Rober Fenner

March 14, 2014

Speed reading

Under: Business | Language | Marketing | Media | News | Random thoughts

Heard of Spritz? It’s a new app enabling people to read content quickly. It moves the words, so your eye can stay in the same place – and it works. Even the basic demo takes you to 40% faster than a typical reading speed, and in tests people have gone faster still. It’s a particularly […]

Rober Fenner

December 21, 2012

PR and George Entwistle’s payoff

Under: Media | News | Public relations

On the Today Programme on Radio 4 yesterday morning, Lord Patten defended the £450,000 payoff given to George Entwistle when he stood down as Director-General of the BBC in the wake of the Jimmy Savile story. He said they’d taken legal advice, and it would be less costly to the BBC and hence to the […]

Rober Fenner

December 19, 2012

The (mis)leading power of the written word. Again.

Under: Language | Media | News

Just over a month ago, around the time Andrew Mitchell resigned, I posted an item with the title I’ve used here (minus the ‘Again’, naturally). In it, I argued that the Minister’s alleged use of the word ‘pleb’ was a case of his word against that of the police, and the fact that the police […]

Rober Fenner

December 17, 2012

Slow news

Under: Media | News | Random thoughts

On Radio 4’s ‘A Point of View’ yesterday morning, Will Self pointed to the increasing frequency of news coverage. Rolling news, he said, either trivialised the present, or rendered it incomprehensible by bombarding us with too much mutable information, or both. He had a point. He went on to draw a corollary. Just as we’ve […]

Rober Fenner

December 14, 2012

Good Times, Bad Times

Under: Media | News | Random thoughts

The heading on this piece was the title of a book written by Harold Evans after his resignation as editor of The Times in 1981. In his book, Evans covered his long career as editor of the Sunday Times, his move to the daily paper when the group was acquired by Rupert Murdoch, his subsequent […]

Rober Fenner

December 07, 2012

Do trade magazines have a future?

Under: Business | Marketing | Media | News | Public relations

It’s a good question – and I’m allowed to say so because it’s not mine. The PR company WPR has been mulling it over. Why? Because of changing times, really. In particular, the availability of information online is changing the way we as readers consume it – and that, in turn, is changing business models, […]

Rober Fenner

November 30, 2012

First thoughts on Leveson

Under: Media | News | Random thoughts

I haven’t yet read detailed news coverage of Lord Leveson’s inquiry into UK media standards. Nor have I read the inquiry report itself, published yesterday afternoon. It’s probably massive, but I expect all the detail would make fascinating reading. But the headline coverage tells us he’s advocating a new form of self-regulation, backed by legislation […]

Rober Fenner

November 12, 2012

The (misleading) power of the written word

Under: Language | Media | News

I make my living largely from writing. But that doesn’t mean I’m sanguine about the readiness with which some people will accept something as gospel simply because it’s been written down. A common instance of this is when you hear people say, “It’s true. I saw it in the paper.” And then, beneath their arm, […]

Rober Fenner

October 26, 2012

The way forward for regional newspapers?

Under: Marketing | Media | News | Random thoughts

Last week it was announced that, after years of making losses, the Evening Standard turned in a profit of £1 million. The Standard became a freesheet some years ago, and has derived its revenue since then solely from advertising. Does this show a way forward for regional newspapers, all of whom are feeling the pinch […]

Rober Fenner

October 12, 2012


Under: Business | Language | Media | News | Random thoughts

This week in The Guardian, Simon Lancaster analysed the tricks of oratory and grammar David Cameron used in his party conference speech – and reading it, I realised I use all of them myself, even in straightforward marketing copy. The difference is that Simon Lancaster knows (or has looked up) the names of all of […]