Sunday, July 17, 2005

Writing for the BBC - 1 million hits on my diary. And the Mail on Sunday can sod off.

The diary moved to the BBC news home page and I began to write every day, sometimes twice daily. I had to slightly censor myself, for swearing and overt politics, but by and large the story flowed from the heart.

The comments that began to flood in were astonishing. Survivors of the train began to get in touch, partners and parents and friends and colleagues of the survivors said they felt they could start to understand, people all over the world sent their best wishes. Many people made their way to urban 75 and 500 new posters registered in a week, some sending private messages of support to me via the site. (Ten people from the train have now made contact with me, and I have met several of them and email corresponded with others.)

Media requests began to pour in and journalists began to call me and the BBC online team who were hosting the diary. Some of them were so silly as to deserve contempt, notoriously the Mail on Sunday ( see below). I wrote up their exchange with me and emailed it to the BBC team, ( not for posting!) and to friends. I also posted on The Friday Project talk forums, a site I have posted on for several years, and they gleefully put the exchange on their media blog . Then the journalist's trade press bible Press Gazette picked it up

Just posted this on the urban 75 forum and thought you chaps would
enjoy. Well, I was just contacted by the Mail on Sunday - wait for it - to see if I would like to do an 'upbeat, positive feature'.

'Like what?' I ask, suspiciously.

He explains that 'maybe a birthday? wedding? pregnancy? A happy
occasion, post the bombing.'

'Perhaps 'Bomb victims: What are they wearing this week?' I suggest. Or' Blast Fashion Tips: Match your lipstick to your stitches!'
Or 'The Kings Cross Diet: I lost 3lbs in 3 days with PTSD!'

'Are you, erm, taking the mickey?' he asks. 'It's, erm, not a fashion piece.'

'Look, I say. 'I'm writing anonymously for the BBC. I've posted on a London community website. I should have thought that anyone who'd read that would see I have no interest in appearing in a paper that peddles race-hate. And slags off Ken Livingstone, whose speech was inspirational. And what I and the other survivors are trying to do is get on with our lives. Not wheel out made-up feel good women's magazine bollocks to make Tory housewives feel good in Cheshire...'

'We're, um, not as bad as the Mail, ' he says, 'We're the Mail on Sunday, um, we'd take, um, a different tack...'

'I wouldn't, 'I said, getting into my stride, 'wipe my arse on
the Mail if terrorists had blown up every bog roll in London'.

'And the Mail on Sunday?' he says. 'You're, um, not keen on us either?'

'What do you think?' I say.

'Hmm, well, in that case, I wish you well', he says, 'and I hope that you, um, feel better soon...'

'Oh, I do, ' I say. 'I feel much better'

Best moment of the week


Blogger Carvalho said...

Each day Rachel, I log on to read your blog, like checking on an elderly neighbour down the street, just to make sure you are OK.

Glad to see you're now on Blogger and continuing to write; you clearly do have a talent for saying what many are thinking.
(That includes the comments about Tory housewives in Cheshire...)

Take care...

July 18, 2005 9:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok - officially my hero now :-)


August 05, 2005 4:57 pm  

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