Author Archives: John Mair

10 steps to getting ahead as a young regional journalist

John Mair is a judge for the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards, in the Young Journalist of the Year category. After trawling through nearly 200 articles by more than 60 young journalists, he offers a ten-step guide to getting ahead in regional news and taking home an award in the process.

1. Get the skills

Story-telling and accuracy are still key. So is shorthand

2. Get the stories

It seems bleeding obvious, but it’s what we do. Think of what makes a story and how you get it. Avoid “churnalism”, originality always shows.

3. Go off diary

The best tales are those which nobody else has. That “exclusive” tag at the top of the story is worth so much to the reader (and to you!).

4. Build a contacts book

It is still true that contacts tell you things (sometimes things that they shouldn’t). Good stories are not found in the newsroom but in the real world. Shoe leather still pays.

5. Use the internet

Surprising how many yet how few young journos use social media to get or enhance stories. Like it or not, this is the Facebook and Twitter generation (especially for young people). Most people are now are just a few clicks away.

6. Use the law, especially FOI

It’s fascinating how many stories in local papers are worked up from a hunch and a Freedom of Information request to the local hospital, police, council, etc . And you can always find anomalies in any set of disclosed documents or a story if they refuse you access. Tony Blair may have called it “my greatest mistake”, but FOI is a gold mine for journalists.

7. Don’t be overawed by the nationals

Some of the best stories are local angles on huge national stories, like Raoul Moat in Newcastle and Derek Bird in Cumbria. Local knowledge and door knocking always pays dividends in these situations. You and your paper can end up looking much better than the nationals.

8. Remember that the words are just the beginning

Attractive modern newspapers are about style and production. Side bars, standfirsts and explainers all to build the story. The reader is very busy and you must assume has attention deficit syndrome. Think of how you get some of their attention in a media-rich world

9. Multi skills

Have them. Very few of the sixty wannabes appeared to have audio and video skills. These will be the essential tools of the journalistic future, like it or not.

10. Read the rules properly

If you want to be reporter of the year than read the rules of the competition. If you can’t be bothered to submit your entry properly then why should I be bothered to judge it properly.

Coventry Conversations: ‘Tele’ editor Darren Parkin on weathering the local newspaper storm

You have to be either brave or foolhardy to take over as editor of a local newspaper in the current climate. Circulations are dropping, advertising plummeting, and revenues are through the floor.

But Darren Parkin, the 38 year old editor of the Coventry Telegraph, is not foolhardy. “Surviving the perfect storm: one year on” was the title of his Coventry Conversation last Friday, and survive he has.

Fourteen months ago, Parkin took over a ship that was rocking and reeling on the seas of change. The numbers were down but, worse than that “The Tele” seemed to have lost touch with the heartbeat of the Coventry community. Parkin spent his first weekend as editor reading, eating and sleeping in the newspaper’s library to see if he could rediscover that Holy Grail. One concrete result is a weekly page of community news, a lot of which is written by Coventry University’s journalism students.

The greatest challenge to local newspapers today is without a doubt the internet. Why buy when you can find it online? Advertising, especially classified, has fled to cyberspace and the eyeballs have followed. Parkin has met the probelm head on with some hugely popular blogs on the Cov.Telegraph website. One of those, called “The Geek Files“, is by far and away the most popular in the Mirror regional newspapers stable, although Parkin admitted that he had thought it was a bad idea when it was first suggested.

On taking over at the Telegraph, Parkin was faced with a staff of journalists who had become comfortable. Too comfortable. The previous editor was in post for just a year and his predecessor for over a decade. He thinks he has remotivated and refocused the staff. He was full of praise for his newsroom and their talent.

The “perfect storm” is far from over though. Over Christmas, the Telegraph put up its cover price by 3p to 45p, to make up for the anticipated 20 per cent rise in the cost of newsprint this year.

Initially, as expected, the rise reduced sales but they seem to be back on the recovery track. Parkin admitted that all he could do anyway was moderate and not reverse that long-term decline. In 1953, the Telegraph had a circulation of around 100,000. Today it is around 35,000.

But Parkin is willing to be innovative. He has forged new partnerships with the university, and with BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. He and they and the local commercial radio stations are involved in the Coventry News Forum, which is brokered by the university journalism department. That meets monthly and has so far proved to be beneficial to all. As an example, coverage of the 70th Anniversary of the Blitz got deeper following a News Forum meet.

