I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.
Today’s ride covered 77 miles with 3374 feet of climbs.
This was one of two legs of my journey I was not looking forward too (the other is day nine in Denmark). On practice runs, I has tried part of the route so already knew what to expect in the way of hills from the Sussex and Kent Downs.
So I planned an early start in order to get an early night ahead of the mad o’clock ferry journey the next day. When I rose at 6am my heart sank when I saw the weather – trees bending in the rain and grey rain clouds in the sky. Like late autumn/early winter.
So it was with little enthusiasm that I finally set off at 7am having procrastinated for an hour.
Luckily the wind was in my favour and I made good early progress for the first 30 miles or so. Apart from some nasty side gusts channelling up some streets nearly knocking me off my bike.
I planned to break for a proper lunch someplace nice but ended up picnicking in an alley next to a corner store in Hamstreet at about the 54 mile mark.
When I finally saw the English channel again my spirits lifted. But still some climbing to be done including one hellish stretch up a barely navigable and steep coastal path where I mostly had to carry my bike luggage and all. Bikeroutetoaster has a somewhat different idea to me at times as to what constitutes a rideable cycle path!
Injuries from that episode include nettle skins, barked ankles on pedals, and skin contusions from thorny bushes.
My bar bag which is stuffed full has an unfortunate effect on the handlebars when dismounted causing the bars to spin widely round. This happened a couple of times badly scratching my cycle frame down to the metal where the brake lever impacted on it.
The wind also nearly blew off my handmade charity and flag stickers on my rear panier. Will need to tape those down tonight.
Finally arrived in Dover around 2:30 and settled in to a very pleasant B&B close to the ferry port.
After much searching finally found a passable seafood restaurant on the coast with sea views and overlooking the ferry port. Seems I had more of an appetite than I thought causing the waiter to comment on how quickly I polished my dinner off.
Food not bad but microwaves should be banned from ALL restaurants. Bread and butter pudding should be crunchy on top! A crime akin to warming scones in a microwave!
Still, better than the McDonalds I almost considered although that probably would have ticked the right boxes for fat, protein and calorie intake.
Enjoyed watching an arctic tern dive fishing on the shore and the ferries entering and leaving the port. As the ships emerged from the harbour mouth they listed alarmingly as they caught the full force of the wind. Think I might leave breakfast until Calais.
Bought a couple of beet root juice booster shots on a colleague’s advice. Sound disgusting but if they get me through a couple of rides then it might be worth it. Will wait until I’m off the ferry though!
Finally a couple of more sponsorships today. Still more than £500 short of target for the Journalists’ Charity though. At the current rate of a fiver a go (which I know to be generous in these cases given how little junior and most freelance journalists earn) I’m going to need another 103 donors!
I was thinking about creating a Klout list of @JournoCharity #newscycle journalists. Lists seem to get journalists very excited and it would be nice to honour those who demonstrably care about their colleagues rather than just their egos!
Next Friday, 8 June 2012, I am going to cycle alone and unsupported 1400km from my home town in Brighton to Oslo Norway to raise money for the Journalists’ Charity. I aim to complete the journey in 11 days.
The Journalists’ Charity used to be called the Newspaper Press Fund. In 2004, the BBC Radio 4 programme The Time of My Life visited one of its care homes and interviewed some of its former Fleet Street residents. The charity kindly lent me a cassette recording of the show and I have converted it to digital for your listening pleasure below.
I think you will agree it’s a delightful piece. And I am hoping it will finally convince you all that this is a worthwhile cause (because frankly raising money so far has been like getting blood out of a stone!)
So, if you haven’t already sponsored me, please do so here. I aim to raise £1,000 and, at the time of writing, I am just under half way with £475 with six days to go before I start.
Video by the Press Association. Presenter Anna Botting (@annabotting)
This two year-old video shot by the Press Association helps explain the work of the Journalists’ Charity.
The charity usually raises money at high-profile dinners and speaker events, but now you have the chance to support your fellow journalists (and your future selves) in a much easier way.
