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Thursday, 24 March 2011

District and County Councils

Over the last few weeks we have been visited a Hampshire Council meeting and a neighbourhood safety meeting. As well as hearing from guest speakers from Winchester and Hampshire councils. Over these last few weeks, I’ve been noticing the differences between district and county councils. Although, it’s important to note at this point that you can also have single tier councils, such as Southampton.

One of the big distinctions between a district and county council is the budget. When looking at the difference between Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, the gap is huge.

Winchester has around £12.5 Million a year, whilst Hampshire has over £1 Billion. However, obviously Hampshire therefore has bigger responsibilities and duties to the public.

Councillors are responsible for things like land use, bin collection, housing benefits and leisure facilities. They usually now use companies that are contracted to do work for councils (with many companies bidding for contracts). Winchester City Council also has around 6,000 council houses.
You can also have Parish councils which have a very low budget (into the thousands).

The council is split into two. There are people we elect and therefore answer to us. Then there are civil servants, they are not elected, they are permanent placements. But they are able to progress with promotions until they reach 'chief executive' which are the head of service. However, a civil servant must have no political opinion.

The cabinet represents the House of Commons, this works in the same way for the council. The bigger party forms the cabinet, this helps decide the leader of the council.
Also certain people on the cabinet have certain responsibilities, such as ‘education’, ‘adult social care’ or ‘health’.

Head of Winchester City Council – Kelsey Learney told us that someone working for the city council could be making around 50 decisions a week, and because of this, it means that the they are unable to hold a vote on every decision they make because their wouldn’t be enough time.
She also explained that as all councils must now publish all expenditure that is over £500, it can lead to certain expenses being misinterpreted by the media and lead to them being portrayed incorrectly.
She also revealed that the councillors have knowledge of how to handle journalists and the media in general. An example is that Winchester Council would release certain stories on Tuesday evening because it is just before The Hampshire Chronicle deadline, making it difficult for them to cover the story in time.

Kelsey Learney is also a Liberal Democrat, and the Winchester City Council is therefore a lib dem council, but it doesn’t mean decisions can rely completely on the decisions of lib dems. A recent example is of the Lib Dems proposal for Sunday parking charges. The conservatives and other parties voted against it, meaning that it will now no longer go ahead. Also, the Hampshire council is predominantly conservative, which again highlights the difference.

All forms of council aim to serve the public as the first priority, however, thier attention to detail is ironically less with the more money they have. The budget differences are reasonable considering the scale of areas that need to be looked after. Although, Winchester City Council seems to be struggling further. They have seen cuts of £2 Million out of thier budget, and 15% have lost thier jobs. To comnbat budget cuts, they have cut a 1/4 of waste collection costs. To the county council, that kind of money is nothing.

Radio Bulletin

Here is my completed bulletin. Enjoy.


Hampshire Council described plans to provide internet access to all members of the public as a ‘major policy’ during a county council meeting.

The 'Broadband Project' aims to make internet connections easily accessible across the county, with particular focus on rural areas. There is currently a 1 to 2 1/2 year timetable in place, and the council are planning a firm 6 month programme to ensure that progress is made.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Dr Raymond Ellis stated that ‘high speed is essential’, expressing its importance for work, studying, and even shopping.

Since opening in November 2010, the Re:fresh Cafe' opened and run by YMCA Winchester, has attracted a large number of young people with over 4000 visits in its first 4 months.

The move came after a consultation process 2 years ago with over 600 young people in Winchester, and has attracted young people from many of the nearby areas such as Eastleigh, Southampton and Guildford.

But lack of funding means Re:fresh is unable to make the cafe' exclusive to young people on a permanent basis.

Youth Programme manager for YMCA Winchester, Simon Dodd spoke of the importance of funding and the cafe's future plans-

Audio Insert NAME: Parking Charges Audio Cut
INWORDS: We'd like to also
OUTWORDS: between April 2011 and march 2012
Duration: 0'16"

Proposed Sunday parking charges by the Liberal Democrats have been abolished by Winchester’s Conservative Councillors.

The plan would have created charges for parking near the centre of Winchester. This lead to fears amongst the farmers market that this would create a drop in trade.

Head of Winchester City Council (and Lib Dem)- Kelsey Learney, saw these as reasonable charges. And felt they would help combat the 2 1/2% rise in costs to the council for parking services.