Parkin started his career as a Youth Training Scheme intern on the Dewsbury Reporter 22 years ago, paid a pittance by the state. Since then he has been Young Journalist of the year three times, a chief reporter on the Solihull Times and at 24, Britain’s youngest editor after taking the top job at the Wolverhampton News.

From 2005, he was editor in chief of the well-regarded weeklies division of Coventry Newspapers and since November 2009 the editor of the Coventry Telegraph – a job he told the audience he had always coveted.

Perfect or not, one suspects that Parkin will survive many more storms.

John Mair runs the Coventry Conversations series at Coventry University. He is a senior lecturer in journalism at the university and co-ordinates the Coventry News Forum.

Former Sun editor expresses doubt over Andy Coulson’s phone-hacking denials

Former editor of the Sun David Yelland has cast further doubt over the claim by Downing Street director of communications Andy Coulson that he was in the dark about illegal phone-hacking at the News of the World during his time as editor.

Yelland, who was editor of the Sun for five years until 2003 and has edited another of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, the New York Post, told an audience of students at last week’s Coventry Conversations: “I can’t believe a fellow editor would not know phone tapping was in action.”

It is understood that Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was sent to prison last year for his part in the News of the World’s phone-hacking operations, was paid around £100,000 by the newspaper for aiding in hacking celebriti Yelland told the audience he believed that any sum more than £1,000 would have to be signed off by someone “in deep carpet land”.

“It would be impossible for anyone at News International to not know what was going on”, he added.

Yelland’s comments will undoubtedly not be welcomed by Murdoch, who owns News Corporation, parent company of the News of the World. Yelland claimed to hold Murdoch in high esteem, calling him the “best newspaper proprietor of all time” and said that he had a close relationship with him during his time at the Sun and the Post. “He has a genuine interest in newspapers. Murdoch is rooted in newspapers and lives, eats and breathes them”.

Yelland’s talk was surprisingly open and on the record (see a live blog at; podcast at He talked in detail about heavy drinking, which had started at Coventry and got worse during his career. He recalled drinking binges followed by sleep and a fourteen hour day in the newsroom as a regular cycle.

Yelland blamed one of his biggest mistakes as editor – allowing a front page headline about Britain being run by a ‘Gay mafia’ – on having been drunk in Dublin that day. Homophobia was not his scene, he said. He was mortified when he sobered up and read that headline and story. He later he checked himself into rehab and stopped drinking 2005 when he found out that his wife, from whom he was divorced, was dying of breast cancer. He is still teetotal now.

A worse mistake than the headline though, he said, was printing a topless picture of the soon-to-be Countess Of Wessex Sophie Rhys Jones. He did not say if it happened under the influence. Printing the picture lost over half a million copies over night, according to Yelland, and prompted an icy call from Murdoch. “It probably cost us ten million pounds.”

After five years as editor Yelland stepped out of the firing line of popular tabloid journalism and moved, via the Harvard Business School, into public relations. Today he is a partner at PR firm Brunswick and has represented the likes of BP during the Gulf oil spill scandal this summer and Lord Browne, the former BP CEO on his recent review into university fees. PR suits David down to the ground, he said. As a commander of information he is in his element being counsel to clients. Personal integrity in both journalism and PR is key, he advised the assemble students. “Once you’ve lost your personal integrity,” says David, “you’re gone.” Ambition and a determination to prove people wrong kept me going says David.

John Mair is a senior lecturer in broadcasting at Coventry University and producer of the Coventry Conversations series. The talks series has just won the Cecil Angel Cup of 2010 for enhancing the reputation of the university.

#soe10: Society of Editors conference looks on the bright side of life

John Mair is a senior lecturer in broadcast journalism at Coventry University. He reports from the Society of Editors conference in Glasgow, which finished this morning.

Britain’s top newspaper editors were smiling, in public at least, as they met for the annual Society of Editors conference in Glasgow under the slogan ‘Have we got good news for you’. Circulations may be falling, print products hemorrhaging readers and advertising, but the local and national editors here were not going to be downcast and they heard from a succession of speakers inviting them to be positive.

Russian oligarch and Independent and Evening Standard owner Alexander Lebedev said in his opening lecture that he was proud of the two papers (and the new baby paper, i) that he owned in Britain and would continue to invest in exposing corruption. “Investigative journalism is something I want to invest in more.” he said in closing.

