Category Archives: Funny

Economist cartoonist animates style guide

Economist cartoonist Kal has animated excerpts from the news outlets “punctilious in-house style guide”.

It features wracked sheep, racked (and wracked) brains and Dr Frankenstein and his monster.

It was posted on YouTube a month ago but it is worth a watch if you have not yet seen it.

‘What would you do if Kelvin MacKenzie called you a c***?’ and other memorable job interview questions

In carrying out some research for a feature on CV and job interview tips, we asked on Twitter for memorable and tough questions asked at journalism job interviews.

Below is a Storify of the responses. gets playful with cow clicking interactive has published a feature about tongue-in-cheek gaming, adding a playful twist by turning the article into a game.

In a feature called the curse of Cow Clicker: How a cheeky satire became a videogame hit, reports on how a “cow-clicking game” (FarmVille), inspired another cow clicking game (Cow Clicker), by adding a cow clicking element to the feature – perhaps a first in digital storytelling.

Every time a reader clicks on the word “cow” – repeated 97 times within the feature – a graphic of a cow appears, with the “cownter” keeping track of how many cows have been clicked on. The cows in fact obscure the text therefore making it more difficult to read the article.

Readers can also click on the graphical cows to send them to their Facebook friends.

The feature is intended to “echo the theme” of the Cow Clicker Facebook game discussed in the feature, Shannon Perkins editor of interactive technologies at told “It’s an intentionally trivial experience obscuring a more content rich experience,” he said.

Cow Clicker was created by Ian Bogost, a game developer, academic and co-author of Newsgames: Journalism at play. The game, which peaked at 56,000 players, was inspired by popular Facebook game FarmVille.

The featured includes an interview with Bogost.

… This thought popped into my head,” Bogost says: “Games like FarmVille are cow clickers. You click on a cow, and that’s all you do. I remember thinking at the time that it felt like a one-liner, the kind of thing you would tweet. I just put it in the back of my mind.”

He developed Cow Clicker with “transparently stupid prizes—bronze, silver, and golden udders and cowbells—that people could win only by amassing an outlandish number of points. (A golden cowbell, for instance, requires 100,000 clicks.)”

On one level, this was all part of the act. Bogost was inhabiting the persona of a manipulative game designer, and therefore it made sense to pull every dirty trick he could to make the game as sticky and addictive as possible. But as he grew into the role, he got a genuine thrill from his creation’s popularity. Instead of addressing a few hundred participants at a conference, he was sharing his perspective with tens of thousands of players, many of whom checked in several times a day.

  • Shannon Perkins, editor of interactives at, who is behind this interactive will be speaking on newsgames at news:rewired. Also presenting in the session is Bobby Schweizer, Ian Bogost’s co-author of Newsgames: Journalism at play.

2012 – a year of irony for the media industry?

By Matt Buck, currently engaged as engraver to @tobiasgrubbe


1. Rupert Murdoch revives the News of the World, but online-only.

2. Nick Davies loses his job at the Guardian, but joins the revived News of the World as part of its investigative team.

3. The Guardian poaches the “fake sheikh” Mazher Mahmood from the Sunday Times.

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.

7. The Guardian launches a paywall.

8. Richard Desmond, founder of Northern & Shell and owner of Express Newspapers is knighted in the New Year Honour list and becomes chair of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

9. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is appointed National Security Adviser to the Obama administration.

10. Facebook buys the Daily Mail, as part of a number of strategic acquisitions of ‘accordant’ news outlets throughout the world.

Thanks to Matt Buck for permission to use his excellent cartoon.

Daily Mail takes after Werrity with dubious use of Fox business card

It seems Adam Werrity isn’t the only one to have been caught using a business card he shouldn’t have. The Daily Mail, unable to obtain their own picture of Werrity’s now-infamous “Advisor to Rt. Hon. Liam Fox MP” card, simply scanned the Guardian’s. But this wasn’t a right-click-save-image-as off the Guardian website, some enterprising staffer at the Mail actually scanned it right off the newspaper. Brilliant.

The copy was spotted by blogger Tim Ireland, who made his discovery after about 10 seconds’ sleuthing. See his damning evidence from Mail Online below.


Murdoch humble, but saved the spectacle of being forced to eat pie…

In case you missed it earlier, here’s the video clip of an attempted foam pie-ing of Rupert Murdoch during today’s culture, media and sport select committee at the House of Commons. The real star is Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng whose lightning reaction ensured the assailant ended up with most of the foam on his own face.

Embedly Powered

Foreign Office in massive U-turn on World Service headline

The Foreign Office (FCO) has launched disciplinary action against a member of staff after a somewhat surprising headline appeared on its website today.

The announcement that the FCO has pledged an additional £2.2 million in funding to the World Service was titled: “Massive U-turn on BBC World Service funding”.

Obviously not the kind of language government departments normally clothe their massive U-turns in.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: “A web article with an incorrect and inappropriate title was up on the FCO website for 10 minutes this morning. That title absolutely did not represent the views of the FCO. This error has now been corrected and disciplinary procedures have been launched.”

Full story on the World Service funding announcement at this link.

Image courtesy of Tim Montgomerie at Conservative Home.


Krishnan Guru-Murthy on those awkward interview moments

Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy has an good post up on those awkward questions that tend to come toward the end of an interview, like asking Brown about bullying, Trump about toupées, or Pryce about penalty points.

Somehow the slightly awkward ones often fall on my days in the chair – those interviews about one thing with somebody currently famous for another, when colleagues say “obviously you’re going to ask about the sex change” as I walk into the studio when we are really supposed to be talking about credit default swaps.

Read the full post at this link.

Mirror needs quick phonebooth trip to change Superman gaffe

A quite spectacular picture mix up is still going strong on the Mirror website this morning, despite having been outed late last night.

Here’s a screengrab, because the page is surely going to change back into its proper civilian clothes any minute now.


Elsewhere on the site there appears to be a story about the superhero with no image, which just might give us a clue as to what’s happened here.

(hat tip: the Media Blog, via Gareth Winchester and Dick Mandrake).