birmingham – madonna or whore?

Again to reference Pete Ashton, who has put together something very well thought out about the recent national media coverage of Birmingham. For those who just want to read this post then quickly forget about the whole thing, let me recap;

  • when directly questioned 48% of surveyed people think manchester is britain’s second city (40% brum, 12% obviously couldn’t give a fig)
  • we’re the rudest city in the country – according to a survey run to in some was promote a very low ranking supermarket (lower even than Safebury’s in my estimation anyway)
  • the interior designer fella that people assume is gay, but actually isn’t did a Holiday report on us and recommended us as a weekend break

Pete is very dismissive of all the journalistic work that has gone into the coverage all this, very rightly in the case of the rudeness survey, and seems to pretty much be saying “what’s the point?”. I’m sure he’ll correct me if I’m wrong.

I was asked by News 24 and Kerrang! Radio to comment on the second city and rudeness debates respectively – judge for yourself whether asking me constitutes lazy journalism – and in a way i feel a bit guilty in playing their games. I tried to be dismissive about both, after all what does this sort of thing actually prove – and if people think we’re rude then they can just sod off ;)

BUT – while most of Birmingham: It’s Not Shit is really aimed at Brummies, and I’m sure if i was marketing Birmingham to the rest of the country I’d do a little bit less on Carl Chinn and The 11 route and a little more on the Ikon gallery too – through lazy journalism, the national media do display a prejudice against us. And worse, the people that are paid to promote us – to get our retaliation in early – (supposedly – unless these people here are not real) don’t even think they do a good job.

Do we have to be ‘Malmaison’ perfect for Mr Llewelyn-Bowen , or something for Terry Christian to slag off on a slow news week? Can’t we be represented as a fairly huge diverse mass of contradictions?

Or is that not easily focus grouped?

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