Jim Chisholm, CEO of the National Readership Survey, and Stewart Purvis, former partner responsible for content regulation and standards at Ofcom and now at City University, kept up the positive mood with their rosy views on readership data and the potential of youview to transform TV viewing and open the way to local television.

Media commentator Raymond Snoddy chaired a session called ’It ain’t dead and we’re fixing it’. Two young editors from the North East of England, Darren Thwaites of the Teesside Evening Gazette and Joy Yates of the Hartlepool Mail, continued in the same bright vein, showing how by campaigning and getting closer to their communities they were able to arrest some of the decline in sales of their papers.

It was left to veteran editor Derek Tucker of the Aberdeen Press and journal, who announced his retirement after 12 years in the editorial chair last week, to bring the first note of negativity with what he admitted were “Jurassic views” on the digital future and an astonishing attack on university journalism courses and the students who came out of them: “Very few possess the street cunning and inquisitiveness that is the hallmark of good journalists, and it often appears that English is a second language.”

That generated much comment from the journalism educators (“well meaning amateurs”, Tucker called them) in the audience.

It’s not known how long the Monty Python ‘Always look on the bright side’ theme can be kept up in view of the continuing crisis in the media industries.

‘Only when you’ve done your homework…’ Kirsty Wark tells Coventry students that research is key

I knew that Kirst Wark hadn’t lost it when I saw her doorstepping Nick Clegg all the way up the aisle of Sheffield Town Hall on Election night 2010. He was not best pleased. It was then that I decided to try and get her to speak at Coventry Conversations, and last wednesday she did, delivering a masterclass for Coventry University’s journalism students.

At that same Sheffield election count, Wark was about to do her first live stand-upper into the Dimbleby programme when two old ladies came by, “in a Moris Minor I think”. They told her that they’d not been able to vote, the queues at the polling station were too long and had shut before they could get in. A good yarn, especially as, in line with BBC post Hutton rules, it had two sources – both in the same car. Wark had to make a judgment call based on that hinterland of life in front of and behind the camera. She decided to broadcast thirty seconds later. She was right. She broke the story and it ran for hours overnight and for days afterwards. You cannot teach that nous.

Wark has now been in front of camera for nigh on three decades. She was a producer and director for BBC Scotland when the series producer suggested she take a try the other side of the lens on a political programme. She has never looked back. Today she commands the studio of Newsnight’s Review Show.

Wark left her Coventry town and gown audience in no doubt about the secret of good TV journalism – good research and hard work. Each interview is meticulously researched and brainstormed with her producers. “When you’ve done your homework, only then can you throw it away and respond using what you already know,” she said.

Wark was her own fiercest critic when it came to the interviews that had failed. When asked if she thought her style in the Alex Salmond interview in 2007, which was criticised for being rude and dismissive, was justified, Wark responded frankly: “It was overly aggressive and I later apologised”, she said. She told the audience that her favourite interviews were with Margaret Thatcher and Libertine Pete Doherty. Her least favourite was with disgraced Tory peer Lord Jeffrey Archer – “he was condescending”.

Wark stopped in Coventry on her way from her home in Scotland to London to present Newsnight the next evening. Her day would start early, she explained, with phone calls to the editor of the night at 9am and continue right through to transmission at 10.30pm. Newsnight satisfied her ‘nosiness’ but also meant she had to be constantly abreast of the world through reading, reading and more reading, she said.

She is buoyant about the state of journalism today. She believes no matter who the reporter or what the content, “as long as the journalism is rigorous and investigative it’s valid”. She added that if it helps to introduce a different demographic of viewer to news and current affairs, then programmes such as Sky’s Ross Kemp in Afghanistan have just as much place in the sphere as Newsnight.

So what’s next for Kirsty Wark? With a book and a documentary in the pipeline, as well as Newsnight and the successful Glasgow-based Review Show, ratings are as strong as ever and it appears that she will be a fixture on our screens for some time.

John Mair is a senior lecturer in broadcasting at Coventry University. He founded and runs the twice weekly Coventry Conversations.

The Today programme’s Adam Shaw: tackling the UK’s ‘massive financial illiteracy’

Adam Shaw gets up at 3.30am every morning to present the business news on Radio 4’s Today programme. Last Thursday he extended his day to talk to students in Coventry University’s Coventry Conversations series.