Just a fiver (or more) will help speed me, Journalism.co.uk publisher and owner (@johncthompson) on my way on an epic 1400km solo and unsupported cycle from Brighton to Oslo, Norway on 8-19 June 2012 (see earlier blog post for full details).
Earlier this year, a US study claimed that becoming a journalist is the fifth worst career choice. As well as citing factors such as stress, industry outlook, income levels and general working environment for the ranking, the study quotes a reporter as saying the younger generation “doesn’t care about the news”.
Of course it’s not all bleak. In many ways, this is a time of renaissance for journalism as our ways of gathering and disseminating news proliferate online. And journalism will always offer rewards that outweigh the financial ones for the majority of us.
Nevertheless a life of low salary and high stress can take its toll, if not on you then for some of your colleagues. So why not do something small to help that collectively can amount to something big?
The Journalists’ Charity “started in 1864 when a group of parliamentary journalists met up in a London pub to set up a fund to help their colleagues and dependents who had fallen on hard times. In the days before state benefits, grants were made to meet the costs of providing some of the necessities of life”. The Victorian novelist Charles Dickens was a founder supporter.
These days it has widened its remit to include all journalists and is always ready to help them and their dependents with advice, grants and other forms of financial assistance. The Journalists’ Charity also runs a care home for journalists, Pickering House, in Dorking, Surrey as well as sheltered and extra care housing.
Given that most of our pensions are not going to add up to much, that’s quite a nice safety net isn’t it?
On 8 June I’m going to cycle solo and unsupported from Brighton (home of Journalism.co.uk) to Oslo, Norway to raise money for this under-appreciated charity. I will be cycling approximately 850 miles in 11 days, an average of 77 miles a day, cycling through England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Denmark.
You can do your bit by sponsoring a fiver or more on my sponsorship page and helping to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook etc.
Sponsors who do not wish to remain private will be rewarded with recognition and thanks on our @journalismnews Twitter channel (58k-plus followers) so that’s pretty decent exposure, especially if you sponsor on behalf of your media-related business.
And if you’re still not convinced that the Journalists’ Charity is a worthy cause, I will also be raising money for two cancer charities – alternative sponsor page here.
Journalism.co.uk owner John Thompson (@johncthompson), who will be cycling Brighton to Oslo in 11 days to raise money for the Journalists' Charity
The route I plan to cycle from Calais (once I have cycled to Dover and taken the ferry)
I’ve worked alongside you for 43 years to build The Sun into one of the world’s finest papers. It is a part of me and is one of our proudest achievements. The Sun occupies a unique and important position within News Corporation.
I have immense respect for our heritage, your exceptional journalism and, above all, you, the talented women and men who work tirelessly every day to ensure our readers have access to such a trusted news source. I believe this newsroom is full of great journalists and I remain grateful for your superb work and for the stories you uncover to inform and protect the public. None more so than over the last three weeks.
My continuing respect makes this situation a source of great pain for me, as I know it is for each of you.
We will obey the law. Illegal activities simply cannot and will not be tolerated – at any of our publications. Our Board of Directors, our management team and I take these issues very seriously.
Our independently chaired Management & Standards Committee, which operates outside of News International, has been instructed to cooperate with the police. We will turn over every piece of evidence we find — not just because we are obligated to but because it is the right thing to do.
We are doing everything we can to assist those who were arrested — all suspensions are hereby lifted until or whether charged and they are welcome to return to work. News Corporation will cover their legal expenses. Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise.
I made a commitment last summer that I would do everything I could to get to the bottom of our problems and make this Company an example to Fleet Street of ethical journalism. We will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, which I know are essential for all of you to do your jobs. But we cannot protect people who have paid public officials.
I am confident we can live by these commitments and still produce great journalism.
We will build on The Sun’s proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon. Our duty is to expand one of the world’s most widely read newspapers and reach even more people than ever before.
Having a winning paper is the best answer to our critics.