However, the Liberal Democrat party have been accused of not consulting with Winchester residents. Conservative Councillor Fiona Mather had this to say -

Audio Insert NAME: Parking Charges Audio Cut
INWORDS: The residents from
OUTWORDS: deterred from coming to Winchester on a Sunday
Duration: 0'17"

Fiona Mather also hopes to halt the collection of curbside glass which should save the council around £200,000.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Radio Script - 2 Re-Edited

Since publishing the story on my blog that we would start seeing Sunday Parking Charges being introduced in the centre of Winchester, the conservatives and independant parties in the area have worked together to vote against this decision.
Thier will no longer be sunday parking chagres, so here is my edited and updated story after i spoke with Conservative Counciller - Fiona Mather.

Proposed sunday parking charges by the Liberal Democrats have been reversed by both Conservatives and independant parties.

The plan would have lead to charges for parking near the centre of Winchester. Thier were fears among the farmers market that this would lead to a drop in trade, despite more expensive parking in areas such as Basingstoke and Southampton.

Head of Winchester City Council (and Lib Dem)- Kelsey Learney, felt that these were reasonable charges that would help combat the 2% rise in VAT.

However, the Liberal Democrat party have been accused of not consulting with Winchester residents. Conservative Counciller Fiona Mather had this to say -

Audio Insert NAME: Parking Charges Audio Cut
INWORDS: The residents from
OUTWORDS: detered from coming to winchester on a Sunday
Duration: 0'17"

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Radio Story - 3

Since opening in November 2010, the Re:fresh Cafe' opened and run by YMCA Winchester, has attracted a large number of young people with over 4000 visits in its first 4 months.

The move came after a consultation process with over 600 young people in winchester around 2 years ago with a desire to create a venue exclusively for teenagers.

The cafe' is open to the public on Monday to Saturday between 10am and 2:30pm. A lack of funding means Re:fresh is unable to make the cafe' exclusive to young people on a permenant basis.

It aims to provide a relaxed and calm atmosphere for teenagers to come and go when they wish, and has attracted young people from many of the nearby areas such as eastleigh, southampton and guildford.

Youth Programme manager for YMCA Winchester, Simon Dodd spoke of the cafe's future plans-
Audio Insert NAME: Parking Charges Audio Cut
INWORDS: We'd like to also
OUTWORDS: between april 2011 and march 2012
Duration: 0'16"

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

ICorrect - Journalists Beware!

A new website has been set up by Sir David Tang called ICorrect.

This has lead to a number of celebrities signing onto the website to correct claims that they feel were unjustified. However, if you wanted to join this website, you would be joining what seem's to be becoming a special 'ICorrect club'. For an individual it costs $1,000 a year, and $5,000 a year for a business.You must also provide a reference eiter from an existing ICorrect member or 'A lawyer or representative who can vouch for your identity'

Recent corrections come from high profile figures and companies such as Kate Moss, Kevin Spacey, Michael Caine, Chelsea Football Club and IMG.

Although, figures such as Cherie Blaire seem to be using it more frequently than others. So far she has 'corrected' the Daily Mail, The Daily Express and The Mirror

One thing i did notice, is that Sir David Tang has used his website as much as anyone with one correction being -

From the Daily Mail -- 'David Tang is a creep'
Sir David Tangs' Correction -- 'This is greatly exaggerated'

Another interesting correction was from Michael Caine -

The Accusation - "Not many people know that." For the past 40 years, I have always been associated with these words.

His Correction - I have never said "not many people know that". Peter Sellers said it when he impersonated my voice on his telephone answering machine. His impersonation was: "This is Michael Caine, Peter Sellers is out. Not many people know that." I do not mind something clever being attributed to me, but I do mind something stupid that I did not say or do.

This website will certainly allow celebrities to feel like they have more of a voice against the publications of the press, but whether the website will truly take off is yet to be seen. Although, it will be interesting to monitor ICorrect over the next few months to see how often a new correction is published.

If successful it could place more pressure on the press to post correctly and fairly, as well as websites such as Wikipedia which is constantly slated for incorrect information about public figures.

You can see all the 'corrections' on the website here - http://www.icorrect.com/

The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848.

The short book followed marxist politcal theories, and explores why they feel we should live in a communist society, listing certain demands and explaining how we would gradually progress to communism. The aim was to 'free' the people from captialism, and move into what they thought was a better structure for society.

