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.

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The Blog

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

Anecdote rebuttal

Monday, 30 June 2008
I'd just like to take a moment to post a response to some of the accusations thrown out in Rhoda’s awards blog post.

She's getting a bit of an official reputation for libel and inaccuracy this week.

Eight of us made the trip for the awards: David, Marie, a rep from each post-grad course and a single hanger on.

We rose early for the train to London where we were unfortunately placed in the quiet carriage. This went so badly that one gentleman put earplugs in while Broadcast girls discussed midget sex-tapes. Peter Cole travelled separately in a pink stretch Hummer.

David's comment about our lack of newspapers and the death of Print media was well founded. Rhoda's suggestion I pay for the Mail is not. While we didn’t have a paper between us all day, I had a freshly updated RSS feed of BBC News on my phone and a Hemmingway novel stashed in a fag packet, while his printed bog-roll Guardian was already dated.

To be fair though, the man had a yellow plate of pure future strapped to his bag: A solar panel charging up his camera.

The problem with the Awards reception, the difficulty that led Rhoda to accuse me of "an eating competition" with Matt, was the difficulty of obtaining the promised "lunch".

Patrolling the stiflingly hot reception room were twice as many wine slaves as there were Canapé bitches, and the Chardonnay girls were much more attentive to my needs than the oiks who couldn't ensure a reliable supply of tiny burgers.

It was a case of more top-ups than tasties, and this meant we had to keep snatching at any passing morsels to soak up all the free wine.

Free drinks were a theme of the day and I’d like to thank all those who kept up a constant supply of offers for over 13 hours, including David, Peter, and the editor of the Press Gazette who didn’t bother to get my name but passed over a beer anyway. Special mention to the very generous Marie Kinsey for the fizzy.

I’d dispute Rhoda’s suggestion that our esteemed tutors are "immune" to alcohol. Immunity doesn’t breed the kind of desperate dependency that leads to a huddle in the corner of the restaurant car at 8pm drinking warm cheap wine from stolen Champagne glasses. They’re as guilty as the rest of us.

I think I’m the only person who noticed a rival journalism award nominee push past muttering that it wasn’t a bloody bar on the train.

When we eventually got back to the beautiful North, Rhoda spent some of her winnings on more wine for us, which was very kind.

If I was her, I’d save it for the courts…


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