I used to love What The Papers Say when I was growing up. Today, I’m happy to catch the press panel on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House, or even Emily Maitlis saying “let’s whizz through tomorrow’s papers” on Newsnight.
Now that we have rolling news and can access any story any time, it seems quaint that broadcast programmes still run slots reviewing the papers, or that journalists even talk about tomorrow’s headlines. But they do – and shows still hinge around them.
The papers review slot in BBC Worklife comes right in the middle of the running order, with business interviews and international reports on either side.
When I chose Monkeys with Typewriters as the name for my book on social media, I never dreamt that a few months later I’d be sitting in front of 400 people at Next10 debating with Andrew Keen, best-selling author (and monkey-baiter in Chief).
For those who don’t know, Andrew’s concern that “monkeys with typewriters…are authoring the future” was central to his 2007 classic, The Cult of The Amateur – and the main inspiration behind my book’s title.
Although Andrew’s argument has moved on (“the blogging debate’s no longer relevant”), he’s a skilled orator and debater. I was worried I was going to have to argue in detail about the theories of Schumpeter or Habermas. But strangely Andrew made it easy for me (I don’t know if on purpose or not) by keeping most of his attacks on a personal level (what I was wearing or why I’d read rather than ad-libbed my presentation): I could have got by without saying a thing.
Ola Ahlvarsson did a great job of chairing a tricky discussion, and big thanks for him for letting me have the last word: this is a time of untold opportunity and we need positivity not doom-saying if we’re going to evolve.