Knock - knock...

t sounds like the start of a bad joke but when Roger Cook’s doing the knocking it’s a sound that can make criminal hearts race. Investigative reporter Roger Cook became famous for ‘doorstepping’ his subjects; surprising those he investigated with a camera and a microphone, often putting himself in danger to get the real story. His trademark confrontations often involving banging on the door until somebody spoke to him or pursuing a suspect as they tried to get away from the camera. He received many a right hook in his quest for justice and it was his persistence that made investigative reporter, Roger Cook a TV legend. Star of the investigative programme, ‘The Cook Report’, Cook covered subjects as diverse as child pornography, baby trading in Brazil, protection rackets, the ivory trade, war criminals in Bosnia and the Russian black market in plutonium. Since the show began in 1985 ,125 editions of The Cook Report were made first for Central Television and then for Carlton TV. Roger’s career stretches back to founding Checkpoint on BBC Radio Four in 1971 through to working on Nationwide and Newsnight on the BBC TV and the Cook Report on ITV which he fronted for thirteen years. He has confronted more villains on screen than anybody

03 March 2009

else in British Television history and was the pioneer of tough investigative foot- in- the- door journalism, even winning a BAFTA in 1998 for a quarter of a century of inverstigative reporting. Cook’s not looking for trouble in Coventry, though anything’s possible, instead he’s here for a Conversation. John Mair, the inventor of the Coventry Conversations, said: “Roger is an influential figure in British television history. He invented and perfected the investigative genre. His close encounters with many unsavoury characters made compelling viewing. He has lots of tales to tell and I am sure will be a very popular guest.” Semi-retired and leading a quiet life in the West County, Cook is making the trip to Coventry especially for the talk.


Roger Cook will be in conversation on Thursday 5 March at 1pm in Room ETG 34 of the Ellen Terry Building at Coventry University. By Danielle Cox

On Orwell and others...
„ Media lecturer, external examiner and journalism specialist, Richard Keeble was told as a young man; “If you’re serious about writing, read Orwell.” How apt then that, thirty years later and after much academic critiquing, he should appear at the University’s Ellen Terry lecture theatre to give a talk about the great man’s writings. The title of the lecture ‘George Orwell: England’s Greatest Journalist?’ is to some fanatics indisputable, but Keeble held off criticism by naming some of the other great writers of the 20th century which included Naomi Klein, Martha Gelhorn, Robert Fiske and George Monbiot. Nevertheless he was nothing short of praise “Orwell has been an inspiration, a model for me of a committed, radical, intelligent, witty, wonderfully imaginative writer. Who deployed the tools of journalism for their best purpose: as a crucial, intervention in politics.” Keeble staunchly recommended Orwell’s reportage/autobiographical book ‘Homage to Catalonia’, his favourite book. From which he cited Orwell’s “brilliantly downbeat anti-heroic description of being shot through the neck,” an injury he sustained whilst fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. For the journalists among you who weren’t there (you missed out), Keeble attributed his love for Orwell’s

captivating writing style, to his “sense of urgency in the first sentence.” Dont forget: if you’re unlucky enough to miss a Conversation you can download it at By Claire Hartry

Watch out - Phatboy’s about
„ Phatboy are a melodic pop-punk quintet, hailing from Coventry and London. Making up 4 of the 5 band members of Coventry based Phatboy are Sean Whitehead, Lee Dorricott, Gaz Ayres and Guy Earnshaw; all 2nd year students on the music technology course at Coventry Univer-

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sity who, along with Londoner Edward Palmer, formed the band from the ashes of two Telford based bands a little over a year ago and have been moving onward and upward ever since. Currently recording an EP, the band already has one free to download at The album, called ‘Cheesy Does It’, is probably not for you if you prefer your music on the quieter side. Best-played heartthumpingly loud, Phatboy draws on the fast paced punk stylings of Rufio, The Ataris and Fall Out Boy with harmonic vocals and a bit of classic rock thrown in for good measure. With such eclectic influences the band hits a unique - and powerful - note. With various shows including Manchester coming up the band’s Coventry show’s timed to help us celebrate the start of vacation in style. Lead vocalist, Sean Whitehead said “We are playing the Kasbah on Friday 20th of March, which is the end of term, so it’ll be a good night.” By Danielle Cox

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The student and staff newsletter of the Media and Communications department of Coventry School of Art and Design Edited by Danielle Cox Submissions are invited, please send any articles to
Thanks to John Mair and Clair Hartry