Friday, 2 September 2016

Murdoch Media - click bait.

Finding, checking and telling the real news - from Murdoch Media - click bait.

Like an increasing number of British people. I gather much of my news sources from Facebook and Twitter. I am sure that these aren't the best sources, but because of the untrustworthiness of the media in the UK, that is today's reality. Especially if you believe that truth, transparency, balance and accuracy are important factors. The ability to separate real information from lets say satire or propaganda is a critical core skill. Especially as we are seeing now - every year is a Labour Party leadership election year.

Thongs evolve and change over time. Now that the media is increasingly being forced away from print and output is moving over to the web. Print copies numbers are being replaced by click count. Now known on the web - coequally as click-bait. We all from time to time create a link to an on-line article or news report. Especially when this item is supportive to our interests or cause. However, its important that we, the readership, discourage propaganda and disinformation from being spread. The media lies and half truths that's simply designed to outrage in the desire to propagate propaganda and to acquire website 'clicks' for the media.

Today, truth in the 'news' is an elusive item - even on social networks, where anything goes and 'facts' are almost never fact checked. So, rather than provide a link, for even more - click bait numbers – why not cut and paste the pertinent bits into a posting of your own. You can also provide your personal viewpoint - backed up with your own fact checking endeavours.

Now that the media is split across newsprint and web content. Its essential to understand what is happening and how you can avoid the click-bait trap. For years the print media has had to report the number of copies sold. (Advertising charges are often calculated from circulation figures) 
In 2010 the Sun's daily circulation figures were 3,006,565 by 2016 this had fallen dramatically to 1,787,096. The Sun was deserted by 1,200,000 readers. I imagine that the intrusive, phone hacking. Plus the unrelenting media pillorying of the McCann and Dowler families - went some way towards accelerating this trend. Hated by a whole area of the nation (Merseyside) for its horrendous coverage of the disaster at Hillsborough.

The Daily Mail in 2010, the circulation figures were 2,120,347 however by 2016 the figures had fallen to 1,589,471. That is a fall of over 600,000 copies. This in no small way being prompted by the public renaming as the Daily Fail or even the Daily Wail. 
In the same time period, even the Daily Mirror, has fallen from 1,218,425 to a low of 809,147.

The availability of multimedia news platforms around the world, has also accelerated this decline in the 21st century. By the close of 2014, not a single UK newspaper had a daily circulation exceeding two million. The general overall circulation of newspapers has declined by 6.6% in 2014–15 alone. Now, the media is increasingly promoting a web presence and trying to sell a tainted product in a very competitive market – one where the reader is also an on-line editor, operating unfettered by the newsprint owners propaganda machine. News is and can be - fact checked - as fast as it is published. Complete websites have been created just for source checking.

It is the same on television. Thirty years ago if Reginald Bosanquet said it on the BBC, it was most likely true. Today the BBC has lost its reputation for impartiality and reporting facts. Now the BBC is just another organ of media propaganda. Peddling bias for whichever political colour is in government. Once there were few TV channels available – but now there are thousands available – either via digital or satellite television. Once upon a time I would watch the BBC as a matter of course – now I tend to watch the news in English from foreign broadcasting services.

One curious outcome is that now, if you read it in Private Eye Magazine, it is presented in a satirical format - but with a large spoonful of the truth. Today, if it is something you read in a UK newspaper whether in print or on the web - well, who knows, but there is one thing upon which you can be certain – its biased and designed to spread propaganda or in the media's eternal search for click-bait.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Another Shiny Boater is back on the cut!

Well - its been a while (almost 3 months) and I have enjoyed these few months away from blogging. I needed a break,  I also needed to concentrate on some other pressing matters. 

However, now I have returned.

One reason was a complete refurbishment of 'Rosie'.  Our boat's paintwork was tired to say the least. After 12 years and 3,500 hours of cruising the inland waterways, 'Rosie' was in serious need of a repaint. We had patched and partially repainted bits of the boat in the past. But it was time for a complete cosmetic makeover. We looked at many boats out on the cut, comparing them for quality. Time and again when we checked boats that we thought had been well repainted. You would see the name of Granthams Bridge Boatyard and the name of the painter, G Moore.

