Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Critical Analysis - Big In Japan

In comparison with western countries, Japanese media serves as a watchdog of the state. A revisionist’s view of this is that Japanese mass media could also be seen as a ‘lapdog’ of the state.

National media in Japanese society is currently dominated by a small number of outlets such as: NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōka) and 5 newspaper groups.

Japanese newspapers emerged in their current format at the end of the 19th century. Before that, news about wars, disasters, the government and everyday gossip was conveyed by one-page tabloids called "kawaraban". These tabloids had a very limited circulation.

The main players within the Japanese press are: Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbum, Sankei Shimbun and Nihan Keizei Shimbun.

Together these newspapers have a combined circulation of over 40 million, in a country which has a population of around 127 million people. This works out as more than 80% of the Japanese population regularly reading a newspaper.

There are currently 121 dailies available in Japan, with 72 currently in circulation.

According to recent figures, Japan’s newspaper readership is the highest in the world with a 99% literacy rate. This therefore means that there is a high consumption of books and magazines within Japan.

Despite this most articles in national papers are submitted anonymously due to Japan’s constitutional laws.

Freedom of the press in Japan is guaranteed by a constitutional law. The Liberal Democratic Party, which was formed in 1955, seeks to co-opt the media by offering media outlets prime office locations in Tokyo at cut back prices.

This is due to the Kisha Club. The Kisha Club is Japanese press club originally set up by The Liberal Democratic Party.

The Kisha Club system is able to limit what information is given to journalists and in return limits what a journalist can write about a particular topic. For example former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka's controversial business practices were broken by non press club journalists.

The Kisha Club system is currently only small, consisting of around 15 reporters that have exclusive access to its press clubs at certain offices.

Word Count: 346

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Critical Consideration - Photojournalism

In order to complete this task successfully I needed to research into the topic of photojournalism, including the history of photojournalism and how it is used now within the journalism profession.

To do this I visited a variety of website, with the added aide of Jules’ PowerPoint presentation which I found very helpful.

I found the topic of photojournalism very interesting and it is definitely something that I would consider doing as an addition unit in the future.

Photojournalism is in my opinion a good way to express person’s feelings about a certain topic or to draw immediate attention to a story, which is used well in tabloid newspapers such as: ‘The Mirror’ or ‘The Sun’

Critical Analysis - Photojournalism Lecture

Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story.

This often leads to people making their own about a photo, which often causes political and heated debates within society. These types of photographs often have a metonymy effect in tabloid newspapers.

For example the image of Saddam Hussein’s statue falling in Baghdad created meaning on its own without the need of a caption to tell its reader what has happened.

French literary critic and semiotician, Roland Bathes thought that viewers looking at photos ultimately believed that: ‘The thing had been there’ (Camera Lucida: ‘Reflections on Photography, 1982) in other words photos depict ‘what-has-been’ by bringing real life events into the public realm.

Using Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotic approach, Roland Barthes also thinks that an image itself is fundamentally ‘polysemic’, open to multiple interpretations,

However if the image is ‘anchored’ by a specific textual message, the reader can be encouraged to view an image in a certain light.

For example various images depicting the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue has created numerous arguments such as: ‘Was the fall of Saddam's statue a U.S. staged media event?’

This is also an example of an ‘iconic image’. This is when specific photographs become symbolic of a particular event, triggering the public’s memory, feeling and emotions about that period in time. These images are often used as enduring historical icons.

Also drawing on his structural roots, Barthes suggested that the press photograph should not be regarded as an isolated structure.

Semiotic analysis’s of cultural myths, on the other hand allows us to deconstruct codes in popular cultural texts, revealing how certain belief systems may be legitimised at the expense of others.

Word Count: 297

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Writing For The Media - News Writing Assessment 7

Students at the University of Runningham shocked staff on Thursday evening by barricading themselves into the Vice Chancellor’s office over the issue of top-up fees.

Around six of the University’s 4,200 students took part in the sit in, following the Vice Chancellor to agree to meet representatives of the students’ union next week.

Amanda Donne, president of the university’s student union, said: “We have been lobbying for weeks and so far he has refused to meet us. Certain members of the student body obviously felt so strongly about this that they decided to take positive action”.

The University is now charging students the maximum of £3,000 a year in top-up fees, potentially increasing students debts to £15,000, stretching the period of time it will take students to repay their debts.

James Robbins, a third year Photography student said: “I think it’s great that these students decided to make a stand to demonstrate how serious the issue of student finance has become. At last the Vice-Chancellor has agreed to talk to us”.

Students will be eligible to start repaying their loans once their annual incomes pass the £15,000 threshold.

Once students are earning over that figure around 9% will be taken from their salaries each year, until the loan is paid back in full.

Police were called to the incident after an emergency call was made at approximately 9pm by security staff after an alarm went off in the main administration building at the lower end of the campus

A police spokesman confirmed that six students were taken to Woolley Green police station, but were released later without charge.

The students have not been named but are believed to be studying Fine Art.

The college has since launched an enquiry into how the six students gained access to the area.

Word Count: 299

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Guest Speaker: Kirsty Newton

Editor of ‘Cornwall Today’, Kirsty Newton today revealed her magazines aims and ambitions to eager first year journalism students.

Kirsty, who has been in the journalism profession for 10 years told students that, “Cornwall Today is looking at the younger end of the market”, for its target audience in comparison to previous years.

Since Kirsty took over as editor of ‘Cornwall Today’ over a year ago she has made many changes to the magazines content, including the addition of many new features.