“Being a journalist is an amazing job”, he told students, even if it means bowing to the whims of the man he calls “Today’s Interferer in Chief” – editor Ceri Thomas. A man who can rip up running orders and rip into items as the fancy or editorial judgement takes him, said Shaw. He told the audience that he sees himself as a translator, trying to do something about the “massive financial illiteracy in the UK”.

He defers, though, to the  grey beards of the BBC like Today presenter John Humphrys, whom he said wields a lot of power over how things are done and whether they are done at all. Likewise he praised the BBC’s business editor Robert Peston and his journalistic contacts and nous. According to Shaw, it was “rare for the BBC  to have scoops” BP (Before Preston).

Following an unsuccesful stint as an actor and some work experience with the BBC, Shaw got a job as an after care researcher for Esther Rantzen’s That’s Life. From there he joined Business Breakfast, because “the people who employed me thought my economics degree was useful”. In 1994 he moved on to the launch of the then revolutionary lunchtime business programme Working Lunch, presented by Adrian Chiles. The programme, made on a shoestring, was was the first programme after Newsnight to use big board graphics to explain things: “We messed up all the time but our viewers tolerated it”, Shaw said.

Shaw sat opposite Adrian Chiles on the set of Working Lunch for 14 years, but was replaced by Declan Curry a year before the programme was taken off air in 2009.

As a young actor, Shaw “was a spear-carrier, not Hamlet”, he told the audience. But it seems he will not end up a spear carrier on the TV stage if he can help it. As he gets to late middle age and the stage exit for presenters, he is looking to the future as a producer and making a twenty-part series for BBC World on world leaders and future trends.

‘I still get keyed up going on air’: Nick Owen talks to Coventry broadcast students

Nick Owen has been a fixture on Midlands TV screens for 32 years now. Today, he is the main presenter on the BBC’s Midlands Today and has been for 13 years. Before that there was Central News, the ITV World Cup in 1990, Good morning with Anne and Nick on the BBC until 1996 and, most famously, the time that he, Anne Diamond and Roland Rat saved TV-am (or TV-mayhem! as it had became known) in 1983.

Last Wednesday, Owen shared his secrets with students and others at Coventry University’s renowned Coventry Conversation series. He spoke to a full house and gave candid advice to aspiring journalists:

“The media is saturated. Whatever you do, give 110 per cent. The most important thing is to be yourself, be totally sincere and authentic and talk to people as though everyone matters.”

Owen, who had taken time off from the BBC Mailbox newsroom to come to Coventry, revealed that he still got excited about appearing live on screen.

“Buzz isn’t the right word. There’s so much going on in your ear. You can hear up to ten people talking but I still get keyed up when going on air.”

In recent years the BBC has built the BBC News ‘brand’: taking the English regions under the umbrella of the News Division and homogenizing the look nationwide. Owen is not a total convert to this kind of branding: “I would love our programme to be more distinctive. The move in the BBC is to rationalize local news. It is a pity because even the lightest stories are being pushed aside.”

But at least now he has the resources of the BBC behind them. At TV-am back in 1983 the cupboard was bare after the Famous Five Presenters – Michael Parkinson, David Frost, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford, and Robert Kee – who had won the franchise, had moved on. Owen was called from the sports desk to present by new editor in chief Greg Dyke. Dyke chose Anne Diamond – then at the BBC but previously with Owen at Central TV – to co-present. Much was made of the sexual chemistry between Anne and Nick, but Owen was having none of it when he spoke at Coventry: “Sexual chemistry? It was nothing serious, we were just mates, she laughed at my jokes..”

The nadir of his TV career was when an IRA bomb went off at the Tory Conference in October 1984, John Stapleton, then a TV-am reporter, had left Brighton so TV-am were exposed: “We were left with one man in a remote studio and me in London with another man for two hours.” Despite the bad days, he is proud to have been a part of the saving of TV-am, he said.

Owen had advice for the presenters of Daybreak, with Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley. Launched barely a month ago, the show is already possibly destined for broadcasting’s intensive care unit. His advice was that they don’t try to make their former hit The One Show at breakfast time, and have competitions that are a little bit more difficult than “how much is a century, 25, 50, or 100 years?”

