minority report – Manchester’s Roma

I’m not entirely sure why but this has been the slowest moving and probably the most delicate project I’ve ever worked on as a journalist. I’ve been thinking about doing some work on the Romanian Roma who live near my home in Manchester since last summer and but only started trying to make contact with them in December. Since then it’s been a series of false starts, red herrings and frustrations for all kinds of reasons, not least enormous language and cultural barriers and issues of trust. There are problems with community cohesion in the area so there are sensitivities on all sides. I feel like I’m walking a tightrope and am braced for complaints.  Read the full feature here. Part two – the Roma perspective – will run next week.

legal assaults – DEB update

hmmmm. Can’t say I feel that reassured, despite Mr Lammy’s protestations. If you haven’t already, please add your voice to the campaign against the UK government’s Digital Economy Bill. If it goes ahead and becomes law, the Bill could potentially put an end to street photography and eliminate a photographer’s copyright – and hence their ability to make a living off their work.

legal assaults

If you’re a UK photographer or a photography-lover and you haven’t yet got involved in the campaign against the Digital Economy Bill then you really should. If it goes ahead and becomes law, the Bill could potentially put an end to street photography and eliminate a photographer’s copyright – and hence their ability to make a living off their work. It’s well worth a read of the link above and a letter (or visit) to your MP. A week ago I contacted my MP Gerald Kaufman, who incidentally is a former journalist himself and used to chair the rather ferocious Culture, Media and Sport committee. I got a response from him today, promising to pass my concerns on to the  secretary of state.

I’m not one on the whole for badgering my elected member but this is the second time in as many months that I have written to – and heard back from – Kaufman. He has also promised to support efforts to reform the UK libel laws, which have unfortunately turned this country into a libel tourism destination and which threaten to stifle debate on important issues of science. Please sign the libel petition and add your names to both campaigns.