Rosie (semi-trad) had always had a problem with drainage in the foot well. She had a second problem in heavy rain, with water cascading from the roof and into the foot well area. So new roof scuppers were made and the back deck was given two additional drain points. The end result has already been tested by a very heavy torrential downpour - everything worked as we hoped.

We left behind 'Rosie' and went off for a couple of months to tour France in our motorhome. You can imagine our joy when we returned to find that 'Rosie' had been repainted and we had to make time to discuss the signage with the signwriter.
We are pleased with the quality of the repainting and structural changes. So much so - we also decided to have some of the boat internals remodelled. Now sporting a new Dinette and some boxing in of kitchen equipment. Not only does the outside look good - but the inside is much better and meeting all of our requirements.

The old pram cover had done sterling service, but like the old paintwork, was also tired and ready for replacement. So we also had the pram cover replaced and once again we are pleased with the quality of materials used and the fit.

The boatyard is a friendly place to visit. Its a very relaxed atmosphere and you can also talk to any of the team and get advice and opinions about their specialities. 
Would we recommend Granthams bridge boatyard for painting, structural alterations and internal joinery, yes we certainly would. We will be back at Granthams bridge in the spring 2017 to have a diesel heater fitted as a replacement for our existing but tired LPG system.

Friday, 10 June 2016

We don't know how lucky we are.....

Well we are continuing on our European adventure. 
I can't help but think that if we vote for brexit. I wonder how long it will be before the French - give us the usual 'Non' and a shrug. When we go back cap-in-hand to see if we can rejoin.

How bad is it in the EU?

Well this was our 'overnight mooring' just a few days ago. 
I can't help but think that CaRT could teach the French a great deal about organising, maintaining and running an inland waterway infrastructure. 

The state of the lock at Graz Neuville on the River Mayenne is a typical example.

The lack of maintenance must be a serious concern on the French inland waterways. 

The lock cottage is another typical example of buildings that could be sold off to make a profit.

The locks also have a Keb available. It must cost a fortune in replacement Keb's and be a thieves paradise.

The rubbish disposal points are overly provided with recycling bins. To segregate plastic, glass, cans - which could easily be disposed of into the river or canal. Why segregate from the general household rubbish, when one monthly emptied Biffa bin would suffice.

The waterpoint are also provided with hose pipes. It must be a thieves paradise and cost a fortune in replacement pipes.

The removal of overhanging trees and bushes from the canal and riverside must be costing a fortune. The French must be missing out on the joys of fallen trees blocking the canals as well as the lack of seasonal maintenance stoppages.

The locks as you can see are maintained at too high a level and could save a fortune if they are allowed to embrace the CaRT fix on fail mantra.

We don't know how lucky we are.....

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

French Letter (28)

A Road Less Travelled
'A French Letter'

8th of June 2016

St Georges Sur Loire.

We programmed in a new 'Aires' location into the sat nav. However – it proved to be out of commission. So we headed off up the road and chanced upon the 'Aires' at St Georges Sur Loire.

The 'Aires' in Saint Georges provided water, elsan and the usual rubbish disposal. Being a larger town it has space for about 20 mobile homes. On arrival there were around 10 vehicles there already. Late in the afternoon it was full and ate arrivals were parking in nearby car parks. 

We will be moving on North and West again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

French Letter (27)

A Road Less Travelled
'A French Letter'

7th of June 2016

Grez Neuville.

This is a fantastic and beautiful location on the river Mayenne – Located some 20 miles from its confluence with the River Loire. With a large old water powered mill as well as a flood lock between the river and the canal.

At the lock there is equipment such as a keb available. There are flower beds and boxes everywhere. The general state of the lock equipment is well kept and in good order. The lock side houses are kept in good order. The lock keepers house is one of the larger ones at Grez Neuvillle. The property is being shared as a restaurant as well as a lock keepers abode.

There was a 'fairground' being set up and the 'Aires' is being press ganged into use for storing fairground vehicles for a few days.   Also the weather has closed in a bit and so we have decided to move on again tomorrow.