Monday, 24 February 2014

Journalism Week 2014 and Harold Ramis

Rather than an in-depth article, which I am intending, I just wanted to update today with a few succinct points to keep my hand in the blogging field.

It is the 2014 Journalism Week at Leeds Trinity University, the alma mater and the first in three years that I haven't been able to attend. Thankfully, it can all be followed on twitter via the #ltjw hashtag, and following @JournalismWeek, and reading the official blog of the post-grad team, and watch it live, and...

Well, suffice to say I am very envious of those attending. It was one of the motivating factors behind Leeds Eye View, and you can read my multimedia updates from previous Journalism Weeks in my archives.

One of the articles I've most appreciated coming out of #ltjw 2014 has been by post-graduate lecturer Richard Horsman, and it's a wry lesson for the exuberant, ever-connected generation. I hope some of the student hacks at Trinity take this lesson to heart!

When I saw it pop up on Twitter, I was inspired to comment to him as below:
Much of the hue and cry about the 'death' of old Journalism and the rise of the blogger has since subsided in the face of, dare I say it, common sense. The call is not for old-fashioned trained journalists to be replaced by the smartphone and wifi - but for the journalist to add those tools to their armoury!


 On a more sombre note, today American actor, director and producer Harold Ramis has died, aged just 69. Like many British kids who are proud nerds, I grew up watching Ghostbusters over and over and over again. Ramis' potrayal of the awkward, brilliant, and surprisingly sly Dr Egon Spengler was to me how footballers or pop stars must appeal to the regular, sporty, confident kids. 
Still a favourite fancy dress outfit!
Spengler was a hero, a goal to aim for - if perhaps a little less nebbish - and proof that having brains was not an obstacle to becoming popular and achieving goals. The man saved the world!

He helped me feel more at ease with myself during adolescence, instilled in me a love of intelligence for knowledge's sake, and an appreciation for a dry, deadpan delivery. I am not surprised to read the list of contemporary, feted directors and producers who cite Ramis' quiet work behind some of the classic Eighties comedies as such a great influence.
Ramis' comedies were often wild, silly and tilting toward anarchy, but they also were cerebral and iconoclastic, with the filmmaker heeding the Second City edict to work at the top of one's intelligence. This combination of smart and gut-bustingly funny led a generation of comedic actors and filmmakers — including Judd Apatow, Peter Farrelly, Jake Kasdan, and Adam Sandler — to cite him as a key inspiration.
That's a legacy any Hollywood veteran can be proud of. I was grateful for an awesome character in a brilliant comedy that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. My thoughts are with Ramis' nearest and dearest, as well as fans around the world.

Courtesy of Ghostbusters Wiki

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