Media 55: make the content substantiate the title and subtitles, Rosa: ‘must do better’

Hopefully a far better food writer and cook than journalist, Rosa Prince worked as a chef and cook in the Notting Hill specialist bookshop, Books for Cooks with Clarissa Dixon Wright and was the in-house cook at the Spectator magazine for seven years.

Were the captions a hamfisted editorial decision? After reading her Times sub-title, “Online activism is a powerful weapon for Labour’s leader but too often it’s a hate-filled echo chamber for the like-minded”, readers will have expected unpleasant examples of ‘hate-filled’ speech. Not so, the succeeding passages were bland and innocuous.

JC standingDoes the Times really expect its readers to receive the titles without examining the substance? Do they have such a low opinion of them – even though ‘Comrade Corbyn’, a book Ms Prince put together, is now reaching the second hand market on offer at half price.

At 8pm on Monday, Rosa reports: “a few thousand Jeremy Corbyn supporters sat at their computers or took to their phones to share personal, often moving, accounts of care they had received from junior doctors. By midnight, the Twitter hashtag #theyarethedoctors had been used more than 20,000 times and was ‘trending’ “.

Wistfully recalling the days when highly motivated leftwingers made banners or went on marches, she rues that now: “these were taking part in a “Twitter storm”, bombarding the internet with 140-character soundbites in a form of megaphone diplomacy”.

A reluctant compliment followed: “For an old-fashioned lefty a few months shy of his 67th birthday, Jeremy Corbyn is surprisingly adept at this internet thing — and so far it has served him very well”.

Rosa Prince expresses the belief – and no doubt her employers’ hope – that online activism has become an end in itself:

“For 40 years, it was enough for Corbyn to attend the meetings, to shout the slogans and to wave the placards. Even his greatest achievement to date, as one of the convenors of the Stop the War movement, to mobilise millions of people from all corners of the world in opposition to the war in Iraq, was ultimately a failure. When it came to it, the only people who mattered were the two sitting in 10 Downing Street and the White House”.

Does the Times article headline: “Social media monster could devour Corbyn”, reflect not only a desire to see Jeremy Corbyn to retreat into obscurity, but also her employer’s impotent anger at the loss of readership, advertising revenue and influence posed by social media?

Rosa’s advice: “ To get there, it’s not enough to tweet to the converted — you must persuade people to get out of their armchairs and go and vote for you”.

Will this challenge be met by ‘armchair’ users?


Posted on February 17, 2016, in Admirable politician, Government, Media, Public relations and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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