I am even more determined to see The Sun continue to fight for its readers and its beliefs. I am staying with you all, in London, for the next several weeks to give you my unwavering support.
I am confident we will get through this together and emerge stronger.
In the above clip, Kavanagh gives his most controversial interview of the day to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Richard Bacon, criticising both the police operation and News Corporation’s own investigation by its Management Standards Committee. “There’s never been a bigger crisis than this [at the Sun]”, Kavanagh tells Bacon.
Here’s the full transcript:
RB: “Trevor Kavanagh told me earlier about the atmosphere in the Sun news room.”
TK: “Well despondent I would say and a feeling of being under siege I suppose.”
RB: [paraphrase] Re: Rupert Murdoch planning to fly in later this week – will he face a hostile newsroom?
TK: “Well I think the newsroom is full of people who feel deeply unhappy about the way that their colleagues, who they worked alongside for sometimes decades and who they respect and admire as supremely professional operators, have ended up being arrested, searched, put on police bail and suspended from their duties and so there is a huge amount of anger at the fact that this has happened. And, as I would point out, not a single one of them has been charged, let alone tried or convicted.”
RB: “Do some people at the Sun feel as though their parent company has hung them out to dry a bit?”
TK: “Well there’s certainly a mood of unhappiness that the company’s proudly, certain parts of the company, not News International I hasten to add, not the newspaper side of the operation, are actually boasting that they’re sending information to the police which would put these people I’ve just described into police cells.”
RB: “Forgive me, I know the structure of the company is quite complex, when you refer to another bit of the company, what does that mean, what are you talking about?”
TK: “Well there is a parent company, News Corporation, and that has set up this management committee to look into the evidence, the documentary evidence and so on, if there is any, against any members of staff. Now I think it’s fair to say that we are not opposed to the fact, that we are co-operating with the police, that’s what we should be doing and I think that if we are to get through this we need to provide them with all the co-operation we can. I think that perhaps what we best do is if we left them go through the evidence and found out what they can.”
RB: “That word ‘boasting’, what do you mean by that?”
TK: “Well I meant that when the arrests were made it was made clear that they had been arrested on the basis of evidence provided by this management committee.”
RB: “Are you saying that they shouldn’t have provided that evidence, they should have let the police come for that evidence?”
TK: “Well I think that, I don’t know how it works frankly but it does make us feel, make people in the company feel, that evidence which as of far as we know, I have to point this out, that on the basis of the evidence that’s been suggested to those who have been arrested so far, is pretty flimsy stuff. I can’t describe it in any further detail than that but it doesn’t really stand close scrutiny and people are wondering what on earth is happening.”
RB: “A lot of the evidence has come from the parent company now. It gets complex because I know that a lot of emails have been handed over. These are emails that were thought to be missing and now have been recovered and there’s something like I think 11 million of them. When you say the evidence is flimsy are you saying you more or less know exactly what evidence the police have at the moment?”
TK: “No I don’t and I’m not going to go any further into what evidence may or may not be available.”
RB: “Why do you say it’s flimsy then if you don’t know?”
TK: “Well because I have been told what the police have been asking about and those, you see the people that have been arrested have been told why they have been arrested and on the basis of that I would say that the evidence is flimsy. What other evidence is about I simply don’t know but my point today is that this police operation is wildly disproportionate with what might be the potential offences that may or may not have been committed.”
RB: “How many police are involved in this investigation?”
TK: “You have 171 officers who are involved in three separate investigations and this is the biggest single police operation in the history of British policing. It is bigger than the operation on the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing, it’s far, far bigger, totally dwarfs the operation on Milly Dowler and nobody’s died, nobody’s committed any hideous offences that I’m aware of or even been suggested as having committed such offences. It does seem to me wildly disproportionate that these police officers are raiding people’s homes with up to 20 officers at a time, ransacking their homes, going through their personal possessions, carting off sacks of paper after a dawn raid. It’s completely out of proportion.”
RB: “Why do you think it’s got here, why do you think that the operation is on such a scale, is it partly about the police trying to recover their own reputation do you think?”
