Friday, 13 May 2011

Jonathan Frewin

Chatted with the BBC’s Jonathan Frewin over  coffee at The Hospital Club this week.  Jonathan has worked for six years as a business features editor at the BBC’s World Service, but is currently setting up the Beeb’s business and economics social media platform.

Interesting to hear how he uses twitter and Facebook not just to push out news and stories, but to ask audience members what they would like the Beeb’s radio and TV interviewers to ask certain guests.  Apparently this is a popular value-add of BBC Business’s social media platforms from the audience’s point of view. 

Jonathan described an interview last month with Tesco’s CEO Philip Clarke.  The business Facebook page and Twitter feed invited questions from viewers to put to Clarke; the interviewer posed several of these to him; the best were included in the final cut of the website interview; and the full list of Facebook and twitter questions remains on the internet.  Interactivity with the audience on a totally new level.

Of course the most exciting breaking news that Jonathan shared with me is his excitement over the imminent arrival of his first baby, due any day now.  Congratulations!


The Apprentice returned to our screens this week and The Lawyer magazine had the brilliant idea to invite twitter-literate employment lawyers to tweet live from their sofas during the show.  Excellent fun!  Our client Rachel Harfield of Russell Jones & Walker’s Cardiff office is relatively new to twitter, but she lapped up the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed herself, tweeting under the hashtag #lawyerapprentice.  She raised more than a smile or two as I read her tweets appearing on my laptop screen, watching the programme on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.  Not only was she speedy in pinpointing the legal issues...

Rachel Harfield
#lawyerapprentice  boys' slang app - place your bets how many of the protected characteristics are they going to offend?
                11 May

...but she also had a real nose for the issues that the non-legal world was focussing on:

Rachel Harfield
#lawyerapprentice  can any one explain the purpose of the black gloves?
 11 May

(Did you see Daira O Briain’s pair in the aftershow?)

She also wrote a blog on the subject, asking whether the producers’ decision to switch the prize from a job to a £250,000 investment and partnership in a new business was a deliberate attempt to avoid Britain’s-Got-Talent-style discrimination claims.

The Lawyer joined in the conversation on both evenings, retweeted the best of the tweets (and the blogs) and used them in their own Apprentice blog.  

The drama continues over the next 10 or so weeks.  Tune in and log on 9pm on Wednesdays.


Loved the story this week of the 12-year-old boy who wore his sister’s skirt to school in protest at the school’s ban on shorts, even in hot weather.  They couldn’t stop him from a wearing a skirt, as that would have been discriminatory – and he used this loophole to make a point. He says that insisting boys wear long trousers throughout the summer can adversely affect their concentration in the classroom and their ability to learn. 

Impressed as I am at this young man’s ingenuity and courage, as I tweeted at the time I have to say that my two boys would think wearing a SKIRT to school would affect their concentration in the classroom!

See this brave young man interviewed on CBBC News Round.

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