From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (23rd September 2015).
In between my chores on the smallholding in the morning and my other work I like to find half an hour to grab a coffee and watch the excellent Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2. I’m a big fan of Ms Derbyshire’s tenacious, no-nonsense interviewing style and the show’s hard hitting debates.
On September 15 the show brought us an exclusive and very rare insight into the dog meat industry in South Korea. Victoria sat on her sofa and gave the obligatory warning that what we were about to see was pretty bleak and that some might find it barbaric, “but to some Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese it’s a tradition going back a thousand years.” Continue reading
A feature article written for Dog World (14th April 2015) looking at how the media portrays dogs and dog ownership.
Years ago, when still at college, I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a journalist. Then, in the autumn of 1991, by a series of strange coincidences, I met a lady that would completely turn that idea on its head.
She was an American soul singing megastar and we were to be friends for the next ten or so years. Whenever she came to the UK I would hang out with her, go backstage at her shows, go to dinner, to rehearsals and travel to swanky hotels in the shiniest of stretch limousines. A pretty fantastic experience for an impressionable youth and from the outside it did indeed look like the perfect lifestyle however one only had to dig not too very far beneath the beautiful veneer to uncover a world rife with paranoia and the irritant of constantly being watched, the bane of this woman’s life were journalists and the media – especially the British media who, back then, were notoriously brutal. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (8th October 2014).
One of the joys of living in this country is being able to walk into a store like WH Smith or any one of our large supermarkets and being able to flick through the vast array of glossy magazines on offer on a mind-boggling amount of subjects. I find it incredible that subjects like model trains or stitchcraft, etc, can support three or four dedicated, high quality magazines – but somehow they do. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (6th November 2013) where I review more new TV documentaries on dogs and the promotion of designer dogs.
So, has the Kennel Club at long last decided to change direction? What with the announcement that crossbreeds will not now be registered and then the change of heart over CC allocation, could it really be true that the KC is now listening to the hardworking breed clubs and councils and, most importantly, the exhibitors?
From a personal point, it’s also been gratifying to have many of my arguments (put forward in this column and seized upon elsewhere) justified.
Maybe now the KC could look across the pond and listen to what the new AKC chairman has recently said:”We will immediately and aggressively respond to any attack utilising our partners, our supporters and our full media assets.”
This is exactly the kind of weapons needed to fend off further attacks from the BBC. Wouldn’t it be good to have our KC put a little of its recent £12m windfall aside for a similar media response or publicity venture?
Far too often, TV shows are broadcast that slate pedigree dogs and their owners and make all sorts of inaccurate statements with absolutely no response or comeback. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (9th October 2013) where I review recent TV documentaries on dogs.
Having seen the success ITV has enjoyed with its plethora of dog related shows it seems the BBC has decided that it too wants a piece of the action and so it brought us ‘The Wonder of Dogs’. The programme promised to investigate why this “single species comes in such an array of shapes and sizes” and the team also aimed to find out “how the extraordinary genetics of modern dogs underlies the extreme differences we see between the breeds”.
Hearing that promise and those lofty aims combined with the fact the show was being produced by the BBC immediately set alarm bells ringing and it was a feeling obviously shared by many others as one wag posted on Facebook, “has everyone got Ofcom’s address to hand!” Continue reading