Amongst the new features added to the magazine is a property and leisure section. These features have been bought in to attract a younger audience.

Regular features in the magazine already included: a home and gardens section, a food and drinks section and a wildlife section as well as various articles on village life in Cornwall.

The magazines target readership is an ABC1 readership audience in relation to the NRS Social Grading System. An ABC1 readership is stereotypically defined as the upper middle classes.

Also since Kirsty’s arrival the magazine has rose from 40 to 216 pages an issue, which according to Kirsty, “has allowed for a broader range of advertising”, which has also increased the magazines income per issue.

The majority of the magazines articles are written by freelance journalists, whose work on average is valued around 10 pence per word.

On average 16000 copies of the magazine are printed each month, a 1/3 of which are subscribers who live outside of Cornwall.

Despite this ‘Cornwall Today’ also has around half a dozen competitors in the South West that rival the magazine on a monthly basis, including: ‘Inside Cornwall’, ‘Taste of Cornwall’ and ‘Devon Today’.

Before taking up the role of Editor of ‘Cornwall Today’, Kirsty worked as a trainee for the ‘Western Morning News’ in Plymouth, before becoming Deputy Editor for ‘Devon Today’.

Word Count: 307

Critical Consideration - Gatekeeping

Since writing and researching about the subject of Gatekeeping in the profession of journalism I felt might see questioning its future in journalism.

For instance, how does the rise of citizen journalism affect the established journalistic industry? Some journalists have already started to dismiss citizen journalism as being journalism without its credibility aspect.

Some media outlets are using citizen-participants in journalistic processes, from simply inviting their commentary on published news stories to providing them with access to the processes of news publishing themselves.

An example of this is the BBC who frequently ask viewers to send in photos/videos of particular news events or comment on their website about news stories that they are interested in.

Critical Analysis - Gatekeeping

The term ‘gatekeeping’ in the world of journalism is used to describe the flow of information to its audience.

The theory of ‘gatekeeping’ was first instituted by German social psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1947.

In the news world, the gatekeeper decides what news you will read and when you will read it. The gatekeeper’s ideology influences what news he or she is willing to let go to print, and this sometimes plays a role in whose opinions are printed.

An example of this would be an ongoing political news story and which side the newspaper leans towards i.e. labour or conservative.

A in a small town with only one source of news is ill-served because only one gatekeeper controls the towns news stories. An example of this would be the Falmouth Packet.

This can often lead to one person’s point of view being distributed; leading residents to only get one interpretation of the week’s events.

The more sources for news, and the more viewpoints expressed in the community, the more residents will be able to make decisions about the area’s future. The more avenues that exist for members of the community to be connected with their neighbours and the news, the more constructive and informative public debate becomes, often leading to a better quality of newspaper for that particular local area.

In my opinion residents in local areas are better served with multiple gatekeepers, and so are national broadsheets and tabloids. Studies show that in areas with multiple newspapers, its readership tends to increase.

Also the presence of competition is also good for newspapers, and even better for advertisers. If the newspaper is not good, people will not read it, leading to a decreasing readership. Readers always have alternatives in the world of newspapers, whether it is broadsheets or tabloids. This forces newsrooms to strive for excellence, balance and thought-provoking coverage.

Word Count: 311

News Writing Assignment 6 - Revisied Version

A man died and a policeman was also seriously injured late night as two cars collided in the centre of Moonville

The accident happened at the junction of Scar Road involved a police car crashing into the Moonville War Memorial and a V.W. Golf smashing into a Video Shop on the high street.

Josephine Rockwell, witnessed the policeman trapped, as the driver of the Golf draped motionless over the wheel as his passenger frantically attempted to recover his rucksack laying on the back-seat.

“I ran to see if I could help and saw a man get out of the Golf and try to open the back door – he seemed really agitated.”

The driver of the Golf was pronounced dead on arrival at St Monty’s hospital.

The police are now carrying out a forensic examination of the rucksack uncovered from the car whilst a search for the missing man is underway.

Word Count: 153

News Writing Assignment 6 - Extended Version

Around £47,000 worth of drugs was seized by Police today after being found in a VW Golf which was involved in an accident last night.

The VW Golf, which was involved in an accident with a Police car in the centre of Moonville had a rucksack full of cannabis resin and cocaine.

In the press conference Detective Chief Superintendent Angelica Stripes said, “A rucksack and its contents have been taken away by the drugs squad, which is investigating the matter.”DCS Angelica Stripes also revealed that the passenger of the VW Golf fled the scene soon after the incident.

She added, “The man was described by witnesses as slim, short-around 5 feet 8 inches tall- with a pale complexion and dark spiky hair. He was wearing red converse shoes, skinny jeans and a brown leather bomber jacket.”

The accident was caused when the VW Golf span out of control when it saw the oncoming police car, resulting in the death of the driver of the VW Golf and the injury of a police officer.

Soon after the incident the both cars at the scene were cordoned off, leaving on coming traffic needing to find an alternative route through the town.

A post mortem is being held on the driver of the Golf, who has not been identified yet.

Meanwhile PC Rodgers, the injured police officer, has been suspended on full pay after suffering a fracture of the nose and left leg.

The Police would like members of the public to come forward if they have seen the man fitting the description or if they know him.

The police hotline for anyone who knows anything about the accident is: Moonville- 212121.

Word Count: 279

Monday, 19 November 2007

Critical Analysis - Tabloidisation

The tabloid press can be dated back to the decline and of the Bourgeois Public Sphere.

The break down of space between the state and civil society, in conjunction with rising economic imperatives lead to the rise of mass communications.

