media and technology
the new station are largely unfounded, he says.
With Live TV regional outposts already up and running in Birmingham and Liverpool, Hamilton is keen to stress the distinct local ﬂavour of each. Edinburgh Live, he says, will be ideally placed to cover the development of a Scottish parliament, and feed from Canary Wharf is simply a crutch. Backing up this claim, he refers to the Birmingham station where local coverage attracts double the audience of networked segments.
‘The point is that we [Edinburgh Live] control the agenda,’ he says. ‘So if a big story breaks, like Dunblane, we can just go local and stay with it as a rolling news story.’ Even so, we can expect news with a lighter touch.
‘It’s all about being lively and informative,’ says Hamilton. ‘In
the past few years there has been a tendency for mainstream broadcasters to be rather po-faced: to lecture their public rather than be their friend.’ In keeping with this ethos we can expect to see ‘News McBunny’ skiing down the lecht, among other things.
With a staff of just 29. Edinburgh Live will certainly need commitment from its five young presenters. News reporter Mandy Hamilton, who at 22 has already worked as an anchor for an American cable channel, accepts that staff will be working all hours.
‘This [Edinburgh Live] is like a life,’ she reflects. ‘Every person that works in this station is constantly looking for stories. If you think of one at two in the morning, then you’ll phone it in. It’s not a normal environment to work in, but it’s so much more
exciting than the old school of broadcasting.’ Edinburgh Live launches on cable on Fri 24 Jan.
Earmarked: the Edinburgh live team with News McBunny
BITS AND BYTES
Gamers across Britain can be expected to start 1997 with the shakes — literally — following the introduction of America’s best- selling vibrating virtual reality backpack (£69.99) and cushion (£99.99), the Aura Interactor (0161 973 0505 for stockists). to the UK. Designed by the same team of US defence scientists who cut their teeth on Reagan’s US SDI (Star Wars) programme (gulp), the Interactor works by responding to the bass sound waves present in all computer games, films and musical scores.
Originally designed to combat vibrations in a launching space shuttle, the civvy version promises users that ‘for the first time in the UK’ they will experience the thrill of ‘virtual body harm’. Yes, you too can strap this shoogling little number to your back and feel explosions, crashes, punches and screams as they happen on screen. Now this may sound unpleasant to you and I, but all over America those in the know are wallowing in the good vibrations present in all from a gun fight in computer
Shaking all over: virtual vibrations with the how Aura Interactor
game Quake, to the shark’s bite in Jaws. Masochism is the new rock ’n’ roll kids.
Meanwhile, in the fast-moving world of modern media, Edinburgh’s legendary Weegie- baiting, underground mag Shaver ’3 Weekly has a competitor in the shape of bizarre new counter-culture publication X124, published in the Highlands by er, Murdo McFetish and Guy Trocchi. That’ll be their real names then. ‘Snobbery seek shelter,’ say the rallying pair. ‘Laddism crawl under the keech from whence you came.’ All will be revealed by calling the Highland Pnntmakers Workshop And Gallery on 01463 791074 for your copy priced £2, or visiting the X124 Web site, if you dare, at http://www.walkabout.uk.com/rad arts.
Back on a gaming tip, Edinburgh’s Reality-X games/virtual reality cafe —- till now tucked away in a small basement in Broughton Street — has gone on to bigger and better things with a move to new premises and the promise that truckloads of shiny new equipment and top titles will transform the centre into Scotland’s answer to Segaworld. Look out for more on the new- look Reality-X (54 Broughton Street, 0131 478 7099, e-mail: email@example.com) in Scanner next issue.
Scanner covers the latest developments in media and technology. Address comments and queries to mediaList@aol.com
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The List 10-23 Jan 1997 99