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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

Full Text of Gordon Brown's speech to the TUC

Below is the full text of Gordon Brown's speech today to the TUC. You may wonder why I am posting it here. It's because I have written a post on the Birmingham Post blog site comparing Mr Brown's speech to one delivered by George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, and wanted to link to full copies of both speeches.

Believe it or not, while the Conservative website has a copy of Mr Osborne's speech, the Labour website does not have a copy of the Prime Minister's words (and it is a Labour speech, not a Government speech, so it's not on the Downing Street site either). So I have posted a copy to this blog for me to link to. Here it is:

Read more: Full Text of Gordon Brown's speech to the TUC

Birmingham MPs talk about their expenses

I don't usually do this, but I am crossposting from my Birmingham Post blog.

This is a video blog post showing some of the work I have been doing as Political Editor of the Birmingham Mail and Birmingham Post over the past week, and how MPs have responded to the expenses controversy.

"This was all set up to give people a little bit of extra cash and hide it from the taxpayer, and that was very wrong." John Hemming MP.

You may also be interested in my Post column.

Be the First to Read Government Spin

Nick Booth has highlighted the Government's PR Twitter feeds.

Checking out the West Midlands feed - which provides links to press releases from our local government office - I was surprised it only has three followers, two of whom are Nick and I.

Government press releases aren't always fascinating reads, but they're definitely worth watching for local political anoraks and West Midlands journalists covering health, education, transport or just about any other area of public policy.

Liam Byrne Interview

I recently spoke to Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), the Cabinet Office Minister.

The report and a film of the conversation is here, on the Birmingham Post site.

For those who want to see the full 30 minute interview, it is below. This is the full unedited film, including a little goofing around at the start.

{flv}liamlong{/flv}

Bloggers Put Up Our Taxes!

Okay, it's a bit of a naughty headline. But they have increased the number of press officers employed by the civil service.

Sir Gus O'Donnell, cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service, today defended an increase in the number of press officers in government and said the increase was a response to the 1,600 political bloggers in the UK.

Source: www.journalism.co.uk.

Bloggers - you are creating jobs for hacks, or former hacks at least. Keep it up.

Gordon Brown Comes To Birmingham

Fun at the lobby briefing in Westminster this morning, as hacks sought an angle on the Prime Minister's visit to Birmingham.

The nationals had lots of questions about how much it all cost, clearly hoping to build up a story about an expensive PR junket at taxpayers' expense.

Whether this is how it will be reported tomorrow, I don't know.

A better angle has probably presented itself with David Miliband declaring that Brown will lead Labour into the next election and win it, perhaps putting paid to stories about the Foreign Secretary challenging for the leadership (and leading to future stories about Miliband botting it, I suspect).

I have been writing about West Midlands Minister Liam Byrne's presentation to the Cabinet today, and Mr Brown's comments about the region playing a role in the development of environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient technology. There'll be more from Paul Dale and Neil Elkes for the Post and Mail respectively.

The event has provided an opportunity for some multimedia reporting, with contributions using Flickr and SlideShare, as well as blogs by Joanna Geary and me.

The Public and Private Faces of Journalism

Nunchuckles – laughing in the face of nuns.

Who would devote a blog to such a terrible pastime? A friend of mine in the reporting trade who stuck to internet traditions and blogs anonymously.

As far as I can tell, one of the blog’s main purposes is to let him get his true feelings on the things he writes about out of his system.

But in public . . . we’re all meant to be strictly neutral.

Downing Street Sexes Up Website

Obama Girl was on the telly recently. She told Newsnight: "Doing that video sparked a lot of interest in him early on in his campaign. It definitely sparked the youth vote, so it definitely helped."

Obama GirlWith her {rokbox text=|Spinal Tap|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8JiQCIzCZA{/rokbox}-style lyrics, Amber Lee Ettinger may have shown how the interweb can change political campaigning, but is it a change for the better? Of course, she didn't write the lyrics, or even support Barack Obama when she was chosen to make the video.

It's great that young people have become enthused about politics, but I think we're still waiting for someone to find a way to enthuse them about, um, politics.

Downing Street has re-vamped its website and it looks pretty cool. Lots of YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and press releases which look like blog posts. I don't see Brown Girl popping up in the near future, and even Digital Dave might blanche at Cameron Girl (although David Davis gave it a shot when he stood for the party leadership with his "Double D" girls).

Maybe I'm just old fashioned. Sing along!

Universal healthcare reform
It makes me warm
You tell the truth unlike the right
You can love but you can fight
You can Barack me tonight

{youtubejw}wKsoXHYICqU{/youtubejw}

Brown Makes Comeback

Little known fact – just a couple of weeks ago, the Tory PR people were worried that the mood was changing in Gordon Brown’s favour. Not in the country at large necessarily, but among the press corps.

They believed they had detected the start of the anti-Gordon-backlash-backlash. A fashion for saying he’s not so bad after all, in other words. One example was a piece by Ben Brogan in the Daily Mail portraying him as a colossus on the world stage, and asking why he didn’t enjoy the same respect at home.

Glasgow East put paid to that, but if 150 SNP voters had stuck with Labour, perhaps the mood in the media would be very different today. Of course, David Miliband has since ensured that the leadership will be the story for the foreseeable future.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

Contact me:

Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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