know real journalism’s dead and all, but do we have to say it’s been up to ‘poovery’ and then blame it on immigrants whilst setting it on fire with as much oil as can be found in the North Sea, because CO2 emissions and the subsequent climate change isn’t all that big a deal?

What you’re reading though is still a column written for this exact advertised position with STV, and one I feel needs to to be heard. For this is a plea. A plea that STV will have the sense to choose someone for this position that is able to deliver 1000 words a week to Scotland, and indeed the world, that doesn’t contrive to the Clarkson/Littlejohn/Leckie school of lazy complaints of political correctness, hypocritical views on immigration and that a Britain with such a wonderfully diverse mix of cultures, excellent education, and a real freedom of debate is somehow ‘broken’.

Such views may play up to fearful Scots, looking for someone to blame for whatever gripes and complaints they, or more likely the media has suggested they may have, about modern life, giving the organisation the audience, and thus advertising, it desires.

But it will never bring it the respect, integrity and honesty journalists should pride themselves on. Have STV just seen what Jan Moir has done for the Daily Mail and equated controversy to ratings? It’s a depressing state of affairs when the country’s second largest news broadcaster actively requests sensationalist content.

Feel free to see me as the liberal arts graduate nuisance who should get back to his Guardian that Littlejohn would surely dismiss me as. But whether it’s me or someone even more informed and dedicated to delivering polemic that sees two sides and prefers facts to irrational fear that can convince STV that this is a dangerous route to go down, my main hope is that it does.

Lest we have our very own Glenn Beck. Ooh, there’s a chill up my spine.

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