Latest News - Cameron announces plans for NHS reform -::::- Southampton Toll Collectors go on 1 week strike -::::- Follow @mackingnews on Twitter for all of the latest stories -::::-

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Power of Facebook - Part 2

Facebook has become a phenomenon of sorts, the people that run the social network can do almost anything they want. In some ways they already have, they've completely changed privacy settings, making you vulnerable to having you're infromation viewed by almost anybody. They've changed the layout numerous times, making minute altercations that some people consider pointless and unnecessary.

Yet, all the people that complain at every turn when a change is made, they still stick through it, and eventually they adjust. They sit happily, as Facebook does exactly what it wants with hardly any long term repercussions. It has become a global brand. As big as McDonalds and Coca Cola, in fact, it may be even bigger. After all, it now boasts over 800,000 members. The number of active users on Facebook actually went up from around 1 million in 2004 to over 750 million in 2011. It's the most used social media website in the world by miles. It's Alexa ranking is number 2, only coming behind Google.

It has become a newspaper for some people, something to read when you wake up in the morning.
It employs more than 3000 people, incredible considering how basic the actual concept is, and the idea that it all began with just a handful of people. It can be how we find out dramatic news stories, and is slowly becoming the cliche answer to 'where were you when...' question. It's how I found out about Michael Jackson's death back in 2009. I'm sure it was also how people discovered Amy Winehouse had died earlier this year. There has suddenly been no need for journalists to break such big news, because it spreads across the internet within minutes.
Flickr - Davichi
Many would argue that this is all good news, and it's hard to disagree. News is spreading faster than ever, and at the same time you can engage with your friends and family miles apart as if they were sitting right next to you.
Along with this, Facebook has continued to try and take advantage of it's huge number of use, and the fact that they provide their 'friends' with such detail of their life. Facebook has improved it's system, particularly in the United States, to help those that may seem suicidal to their social network friends, through interactions such as status updates and 'FB Chat'.

Facebook houses offices all over the world, including in London which boasts one of it's biggest offices. They have job roles that range from marketing, corporate communications, monetization and developer relations. It just shwos you how broad Facebook is for something that on the surface simply connects friends online. A user can be 'flagged' by concerned friends, which then enables them to speak with a trained councillor through the facebook chat feature.

Faceook recently released what they consider the most discussed topics on the social netowkring website this year. The order was the following:-
1 - Death of Osama Bin Laden
2 - Packers win the Super Bowl
3 - Casey Anthony found not guilty
4 - Charlie Sheen
5 - Death of Steve Jobs
6 - The Royal Wedding
7 - Death of Amy Winehouse
8 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
9 - Military operations begin in Libya
10 - Hurricane Irene

Along with this their 'Memology' showed what where the most popular(or trending) movies, songs, artists and stars on Facebook.

Harry Potter is the fastest growing movie on Facebook this year with an unbelievable 37,500,000 likes. That is far ahead of second police which is The Twilight Saga that has almost 27 Million likes.

Family Guy is one of the most liked things on Facebook with 40 Million Likes, with The Simpsons not far behind (37 Million)
House is the fastest growing tv show, and currently has close to 26 Million. Which is followed by Two and a Half Men(24 Million).

Despite not starring in any big blockbuster films this year, Megan Fox remains the fast growing celebrity page, with just under 30 Million likes.

Overall, their seems to be only a small sway of interest in comparison to 2010 as far as entertainment is concerned

To read more on the 2011 Memology, and for the full top 10 on each category click here.
To read 'The Power of Facebook - Part 1' click here.

Friday, 9 December 2011


- It is a cultural movement

- Kirkegaard

- Phenomenology - a branch of philosophy, closest to psychology, and deals with the perpection of things.
Eg- the 'duck rabbit' - object of perception. You my can see both a duck and a rabbit in the picture(but you can only focus on one at a time).

The 'Duck Rabbit'
Kayka - Book called 'The Trial'.


- Consciousness is intentional, and meaning is fixed subjectively.

Consciousness = intention - desire to see the object.
'Duck Rabbit' - humans choose between different things to see.

Huuserl had a student caled Heidegger.
Heigeger's man book was 'Being in Time'. It was about how the how the human personality develops over time.

- Structure of time - constantly looking towards the future.
- The way the future seems to someone varies on how long in the future they look.

Heidegger was a nazi, and thought highly of Adolf Hitler.
He wanted to go back to nature(much like Rousseau) and felt technology was wrong (bad faith).
He also thought western civilization was not sustainable financially, morally etc...

