There is a little counter on Blogger Dashboard that reports on the number of posts you have made to your blog. Over the last week or two I have been watching it creep up to the 1,000 mark and I thought I might mark the final countdown with a short series of retrospective posts. This is not the "Best of News From Nowhere" : you know me, I far prefer a series of random dips into the lucky bag. So I have dusted off my random number generator and asked it to provide four random numbers between 1 and 1,000. Counting from the first post (7th November 2006) I have converted these numbers to four random posts which I will re-publish leading up to the 1,000th post which (if my calculations are right) will appear on Friday. The first random number takes me back to 2007 and a post entitled "Self Abuse"
The main BBC One O'Clock News has just finished. As it closes, the newsreader says "a reminder of our main news today, the BBC has learned of concern among senior doctors about the tide of teenage alcoholism". Yesterday, at the same time, the same newsreader said "a reminder of our main news today, the BBC has learned that treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term". As I write this, the local news is on. The story starts : "it is BBC Children In Need on Friday and we look back on some of the schemes your money has helped in the past".
There is, of course, a common factor to all these stories. They are self-generated and manufactured to support the broadcasting schedules. The ADHD story was, in fact, a trailer for that evenings' Panorama report. The alcohol story is based on responses to a BBC survey, but as yet they are not saying why they undertook the survey. No doubt we will discover that it forms the basis of a BBC Special. And "Children In Need" will dominate the BBC schedules on Friday evening.My moan is not with self-publicity. The BBC should be able to produce publicity about its own shows just as any other organisation might do. (By the way, the latest episode of "Fat Dog To The Big Apple has just been posted, don't forget to read it soon). The complaint is disguising such "promo's" as news. Worse still, headline news.
During my early days (months, years) of blogging I did not have any regular followers - although I note that one anonymous wag (who obviously knows me) did comment on this particular post. But comments are such an enjoyable part of blogging and I now feel proud to have such a loyal and entertaining group of followers. And so often the comments add so much added value to the original post. Take for example this short note I received from my brother Roger in response to the picture I published on Saturday :
"Enjoying the photos of Aunty Annie and family. On the last one you'll notice a plaster on my left knee. From a fall running down the hill to Grange Road school. I still have the scar!"
Call back tomorrow to discover where else our tour through the News From Nowhere archives takes us.