Thursday, May 28, 2009

Image of Jesus in Jar of Marmite

That's what it said on the newspaper placard. Sorry to dip into newspapers again but I think this could be important for the following reasons:

1) A new field of study
I think I may have stumbled upon a new field of study for journalism professors – the humble placard (I know there's a proper technical term for them and I'll look it up in a minute). The words used and what they convey about the newspaper and its understanding of its readers could yield a rich seam of research.

2) Slow news day
If the best that a paper (in this case the moribund South Wales Post, Cardiff's dying evening) can come up with is a jar of Marmite in which a 36-year-old mum thinks she can spot the delineation of Our Saviour (great guy, shame about his Dad), then not much has happened in the preceding hours. Here's the story – it was the splash online when I checked.

3) Plagiarism
When I Googled the term "Jesus face" one of the links led me to this story on the Daily Mail's website: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1189188/The-Marmite-messiah-How-mother-Jesus-ja.html Look familiar? You can check the times of posting for yourselves.

4) The internet is killing journalism
Who is going to pay 40p (or whatever) to check out this story when a Google search (other search engines are available) will bring up a lot of "Jesus face" stories: aubergines, cushions, cinnamon buns, potatoes, Kitkat bars– you know the drill.

5) But most of all, journalists are killing journalism
Viz, all of the above.

UPDATE
Just found this story via Nieman Journalism Lab: love the phrase "Big Iron" to describe press corporations.

UPDATE 2
Read Dan's comment(s) below and then feast your eyes on this story about a very tired fish.

3 comments:

  1. Very interesting Tim.

    I think local newspapers could survive by covering the banal; see the stories online about a dead fish, the chair being destroyed (see below) and how many comments they get. The editor of the Westmorland Gazette even comments himself commenting on the ridiculous of how popular the story is.

    http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/1151898.chair_detroyed/

    The very minutiae of village / urban life; that a sport / free ads could be the mainstay of the local paper. Perhaps.

    Additionally, and I've tried hard to find it but can't, there is a Cardiff photoblog, that simply takes photos of some of the more extreme / terrifying headlines in Cardiff; to demonstrate the OTT nature they sometimes use to sell.

    Plus, don't apologise for dipping into newspaper; doing so with some Marmite is a tasty, nutritious snack.

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  2. God, sorry, it's 9.40pm. That should be...

    Ridiculousness

    village / rural life (not urban, tsk)

    "that, and sport and free ads could be..."

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  3. http://is.gd/13qi3

    Here's another one. Ducks.

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