It was a sociopolitical movement, and aims for a classless and stateless society structured upon common ownership by means of production.

'Marxists' wanted to see the end of wage labour and see property provided in the means of production and real estate.

In the introduction he explains that he feels 'old europe' is trying to prevent communism, giving examples such as Pope and Tsar, French Radicals and German police spies.

He believed that two things have been the results of this-

1 - Communism is already ackowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.

2 - It is high time that communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish thier views, thiers arms, thier tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the spectre ot communism with a manifesto of the party itself.

They state that communists of many nationalities have constructed the manifesto in London.

They then look at the history of the class struggles. Marx see's only two possible endings to these struggles.

1 - A revolutionary reconstitution of society at large.
2 - In the common ruin of the contending classes.

The main focus is of the 'Bourgeois'(those in charge) and the 'Proletarians'(labourer)

Marx saw the discovery of America as allowing the Bourgeois to grow, describing it as 'a rapid development'. This was because everything came from the economy, and the large scale of America gave the Bourgeois more opportunities.

Marx also talks alot about industrial production. He says the manufactuing system soon took it's place. He sees the class struggle as being between those that 'own the means of production' and the people that 'labour for a wage'.

Marx believes proletarians will eventually rise to power through class struggle. Every class struggle is a politcal struggle in his view.

Although, int he manifesto, they express they're idea that the proletarians will soon fight back.

They say that the Bourgeoisie are giving working class the weapons that will eventually lead to thier downfall.

I'm going to end this blog with a quote i found made by Karl Marx in his 1875 writing 'Critique of the Gotha program' -

'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need/needs'.

I feel this shows his idea that every person should contribute to society to the best of his or her ability, and consume from society in proportion to his/her needs.

However, whether it should mean that everybody recieves equal pay no matter what their job is, is debatable. It is hard to see this as a fair rule in society, because of the higher demands that some jobs have compared with others.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Alternate Blog

I think it would useful to inform those following my blog that I have set up an 'alternate blog' which contains content which wouldn't fit the themes and ideas of this blog.

Here is the link - http://mackrell.blogspot.com/

It includes film reviews, life observations and a new blog series where i explore various super powers and assess whether they would be a good idea. You can see why these won't necessarily be as suitable on this blog.

But enjoy! =D

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Twitter Libel Case - 'twibel'?

I'm a big twitter fan, i have over 5,000 tweets and am nearing 200 followers. I use it practically everyday, and don't pay too much attention to what i write, it's normally just me going on about everyday life. But it seem's i'll need to start being a lot more careful.

Colin Elsbury, 41, has become the fist person in the UK to lose a twitter libel case. The tweet said 'It's not in our nature to deride our opponents however Eddie Talot had to be removed by Police from the Polling Station.
Mr. Talbot, 51, sued(an independant candidtate) sued Elsbury(a former mayor) for defamation in a tweet he made during a Caerphilly County Council by-election. He was charged £3,000 compensation and £50,000 costs. He will also be required to 'tweet' an apology.

This shows the power that Twitter can now have, it's becoming a powerful tool in politics and journalism.
The Sun reported that Elsbury said "This case will act as a warning to people, including politicians, to be extremely careful using Twitter".

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Radio Script - 2

Sunday parking charges have been introduced around Winchester City centre.
This has lead to fears that we will see a decrease of customers at the Farmer's Market which runs on the second and last Sunday of every month.

The market, which sells Hampshire made produce could see customers going elsewhere for thier fresh food.

The charges come as a solution to the 2 1/2% rise in costs to the council for parking services.

Leader of Wichester City Council, Kelsie Learney feels that these charges won't effect the Farmer's Market.

Audio Insert NAME: Parking Charges Audio Cut
INWORDS: If they go to Basingstoke and Southampton
OUTWORDS: very close to the city centre free.
Duration: 0'09"

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Karl Marx

At the start of our HCJ lecture, we were provided with a quote from Karl Marx -

'Capitalism comes into the world dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt'.

Marx was born in 1818 in Germany, and more specifically he was born into a Jewish family. This could have some significance as some of his relatives were Rabbi's. Marx could have seen himself as a 'modern day' profit. However, his Jewish parents lated converted to Lutheranism, which follows the theology ofan old testemant prophet - Martin Luther.

