The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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8:09pm on Friday, 16th November, 2007:
Another Friday, another Essex County Standard.
Local newspapers are always entertaining. The quirky reporting, the desperation for news, the awkward compositing, the pictures that you can't tell what they're of — ah, just what you need to relax with having spent 20 minutes finding out how many people called Smith are in the Madras phone book (there's 9, in case you're interested).
So, here's the front page headline:
See, that's not news. Accuse pretty well any married man in the country of murdering his wife and he's going to deny it. News would be if the guy admitted it.
Here's the next thing that caught my eye, from page 6:
My immediate reaction was "no it doesn't".
Cuckoo Farm, by the way, is where Colchester's new community stadium is being built. Colchester United are due to play there. As football stadium names go, I've heard better.
Also on page 6 is the mandatory revamp:
A few forced-pun headlines later and we get to my favourite story, which tells it like it is:
The first sentence is so tempting to read as if the man were stealing duck necks... Still, it's nice to see that the issue isn't that he's slaughtering birds, it's that he's stealing them. So those ducks belong to ... whom? I hope they don't migrate.
This next piece is not a cheap opportunity to mock the press. Rather, it's a cheap opportunity to mock law enforcement officers. First, here's a picture:
The story is that someone put an old hubcap over the lens of a speed camera so it couldn't take pictures of speeding motorists. Here's what Norman Hume, cabinet minister for Highways and Transport at Essex County Council is quoted as saying:
Technicians are "working to fix" it? Maybe I've misunderstood in some way, but how hard can it be to remove a hubcap from a speed camera? It's not like it was soldered on or anything...
Next up, a full-page advertisement! Here's the top half:
Well gee, if I were expected to stump up some of that £4,000,000 myself, yes, maybe I would. I had to check out the web site of the group that placed the ad to find out whether it was going to come out of my council tax. It turns out it's paid for by "non-domestic ratepayers" who "pay through a small supplement on their rates bill". So, no higher taxes, just higher prices in the shops.
The weddings in Colchester are nothing special:
Oh, the perils of over-branding...
So ends another week of packed entertainment. I could have mentioned a lot more, but hey, you have local weekly newspapers of your own to pounce on with glee every Friday.
Maybe one day I'll read the small ads, too, they can't all be for cars.
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Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).