Article for the Guardian: Why soaps can’t compete with Facebook for continuing drama

Extract:

Recently I’ve watched three compelling narratives, each involving some of my favourite characters, play themselves out. Amanda realised her boyfriend was cheating on her and threw him out. Emma and Steve were joyous at the safe arrival of their baby son after Emma was rushed to hospital with pre-eclampsia. Barry was gutted when he lost the chance of a job interview because he asked the company to pay his travel expenses.

It’s a blend of stories that sounds like it could come from a TV soap opera, but you won’t recognise them from last week’s TV schedules. These storylines and people are real – although the names have been changed – and I followed the ever-evolving twists and turns of their lives on my Facebook timeline.

Read the whole article here: http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2015/feb/17/why-soaps-cant-compete-with-facebook-for-continuing-drama

My article for the Guardian: Disabled people aren’t here to inspire you

Here’s my latest article, for the Guardian:

Advertising agencies don’t miss a trick. In the run-up to the 2014 Super Bowl, an advert from Duracell that featured a deaf NFL footballer called Derrick Coleman went viral. Coleman narrated it himself, saying: “They gave up on me, told me I should quit. But I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen.”

That trend’s been followed up this year, with two adverts being aired during the Super Bowl featuring disabilities. One, featuring a six-year old boy called Braylon O’Neill, shows how, with the help of Microsoft technology, he can use prostheses to walk. The other shows Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy, who also uses prosthetics, gliding across the snow to promote a car company. Both adverts have prompted a debate on “inspiration porn”.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/05/disabled-people-super-bowl-advert-deaf-nfl-footballer-derrick-coleman