On his tomstone it reads "Workers of the world unite" and a quote that can be considered to differentiate him from other philosophers - "The philosophers have only interpreted the world - the point however is to change it".

Karl studied law, then philosophy, but then had a revelaition which lead him into the field of journalism. Marx became both a journalist and an editor for radical newspapers in Europe. What he preached was considered 'dangerous talk' and inflamatory. Governments didn't like it and he was pushed out of many countries, eventually, he fled to London where he lived until he died in 1887.

He met Fredrich Engles in 1844 in Paris who he worked with to write 'The Communist Manifesto' in 1848.

During 1848, rebellion spread across Europe, while some cases had short term success, generally they failed. Although, Marx gave philosophical backing to all these changes. He saw philosophy as a way to change the world.

Karl Marx believed that you could explain everything about a society by analysing the way economic forces in shape - social, religious, legal and political processes.

For Aristotle, man is the rational animal, for Kant the moral animal, for Hegel the historic animal. For Marx man is the productive animal.

He saw that mankind creates the environment it inhabits - 'not a figure in the landscape, but the shaper of the lanscape'. He felt that man dominated the world because of its ability to build tools and cooperate.

Marx believed that everything you do is for economics.

Marx achieved(according to Engels):-

1 - Hegelian philosophy (especially the philosophy of history and dialects)

2 - British Empiricism (especially he economics of Adam Smith)

3 - French revolutionary politics, especially social politics (man is born free but everywhere is in chains)

His method was scientific, he believed he was using the same methods as Darwin - researching every aspect of society n der to understand it.

He worked for years in the reading room of the Britih Museum. He managed to work his way through a vast amount of material. This included census(1801), tax records, commodity prices(growing empire).

Marx attacks Hegel's dialectic idealism/mysticism - Geist battle between good and evil - the real dialectic was rotted in the real world, in money and class struggle.

Marx sought the explanation of the historical process between man and the material conditions of his existence. His theory of history is therfore called 'dialectic materialism'.


The subject of this historical process is Spirit and through history it is seeking self-understanding.

History end when Spirit will achieve full self-knowledge and become the 'absolute spirit'. The process works through the dialectic.
-Thesis (proposition)
-Antithesis (counter - proposition - contradicting - negation)
-Synthesis (combination of refuting on propositin)
-Dialectic is a dialogue between two opposing points.

Marx see's the class struggle through history. Eg - master and slave, lord and serg etc...
The property - less working class - proletarial - have nothing to lose and everything to gain. "Nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win".
Other groups stand to lose private property and social status, and so cannot be relied on to act a selfless way.
Marx is interested in the proletarial as he feels these are the people that can make a change.

Marx's theory of alienation rests first on his theory of human nature. He proposes the triparlite self theory, which is shared with Plato. It is the belief of 3 parts to a person.
It is a set of needs. They are the following -

- The natural self with the subsistence needs - it is with us always not just the distant past.
- Alienated self - these natural needs are perverted - need for clothes, shelter are not met.
- Species self understands we are all part of one another - this will only eerge in the communist state.

Capitalism alienates men from themselves and from each other. People then begin to value 'things' over each other and encourages competition and inequality - the cash nexus becomes the criterium of all value.

Work is the loss of the self - it belongs to another - it does not develop the body or the mind. We are all alienated from our need for satisfying work.
We are also alienated from our higher species needs, as yet to be fully known or realised.

Communist society is characterized by equality and true justice and the evolution of a truly fe individual,.
Revolution = society will be equal and evolve(another link to Darwin?).
Marx likes the idea of evolving, a historical progression.

Communism(Marx's view)
Thesis - Free market capitalism, liberal state, individual rights. (very similar to Locke when exploring the idea of property and liberty)
Antithesis- The proletariat - Every time you have a proposition, a contradiction will come. Often people are worried they're going to be exploited.
Synthesis - Socialism
Capitalism has been described as 'Seeds of its own destruction'.

Factory production.
Market(links to Adam Smith and his 'hidden hand of the market').
Workers cannot afford the product of thier labours. Leads to unemployment and market crash.
The goods sold on the market would have had intense competition.

Capitalism will try to survive by investing in better technology, and exporting products(competition and imperialism). Then state expenditure focuses on education and military. However, Marx did see that these were onl temporary, and not the best of solutions. He was a historicaly determinant - he believes that the fall of capitalism and the rise of the prolatarials are equally inevitable.
The proletarians would rise up and dispossess the bourgeoisie - dictatorship of the proltarial would lead to socialism. Workers would sieze the means of production and produce goods to meet the needs of society instead of the market. They can then distribute the wealth equally across the state. People would work together for the common good and the state would wither away.
Communism would be a garden of 'eden'.

