Entries by Oliver Wates

Journalists under threat and why we should care

My father was uncharacteristically jovial when I told him I had got a job as a journalist. “Have you heard the one about the journalist who married a prostitute,” he said, “… and dragged her down to his own level!” Or, as the poet Humbert Wolfe famously put it: “You cannot hope to bribe or […]

The Wealth of Language

Will Self is one of Britain’s most idiosyncratic journalists.  Most popular writers would think twice before using words like rodomontade, juvenescent, irenic or febrillity in a 10-minute radio blog (Jan 15th). Think twice, and then delete them, substituting more common alternatives – bluster, rejuvenated, peaceful and feverishness. And most popular writers would be right. Communication, […]

Good speech delivery: get the tone right

Good speech delivery is not so much about the content of what you say. How often have you watched a televised debate between two people – one offering solid facts and figures but no empathy, the other oozing bonhomie backed up by nothing more than some vague platitudes ­– and found yourself involuntarily favouring the […]

The P Word

Dame Zaha Hadid is a giant in the world of architecture; the most famous woman in a male-dominated profession, she is one of its three-four best-known names.  Her ambitious, tradition-shattering designs are famous – or infamous, depending on taste – around the world.  She has won every top accolade in the profession, capped now with the Royal […]

Aggressive interviewing goes out of fashion

The macho interviewing style of Jeremy Paxman and John Humphrys was called into question last week by the softly-spoken BBC star journalist Evan Davis.  A bullying, hyper-aggressive approach, he said in an interview with the news site Byline.com, had been fresh and useful once, but had become worn out. Arms race “It’s just made an […]