Described the present as 'dread'.
Heidegger also believed that we are always thinking about the past, and looking back through our memories to search for signs of what could happen in our future. And the main memory from our past is guilt.

John Paul Sartre
Was an economist (and not a nazi).
He takes from Heidegger the idea of 'dread'.

Takes 'Dassein' but calls it 'good faith'.
Sartre is brutally honest - feels it's the only way to combat nausea.
He was imprisoned by the Nazis.
- Solidarity - we're inevitabley doomed, but so is everybody else.

Existentialists are against fighting the collaboration from within.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Winol - 07/11/2011

This is the second time I directed an edition of Winol. Overall, I was very pleased with my direction, and was again described as a very calm voice throughout.

Winol 10.0

Week Starting 05/12/2011
Today we had a guest lecture from Tom Hepworth. You can read my blog on the lecture here.

Tuesday. The day started in tab 9, with people preparing for interviews, Sportweek and general Winol work. I was asked by Tom Morgan to help him with his latest story about cameras (both video and sound) that have been placed in taxi's around southampton.
We had to travel to Eastleigh to interview Kevin May who has already spent around £30,000 to take the Southampton City Council to court and get the sound turned off of the cameras.

Wednesday. The day started very quiet at 9am, considering it was the last Winol of the year, but it soon picked up, and was buzzing with people by mid-day.
My main job today was director, a role which I have instantly loved since i first did it a few weeks ago.

This week's Bulletin

November 30th 2011 - Highlights

November 30th was a great day for WINOL, with a LIVE 4 hour broadcast from the Unite offices in Southampton.
I spent the day controlling the various cameras that were in use in the studio. Here is a video containing some of the many highlights from the day.

You can read my notes from the week leading up to Novemember 30th here.
You can read my notes from the week of November 30th here.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Video Journalism - Tom Hepworth Lecture

Flickr: SamJJordan
- Don't make pictures and words compete.
- When arriving to film a sequence, spend the first 20 minutes getting to know the people. Talk about what you want to film.

- Work out what you want to film before you even get the camera out of the bag.

- Important points of camerawork - Discipline and Economy.
No need to film shots your not going to use.
Shoot things that help you tell the story.

- TV is the opposite to press photo's (which are often posed for and unnatural)

- It's all about telling stories about people.
- Always look for the people.
- Always get faces - get in close on the faces.

Example - Restaurant package
Good shots - Eating, cooking, water, paying bill.
Bad shot - Exterior GV.
Chopping carrot - interest - close up of knife.

Ideally you should have 5 shots.
- Close up of action.
- Close up of face (who)
- Wide shot (where)
- Over the shoulder or point of view.
- Another

Hold each shot for 10 seconds.
Go mobile with the camera for action.

- Be honest with the person you need to film.
- Just ask them, and talk them through what's going to happen.
- Interviews are there to add insight, emotion and reaction.
- Pictures tell the story
- Use a sequence showing someone do something from multiple angles.

- Mic AT (Mic Atenuation) - for things like a noisy factory.
- Radio mic - A hands (spread out hand) distance from mouth.
- Filming by a road for an interview - don't use omnidirectional microphones.
- You can have your back to the road and use the gun mic, or use a tie mic.

- Use natural light (with your back to it) to light up your interviewee - The window behind the camera.

- When using white balance, put the paper in the light of where you'll be filming.
If necessary, it's better to go for slightly orange over slightly blue.

- ND - off for dark shots.
- Turn 'Gain' up(on the camera) to around 18 decibels when their is dark lighting around you.

- You've got one chance to tell your story, you should be economical with words.
- Before you sit down to write he script, think about what you're going to say, and how you're going to say it.
- Use the spoken word not the written word.
- 'Less is more'
- Translate for the audience, don't use over-complicated words.
- Keep it simple - one thought = one sentence.

- Graphics - Keep the figures/points simple
Around one number/word each.

- Pull focus - You need to be quite far back, and it requires light adjusting to the focus.
- Zooming in compresses your depth of field.
- Peaking(on the camera) - gives outline in red - useful in bright sunlight if you can't see the screen.
- Expanded focus - Zooms you in a lot on a shot so you can tell if it's in focus.

Other points
- You're allowed to film private property from public property (e.g.- a public road).

- If you're stuck for things to film, you can turn to areas/people affected. A good way to find a sequence if you don't have many/any good options.
If you have time, you can try to find a relevant expert.

