Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website

Nicholas Jones spoke at a rally at the House of Commons (17.11.2008) in support of the drive by the Plain English Campaign to win wider support for the Small Print Bill. The aim is to help vulnerable people who miss out on compensation because of confusing small print. One of the aims is to ensure a minimum size for the print used in guarantees, contracts etc. Jones described the “love hate” relationship between journalists and those campaigning for plain speaking and writing.

It was modestly put but heartfelt nonetheless: bloggers believe that crap journalists are finally feeling the heat.

When a trio of celebrated bloggers were brought together by the Adam Smith Institute (16.4.2008) they were united in their belief that the collective strength of the new media was helping to start to improve the accuracy and quality of the main stream providers of news and information.

Celebrity reporting has had a corrosive influence on British journalistic standards. Whether the stories are sycophantic or invented the effect has been the same: a showbiz style of story-telling has been replicated in sports reporting, politics and business. In a lecture at the University of East London (3.4.2008) Nicholas Jones pulled back the veil to expose the hidden influences that have besmirched celebrity reporting and damaged the reputation of British journalism.

 

In a lecture to students at the University of East London (13.3.2008) Nicholas Jones had to consider some difficult questions. Is Britain governed more effectively because of the power and patronage exercised by the news media? And, more to the point, does the British press, despite the trivialisation and sensationalism of much of its coverage, serve the democratic process and help deliver better government?

Nicholas Jones was asked by the Local Government Association to speak at a conference in London (25.2.2008) on strengthening local democracy and address the question: How councillors can get a better press and is this diferent from individual councillors getting a good press?

My advice to local councillors when considering how to promote your work and that of your authority has to be pretty blunt: set your political differences aside, at least some of the time; do act collectively; and do go on the offensive. For some years I have been a regular lecturer with the Young Local Authority programme which runs courses to encourage young thinkers and speakers in the local authorities. Your youngest staff are some of the most enthusiastic and most committed public servants in the country and what they tell me is that they only wish their councillors would do more to raise the profile of council work and to stand up to the negative reporting which appears in so many of their local newspapers.