TK: “I suspect that’s the case, they feel that they’ve lost a police commissioner and a deputy police commissioner and they now want to make it abundantly clear that they aren’t going to leave a single stone, floorboard, drawer, cupboard, Kellogg’s cornflake packet or any other part of a household untouched in their hunt for evidence that may or may not exist.”
RB: “Do you think the investigation would be smaller if News International had been more co-operative with the initial phone-hacking allegations?”
TK: “Well that may or may not be the case but this is not the point, the point is that as we speak 30 journalists have been suspended from their jobs, their careers may have been ruined by this and their families have been shocked and appalled by dawn raids by people acting I think in a disproportionate way when I think a polite knock on the door, perhaps after a phone call, would have unearthed precisely the same so-called evidence. I don’t know whether it’s evidence or simply other pieces of paper that’s in every household.”
RB: “But when I say co-operative in the first place I think that’s an important point because initially the company said it was all down to one individual and that turned out not to be true and they misled parliament, they misled the public, then they said these 11 million emails had gone missing whilst being transferred to the Middle East and now 11 million have been recovered. But News International may have played its own part in the police investigation being of this scale.”
TK: “Well that’s for you to suggest and it’s…”
RB: “I don’t know that Trevor…”
TK: “Let me finish my sentence…”
TK: “It may well be the case I don’t know, I’m not involved in any of that side of things and what you have to remember is that if indeed we were misjudging things or getting them wrong completely even, we have already paid a pretty heavy price for that have we not? We have had to close one of the biggest newspapers and the oldest and one of the best newspapers in the country and 300 excellent journalists have paid the price. Now, I think that we were talking earlier about the witch-hunt and I think that the view of those who are out to get us in this witch-hunt is that nothing will satisfy them until News International has gone altogether.”
RB: “Who are those people Trevor, who do you think really is out to get the company?”
TK: “Well I think one person quite clearly is Tom Watson, I don’t think he would deny it but I don’t want to go into any further detail about who… I mean you and others can easily decide who you think might fit the bill but when you have an operation as disproportionate as this you have to wonder what they’re up to, and why.”
RB: “And I guess just finally Trevor with the story about Rupert Murdoch flying back in this week to face his hostile newsroom do you think there is any chance at all that the Sun itself could go the way of the News of the World and get closed down?”
TK: “No. I think that the Sun is a paper that if it hadn’t been invented you would have to re-invent it then. I think that the fact is this is a great newspaper, it’s loved by millions, it’s even loved occasionally by the BBC. I think the idea of losing a paper of this sort would surely be the ultimate disproportionate act would it not?”
RB: “Mmm. It’s very successful as well isn’t it? It’s one of the few newspapers left that makes a lot of money I think as well.”
TK: “It is, it’s successful for a very good reason, it’s successful because it breaks great stories, it’s successful because it represents its readers’ interests. It’s successful because it has a vigour and a lifestyle and a life force which resonates through this country. It is the greatest newspaper in this country.”
RB: “By the way the journalists that were arrested, are they back at work?”
TK: “They’ve been suspended.”
RB: “Yeah, OK. Trevor, thank you…”
TK: “Indefinitely I have to say without any prospect of knowing when any further action is going to be taken, if any.”
RB: “Is that the right call by the Sun to suspend them or do you think that’s a bit harsh?”
TK: “Well I think that, I don’t think there’s much choice once this has happened but you know it’s hard for people like me who have worked alongside people we admire and respect for, in my case, nearly 40 years with the Sun, to see them languishing at home, frustrated and unable to do anything to defend themselves and I feel very sorry for them and I know it’s causing them and their families a great deal of anguish.”
RB: “I’m sure that’s right. I didn’t realise you’d been with the paper for 40 years, did you ever see the newspaper at a lower ebb than this, have you ever been through a bigger crisis than this at the Sun?”
TK: “There’s never been a bigger crisis than this.”
