Friday Reading S07E01

It’s back! Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from the Guardian’s social media idiot Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology, and other interesting nerdy things. It is also available as an email newsletter. Sign up here.

Complex reaction to the death of Sean Hughes. I absolutely loved Sean’s Show at the time, and this clip which in the space of a couple of minutes features cameos from Crystal Palace players including Gareth Southgate and Chris Coleman, and then moves on to Robert Smith from The Cure awkwardly playing the part of Sean’s long-lost real mum is a joy. Series one is available on demand.

But there was a much darker side to Sean’s character than his on-screen persona, and this personal and difficult piece about Sean by Michael Hann has been one of the most read things on the Guardian site this week, with an average attention time of over 3 minutes.

You should read these pieces about sexism and sexual harassment and abuse in the media industry:

Being sexually assaulted is traumatising at best, life destroying at worst. The men who abuse their power and position in the media, in entertainment, and everywhere else are the lowest of the low. Something I hadn’t seen discussed in light of recent events is how they treat the women they don’t seek to abuse. In so many cases, men who sexually harass women struggle to register the existence of those other women, the useless ones.

On tits and ghosts” – Marie Le Conte

“I believe the women involved, as the alternative explanation is that there is a great wave of fantasists working in the British media, and all their lies independently converge on the same set of tropes. An older man with more power, a younger, newer colleague who is unsure of the rules of the workplace, or even just the rules of the new world of journalism she (or sometimes he) has just entered. Sexual harassment is about status.”

The Harvey Weinstein allegations are monstrous. But it’s not just monsters who harass women” – Helen Lewis

The thing you must understand is that we all know. Not about you, specifically, although if that sentence made you think I meant you — if the hair on your neck stood up or you felt a hot flush of shame at the prospect of being found out — then yes, we know. She remembers and probably her friends do, too. They told me.

Yes, we all know” – Stephanie Boland

This is brilliantly written and takes the theme into looking at how we would design cities and urban spaces if we actually prioritised the safety of women.

“When men choose to shout, harass, follow, even abuse us on the streets, they are asserting male entitlement and power. This is our space, their actions say. And you are not supposed to be here. If you are here, then you need to be ready for us to judge, mock, threaten, attack you. If you don’t want to be judged, mocked, threatened or attacked then go home. Get back in the domestic sphere, where you belong.”

Earlier this year, a boy hit me on the street near my house” – Sian Norris


Multimedia Producer for Social Video at the Guardian.


This job advert says “There is an art to generating angry clicks and Twitter-trolling, but it’s not something we’re interested in.”

It’s for the social media editor role at a publication which counts Rod Liddle, James Delingpole and Niall Ferguson among it’s roster of regulars. PMSL


“My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists.”

Murdered Panama Papers journalist’s son attacks Malta’s ‘crooks’

Everyone loves push alerts, but there are problems. Like: What if readers don’t actually open them? – some good data and research in this on how news orgs are using push.

“And at some point, and I don’t know exactly when or how or who — even scarier I don’t know if the people involved know when or how or who — Twitter made the decision to ride the hate wave. With their investors demanding growth, and their leadership blind to the bomb they were sitting on, Twitter decided that the audience Trump was bringing them was more important than upholding their core principles, their ethics, and their own terms of service.”

One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end” – Mike Monteiro

I don’t understand why people on both sides of the Atlantic are, under the guise of “free speech”, pushing for Nazis to have access to universities to hold events. I can’t believe that it’s even up for debate that Nazis are bad. I’m 46. Literally my whole life until about 3 years ago everybody knew that being a Nazi was bad. Now apparently it is an outrage if they don’t get to hold rallies at university. I never thought the way I would become middle-aged and old-fashioned and a fuddy-duddy was clinging to “Nazis are bad” as a moral position.

“The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been following the stories of six of the seven women housed in that shelter for the past three months as they have been buffeted around the social services system, from hotels, to council meetings, to lonely flats. The seventh woman has dropped off everyone’s radar.”

Really shocking read about what happened to these women after the refuge they were living in became uninhabitable. This related piece looks at the systematic defunding and dismantling of women’s refuges across the country.

This is what happened to the scientist who stuck his head inside a particle accelerator.

A creepy witch museum is coming to London from Cornwall and it looks PHENOMENAL

Szechuan sauce, man. What a lot of madness.