From his success at breakfast, Own went back to sport – his first love. He presented the Olympic Games for ITV in 1988, the World Cup in 1990 and Midweek Sports Special for many years. He got used to the different pace of presenting on ITV due to advertising: It’s  more difficult because of the commercials. You lose track and spontaneity.”

On TV-am Owen was bit of a boy next door type, but in TV he is a true broadcast veteran. Should he be the old man next door perhaps?

John Mair is a senior lecturer in broadcasting at Coventry University. He founded and produces the twice weekly Coventry Conversations. All are available on podcast at conversations

Ripe from the Vine: lessons in journalism

Photograph: Dean O'Brien

Today Jeremy Vine is top of the broadcast journalism food chain. He presents an eponymous  show on BBC Radio Two every lunchtime, fronts Panorama on BBC One every week and plays the all-important graphics role in the BBC’s Election Coverage. But it was all so different in 1986 when Vine started our as a bright-eyed 21-year-old trainee on the Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Opening Coventry University’s Coventry Conversation series last night, he let the university’s journalism students in on a few secrets (

Vine had never been to Coventry before his first day on the ‘Tele’ thirty four years ago. He was thrown in at the deep end – sent off to report the courts and come back with story return with a story an a picture. “I had to go up with photographer, John Potter and work out who the defendant was and say, “that’s him! He was about 19 and made off with his family so we had to run after him.

“I was laughing thinking, ‘This is probably the most exciting thing I have done in my life!’ ”

But Vine was very quickly brought back down to earth after he filed his story.

“[The defendant] had run up to a woman in a park saying, ‘I want sex’, so that was my intro”. But news editor Geoff Grimmer told Vine, “That’s not a story because everyone wants sex. The story is that she fought him off with a shoe.”

It didn’t get much better. On another court case, the defendant collared Vine in the corridor and spun him a good yarn about the crime. Trouble was, it was somewhat different to his evidence in court. Vine wrote it up as gospel only for the news editor to toss it in the rubbish bin. Another painful  learning experience. “I got some pretty good carpetings for getting stories wrong,” he admitted.

“The most heinous crime was for someone’s name to change halfway through the story or in the lists of divorces or TV licence evaders. They also never wanted to see the words ‘incident’ or ‘situation’, if it’s a crash it’s a crash.”

He did learn though, and kept his eyes and ears open and delivered some front page splashes, including two very negative stories about the very university in which he was speaking (then Lanchester Polytechnic). Current Coventry Telegraph editor Darren Parkin, who is returning the ‘Tele’ to its roots, was on hand to present Vine with some of the broadcaster’s cuttings from the time. He looked humbled to receive them.

Vine said two of the biggest stories he covered on the Telegrpah were Coventry City winning the FA Cup and a rapist on the prowl in the City Centre. “At the end of the day I could see my story coming off the press 1,000 times a second. It was an amazing feeling seeing your name in print.”

Not amazing enough though.

Vine moved from ‘Tele’ to Telly, and to the BBC in 1988 for a news traineeship. News reporting followed, then Today on Radio Four, BBC Belfast, a job as the BBC’s Johannesburg correspondent, and then, in 2000, the big one: presenting ‘Newsnight’.

There was, however, already a Jeremy on that show (Paxman), and there was only really room for one.

“I was the other Jeremy and it was his show,” Vine recalled. The other Jeremy got the big ones, but Vine did some sterling journalism on Newsnight before Radio Two called in 2003 and he became the Jimmy Young of the new era.

For the 18-year-old wannabe hacks in the audience that night, there were plenty of good lessons in that Conversation. Words ripe from the Vine.

Afghanistan and journalism: who’s winning the media war?

Earlier this month, ran a series of exclusive extracts from the book ‘Afghanistan, War and the Media: Deadlines and Frontlines’. Last night contributors to the book came together to debate the media’s role in the Afghanistan conflict, its portrayal of the war and what should happen now. Co-editor John Mair rounds up last night’s debate at the Frontline Club:

Now for the ultimate journalistic challenge: how do you report a meeting that is not supposed to have happened?

Facts first: the book ‘Afghanistan, War and the Media: Deadlines and Frontlines’ edited by Richard Keeble and myself was launched at the Frontline Club in London last night. A debate was held there too about who was winning the media war in Afghanistan, but under the Chatham House Rule, which rather stymies reporting.