He see's there being difference between mental and physical labour. A person would be a fisherman in the morning, a factory worker in the afternoon and a musician and philosopher in the evning, and all these activities would have equal worth.

"From each according to ability. To each accordin to need"

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Kant and Hegel

In HCJ, the focus over the last week has been on two German philosophers - Kant and Hegel. These are two particularly difficult philosophers to get your head around, but i hope i've done ok in understanding some of thier concepts and ideas.
Both are considered key figures in German ideology. What made them different was that they wrote for philosophers, instead of regular people. Both the were uni progressors, and addressed learned audiences.


His early works are more concerned with science than with philosophy. He also explores 'teleology' which holds that final causes exist in nature.
He had various ideas and influences. One key focus was German Idealism. He felt simple ideas are 'the product of things operating on the mind in a natural way'.

Kant had a love for freedom(linking to romanticism), and thought each of individual as an end in themselves, meaning that we should all count equally. In some senses this could be seen as similar to some of Lockes' teachings.

Kant looked alot into space and time, he felt they are not concepts but are intuition. Kant feels that both secondary and primary qualities are subjective. (This is different to Locke who just felt secondary qualities were subjective).

He also refers to 'Phenomenon'(what appears to us in perception) and see's it as consisting of two parts.

1 - The 'Sensation'(that due to the object)
2 - That due to our subjective apparatus, which causes the manifold to be ordered in certain relations.

A pure form of sensibility is called a 'pure intuition'.
Space and time were seen as representing two aspects for Kant. One for the outer sense, and one for the inner.

Radio Script - 1

Hampshire Council have described the plans to provide internet access to all members of the public as a ‘major policy’, during a county council meeting.

The 'Broadband Project' aims to make internet connections easily accessible across the county, with particular focus on rural areas. Thier is currently a 1 to 2 1/2 year timetable in place, and the council are planning a firm 6 month programme to ensure that progress is made.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Dr Raymond Ellis stated that ‘high speed is essential’, expressing it's importance for work, studying, and even shopping.
The conservative member also felt that this project was ‘not just a responsibility, but a duty’.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Media Reinventing Journalism

It's become increasing clear that digital media has enabled citizen journalism to become more and more popular. Guardian journalist Emily Bell, wrote a very interesting piece on the 25th February regarding the new connections between the press and the public. She states that the relationship is 'taking on a different, but perhaps even more radical shape than that which we imagined a decade ago'.

In some senses I agree with this statement. However, it lead me to to think about how the various forms of media now so accessible to us has transformed the ways in which we discover and take in news.

With video recording equipment available on most modern phones, it is now so easy for a member of the public to record an event thats happening around them. The most famous example being 9/11 where alot of the more engaging footage is taken from the ground amongst the public.

The power of the people has had a huge impact on how we are now given the news. We have become as interested in opinions as much as we are interested in facts. Whilst some may argue that this helps prevent bias’ journalism, it could also be suggested that it causes the media to sway away from providing us with facts, and only showing basic evidence of certain news stories which therefore lead us into believing we are supporting the right side when in reality we are simply believing what we’re told (whatever it may be).

News is becoming a lot easier to access. It is available to us on various forms of media, ranging from newspapers and radio to television and the internet. This also means that we have a wider choice of how we receive it, meaning that the different forms now need to expand how they present news in order to become more appealing. This has included newspapers creating their own websites which have frequent updates (more than the newspaper itself). This enables readers to express their views through the newspapers by posting onto online forums.
As well as online forums, social networking websites such as facebook and twitter have also provided a voice for the public. An example of this is the huge reaction of disgust and anger towards an article written by Jan Moir concerning the death of Stephen Gately. In the article, she claimed that his ‘strange and lonely’ death was ‘unnatural’ and was a result of him being gay. Twitter users in particular were very vocal at watch she wrote, and the article itself (which was on the mail website) received over 500 comments within hours.
The combined power of the public’s voice eventually lead to an apology from Jan, despite her determination to still stick by the term ‘sleazy’ which she used when describing Gately’s death.