In modern day Britain the national press is divided into two forms: the broadsheet and the tabloid. Stereotypically the difference between each form is defined by the newspapers quality and whether it is seen as being ‘mid-market’ or ‘down-market’.

It could be argued that relationship between the tabloids and the broadsheets is linked by ‘good and bad journalism’.

Broadsheets are seen to obtain a set of ‘good’ values. These values include the newspaper being: informative, objective, accurate and running stories that are ‘newsworthy’.

Tabloids, on the other hand are seen as portraying sensationalist views whilst being ‘dumbed down’ in terms of the language it uses.

Other ‘bad’ characteristics of the tabloid are that the majority of its ‘news’ is ‘pseudo news’ (celebrity news) which relies on rumours, which can often cause stories to have some inaccuracies.

However according to figures published by the ABC (the independent audit watchdog service for printed publications) tabloid papers are outselling broadsheets.

‘The Sun’ for instance has a circulation of 2.9 million and ‘The Mirror’ also has a large circulation of 1.8 million.

It could be argued that the so-called ‘bad’ tabloid values are dominating Britain’s culture, posing the argument that Britain is producing less educated people, as less than a ¼ of the population either look at or buy broadsheets on a regular basis.

A large part of the tabloids success is down to its: ‘Tabloid Tales’,

Tabloid Tales’, are comprised of: sensationalism, emotionalism, human interest, personification and a pictorial focus.

Sensationalism provides the tabloids to use verbal or graphic media to create striking or shocking impressions that are intended to excite interest or create attention e.g. the headline: ‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’.

Similarly emotionalism has the tendency to display emotions freely or place too much value on emotion. A modern day example of this could be the on running Madeline McCann story which would provoke an emotional response from its reader.

In relation to the current UK press circulation figures, I think that the tabloids outselling broadsheets will continue, unless broadsheets take on more tabloid values.

Word Count: 384

Friday, 16 November 2007

Media Law Article

A woman was today jailed after being found guilty of manslaughter, after the death of her husband.

Mrs Horton Smith, mother of two, was sentenced for an initial 18 months before today’s verdict, 9 of which had already been served.

The court heard how Mr Horton-Smith was found dead at the family home on the night of the 27th May with a single shot gun wound to the chest and a single shotgun would to the back.

PC South was the first officer to arrive at the scene at approximately 11.41pm, “She (Mrs Horton-Smith) was sitting on the stairs”. South added, “I could see the gun and the cartridges”.

Pathologist, Mr McKenzie told the court how the victim may have had a slim chance of survival, however only with specialist treatment, “No treatment, no chance”.

The Defence Council told the jury how Mrs Horton-Smith married her husband after the birth of their daughter.

The couple then moved into Manor Farm where Mr Horton-Smith had lived during his childhood.

According to Mr Prestwick Mr Horton-Smith became depressed due to his father paying for his children’s tuition fees, leading to violent outbursts.

Mrs Horton-Smith added, “He punched me, kicked me and tried to strangle me with a blue dog lead”.

On the night of Mr Horton-Smiths death, the jury heard how Mr Horton-Smith arrived home in a foul mood after a failed business venture.

Mr Horton-Smith put the blue dog lead onto the kitchen table, then Mrs Horton-Smith ran to get her husbands shotgun, explained Mr Prestwick.

During this incident Mr Horton-Smith shouted, “You’ve had it this time bitch” to his wife.

The Prosecuting Council highlighted how there was a 20 second delay between the first and second gun shot.

Ms Cloves proceeded to tell the court how Mr Horton-Smith’s brother was the only person to have seen result of Mr Horton Smith’s violent actions towards his wife.

Mr Horton-Smith’s brother, Robert was, “Appalled and upset” after seeing Mrs Horton-Smith’s bruises but denied Mrs Horton-Smith’s allegations that the pair were having an affair.

The Prosecuting Council informed the court that Mrs Horton-Smith would receive ‘£1.2 million’ of her husband’s estate.

The initial sentence remained, causing Mrs Horton-Smith to see out the remaining 9 months of her sentence.

Word Count: 375

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Pendulum 'Slam' into The Stannary

Falmouth and Exeter students are buzzing at the news that Drum and Bass outfit, Pendulum are heading for The Stannary this Saturday.

The Australian ‘Wall of Sound’ hailing from Perth are best known for their hit singles: ‘Slam’ and ‘Tarantula’ taken off this 2005 debut album ‘Hold Your Colour’.

The group were originally scheduled to play at The Stannary last Saturday night but, due to a last minute hold up have had to reschedule the date for this coming Saturday.

English and Creative Writing student Alex Harrod said, “I think it’s great that Falmouth have attracted such an artist”.

The event is part of Oxjam’s music events which are taking place throughout the country for the rest of November. All the money raised from these events will go to the charity Oxfam.

FXU Entertainment Officer Greg Curtis said, “Having both Lethal Bizzle and Pendulum within a few weeks of each other is amazing for Falmouth!”
Despite the fact that the groups debut album ‘Hold Your Colour’ hit the shelves in 2005, a late reissue in July of this year bought them back into the mainstream.

The reissue contains two new singles, ‘Blood Sugar’ and ‘Axle Grinder’ replacing the songs ‘Another Planet’ and ‘Still Grey’ from the albums original release.

Pendulum originally started out as a trio before adding guitarist Perry Ap-Gwynedd and drummer Kodish who complete the groups current line up.

Pendulums first single ‘Slam’ is still the bands biggest hit within the UK, having entered the UK singles Top 40 at number 34.

