Becca Challis reviews the book We are Bellingcat: An Intelligence Agency for the People by Eliot Higgins – a starter-kit for ‘armchair journalists’.
It’s 1987, the streets of New York City are pitch-black and still, but inside the packed venue of Paris Dupree’s annual ball, the world couldn’t be more different. Multicoloured lights illuminate a room crammed with dancing figures as synth-heavy 80s music pulsates. The dancers are clad in feathers, sequins, and outrageous make-up. Here, gender is subverted and rewritten.
Attendance at British cinemas in 2020 was 75 per cent down on the 176m admissions in 2019. Among those unable to attend due to the pandemic were film critics. Four of the UK’s leading film critics reveal to XCityPlus the home cinema set-up that’s got them through lockdown and what they miss about the silver screen.
In movies, journalists are often depicted as cool dudes with a latte in one hand and their Macbook in the other, like Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. But movies aren’t real life, and sometimes, fictional journalists are too ridiculous to believe. XCityPlus has identified some of the most ludicrous fictional journalist moments.
The storming of the Capitol; the tangled tubes of an intensive care unit; the latest snaps of the prime minister’s dog – rarely is an event (or non-event) left uncaptured by photojournalists.
In the modern age, with a camera in every pocket, it’s never been easier to be a photojournalist. But who were the true innovators of photojournalism: those that pioneered new styles and techniques, or irreversibly altered what was acceptable to be photographed?
On a crinkled billboard outside of Stepney Green underground station in east London, a row of posters outlines The White Pube’s manifesto for a future art world. It was one of many manifestos that popped up across London, Liverpool, and Instagram in early 2021, as part of a public campaign to confront various inequalities in the global art ecosystem.
There are moments in every journalist’s career when you feel at a loss for inspiration, struggling to fill the blank page with words. When the ideas falter, inspiration can be found from fellow writers. Hadley Freeman, Simon Hattenstone, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and Helena Lee reveal their recommended reads.
“It’s hard to imagine the diverse, thriving LGBTQI+ landscape we live in today without publications like Gay News.”
These words were spoken by DIVA editor Carrie Lyell about the British LGBTQI+ newspaper which ran between 1972 and 1983. Filled with wit, satire, and biting critiques of heteronormativity, the paper constantly pushed boundaries in a time when gay love faced huge barriers.
With the 50th anniversary of the iconic publication fast approaching in June, XCityPlus spoke to pioneering LGBTQI+ journalists about the legacy of Gay News and what it means to them.
Film critics have played an important role throughout the pandemic. Lockdown pushed one in five UK households to sign up for a new streaming service last year and film writers helped identify the hidden gems. They compiled extensive lists of the greatest movies and TV shows, and provided some much-needed joy in doing so. XCityPlus asked four film critics what their own comfort films were over the past year, check out the list below.