The use of websites such as twitter has expanded to companies such as the BBC, ITV, and sky news to report news as it happens, as well as some connecting their twitter updates to their official website. This gives the public much more frequent news updates, in some cases receiving them as the events are happening.

Another way that the news has advanced is another technique revolved around the public’s view on news. Camera phones and mobile internet means that anybody can now record and report news from wherever they are. This has been shown through public footage of events such as the tsunami, hurricanes and even footage from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This sort of footage is now used frequently and in many cases it is preferred to professional filming as it seems to provide a closer, more personal view on the news story as we are seeing it from the viewpoint of somebody involved in the event. Also, at times it shows footage that would otherwise be unavailable for journalists to film. Many members of the public also use cameras to project their views on subjects, posting ‘vlogs’ onto websites such as YouTube. Publicly recorded news has now become such an asset that the BBC has designed a department to specifically focus on these clips through the ‘News generated content department’.

Even though the public now have more control in some areas of journalistic media, we still remain very much under the control of journalists. Many stories are exaggerated and distorted to create fear amongst us to appeal more, and gain bigger interest. The public paranoia also means that we are likely to read further stories that link to what we are told to be afraid of. This can range from crime rates to politics to global warming. The key story that seemed to create this effect of how news is now presented was the 9/11 attacks. We saw both phone-camera footage and public reaction as the planes were colliding. The sheer size of the attack made it a world-wide story, and sparked fear amongst everybody regarding terrorist attacks. It has lead to wars, and fear amongst citizens of not only America but also the United Kingdom. This fear has made us willing to accept any story which allows us to force blame on anyone and anything to feel better about ourselves, and to feel safer. Blame has shifted throughout the last few years including anger aimed at immigration, politicians and celebrities. So the news latches onto these factors and escalates them as they receive the most interest (and in newspaper terms they are what sell copies).

Michael Moore is one person who has shown the extent of damage that the fear created has had on the minds of people. In his documentaries studying the corrupt minds of American’s shows how fear caused the media has escalated so high that in itself, it is creating the problems. In ‘Bowling for Columbine’ he shows how readily available guns are in America, including being given a ‘complimentary gun’ when you open an account with certain banks. At the time of the documentary America had suffered over 11,000 shootings in a year compared to just 68 in the UK. He explored various possibilities of why this was the case, he came to the conclusion that it wasn’t because of bad lifestyles, destroyed marriages or any of the factors that occur in nearly every country. The media in America seems to be the big problem, and now in the UK we can relate to that view to some extent. Instead of covering stories with less of a ‘fear factor’ towards each other (such as Michael Moore suggesting to report the pollution), they are consistently reporting shootings, drowning and any death-related story they can find. When asking a journalist at the scene of a drowning, he admitted he would report a shooting opposed to the drowning of a child. One even stated ‘we’ll wait for events to unfold, and then there will be more to say’. This shows the huge public interest in shootings, because they are in fear. In crime shows, they are shown so many criminals being chased down, which is something that is not completely realistic to many of the crimes that occur. It is expanded and made to look even more dangerous than it usually is. The media does not make an attempt to change this view as it is what creates high ratings. Marilyn Manson tells Moore ‘keep everyone afraid and they’ll consume’.

While the internet has enabled everyone to gain a voice and to speak their opinion, we still remain controlled by journalists and the enormous power that media has. Our desire for celebrity gossip, and numerous rumours and worldwide reports has kept us taking in every word that the news tells us. The creation of global fear and panic through the escalated horror that surrounds us has forced us into a corner. The problem with making our voice heard is that now so many people want to be heard, so there isn’t enough time to read every blog, or watch every public recording. So even though we can now speak our minds as much as we wish, who is listening?

You can read Emily Bell's article on digital media here -http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/25/digital-media-social-media

Romanticism - A Guest Lecturer

We were lucky enough to have a guest lecturer(Dr Gary Farnell) in our HCJ lecture, and we were taught in more detail about Romanticism.
We started by focussing on Prometheus, the idea is that he stole ___ from the Gods and gave it the people. But as punishment he was tied to a rock while a crow pecked at his liver. For this he was adopted as a God of romanticism. He has featred n a number of literay works, and is seen is a symoblic figure in Romanticism.

Romanticism itself was generally a movement in Europe and America and grew in te late18th and early 19th Century.

It is also important to look at people like Kant and Hegel who's ideas link to the romantic period.

