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Day: July 20, 2012

Lee Dixon joins ITV Sport

Days after Lee Dixon announced that he was leaving the BBC, ITV have released a press release confirming that he would be joining the channel. This happened on the same day that Gareth Southgate left his job at the FA meaning that Lee Dixon is in effect the replacement for Martin O’Neill who left ITV for the managers job at Sunderland in the middle of the last football season.

The pree release reads as follows:

ITV have announced that Lee Dixon has joined its pundit team covering the range of major football competitions broadcast by the channel.

The former Arsenal and England defender will be part of ITV’s on-screen panel led by presenter Adrian Chiles from the start of the 2012/2013 football season.

Dixon will offer insight and analysis throughout England’s World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign, as well as FA Cup, UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches.

Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, said: “We are delighted that Lee is joining our team with his wealth of experience, knowledge and insight. His appointment follows our acclaimed Euro 2012 broadcasts and signals ITV Sport’s intention to continue to bring viewers top-quality coverage.”

An interesting move as Dixon is well thought of but the old boys network at the BBC limited his opportunities coupled with the lack of lack football on the channel until the 2014 World Cup. ITV have recently dropped to just one staff commentator so to move to three permanent pundits is a bit of a surprising move. Still we’ll see the best of Lee Dixon I expect with him reuniting with his old MOTD2 mate Adrian Chiles.

I have to admit I think the ITV football output is the best it has been for a while. I think Dixon and Keane will be a good combination even if I think Southgate is a bit meh. I am a huge Martin O’Neill guy so that is a loss but the BBC’s coverage has just got too stale. ITV is at least trying something new and I might be one of the few people knocking about who still enjoys Adrian Chiles.

Looks like Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson are set to dominate at the Beeb for a good while yet…

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Did I miss the memo that high school proms are newsworthy?

I am now three weeks into my self-imposed ‘I will buy and read the local newspaper – the Southend Echo every Monday-Friday’ commitment. I have to admit that the £6.75 I have spent on doing this hasn’t been the best £6.75 that I have ever spent but it has taken me back to being a journalist. One thing though has really stood out and that is they seem to have a photographer at every single local high school prom. When did the high school prom become newsworthy? Can someone enlighten me?

Now I know some of you will be thinking, ‘but Neil you are just jealous because you didn’t go to any of your high school discos or proms or anything social’ but you’d be wrong – I went to one. Hah! Although it wasn’t a prom or anything it was a big leaving VI form party in the park – or more accurately Sandown or Shanklin Rugby Club. I can’t remember which. Anyway as per usual I digress. I’m not jealous of either going to proms or having the local rag deciding it was newsworthy. I just think it is preposterous to have the gall to pretend it is even remotely newsworthy.

No doubt the local paper will say that it fills up space and no doubt people buy it to see their photos and to see them all but isn’t that the type of thing that Facebook and other forms of social media was invented for?

Here are a couple of photos from the last two days but in the 15 days of buying the local rag I’d say a good eight of them have had double page spreads from a high school prom.

high school prom southend
High School Prom Photo 1…
southend high school prom
High School Prom Photo 2…

I just don’t get it. Maybe I am just a grumpy old man. I know that the local rag will have quite a few non-stories in it. It isn’t easy finding enough news to fill up a newspaper every single day but prom photos?

The whole high school prom thing is also a bug-bear of mine. It is the Americanisation of our young people. More and more pressure is put on young people to have a good time at these things and make an impression. I read a story in a national newspaper the other day that two girls had waited too long to hire a limo for their prom that they went out a hired a helicopter instead. The helicopter cost them £500 to hire between them. I don’t think I even had £500 pocket money throughout my teenage years yet alone to spend on a helicopter trip to arrive at a prom in style.

Proms are essentially for the popular kids and it deeply harms the less popular kids self-worth. If you aren’t popular or you can’t afford a new dress or to arrive in style then people look down on you. Having the local newspaper photographer there doesn’t exactly help this.

I could bang on about it for hours but I’ll be good and won’t. It just really pisses me off. Not just the whole newsworthy issue but the prom culture itself. I’m not sure the benefits outweigh the costs in fact quite the opposite – I’m pretty darn sure the costs outweigh the benefits.

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