The group have also produced various remixed of other mainstream artists, including their remix of ‘Voodoo People’ by long serving UK Electronica outfit, The Prodigy.

Students will also hoping that the groups DJ Set includes new single ‘Granite’ which is released on November 26th.

Tickets for the event are still on sale at a cost of £12.00 each and are available from The FXU Offices at both Tremough and Woodlane.

Word Count: 324

Monday, 12 November 2007

Critical Analysis - Journalistic Markets

Ben Bagdikian, a journalist of Armenian decent published ‘The Media Monopoly’ in 1983, which has since been renamed ‘The New Media Monopoly’.

Ben fears that by 2010 there will only be five major owners controlling the media market in North America.

This is due to wealthy owners merging or buying out smaller corporations for financial gain.

An example of this in today’s journalistic market is media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch who owns the News Corporation.

News International is the main UK subsidiary of News Corporation, which owns: ‘The Times’, ‘The Sunday Times’, ‘The Sun’ and ‘The News of the World’.

News Corporation owns a variety of other media outlets, including BSkyB, Fox Broadcasting Company and Sky Italia, which currently has four million subscribers.

In 2005 News Corporation’s assets were valued at $55 billion, whilst in 2004 its newspaper revenues increased from £686 million to £831 million.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail and General Trust are one of the largest media companies in the UK. In 2004 the Daily Mail and General Trust made profits of £234 million resulting in a turnover of £2.1 billion.

he company currently owns: ‘The Daily Mail’, ‘Mail on Sunday’ and the ‘Evening Standard’.

Northern and Shell PLC, founded in 1974 by Richard Desmond, owns UK based newspapers: ‘The Daily Express’ and ‘The Daily Star’ as well as popular lifestyle magazine ‘OK!’.

Northern and Shell plc was once notorious for publishing dozens of pornographic titles, prior to their sale to Remnant Media in 2004.

In 2004 the company made a turnover of £20 million, making profits of £1.4 million.

Dominant media ownerships have reaches throughout the world, but even smaller single title companies can have their titles bought in many countries around the world. This is thanks to political, economic and technological factors that have resulted in new globalised cultures.

Globalisation is not a new occurrence. European imperialism resulted in successful world markets by the end of the 19th Century.

Since then this process has become much faster, due to the factors mentioned above.

In the book ‘Media in Global Context’ (1997) Annabelle Sneberry-Mohammedi felt that globalisation is helping aid developing countries and in doing so has created a hyperglobalist market, suggesting that these nations are seeing a disappearance of their state.

In my view this could eventually seep through to the rest of the world, leading potentially to a world governed by stereotypical media values.

Word Count: 398

Guest Speaker: Nick Mazur

The Deputy Chief Executive of the Periodical Publisher Association today revealed the wealth of the magazine industry to Falmouth’s first year journalism students.

According to Mr Mazur magazines and business media have an annual turnover of around £7 billion, with the majority of magazines gaining revenue from circulation and advertising.

Consumer magazines tend to rely on their magazines gaining over half of their revenue from circulation (65%) whilst only 35% of revenue comes from advertising.

In contrast business magazines rely heavily on advertising as 82% of revenue comes from this. The remaining 18% is gained from the magazines circulation, a statistic that has changed within the last 10 years.

“10 years ago this was a different picture, as both consumer and business magazines relied equally on advertising and circulation revenue”, explained Mr Mazur.

Mr Mazur then went onto mention that there were around 8,500 magazine titles within the magazine and business media sector 10 years ago. Approximately 5,108 were made up of business magazines, whilst 3,366 were consumer magazines.

Since then the number of magazine titles has increased by 22% over the last decade.

The increase in magazine titles co insides with a 52% rise of consumer’s expenditure on magazines, described by Mr Mazur as, “The changing landscape of the magazine industry”.

The consumer magazine sector has also benefited by this statistic having experienced a growth of 56% over the past five years.

According to Mintel International Group Ltd, who specialise in consumer, media and market research there is an £531 million turnover expected within the consumer magazine sector by 2009.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Writing For The Media - News Assignment 4

London is still the identity fraud capital of the UK, according to research released today into identity fraud trends.

Experian, the global information solutions provider, revealed that those living inside the M25 are more than three-and-a-half times more likely to be victims of identity fraud.

Kensington residents however, are almost five times more likely to fall victim to fraudsters, which is higher than the UK national average.

Commuter towns outside of London also feature amongst the highest risk areas.

Residents of Guildford, Slough and St Albans are also more than twice as likely to fall as pray to fraudster predators compared to the rest of the UK.

Around 2,570 victims of identity fraud have contacted Experian in the first six months of this year, representing a 68% year-on-year increase of identity fraud activity.

Present address fraud, continues to be the most common ID fraud offence, accounting for 39% of frauds reported during the first six months of the year.

The Experian Victims of Fraud Dossier Part III also revealed that cases of forwarding address fraud raised the most from 22% in the second half of 2006 to 32% in the first six months of 2007.

According to Experian’s CreditExpert each fraud case on average costs the financial organization involved around £680.

Mail order companies were hit harder than most in terms of fraud volumes, accounting for 68% of all new cases.

However it is loan providers that suffer the most financially. The average cost per case for fraudulently obtain loans has risen to £6,138 in comparison to the figure £4,797 reported in the second half of 2006.

Helen Lord, Fraud and Regulatory Compliance Director at Experian, comments: “Some people are more likely than others to become a victim and consumers are more aware of the threat than ever before”.

In addition to the dossier, Experian have offered tips to help consumers protect themselves from fraudsters.

