Monday, September 18, 2006
The Guardian's Manchester podcast
I almost missed it, but there was a link on the I've Been There page to a Manchester podcast done by David Ward, one of the few lonely Grauniad journos left here. Billed as an audio guide to Manc, it it promises to "reveal how cafe society changed the city" (Yes, they're serious.)
I just listened to it, and can't say I'm any the wiser about Manchester's cafe society. While the production values were as high as I expected, I found the podcast a bit of a dud. It felt like a school field trip, slogging round the Museum of Science and Industry for an age. And the local experts they chose to interview were - surprise! - mostly Guardian or MEN writers, reeling off the usual suspects in culture, nightlife, food etc. I'd much rather hear from regular Mancs, folks who might say something unscripted, talking about some random club night, un-famous pub or the little curry place on the corner.
To be fair, it's nice to see the Guardian paying any attention at all to Manchester. As a regular reader of both their online and print editions, I frequently get steamed up about how little they ever write about the city ... unless someone gets shot in Moss Side or assaulted in Salford, of course. Unfortunately, this podcast is not something most relatively clued-up Mancunians will derive much benefit from, since it just tells us stuff we already know. It's clearly targeted at older, affluent daytrippers, who probably live down south.
Yeah, it's easy to criticise, but how about coming up with something better? Okay, I'm going to take a podcasting course next month at MDDA (The Oct. 13 one is apparently full, but they're going to do some more, so check their website.) If anyone's interested in doing some podcasting about the real Manchester, get in touch.