Tag Archives: Satire

Trainee Journalists wanted at the Daily Mail

Whilst surfing this afternoon, this job advert for “Trainee Journalists” caught my eye:

Trainee Journalists

£18,000

Britain’s most successful newspaper group is offering would-be reporters, writers and sub-editors an exciting and challenging year-long training course, plus the chance to work at the Daily Mail and Mail Online.

  • We are looking for bright, sharp, intelligent writers and subs who believe they can be fast-tracked to the very top
  • You’ll be on the best journalism course in the business – and be paid a competitive salary while you train
  • Successful applicants will probably have completed postgraduate journalism training or had experience working in newspapers

To apply send your CV, 200 words on why you want to be a Mail journalist and six examples of your work to sue.ryan@dailymail.co.uk by February 10. Please specify your preference, if any, for a subbing or reporting trainee

DAILY MAIL

Wow, I thought.  What an opportunity.  So I decided to send “Sue”  my statement which I’ve reproduced below.  Whilst I don’t really want too much competition for this job, maybe some of you guys should think of applying?  Stick your 200 word statements in the comments section if you like and I’ll make sure she gets them.

Dear Sue

I read-with great excitement-your advert seeking trainee journalists for The Daily Mail and  I believe that there is so much I could offer to such a highly esteemed, opinion forming and consistently high quality publication.  I will attempt to elaborate.

My love for The Mail began from an early age when my father- an avid reader of your paper himself- would often chase me round the house with a rolled up copy, beating me furiously as he became convinced that I had entered Britain illegally and, moreover, was slipping carcinogenic substances into his porridge.  Later, just prior to his confinement, my mother and I would visit him daily to deliver copies to the faeces smeared, tinfoil-insulated shack he had constructed at the bottom of our garden.  Such fond memories.  Thusly, I decided to dedicate myself to becoming one of the trailblazing journalists for whom he held such admiration and who brought him so many happy hours of ill-informed, apoplectic rage.

Over the course of my academic studies, have received many citations  from senior professors who felt compelled to go beyond their remit and inform me of their feedback in person.  I feel that these references lend compelling support to my application for a position with The Daily Mail

“Your work shows to me that a basic grasp of the difference between fact and conjecture is no longer a requirement for entry into university” – Prof. R. Bumgardener

“The use of evidence in this argument is so misleading as to constitute academic fraud.  Or it would be if I could make any sense of what you are talking about” – Prof. K Akabusi

“I really don’t know why you bothered to write this at all.  It’s just terrible.  You are terrible” – Dr. No

I am a quick learner and can turn my hand to all forms of prejudice based pseudo-journalism.  I have previously self-published many articles on the walls of local public toilets tackling subjects as diverse as “The 10 best bulldozers for clearing gypsy camps” and  “Public Sector Immigrants: Are they pissing in hospital soup?”

In conclusion, taking me on as a trainee is a decision you would not regret.  I would make every effort to ensure that nothing, absolutely, nothing I wrote would have any grounding in compassion, evidence or sanity and that my authorial voice would shriek loud and without logic; as incoherent and hateful as any of your current employees.

I look forward to discussing this application with you.

Yours

Little Richardjohn III

p.s. I regret that I am unable to provide you with the requested 6 examples of my work as the majority of my files are being investigated by the police on a different matter.  I hope to have this situation resolved promptly.

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Black Mirror and the Culture Industry

I’ve just got around to watching the Charlie Brooker scripted Black Mirror on Channel 4 and I have to say it’s just brilliant.  Dark, warped, frequently nightmarish tales befitting an age of hyperconsumption and the collapse of meaningful social and cultural exchange.

I won’t take either programme to pieces here, don’t worry.  I was compelled to jot a couple of notes down regarding the inspired climax of the second piece Fifteen Million Merits, where Bingham, played wonderfully by  Daniel Kaluuya (recently seen in BBC’s The Fades) tricks his way onto an X Factor-style talent show in a dystopian (not so distant) future where the whole population appears to inhabit digital media cells and must cycle on exercise bikes every day whilst watching the crass, empty, pornographic output provided by said talent show.

Holding a piece of broken glass to his throat to prevent his interruption and ensure attention, Bingham launches an extended, “Networkesque” rant against the nightmare world he finds himself trapped in.  The “judges”, far from dismissing his speech, declare themselves impressed Not, of course, with the content or meaning of Bingham’s diatribe, but rather its “heartfelt” and “true” nature.  The lead judge then offers Bingham a show doing exactly what he’s just done, twice a week, for half an hour.

Isn’t this exactly the essence of the culture industry in late capitalism, as expressed so devastatingly by Adorno & Horkheimer?  A mass culture so truly omnipotent that any capacity for resistance to it becomes impossible by dint of its capacity to absorb, sterilise and commodify anything which might approach such a thing, even the anguished, fractured scream of an individual driven to the brink of sanity by the mere awareness of this vacuous culture.  “Something is provided for everyone,” they wrote in 1947 “so that none may escape”.

Adorno and Horkheimer did not live to see the birth of reality television, youtube or facebook, but their writings cast a long (fore)shadow across the 20th Century, persistently relevant to the degeneration of culture in mass society.  That you, the individual, may despise the culture industry is no reason for you to leave,

You can’t anyway,

Come back, we could use someone like you,

Or research has shown that a lot of people feel empty and unsatisfied to the point of suicide by what we produce.

I think you could do great things in that market…

“What is decisive today is the necessity inherent in the system not to leave the customer alone, not for a moment to allow him any suspicion that resistance is possible.  The principle dictates that he should be shown all his needs as capable of fulfilment , but that those needs should be so pre-determined that he feels himself to be the eternal consumer, the object of the culture industry”

(Adorno & Horkheimer, The Dialectic of Enlightenment)

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