According to Experian consumers should: “Destroy documents showing personal details before throwing them away”, using a shredder to destroy documents such as: bank statements, utility bills, application forms and chequebook stubs.

Word Count: 346

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Guest Speaker - Helen Gilchrist

Helen Gilchrist spoke to first year journalism students about her rise from a freelance journalist to a successful entrepreneur.

In August 2003 after working for various national newspapers, Helen came up with the idea for Stranger in August 2003 and moved back down to Cornwall in May 2004 in order to make her idea a reality.

According to the magazines website, Stranger is a bi-monthly publication produced from non-depletive, sustainable resources, presenting a mix of local and global lifestyle, environment, music, surf, news and current affairs features mixed with striking illustrations.

Since its launch in 2004, Stranger magazine has already won 2 awards at the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Hub Youth Business Awards, which were Best Promotion of Cornwall and Best Marketing Strategy.

This is an amazing achievement, considering the magazine is still only a small independent company with four full time and two part time members of staff.

Helen also went onto say that that magazine has 30+ contributors a month including local writers and illustrators working on a freelance basis, as well as nationally and internationally acclaimed writers, illustrators and photographers.

Helen also emphases how competitive the magazine industry has become, she said, “There are 1000’s of new attempts to set up magazines, but only 1 in 3 tend to make it though.”

Since the magazines introduction, Stranger’s website has had around 400,000 hits a month.

According to Google Analytics and Stranger’s web server this equals out at least 900 visitors a day, from 83 different countries/ territories.
The highest number of visitors to the website was from: London, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield, whilst Falmouth which has the most number of stockists came in at number 38.

Helen concluded her talk by giving students practical tips and the best ways to approach editors of magazines. One tip Helen gave students was making the editor feel that you are targeting their publication specifically.

Helen said, “It’s no good submitting an article supporting open border policy to the Daily Mail and expecting a front page.”

Word Count: 336

Critical Analysis - Producing The News

News values are essential to a journalist seeing an every day event as news.

Firstly the frequency of the event is questioned e.g. does this event occur regularly. The events threshold is also questioned along with its composition and finally its continuity.

Some events can be bought to life through personification e.g. an individual’s experience of an event. An example of this would be a person who was involved in the 9/11 bombings, giving their account on the event.

In order for journalists to be organised to produce news they must first go on: ‘The Beat’.

‘The Beat’ has a history beyond those who are currently working it. It is therefore important for a reporter to be assigned to a project but not own it e.g. working a sports related story.

It is also important that a journalist understands the structure of different news values.

Firstly a story must be able to hold an audiences attention. A story could do this be either being important/relevant to current activities in the news or by being entertaining.

A story must also be accessible. In order to do this the story must be prominent to attract attention. An example of this in a local area could be the proposed plans to build a new supermarket.

Finally the story must fit in with the pragmatics of technical and organisational production.

A potential news story must also through a production cycle, which is comprised of: a planning stage, a gathering stage and a selection and production process.

The planning of a story must be able to predict long term events and therefore be able to be continued or added to. An example of this could be the disappearance of Madeline McCann.

Information must then be gathered by various correspondents. The story then goes through a selection process where it is culled, collated and edited.

Finally the story is organised into a form that fits audience’s expectations. These expectations would differ between the broadsheets and the tabloids.

Word Count: 331

Friday, 26 October 2007

Guest Speaker: Sue Roberts (External Affairs Manager of the Press Complaints Commission)

Sue Roberts, External Affairs Manager of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) today came to Woodlane, Falmouth to introduce first year journalism students to ‘The Code’.

The Press Complaints Commission is a British independent body which deals with complaints from members of the public about the editorial content of newspapers and magazines.

Mrs Roberts revealed that the PCC originally began life as a voluntary press organisation called the ‘Press Council’ in 1953, with the aim of maintaining high standards of ethics in journalism.

Mrs Roberts commented that, “We (the PCC), attempt to resolve complaints quickly and amicably in the best way.”

The PCC also enforces the editors ‘Code of Practice’ which is framed and revised by the Editor’s Code Committee.

The Editor’s Code Committee is comprised of independent editors of national and regional newspapers as well as magazines.

In addition to this, Sue added that, “Around 60% of the committee are independent, non press members and around 40% of the rest of the committee are press members (editors)”.

‘The Code’ includes 16 sections ranging from: ‘Accuracy’ (Code 1) to ‘Payment to Criminals’ (Code 16).

The aim of ‘The Code’ according to the PCC is to, ‘set the benchmark for ethical standards, protecting both the rights of the individual and the public’.

Each of the 16 sections are reviewed once a year, to accommodate issues which have arisen over the previous year in the industry.

The main issue within the last year, according to Mrs Roberts has been, “Privacy” (Code 3).

If a journalist is to break one of these codes “they will be in a lot of trouble” added Mrs Roberts.

During her speech Mrs Roberts also mentioned that the PCC: “has around 40 days” to decide whether a complaint is upheld or not.

In 2006, the PCC received 3,325 complaints from members of the public. Around two thirds of these complaints were related to alleged factual inaccuracies, whilist 25% of all complaints were privacy issues.

Word Count: 325

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Critical Analysis - Institutions of Mass Media

The institutions of mass media can be analysed through from a variety of different angles which can often lead to a difference in opinion, when it comes to defining what the mass media actually represents.

Firstly the determinism sociology of mass media model states that determinist traditions emphasise relations of media to dominant groups. It argues that the mass media is used to control people and therefore be used as a propaganda tool.