Participating were senior editors and correspondents from the BBC and Sky News and a senior military public relations official in front of a paying audience of 120. I can tell you no more about who took part. That’s the rule.

But some interesting themes emerged that I can talk about:

  • the media war was firmly being lost by the West and won by the Taliban;
  • the US authorities are better at managing the media than the British, who seem addicted to embedding;
  • embedding is nothing new but the British military have got better at straight news management (e.g.minimising the filming of casualties on the grounds that soldiers had rights to privacy and refusal);
  • the British army has made coverage of the war cheap and within the reach of regional papers and television to suit their own agenda;
  • embedding with the Taliban has been almost impossible and the era of the unilateral journalist firmly finished in this theatre of war.

One of the most interesting things to emerge was a perceived multiplication of casualties through military procedures and the 24-hour news cycle. Soldiers “die” five times: when the incident happens, when their name is announced by the MoD, when the body comes home and through Wooton Bassett, at their funeral and at the inquest into their death. So the 330 plus British casualties to date in Afghanistan can seem like many more thanks to this rule, hence the lingering but dwindling public support for the War.

It was a fascinating discussion and let me leave you with some quotes. Under the Chatham House rule, it is up to you to decide who said what:

  • “Afghanistan has seen the Hollywoodisation of war”;
  • “There are more embeds in Afghanistan than any other conflict”;
  • “Embedded is just posh silly name for what journos always done”;
  • “Sports journos know more about sport than war journos know about war”;
  • “We have an absolute duty to tell the truth”.

Did I break the Rule? You decide…

Equatorial meets digital: Online journalism in Guyana

John Mair is a senior lecturer in broadcast journalism at Coventry University. Writing from Georgetown, Guyana for, he takes a look at the South American country’s media landscape.

In London it is all too easy to get swept along by the tide of digital mania. Too easy to think the future of our craft is all tweeting, Facebook, citizen journalism and all the buzz words of the recent news:rewired sessions.

But what is the digital reality here in the Third World? It is limited, to say the least. Communication is still mostly about chopping down trees and spreading ink on them. The four nationals here don’t really ‘get the net’. They put their editions up on the web after publication and leave them there for a day. No updating and very little interactivity. Where news is concerned, the web is a static platform here.

One man is making some headway though. Former employee of state radio station GBC Denis Chabrol has created a multi-platform site,, with a radio programme and some text, plus Facebook and Twitter sharing tools. Chabrol still has a long way to go however, his efforts are still based on a weekly radio programme and daily text alerts. He can scoop with the best though – this week he revealed that the president had sold his recently built house to the man who does his election advertising for a substantial profit. But a story like that that needed the full internet works and it didn’t quite get it.

It is on the blogs that Guyana comes closest to facing the future. The country’s blogs are satirical and they are political – so much so that at least one Guyana media critic has been driven out of business by the government. Today, at least three survive:;; With varying degrees of success they dig and they lampoon the Jagdeo/PPP government and various public officials. They are, though, too often a melange of half-truths, viciousness and malice. I suspect many are edited outside Guyana.

The bloggers here are also very coy about breaking cover. Under strict conditions of anonymity, I managed to obtain an interview with ‘Nelly’, one of the founders of She and her colleagues see their purpose as “propaganda for the masses”:

“Fodder for intelligent asses as our slogan says. Guyana is a fucked up country and we want to see changes. We want an end to state sponsored murder. We want an end to privatisation of the country by PPP Crime Family & Friends Inc and soon.”

These bloggers do not necessarily follow strict checking of story sources and facts, it all seems a bit laissez faire in fact.

“Some things don’t need to be checked. Once our agents operating behind enemy lines send in certain things, we don’t need to check it because they’re putting their lives on the line to get some of that info.”

And what about their effect on the country’s polity?

“That’s hard to say as we do not know at this time. We know people like James Singh, CEO of Canu (the custom’s anti-narcotics unit), and others wake up daily panicking at what we’re going to say next about them as we have moles in Canu. As far as our impact on political/cultural life of Guyana that’s still to be seen. Until our flagship was hacked, we were getting six to eight million hits a year. That’s since dropped tremendously but we are building bigger, better and stronger. We’re here to stay!”

It is difficult to predict how long some of these bloggers will last. They will persevere at least until the national and presidential elections in 2011, when they hope their work will culminate in the ousting of the Jagdeo/PPP party.

Image courtesy of Douglas F. on Flickr