News International is planning to launch a Sunday version of its popular UK tabloid newspaper the Sun on 29 April, sources have told Journalism.co.uk.
Staff have been secretly working on the new publication since January and it is believed some former News of the World employees (casual and/or full-time) are involved.
News International has declined to comment. After Journalism.co.uk tweeted about the planned launch date last night, the Telegraph’s home news reporter Matthew Holehouse also tweeted that News International would neither “confirm or deny”.
News Int won’t confirm or deny @journalismnews claim that a ‘Sunday Sun’ will launch April 29.
4. A trend develops for floundering local newspapers to be bought out by local entrepreneurs, returning control and vested interest to their communities.
5.The Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the UK press concludes nothing needs to be done about unethical and/or illegal media practices, as they are redundant because everyone is publicly revealing everything about themselves on social media sites like Facebook anyway.
6. Journalists are officially declared to be bloggers, thereby ending a perennial (and very tedious) debate.
Prominent board members of the World Editors Forum (WEF) have resigned their posts and re-grouped to form a new international network for editors from all mediums in response to the rapid acceleration of media convergence.
The Global Editors Network (GEN) will be headed by former WEF president Xavier Vidal-Folch, deputy director of the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais and former vice-president Harald Stanghelle, political editor of the Norway’s largest newspaper, Aftenposten. Both men, who will remain on the WEF board, will hold the same positions as they previously held in the newly-formed GEN, which is to be officially launched on 23 March 2011.
Vidal-Folch and Stanghelle both resigned their posts from the WEF board on 14 February 2011, according to WEF’s website. The same page shows that Roman Gallo, the founder of now defunct hyperlocal newspaper project the Naše Adresa in the Czech Republic, resigned on the same day. And, earlier this month, WEF director Bertrand Pecquerie also stepped down.
A full list of the GEN Board members and founding members will be released on launch, according to its website.
A source told Journalism.co.uk that the aim of the new organisation is to gather editors from all platforms (print, broadcast, online, mobile and wire services) and to create an “Editors’ Lab” for new editorial services and new applications.
We, the editors-in-chief and senior news executives founding the Global Editors Network(GEN), are convinced that news producers and newsrooms across all platforms – print, broadcast, online, mobile and wire services – face comparable challenges.
Because digitalization and broadband access accelerate media convergence, we are members of the same community, all driven by a journalistic imperative and a common goal: Content and Engagement First!
As we are entering a new era for content across multiple platforms, we will:
break the barriers between editors of old and new media, print and digital, general interest and specialized publications, free and paid business models, profit and non-profit organisations, international and local media outlets;
understand the new news ecosystem based on immediacy, information overload and disintermediation: media are no longer middlemen and users blur the lines between production and consumption in a new world of prosumption;
define a vision for the future of journalism, cross-media strategies, attention and audience analysis, newsroom management, dynamics of the news business and ethical values. Lack of vision is the worst that can happen to our community;
welcome new players within the newsroom’s collective intelligence: engineers, developers, visual designers, app-makers, community managers, curators, aggregators, researchers and other practitioners of the link economy who enrich our vision;
enhance the quality of journalism in its different dimensions: newsgathering, news curation, storytelling, fact and data checking, designing, moderating and sharing, regardless of the platform, browser or application used;
continue experimentation and innovation. We consider that mobility, users’ engagement, personalisation, location-based news, data-driven journalism and rich media are key to the future of journalism;
encourage mutualisation and co-operation between media. Among us, we are not competitors, but… potential partners. Resulting in the emergence of a new culture among senior news executives and new cross-offerings for consumers;
convince media owners that slashes in editorial expenses are no longer a good answer for media outlets because – even for digital natives – content and engagement will make the difference, not only the technology;
stop acting like victims of disruptive technologies or lack of citizenship. We are optimistic about the new digital tools and the new channels of distribution offered to us as news producers;
reinforce the pillars of credibility of our profession based on context, accuracy, relevance, reliability, loyalty to the audience, effectiveness and connectedness, as citizens’ distrust is the main threat for our civil societies.