There are various example of this throughout history. A Current example of this would be the Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda, who use various media forms to brainwash and recruit potential terrorists.

Another example of this would be Adolf Hitler’s restrictions on the media in Germany in the 1930s/1940s. In 1936 Hitler used the model in the Berlin Olympics to show the world how ‘powerful’ the Nazi’s were and also to promote Nazi ideology.

The Frankfurt School is a school of
neo-Marxist critical reseach, social research and philiosophy was exempt from this model during the Hitler years, as it was moved to New York when Hitler came to power. It later returned to Germany after Hitler's raign was over.

On the hand the pluralist view of the mass media sees the media as important agencies within a free and democratic society. This model also states that rather than converting the masses, the media simply reinforces its elected beliefs therefore dispersing the power to its audience.

This liberal stance is used most commonly in: Britain, France, Germany and Australia, through the means of general and local elections.

Both models are comprised of contrasting viewpoints, however what is certain is that both know of the importance of mass media. In modern day society, I think it is essential that the media does inform, but not persuade.

By only releasing the facts it is then allowing its consumers to make up their own thoughts and judgements on a particular topic. An example of this is the contrasting viewpoints between west and eastern newspapers on the current situation in Iraq, each having different viewpoints with an added bias.

Word Count: 345

Writing For The Media - News Assignment 3

Croxford Hospital has been forced to close today, due to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, as four people, including a new born baby are infected.

The outbreak was confirmed by the hospital around 7PM yesterday evening on the Daneway Ward, leaving four patients and a midwife needing treatment at the hospital’s Parkhurst Ward.

The newly born baby, who was born on Friday, became ill over the weekend, prompting the hospital to send his family home on Monday evening.

Lily Harborne, 59, grandmother of the baby said, “They’ve kept the baby in for treatment and we’re not allowed to visit at the moment. We are all absolutely distraught”.

Up to 250 patients in medical and surgical wards are currently being transferred to nearby hospitals in an attempt to contain the disease.

A hospital spokesman said, “It is possible that more cases will be discovered as the incubation for the disease is two to ten days, but we stress that the disease is not communicable from person to person”.

Patients waiting for non-emergency operations have been sent home and have had appointments rescheduled.

Those in need of emergency healthcare have been asked to call 999 and ask for advice regarding their nearest emergency facility.

Legionnaires’ disease cannot be transferred from person to person, however it can be fatal. The disease can potentially cause organ failure if it is not treated.

Early symptoms for the disease include: depression, general aches, headaches and a dry cough.

Abdominal symptoms such as: nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea are also common.

The hospital has set up a special hotline on 01372 400 400 to deal with queries from worried relatives and patients.

Word Count: 274

Critque of My Work:
To further this story I would firstly look into whether or not action will be taken against the hospital by its patients or their families.

In addition to this i would also interview other people infected and ask them about their concerns and criticisms of the hospital.

Finally i would investigate how the disease was able to manifest itself in the air conditioning in the first place which could link in with peoples concerns about the hospital.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Falmouth Beer Festival Is a Success!

The annual Falmouth Beer Festival proved to be a huge success at the weekend, as people flocked to the Princess Pavilion.

The festival got underway at 11am on Friday morning and came to its conclusion at 11pm the following day.

Serving a record 170 different ales from a variety of small, micro and independent breweries, the event marked CAMRA Kernow's 30th anniversary.

Craig Holt of Illogan was impressed with the event,“This is the first time I’ve attended such an event, my mates have been trying to get me here for years!”.

The festival proved successful for St Austall Brewery as popular local ale ‘Tribute’ was voted Best Bitter at the event whilst the brewery’s HSD ale won the festivals Strong Ale award.

(Image Courtesy of the CAMRA KERNOW website)

For non CAMRA members the entry fee was £3.50 which included a festival glass as well as a souvenir programme for the event.

Also available for purchase was a £5 sheet of tokens. This was introduced to, ‘Streamline the increasingly busy process of getting beers on the bar’, according to a spokesman for the CAMRA Festival website.

The event was also held on the same weekend as the Falmouth Oyster Festival, proving to be a successful and an exciting weekend for the town, giving locals and students the chance to sample both festivals.

Many supporters of the beer festival were also able to cheer on England in the Rugby World Cup Final, due to a large screen that was added inside the Pavilion.

Student and Rugby enthusiast Oliver Taylor was pleased with the addition of the large screen,“By them (festival organisers) adding the screen it gives people like me a chance to watch England and consume as much ale as I like, C’mon England!”

This addition of the large screen also helped contribute and increase the number of pints consumed by supporters, contributing to the estimated ‘9,000 pints’ that were consumed throughout the two day festival.

Word Count: 320

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Critical Analysis - Analysis of The Public Sphere

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas defined the Public Sphere as: "a network for communicating information and points of view".

The public sphere is in Hambermas’ words: "Made up of private people gathered together as a public and articulating the needs of society with the state". Habermas argues that the self-interpretation of the public sphere took shape in the concept of "public opinion".

This concept of “public opinion” could arguably be seen as the emergence of Journalism. The early growth of Journalism can be traced back to the 17th century when the first news sheets appeared during the English Civil War.

During the English Civil War, the spread of trade required accurate information for traders. This information was often found through ‘gossip’ in taverns and coffee houses (also referred to as a ‘coffee house society’. This initial growth of the public sphere was also given the Greek notion of the ‘polis’ and ‘agora’, (meaning city and market place).

The press emerged by taking advantage of peoples ‘gossip’ and lust for information by creating newssheets, which therefore created income for the press.

