David Parkin on the changing face of the media, a Trump card in the Middle East and crisp thinking

David Parkin on the changing face of the media, a Trump card in the Middle East and crisp thinking

A TWEET earlier this week from my former colleague Ian Briggs reminded me it was 10 years to the day since we launched TheBusinessDesk.com. I knew it was a decade since I took that leap into the dark from the Yorkshire Post to launch the first regional business news service in the UK but I couldn’t remember the exact date. Well I was never very good with figures. The photograph above was taken when Ian left the Yorkshire Post to become the second member of the team and such was his commitment that his first day at work was Christmas Eve. We’d had a taxi decorated in our branding and decided it would be a good idea to pose with it for the publicity shots announcing Ian’s arrival. It was a snowy day and the two of us thought we were the bees knees…until someone told us we looked like Del and Rodney. Well, I did keep saying to him: “Next year we’ll be millionaires.” Ten years on and we’re both doing something different, a bit thinner on top but still with our unique verve, swagger and zest for life (well that’s what I tell them in job interviews). I was apparently described as a “digital disruptor” by Alex Turner of TheBusinessDesk.com at an event earlier this year. I’m happy with that, but at the time we were just seen as a pain in the arse by other media. Business is about relationships and that helped us attract some launch advertisers that gave us serious credibility, despite being a start-up. Neil McLean at DLA Piper, the biggest law firm...
David Parkin tries to find a business barometer in a bar

David Parkin tries to find a business barometer in a bar

WITH the twin aims of researching how the economy is fairing and building up stamina for the Christmas season, I headed off to two drinks parties last night. First it was to AECOM’s annual ‘Winter Warmer’ at Crafthouse in the Trinity centre in Leeds. I didn’t know much about the business but a glance at its website revealed it is a quoted US company with $18bn of revenue last year which delivers “innovative solutions to the world’s most complex challenges”. “Delivering clean water and energy. Building iconic skyscrapers. Planning new cities. Restoring damaged environments. Connecting people and economies with roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems. Designing parks where children play. Helping governments maintain stability and security.” Not bad. Perhaps we should ask it to sort out Brexit, or help deliver the Northern Powerhouse? They would both be a good warm up for the even more daunting challenge we face today. Getting everyone to agree on a devolution deal for Yorkshire. What is interesting is that the property professionals and architects I spoke to last night appear to be having similar experiences to a corporate financier I bumped into yesterday. They are finding there is a lot of work out there but they can’t quite explain why, don’t know how long it will be around and so can’t plan too far ahead. Brexit doesn’t appear to be an issue. Yet. It seems there is so much uncertainty about what it will look like that companies are just getting on with things. Other than businesses who have been hit by currency fluctuations post the vote for Britain to leave the European...
David Parkin on the farce of Fifa, a pioneering sports lawyer and the tale of a tailor

David Parkin on the farce of Fifa, a pioneering sports lawyer and the tale of a tailor

IN a world where news is delivered via 280-character Tweets, video clips and soundbites, David Conn is something of an oddity. He is a sports journalist who can take weeks, months or even years to produce his work. Conn started to write about the Hillsborough disaster 20 years ago and attended much of the two-year inquest into the 96 deaths, the longest case ever heard by a jury in British legal history, which in April 2016 overturned the original inquest verdict of accidental death and concluded that the people who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were unlawfully killed. His report in the Guardian after the jury delivered their verdict ran to 6,500 words, a very long article for any newspaper to publish, but significantly shorter than the original one of 22,000 words that he had written. Driving past the imposing gates of the Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), I’d noticed a banner promoting a talk by David Conn about his latest book, The Fall of the House of Fifa. I’ve admired his work as a journalist and writer for years, so when Leeds lawyer Richard Cramer, whose firm Front Row Legal were sponsoring the event, invited me to attend as his guest, I jumped at the chance. I’ve never met David but we did once have a chat over the phone when he was looking into the finances behind Ken Bates’ ownership of Leeds United. It prompted Bates to brand Conn “an international enemy of Leeds United”, which puzzled him as he lived in Yorkshire. Conn trained as a lawyer and so...
David Parkin on a Big Night Out, all change at Asda and the ultimate insult

David Parkin on a Big Night Out, all change at Asda and the ultimate insult

FROM the service you get at Bridlington Tourist Information Centre to the performances at Hull Truck Theatre to the food and drink at The Pheasant Hotel in Harome and the Bay Tree pub at Stillington. The White Rose Awards are a yearly celebration of Yorkshire’s burgeoning tourism industry and my chance to note down plenty of places to visit over the next 12 months. Monday night’s shindig, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Big Night Out at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, was attended by almost 1,000 people, the UK’s largest celebration of tourism. Yorkshire’s sports stars also made an appearance with rugby league teams Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers, Hull FC and the Bradford Bulls’ women there to share the celebrations and show off their trophies. Champion featherweight boxer Josh Warrington was among the guests, fresh from his latest win against Dennis Ceylan the previous weekend. The Leeds-born fighter is now aiming for a showdown with Welsh world champion Lee Selby and would dearly love the bout to be outdoors at Elland Road, home of his beloved Leeds United. Interviewed by BBC correspondent Danni Hewson, fresh faced Josh doesn’t look like your typical professional boxer. Asked about his recent win at Leeds Arena, he told Danni: “I love fighting at this Arena, mainly because it is only 10 minutes from my house.” Retired cricketer Ryan Sidebottom was also honoured at the awards as he was made a Yorkshire Patron alongside Leeds Rhinos great Rob Burrow, who has also retired. It was nice to see Ryan, who has played for England and Yorkshire and has taken over 1,000 career wickets and is...