Friday Reading eats big dinners S10E16

Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from the Guardian’s Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology, and other interesting nerdy things. It is also available as an email newsletter and eats big dinners. I guess this might be the last one this year ‘cos I can’t imagine sending it out on Xmas day. Sign up here for Season 11.

This is worth reading all the way through but on the whole I’m just in awe of some of our best correspondents saying out loud “My stories are terrible and my English is bad” when neither is true.

‘I speak Italian with a Croydon accent’: reporters on their language skills – the Guardian

An Oral History of Dominic Cummings’s Barnard Castle Scandal – Here’s how the political scandal of the year unfolded, from those who were there at the time. Includes lots of contributions from the journalists who broke the story.

If you see potential in a young journalist, then put the support in place and prepare to be surprised in a good way. Also, be prepared to see something not working out for what it is. Not an indictment of competency, character or ability but just something not working out. Consider the way that certain journalists get the benefit of the doubt, and the ability to move on after messing up, and how this is influenced by class and race.

Newsrooms need young journalists. Here’s how to create a place where they can flourish – Izin Akhabau

Matt McAlister, someone I absolutely adored working with, on why he was involved with making Brave Today, a browser integrated newsreader, which I am keen to try.

The only time I’ve ever felt like I had all the media coverage I wanted the way I wanted it was back in about 2005. When we had RSS and news readers I was able to tune my media diet using an app that fed headlines from tons of different publishers into one place. I loved adding new feeds as I discovered them. Even more than that, I loved turning off a feed I didn’t like anymore knowing that it was actually gone forever. They couldn’t retarget me or send emails or sell my data because they never knew who I was in the first place. Admittedly, those of us who valued RSS readers most back then were probably excessive consumers of news and magazines and blogs with a high tolerance for geekery, unlike the wider population that had no time for the fiddly interfaces.

The launch announcement for Brave Today is here.

All that miserable bloke’s grim sexist snobbish op-ed has done is ensure I call her Dr. Jill Biden at every first mention for the rest of my career.

Fledgling Parler users are gathering in Facebook groups dedicated to the act of abandoning Facebook. There, users are complaining about Parler’s confusing interface and the loneliness of a platform that none of their friends and family use.

Parler Users Are Gathering on Facebook to Complain About Parler – Sarah Emerson

*extreme Nelson Muntz gif*

The result of all this is that the inclusion of a line on the Tube map no longer tells you very much: it doesn’t tell you that it’s run by TfL as a public service, it does nothing to communicate whether the average gap between trains will be 90 seconds or 30 minutes, and I wouldn’t mind any of that if only it was still a design classic which it very obviously isn’t. It’s rubbish.

Adding Thameslink has made the Tube map an ugly mess – Jonn Elledge

“No matter how engaging your teacher might be, they’re not putting a stuffed panda on life support for banter.”

Long stream-of-consciousness from Joel Golby on the weird educational films we got force-fed at schools in Britain as kids when teachers were off sick or missing-hungover-in-action. I mean presumably Joel is younger than me enough that we watched them a couple of decades apart, but it is possible we were watching the same mad shit anyways. Also has some cracking illos from Maria Jesus Contreras.

Well there you go. Wood Lane station on the Central Line used to have a movable platform. Who knew?

Imagine being blessed enough to live in the timeline where a former 90s Tory minister is telling the basement grief dungeon of maps guy to get pegged.

“There isn’t anyone one thing that I can point at for why it took so long,” said Cobb in a recent interview with VICE Games. “The real answer is there are a lot of individual things that contributed to dragging our development out much further than we ever imagined.”

It was a game that always felt, as Cobb put it, “within 9-12 months of being done,” a feeling that held true, for better and worse, from 2013 until 2020.

After 7 years in development hell, no fairytale ending for ‘Ray’s the Dead’ – Patrick Klepek, Vice

Fully documented source code for Elite on the BBC Micro, with every single line documented and (for the most part) explained. The site also has deep dive articles for lots of details about how Elite works under the hood.

All the 1980s British TVS Fraggle Rock inserts featuring Fulton MacKay, previously thought to be missing, have been found.

By the 1970s, and the explosion of supernaturally-themed television for children, the shift seems complete. It’s difficult to watch huge swathes of 1970s TV without concluding that it’s been infiltrated by a counter-culture mentality that absolutely believes in the otherness of the supernatural, and is no longer presenting such matters as merely unidentified elements of a rational scientific universe. If anything, they are the antithesis of this. The otherworldly is often depicted as a rejection of the establishment, the refuge of kids who believe, or have themselves been infused with distilled essence of supernatural.

Essay by Bob Fischer looking at the shifting portrayal of mystery and the paranormal on British TV in the 1960s and 70s, may include trace elements of Doctor Who: The Psychedelic Shift

Ironic that the very moment London went into tier 3 was the first time that I literally had to do essential travel for work since March, as I got to spend a lovely day on a site visit and interviewing people about a secret Doctor Who feature for the Guardian which you will be able to read in the new year.

The song is a brilliant indiepop riposte to problematic festive film ‘Love Actually’. Charley Stone’s crowdsourced video features her friends offering their ideas for Keira Knightley’s character to respond to him off of The Walking Dead turning up on her honeymoon doorstep to hold up signs professing his unsolicited love for her.

Charley Stone: Merry Christmas Actually – video of the day over at Loud Women.

I hope you have the best Christmas you can enjoy, and wish you all the best for the new year…