Thursday, 30 December 2010

Planning The New Year

New Year PlanningAT THIS TIME, last year, I was bemoaning the fact that I had been unable to close the Spink file and that that MP’s name was to haunt my Christmas celebrations during 2009. Fortunately, I was able to close that file five months into the New Year,  when Castle Point’s new MP, Rebecca Harris, defeated the odious Bob Spink in the General Election last May.

With Spink’s shade put to rest, I was finally able to clear my desk this year (as I normally do) in preparation for 2011. During 2010 I had written a number of pieces about Canvey Island’s Dave Blackwell; but they had all been finished to my satisfaction. The facts had been published; the speculation supported; and the stories had been put to bed.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Focusing On The Dangers Of 2011

New Year2011 PROMISES to be a very busy year for newspaper photographers and camera wielding bloggers – with plenty of opportunities to capture both peaceful and violent protest as the true impact of Coalition Government cuts becomes clear.

Castle Point Borough Council is faced with a funding cut of some 30% over the next two years and, although a straw Canvey Beat poll found that residents back the government’s austerity measures: a further poll found that there was no appetite for a Council Tax increase to mitigate the size of the financial gap. If the Council is to court public opinion, it therefore has no choice other than to impose deep cuts on the services it provides.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

2010?.. I Must Have Blinked!

Santa ClausTHEY SAY that time passes quicker as you get older, and that seems to have been the case this year. I will book 2010 down as one of those years in which I was too busy to do anything else – and yet got very little done.

2010 was the year in which I intended to add some photographic coverage to the Canvey Beat; but never got around to taking any shots of Canvey Island or Castle Point. Instead I indulged myself putting my new camera’s capabilities to the test and appeasing my agent’s call for more feature material and additional photographic stock.

Apparently, having seen the results, she is not about to let me fully retire just yet.

I had been expecting it. The shedding of staffers has continued to occupy management’s mind this year – and freelancers are in demand more than ever before. But the bad news is that many staffers have now taken-up freelancing – and are prepared to work for peanuts rather than bolstering their early income with an additional part-time job.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A Productive Week While The Car Remained Covered In Snow

Snow sceneAS IT HAPPENS I am one of those people who like inclement weather. I like driving in it, and I like being out in it – because it normally provides some good stock photographs. But this week I needed to remain at home to await some postal deliveries – so my attention turned to my Blogs.

It was the Canvey Beat to which I first turned my mind because it has a very good readership; but only when I provide a new post. I recognised, some time ago, that there was little reason for guests to return until I provided another piece – but I could not figure-out what to do about it.

Monday, 6 December 2010

My First Live Blog

Cover it LiveLAST FRIDAY I decided to bite the bullet and hold the Canvey Beat’s first live Blog – at 9:00am when most of its readers would be at work!

I had decided to cover my local MP, Rebecca Harris, as she led the debate on her Daylight Saving Bill’s second reading in Parliament; and, in case my own performance dried-up, I decided to invite a number of local councillors as panellists.

CoverItLive promote their system as taking just two minutes to set up; but, in reality, I found it to take much less. The interface is a breeze to use and I had all the relevant settings for my first broadcast defined in under a minute.