Hi, I'm Ben Hazell. I used to blog here about the media, but now I work there I don't write here anymore.
I'm the Web Publishing Editor at - I find better ways to tell stories, developing tools, training and practice for journalists.

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, LibraryThing, Spotify, and occasionally writing on

The Blog

Rarely updated now, used during Journalism MA at the University of Sheffield.


Wednesday, 28 May 2008
There's a story on the BBC front page and across the papers today about Amy Winehouse lyrics being used in an English exam at Cambridge.

A Cambridge spokesperson said that this fact was "interesting, but not news".

Nice of them to include that in the story. I suppose it's news simply because putting "Winehouse" in a headline generates hits from search engines.

I'm not even sure it's that interesting. You can close read anything, and English students often try.

Using song lyrics as poetry is hardly a new idea. It's a way of grabbing student's attention. But lyrics divorced from music are rarely rewarding poetry.
Cambridge say it proves the academics live "in the modern world".
Cambridge students were reported to be "surprised" and "in shock".

What nonsense. It was a practical criticism paper and a reasonable, not that tricky question.
So I repeat: "not news".

Disclaimer: I wrote about much dumber things than song lyrics at uni...


Michael Szollosy said...

Did you see this comment in the Guardian review on the whole affair?,,2283076,00.html

Post a Comment

Thoughts, please. Leave your name, don't be shy.

/* Google Analytics */