YOUR MSLEXIA MSLEXIA
Women in Journalism last month published the results of their latest survey, carried out by Echo Research. Echo analysed the top 28 UK newspapers and carried out indepth interviews with journalists. Their conclusion: ‘Newspapers are male-dominated, sexist and – perhaps most worrying, given pension reforms – increasingly ageist,’ says Echo CEO Sandra Macleod. ‘The inflexible nature of the industry makes career progression impossible for [young women] starting new families.’
The survey discovered that 30 per cent of the 2,391 journalists surveyed and 33 per cent of the 1,477 editors were women. Most egalitarian were the Observer and Daily Mail, with 37 per cent women journalists. Least photos woman-friendly were the Independent and Sunday Times (22 and 26 per cent). At editorial level, the red-tops had the highest testosterone count (are we surprised?), the worst being the Daily Mirror and the Sun (only 21 and 24 per cent women editors). The Guardian scored the highest at editorial level, where women now outnumber men – which may explain the welcome new feminist slant to some features.
But what women write about remains as predictable as ever: lifestyle, features, entertainment. ■
Teachers’ fear of poetry
There is a ‘widespread lack of confidence’ among teachers about teaching poetry in schools, which results in a ‘failure to generate positive attitudes towards poetry among young people’. These are among the conclusions of the Poetry and Young People Project Review Group, chaired by former Poet Laureate (and now Knight-of-theRealm) Sir Andrew Motion, whose brief was to investigate the teaching and appreciation of poetry in schools. The conclusions were published in December by Booktrust in The Motion Report: Poetry and Young People.
Commissioned by Arts Council England before the current change of government, the Report makes sobering reading. The Group also criticised the ‘limited range of poems and poets studied in school’ and the sheer lack of data about what’s going on in the classroom.
Recommendations include improving teacher training in poetry appreciation, getting more poets working in schools and putting poetry online, to make it more accessible to young people: all exciting recommendations, but how likely are they to be implemented in this era of cuts in arts funding?
www.booktrust.org.uk/show/ feature/Poetry-and-Young-People ■
what’s new on the web
‘A creeping combination of gender and age preferences prevents older women from advancing’
‘We are producing a lot of teachers who remember being anxious around the reading and writing of poetry’ Sir Andrew Motion
■ www.poetrybookshoponline.com/ online_poetry_reading_group Online poetry reading group hosted by Poetry Book Society. Buy books at a 20 per cent discount, join the online discussion, receive emails with specially commissioned features about the books ■ blog.vandalog.com Winner of Top Arts Blog of the Year award in 2010. Street art from around the world, discussed and debated by genuinely international community. Prize judges say: ‘If you want to set up a blog to promote a specialist art form, use this one as a model’ ■ blog.nathan-bransford.com Agent-turned-novelist Nathan Bransford, lately of uber literary agency Curtis Brown, offers advice from both sides of the slush pile. ‘The Essentials (Please Read Before You Query)’ is – well – essential reading ■ www.mywriterscircle.com Forum of 6,000 writers with an active critique section, job noticeboard, resources. Discuss self-publishing or post your work for feedback. Regular games and challenges ‘give your writing muscles a workout’ ■ noveljourney.blogspot.com Interviews with authors, editors and freelancers, plus resources for writers and links that allow you to question different editors and agents. Updated daily ■ www.writersfm.com/writersfm/ Writers’ FM is the only radio station created for writers by writers. Broadcasts 24 hours a day, with features music, live interviews, podcasts and more ■ bookmooch.com A community for exchanging books: you give away books in exchange for books that excite your interest. The scheme is free to join. You need to give away at least two books for every one you receive
The WashingtonPosthas announced the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, where readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
Coffee (n.): the person upon whom one coughs Flabbergasted (adj.): appalled over how much weight you have gained Abdicate (v.): to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach Esplanade (v.): to attempt an explanation while drunk Willy-nilly (adj.): impotent Negligent (adj.): describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown
Lymph (v.): to walk with a lisp Gargoyle (n.): olive-flavored mouthwash Flatulence (n.): emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller Balderdash (n.): a rapidly receding hairline Testicle (n.): a humorous question on an exam
6 Apr/May/Jun 2011