The press was later seen as the 4th estate as it allowed the trading class to take away power from the 2nd estate (the aristocracy).

Newspapers today and in their early forms both used the inverted pyramid structure of the 5 W’s, (Who, What, Where, Why, When and also How) to effectively inform their readers. Without this information the story would not be news and would instead be seen as ‘public opinion ‘or ‘coffee house gossip’ as it was known in the 17th century.

In my view the growth of the public sphere has in modern times created mass media corporations such as: ‘The Times’ and ‘The Independent’ for instance which satisfy the cravings of a nations fuel for news. In turn these media corporations are creating a huge financial gain and by doing so becoming the lynchpin of society.

Word Count: 318

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Critical Analysis - Institutions and Mass Media

Currently there are many theories that are vital to the study of Institutions and the Mass Media.

Firstly, the Determinism Sociology Theory emphasises the relations of media to dominant groups. This theory states that mass media functions are used as a propaganda tool.

Also this theory has a large emphasis on liberalistic values and self undermines institutions that could resist totalitarian tendencies in society.

Noam Chomsky, a 21st century philosopher rejects the view that the media enables the public to control the political process by providing a pluralism of ideas, information and opinion.

Liberal theories of press freedom argue that the press must serve the public in three ways by informing the electorate, overseeing the government and finally articulating public opinion. Those who support this theory think that a self-regulated free market is the best way to ensure a diverse press.

On the other hand, the Mass Manipulative Theory says that people in power use the media to keep themselves in power. This theory also states that those in power use ideological bias when producing news.

This theory has since been used by various dictators around the word such as: Saddam Hussein and most notably Adolf Hitler. Hitler used the model in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to show the world how powerful the Nazi’s were in an attempt to promote a Nazi ideology.

In contrast, the Pluralist Model states how the media is not concentrated into the hands of the few but the power is widely dispersed. The pluralist model also argues that news gives honest stories whilst also portraying the truth to its reader.

Writing For The Media - News Assignment 2

A man died this weekend after being allegedly attacked in a ‘road rage’ incident whilst he and his partner were queuing outside Boldover rubbish dump.

Harry Hampton, 64 was with his partner Barbara Richards, 56 when the incident happened.

After arriving at Boldover Hospital, Mr Hampton was treated for a broken arm and a cracked rib, but died hours later from heart failure.

The incident occurred when the driver of a sliver BMV went over to where Mr Hampton was sitting in his car.

A Spokeswoman for Wishingshire police confirmed that the driver left the scene of the incident and “May not know of Mr Hampton’s death”.

The couple were said to be on their way to off load unwanted possessions in preparation for Mr Hampton to move in to Ms Richards house in Avenue Road, Broxham.

Susan Witchard, 67 was Mr Hampton’s next door neighbour for seven years and describes him as an “extremely good friend” who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

At a police press conference, Detective Inspector Helen Havers appealed for the BMW driver to come forward and speak to police as soon as possible.

The driver is described as white, 5ft 7 or 8 inches tall of a stocky build, clean shaven and possibly wearing glasses.

Toby Norris, a consultant clinical psychologist at Daring Hospital in Mornbury has been studying anger related problems, such as ‘road rage’ and ‘queue rage’ for 22 years.

“Outbursts are growing as life gets more crowded. People are more likely to become angry when they feel frustrated and restrained. Cars make things worse as they are insulating, a barrier to communication. Men are much more likely to explode in these situations”.

He added: “Even in Wishingshire these types of incidents are escalating, as the country becomes more densely populated”.

Word Count: 297

Critique of My Work:
I found this exercise useful as i was able to apply newly learnt skills to it eg. the inverted pyramid structure, paragraph lengths etc. Dispite going over the word length for the average paragraph i have tried to stick to the news story checklist formula.

I included the quote from an experts opinion as i felt it added context to the article and was relevant to points that i had made in previous paragraphs regarding 'road rage'.

Student Shock As Accomdation Prices Soar.

A new report shows that students are being ripped off by the private sector as the cost of accomodation rises to its highest in years.

The student housing charity Unipol and The National Union of students combined with one another in order to compile the report.

The report shows that students are paying 23% more for university accomodation than they were 3 years ago.

The average weekly rent for students this year is £82, in comparison with £63 in 2004.

Falmouth students are being hit harder than most, as students living at Glasney Parc are paying a set rent of £92.05 which includes heating, lighting and water rates.

(Image of Glasney Parc, Courtesy of Tremough Services website)

Current first year student Martin Davidson, living at Glasney Parc is suprised at the statistic: "I am amazed that Falmouth is higher than the national average, considering the size of the University".

However students staying at near by Tuke House are paying nearer the national average at approximately £82.72 which includes an initial £300 deposit.

Student accomodation in Falmouth and Penryn is owned by Tremough Campus Service's Ltd, which is seperate to University College Falmouth.

A spokesman for the NUS website said: "Students who are already struggling financially will need to be protected from unscrupulous providers leavying booking fees and other hidden charges".

The most expensive area for student accomodation is in London which is around £100 a week according to the report, whilist students staying in accomdation in Wales are paying under the national average paying around £67 per week.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Critical Analysis - Institutions of Mass Media

Currently there are many theories that are vital to the study of Institutions and the Mass Media.

Firstly, the Determinism Sociology Theory emphasises the relations of media to dominant groups. This theory states that mass media functions are used as a propaganda tool.

Also this theory has an large emphasis on liberalistic values and self undermines institutions that could resist totalitarian tendencies in society.

