Oliff’s Life

Potholes matter to people, says Richard
Potholes matter to people, says Richard

In media newsrooms all over the world there is an expression that is used too often to excuse the lack of an imaginative, even lazy, approach to the job in hand.

A “slow news day” usually occurs during times of national holiday or when there simply isn’t enough material of a “juicy” nature arriving on the editor’s desk.

Last November 26 it was reported there had been no murders, muggings or stabbings in New York: apparently a first in the city’s living history.

Ironically, this lack of sensational news became the news purely for that reason.

I was reminded of the “slow news day” as I drove along the A6003 between Rockingham triangle and the Fourways roundabout in Corby.

This relatively short stretch of bypass road has to be one of the poorest driving surfaces in the county, testing my shock absorbers to the limit.

Its deep and dangerous potholes compound with poorly finished repairs to make one wonder if those responsible for our road repairs have ever driven a car or motorbike.

I think this would be regarded as a slow news story.

I can clearly remember the little list of news items one might have in reserve to compete with potholes.

Dog fouling is right up there along with the cost of clearing up discarded chewing gum, the cost of parking, including those who park in disabled spaces, rubbish thrown from vehicles and obstacles on pavements.

Paradoxically it’s these very stories that can cause the greatest emotional response from readers, listeners or viewers purely because of their relevance to our everyday lives.

Marketing and public relations companies target newsrooms with their press releases often to coincide with these “slow” periods purely because of their increased chances of being chosen.

However, I still think the state of the A6003 is just as important as the proverbial “fiscal cliff”.