Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part C: Adrian Monck

Adrian Monck is a former broadcasting executive turned academic, author and commentator. He is currently a professor at City University London, being head of - Britain’s only Graduate School of Journalism. The Guardian have referred to him as "Amusingly blunt"

What made you decide to start blogging?

Fear of being left behind by technology. And I wanted an excuse to neglect my children.


What is your best blogging experience?

Has to be the network of fellow bloggers – it’s a great levelling medium.


And your worst?

You open yourself up to comments from anonymous weirdoes. OK – it’s probably the neighbours.


What do you regard as your best blog entry?

Probably the one I wrote about my dad after he died. It was pretty raw and unthought out. Not exactly my normal beat.


Favourite blogs?

Martin Belam’s currybet.net remains a complete joy and an inspiration to us all. Lloyd Shepherd and Seumas Milne are sadly too busy to blog regularly but I’m a big fan of both. Jon Slattery is a must-read. Russ Taylor at Ofcomwatch makes something mind-numbingly dull very entertaining. Loads of others. I read too many.


What is it like being the Head of Britain's only Graduate School of Journalism?

Getting to see students battle their way into their business is inspiring and humbling.


How do you see journalism develop a generation from now. More of the same or something slightly different?

I think journalism will reside in a lot more places – NGOs, campaigning groups, you name it. It’ll be a lot less Anglo-Saxon post-Rupert Murdoch.
The values we think of as being important to journalism will be more dispersed, and the skills needed to be a professional journalist will be more specialised.


As someone who has stated that he will never vote Conservative and why, what lessons do you think we still have to learn from the Thatcher years?

Well I have campaigned for a friend who became a Conservative MP but I did tell prospective voters to pick the man not the party. I hated the Thatcher years. But then I loathed trades unions too. I think we need to learn that society can sometimes change without politics or laws to push it along.


Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?

I only just visited Hong Kong and I now want to see as much of China, Japan and Korea as possible.


Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?

Definitely going back to Hong Kong, but my absolute favourite place in the world has to be Berkeley in California.


Do you have a favourite political figure in history?

What journalist couldn’t love Churchill?


Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?

I read Richard Jefferies at a young age and his writing has always stayed with me.


Favourite Bond movie?

Has to be Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale


Favourite Doctor Who?

Not really a fan – that’s Martin Belam territory. More The Wire.


Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?

Plain vanilla.


Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?

Have to be The Clash.


In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?

Cambridge. Friends nearby.


Favourite national newspaper?

I read them all with equal appreciation.


What would you say your hobbies were?

Don’t really have any...


And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books
(Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?

Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Samuel Barber
Pills and Soap, Elvis Costello
Tommy Gun, The Clash

Landscape with Figures: An anthology of Richard Jefferies's Prose
Njal’s Saga (Penguin Classics)
The Comedians, Graham Greene

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