Noam Chomsky, a 21st century philosopher rejects the view that the media enables the public to control the political process by providing a pluralism of ideas, information and opinion.

Liberal theories of press freedom argue that the press must serve the public in three ways by informing the electorate, overseeing the government and finally articulating public opinion. Those who support this theory think that a self-regulated free market is the best way to ensure a diverse press.

On the other hand, the Mass Manipulative Theory says that people in power use the media to keep themselves in power. This theory also states that those in power use ideological bias when producing news.

This theory was used by Adolf Hitler, when he was in power. Hitler used the model in the 1936 Berlin Olympics to show the world how powerful the Nazi’s were in an attempt to promote a Nazi ideology.

In contrast, the Pluralist Model states how the media is not concentrated into the hands of the few but the power is widely dispersed. The pluralist model also argues that news gives honest stories whilst also portraying the truth to its reader.

Word Count: 256

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Writing For The Media - News Assignment 1

A man was yesterday jailed after pleading guilty to a racial crime and child pornography offenses.

At earlier hearings, 30-year-old Neil Martin was sentenced for 2 years and 8 months, admitting publishing material likely to stir up racial hatred and to making indecent photographs of children.

Less than a week after the racial murder of 18 year old black teenager Anthony Walker in Huyton, Merseyside last year a school friend set up a website in his honour.

Under the pseudonym ‘Genuine Scouser’ Martin emailed at least 6 comments to the website, amongst them suggesting that white people should celebrate the murder.

Martin also suggested that Anthony’s family should be burned and made references to slavery and a “banana boat”.

During police interviews, Martin admitted posting the messages but insisted that he was not a racist and he did not believe what he had written.

Whilst being arrested, officers found 33 images of child pornography on his computer.

The court heard that Martin had also created an internet profile using Anthony’s identity and photograph. Martin then separately posed as a schoolgirl on teenage internet chatrooms.

During the trial Judge Henry Globe QC, of Liverpool Crown Court described the intention of the website as being: “innocent, honourable and well motivated” and abusing the websites use.

After the comments Martin’s defendant said that Martin had no history of racist behavior and he felt “deeply ashamed”.

Martin has also written a letter of apology to both the court and the victims families.

Anthony’s mother was happy with the sentence but she declined Martins written apology: “After hearing what he said in those messages I don’t accept it, I don’t accept his apology”.

Word Count: 278

Critique of My Work:

In order to improve this story further i would have emphased the extent of the crime (racial postings on the internet) more as to attract the readers attention. Also i would have possibly looked at adding more background information into the story.

Guest Speaker: Steve Ivall ( Deputy Editor of the Falmouth Packet)

Steve Ivall, Deputy News Editor of the Falmouth Packet visited UCF Woodlane campus to offer advice to first year Journalism students.

Steve has years of experience behind him, which could prove vital for students hoping to break into the profession.

After giving a brief introduction of himself, Steve began by explaining the role of the Falmouth Packet in the community, describing it as being "vital to Cornwall and its readers".

Ivall then went on to describe the relationship between local and national newspapers explaining that Cornwall creates both local and national news stories.

Stories involving tourists who visit the region create stories in Cornwall and in their own regions. This acts as an extension of the Packet’s 30,000-strong readership.

The Falmouth Packet is a member of Newsquest, which is the second largest publisher of regional and local newspapers within the UK.

Steve also stressed the importance of the Packet's magazine supplements as being profitable, whilst offering a wide market spread, an advantage to both the Falmouth Packet and its readers.

An example of this is 'Front Row' a yearly publication for Cornish Rugby fans which includes Fixtures, pictures, news and reviews for the forthcoming season.

Steve also mentioned that students serious about becoming journalists will also need an NCTJ qualification, recognised throughout the industry, for aspiring and junior print journalists.

As well as an NCTJ qualification Steve mentioned that most companies only employ journalists with shorthand speeds of 100wpm and above.

The job of a Journalist is constantly changing, meaning that potential journalists will need a good grounding in many aspects of the profession including being comfortable using multimedia devices.

These devices include the latest portable audio devices as well as digital cameras: "All staff now carry cameras after a huge development in technology over the past few years".

Word Count: 299

Monday, 8 October 2007

Mail Misery Hits Lanner

Local residents in Lanner suffer as regional Postal Workers begin the first of two 48 hour walkouts over pay disputes and job cuts.

Talks are ongoing between the Postal Workers Union and the Royal Mail in order to try and end the dispute.

Residents are fearful that the strike may continue into the middle of next week and looks set to be the longest postal strike for 11 years.

This comes after talks between the Postal Workers Union and Royal Mail managers broke down last week after the union has rejected a 2.5 per cent pay rise request.

A local resident of Chapel Lane, who wanted to remain nameless is supportive of the Communication Workers Union, who are representing the Postal Workers in the region, but is fearful of the delay.

"I have recently posted a birthday card for my grandson and I am fearful about it getting lost in the post, or worst still not getting to him in time".

According to a statement on the Royal Mail website, letters and deliveries are continuing to be processed however at 'reduced levels'.

Letters that are marked 'special delivery' will be prioritised whilst residents who are waiting for other items of post may face a longer wait.

James Cutler of Grey Terrace hopes this doesn’t happen, “I hope the credit card company gets my cheque on time otherwise I will owe them money for late payment”.

Banks and credit card companies have said that even though there is a postal strike, they are not prepared to be lenient with people if their cheques arrive late which is causing many people to be stung by late payment charges.

Royal Mail is hopeful that normal service will be resumed from Wednesday.

Word Count: 288