A Guide to Radio News

Over the last few weeks, i have been studying about the world of radio with guidance from my Radio lecturer Annette Rizzo. I think it's time that i blogged about the technioques and tips that i have learnt. Here's is my guide to Radio Journalism.

Radio Journalism can have a number of different forms.

-News Programmes
-Magazine Programmes

I will start off by briefly explaing each of these forms

Headlines are a one line summary of each of the main stories. These procede with a bulletin each or a programme which revisits the stories in detail.
They could also act as a stand alone item.

Bulletins on avergae last between 2 and 5 minutes.
They usually start wih headlines and read read by a newsreader/journalist.
Thier is often a voice/voice peace, or(similarly) a two way with another reporting.
Audio cuts of interviews, press conferences and expert opinions are often used to add more depth and information to the news stories.

News Programmes
These often begin with headlines and/or a short bulletin.
The programmes explore top stories in greater detail(compared with bulletins). and include additional stories (related or unrelated) to the top stories.
Both live and pre-recorded interviews are used, as well as outside broadcasts and two ways.
News programmes will also often feature debates, comment and commentary, as well as packages.

Magazine Programmes
These may be either narrow or wide ranging, but generally have a specific remit eg - 'you' and 'yours'.
They are less likely to have headlines or bulletins, but may react to the top stories of the day.
Often, both topical and timeless issues are covered, or a topical story may be used as the peg on which to hang an otherwise timeless issue.
Phone-ins and listener interaction may also be included.
The same types of content used by a news programmes may also feature in a Magazine programme.

These are extended packages or features which explore a particular subject or issue in much greater deoth.
Often, they will draw on the same conventions and type of content.

What are packages?
Packages normally begin with a cue read by the presenter(reading from a script)
They may include an introduction and conclusion by reporter or participant.
Reporter links recorded either in the studio or on location may be included.
They will include one or more interviewees. Along with this, thier may be vox pops, music sfx, actuality and archive clips.
These items are then 'packaged' together.

Target Audiences
-Target Audiences as defined by age and social demographic(as mentioned in earlier blogs)
-This consists of A,B,C1,C2,D,E.
-Age is normally categorised in groups of 10 to 20 years. Eg-16-24, 25-44 etc...
-The style and format will be dictated by the target audience.

Succesful Radio Interviews
The key to a good radio interview is based on two skills-
1. Good operation of recording equipment.
2. Sensible questioning

Before setting out to record, you must make sure you are fully aquainted with the controls.
- Make sure the machince/batteries are fully charged and test it to make sure it is functioning properly.
- Make sure it is recording.

These can be temperamental and sensitive, don't tap them, blow into them, or rustle paper in front of them.
Make sure that it is plugged into the correct socket.
- The best way to hold the mic is to have it around six inches from the mouth, and holding it upright so that you speak across it rather thandirectly into it. This makes sure that it picks up the voice of both you and the speaker and avoids you rustling the mic by moving it back and forth.

Don't keep switching the machine on and off during an interview, or pressing the pause button. You may accidently forget to switch it back on, or not press it properly. You could then miss important parts of the interview.
Thats what editing is for, you can edit out mistakes and noises after the interview.

At the end of the interview, hold the mic still and let the recording run for just a few seconds more.
This will make editing a little easier and leave a bit of ambience.

Places to Record
- Don't always go for a quiet room, but consider what sounds around you will add texture to your audio.
- Avoid rooms with obvious echo. If necessary, stand next to curtains.
- Be aware of boilers, ar conditioning and flourescent light strips. These can affect the sound quality of your recording.
- Keep away from heavy traffic, and turn you back on noise and shlter the mic from wind if you can.
- If noisy, or if you have a quiet interviewee, simply hold the mic closer.

- Good interviews sound like unscripted chats.
- Don't write long lists of questions. Jot down a few questions and ideas.
- LISTEN to the answers. Interviewees can say interesting things that you may not have originally considered, they could be useful.
- Questions should be simple and straightforward.
- Do some research or ask them before the interview if needed so that you have some idea about the subject you'll be asking about.

Remember:--- Who? What? How? When? Where? Why?

- Always be politce and always be in control.
- Avoid the closed question(one that can be answered with 'yes' or 'no')
- Nod silently to encourage your interviewee, but do not speak.

I hope you find this guide useful. Thanks for reading.