disaster verted at local hall - in praise of the spoof local newspaper

Remember local newspapers? You do? You may remember The Framley Examiner. Here's a call for a revival of the  ironic website of the ironic newspaper.

by Dan Slee

Remember Venn diagrams? They're the two circles with two bits overlapping.

If you were to draw one and write 'the internet' under one and 'local newspapers' under the second the bit in the middle there would be written the words 'The Framley Examiner.'

A spoof newspaper, printed and uploaded to the web on microfishe it brilliantly nailed the small town newspaper with no news to report.

It became a web phenomenon in 2004 and in a brilliantly post-modern twist it then became a book.

Whoever wrote it clearly loved the medium.

Not only that, whoever wrote it appreciated the fact that sometimes local newspaper pageleads are, in the parlance, 'jacked up' from very little to pretend to be something approaching a furore to justify page 19.

As a junior reporter I may well have stretched a polite note on a school newslatter to ask parents to pick up crisp packets at the school gate into 'Outraged Head slams litter lout mums.' 

In my dying days as a newspaper reporter the book of the website was passed amongst colleagues as an unofficial style book.

When I started on newspapers almost 20 years ago they were places of humour, unrepeatable war stories, jokes, cricket in the office when the deadline was passed and hard graft. At the centre of it all was a love of people and the place they lived. This was before the cuts started to bite. There was no money. But we didn't care.

The Framley Examiner and it's ridiculous period adverts and pastiche typography is a love letter to it all.

If you've never come across it I heartily recommend you spend some time looking at this most magnificent of online creations.

Six of my favourites...

NEWS - PARROT HELPS FIND MISSING MEDIUM A psychic medium has been found after she disappeared after falling in a hole after a trip to the dentist's after a toothache after eating too many sweets. http://www.framleyexaminer.com/pages/news069.php

PROPERTY - THE TRUMPTONS, WHOFT £113,500 Badly thought out 14th century maisonette situated conveniently on the fold of a map, 4ft ceilings no doors on ground floor, fluffmill-powered windows, greenhouse cellar, that sort of thing. This is your last and own only chance to own yourself your own highly talk-provoking home. NB Susie it's ALSO on the flight path!!! Me and Paul P***ED ourselfs. http://www.framley.com/pages/prop002

SMALL ADS - BOBBINS Yes, please £15. 01999 793604 http://www.framley.com/pages/clas009

NEWS - POUND FOUND - A pound coin has been found in a phone box in Whoft. The coin was discovered in the early hours of Friday morning by revellers who had been attending a wassail at a nearby gallimaufry. http://www.framley.com/pages/news001

NEWS - VICAR FREAKED OUT BY HARVEST - A popular vicar frok Tollephant has gone into hiding after finally admitting defeat at the hands of the harvest festival service. A shivering Rev Eldon Puff told church authorities from his makeshift bivouac on the beach at Fracton that he wasn't coming out until the congregation had 'gone home' and 'stopped it.' The harvest festival is traditionally celebrated once an annual at St Ungun's Exceptional Church in Tollephant. Parishoners are encouraged to bring gifts of food that are later distributed to the local poors after there have been hymns. http://www.framley.com/pages/anno004

NEWS - BUS ROUTE OUTRAGE - Bus passengers from Molford are up in arms about changes to their beloved 77 bus route. The 77, which starts at New Village Square and terminates at Framley Bus Station, is to be renumbered the 77A from January, a decision which has caused outrage in Molford. "I've been using the 77 for twenty years and it doesn't need changing," exploded a furious Harry Price, 77A. "We're going to fight this every site of the way." http://www.framley.com/pages/news059

You can find it here.

Dan Slee is co-founder of comms2point0. He also blogs here.

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