The Crucial Blog
I say, I say, I say . . .
Q. How many journalists does it take to change a light bulb?
A1. We just report the facts, we don't change them.
A2. Three. One to report it as an inspired government programme to bring light to the people, one to report it as a diabolical government plot to deprive the poor of darkness and one to win a Pulitzer prize for reporting that Electric Company hired a lightbulb assassin to break the bulb in the first place.
Ha! Ha! Well, as regularly noted in Reader's Digest, laughter's the best medicine.
In these days of recessionary gloom, not helped by the more unsavoury aspects of journalistic practices being highlighted in the Levenson Inquiry (see my earlier blog), we could all do with a laugh and it got me wondering what jokes featuring journalists were out there.
As it happens - not as many as I expected. They tended to be:
1. Purely American
2. The same ones recycled on different websites.
Bit of a shame really. As anyone who's worked in a busy newsroom will know, journalists are not short on humour of the particularly black variety. I have had many moments of side-splitting glee prompted by witty remarks or comments from the newsdesk in response to what can be the most dire of breaking stories - and always tempered by the guilty knowledge that it's not really a laughing matter.
But I'm sure many others - health professionals, police, fire, ambulance etc - will agree it's sometimes the humour that gets you through.
So equally, let's enjoy some of the things that poke fun at our own, even if they appear to be in short supply.
Short and sweet from Gigglepedia are these:
Q. What do you get if you cross a sports reporter with a vegetable? A. A common tater
Q. Who was sent to cover the story of the baby lion born in the zoo? A. The cub reporter
But this has to be from the UK - hooray!
Q. What do you get if you cross a radio music presenter with Match of the Day? A. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDJ
Pretty terrible really, but hopefully they raise a smile. it would be great to hear from anybody who has some good ones of their own. Please send us your comments!
Some of the best journalistic laughs, come from the unintentional. Who doesn't love the misprints, the daft headlines, that seemed such a great idea at first? Private Eye has collected enough of these to be able to publish bookfuls of them, while they make up a staple part of Radio 4's The News Quiz. I always look forward to media gaffes spotted in the Friday Funnies from industry site Hold the Front Page - although they do seem to have been in short supply lately.
And then there are some of the higher-profile journalists who don't mind showing their lighter side. The regular newsreader stints on Children In Need - hmm, not always a good thing!
Of course, the best for showing journalists in a new humourous light had to be Morecambe & Wise . . . probably most famously Angela Rippon revealing her legs - and dancing ability. But don't forget Michael Parkinson, Michael Aspel and a host of well-remembered newsreaders in the 'There is Nothing Like a Dame' routine.
And let's just leave it with the masters shall we. Any excuse to revisit Morny Stannit.