Monday, 23 February 2009


I'm pleased to read that Jade Goody sees more in life than money. It's good to hear that the former Big Brother contestant, dying of cancer, has found God. At her wedding she said she was "praying for a miracle"; she wants her sons to be baptised as Christians so they can "keep in touch in the future"; and she has started to go to church and reading the Bible which "really helps".

For someone who has drug-abusing parents, lost a baby and been physically abused, it's great that she finally now seems to have turned her own life around before she dies. So if her ill-health has prompted an increase in cervical cancer tests, shouldn't her Christian faith prompt an increase in people going to church [eg in Whitby, right!]? Maybe I'm being a bit optimistic, but she really would have made an impact then - and wouldn't go down as the worst portrayal of an Essex girl in history (they're not all that bad).


Subeditors are very important human beings in a newsroom, yet it seems media commentator Roy Greenslade is leading a crusade against them. I wonder how bad newspapers would really be if you took out the person who checks for mistakes and corrects copy. The amount of factual errors in the nationals is actually quite low, contrary to common belief, but there's far more in the local papers which have less resources, less time and less money to avoid mistakes.

I work as news editor on the University of Sheffield student newspaper, Forge Press, and often have to go through copy from our journalists with a variety of boxes to tick. For example, ensuring that it's not libellous, it has no typos, it's stylistically accurate and that it's factually correct. I've still got much to learn as a journalist, but if I'm subbing copy by other students, then surely the further you go up in the journalistic food chain there will still be many problems that have to be 'subbed' out. Without subeditors, quality journalism in this country will go down the pan, as if there are mistakes in abundance throughout a paper, people simply won't buy newspapers. And you can't trust a journalist to check their own work as they often get very protective about it...


I've recently been introduced to the wonderful world of swing dance by a friend, and found it's great fun - like a whole new lease of life! I did modern dance until I was about 15 years old but back in my early childhood I did more ballet, tap and jazz. Being a tenor saxophonist it's often me playing jazz, but it was nice to have the chance to actually try dancing to it, and I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed myself.

I think dance is a very underrated way of keeping fit, as whilst I go to the gym to do rowing three/four times a week, it's much more fun learning some steps on the floor. And indeed the government seem to think the same, as a pilot scheme is being launched where children at 26 schools will be taught ballroom to fight obesity across the country. A good idea indeed. However I still watch in awe at those who've been dancing much longer than me, and hoping that one day I will make the grade! Practice makes perfect, I suppose.