- Shots of people doing things is key. it's what interests the audience.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


Totalitarianism can be seen as a form of dictatorship. It is a political system which produces complete control over both public and private sectors.
Political parties with the aim of totalitarianism usually have policies that are concerned with movement.
Previous governments have used positive laws - they replace them with teorror. Everyone then becomes subjectively innocent.

Single process of thought - This way nothing new can be learnt. Reality is seperated from ideological thinking - People's perceptions of reality are altered.
Loneliness then starts to exsist amongst the masses when you de-individualise them.
Marxist - 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their need'.

It goes against the 'positive laws'.
'Positive law' isn't needed. The police are seen as fair. It's best to not be guilty of anything, it's better that you're completely innocent, so that their is no reason at all for you to be killed.

Statutory law - Government
Common Law - Court cases (man made law)

Milgrams Theory - Stanley Milgram
The Malgram Experiment
Stanley's Experiment was influenced by the evnts of the Nazi Holocaust, and decided to carry out an experiment that would demonstrate the relationship between obedience and authority.

1963 - Milgram submitted the results of his 'Milgram Experiment' in the article - 'Behavioural Study of Obedience'.
1974 - Published 'Obedience to Authority'.

37 out of 40 participants administered the full range of shocks up to 450 volts after being instructed by someone that looks like they're in authority, the highest obedience rate Milgram found in his whole series. Those shocked were actually paid actors, and simply faked the effects(the shocks were fake)

According to Milgram, the subject shifts responsibility to another person and does not blame himself for what happened.

Resembles real-life incidents - people see themselves as cogs in a machine, 'just doing their job', avoiding responsibilities for the consequences of their actions.

Milgram also started the six degrees of seperation idea.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Winol 9.0 - November 30th Live Broadcast

Week starting 28/11/2011
Monday. Today was a mixture of meetings in preperation for wednesday, but I spent most of the day putting together my package so that it can be used on the day if it is needed.
This meant recording my piece to camera and voiceover, and uploading it on Final Cut Pro, then chopping and changing pieces, and overlaying graphics which I design. I also recieved some archive footage frm Julie which show strikes from earlier in the year I was able to include this in my package to give the audience other things to look at as i had nor eal gvs.
Overall, i wasn't too pleased with the general look and feel of my package, but considering what i was asked to do and what I had to work with, i think I did a decent job, and the package is mainly intended to be an expo piece to provide some information on the unions and what they represent..

Tuesday. Tuesday started off early as I came into the newsroom at around 9am, only a few people were in there at the time, but i got to work on the straplines that I asked people to send me if they needed them. I finished them pretty quickly, and was then able to make a few alterations to my package. After watching the package, Julie had told me to alter a few of the graphics so that more acurately match what i'm saying. The graphic is mainly there to help the audience understand what you're telling them.
At about half 10, Henry drove to the university to pick me up, and me, graham, Henry and Jack went to Southampton for the day of rehearhsals in the Unite building in Southampton.
After seeing the building for myself, i agreed that it was a great location and a good size for us to set up an 'on location' studio.
Although i was originally going to be 2nd director, things were constantly changing over the fews weeks leading towards the broadcast, and i ended up controlling two of the key cameras that were being used throughout, in the studio. On the day this meant, moving the camera between different people, as well as changing between close ups, two shots, 3 shots and anything else that was needed. As well as this I had to change the tapes whenever they were close to running out, as we were also using tape to record as a back up.
You can watch my video package about Unions here.
Wednesday. Today was the big day. Lou was able to give me a lift in the morning, and we arrived in Southampton at the Unite building at around 9:30am.
I found that along with moving the cameras around, i occasionally had to work as communciation between certain people when someone like Will or Justina was too busy or didn't hear, because we usually had to remain very quiet throughout, except when the VT's were playing, and even then it was important that only a few people spoke at a time, because we were constantly deciding what to display next.
We went live at 12, but had a few technical issues throughout the start of the programme, mainly to do with sound. Their were issues with the wireless radio microphones which meant that the presenter wasn't heard very well by the audience.
At one point in the first hour, we decided that a 5 minute 'will be right back' vt would be played on a loop so we could try and sort out the issues.
While we fixed the problem partly, issues with sound became a theme throughout the day.

Union Package

This is my expo package about some of the Unions involved in the November 30th strikes.
The package was used in WINOL's coverage that was streamed live on the day of the strikes from 12 until 4pm.

My thoughts on the package
At first felt a bit dissapointed in my package, I felt as though it didn't have much to offer, and wasn't particularly 'news worthy' or interesting.
But then I thought about the context in which it was used. Essentially it proved an important part of our live braodcast, as packages were needed frequently when we had nothing else to go to(either because of technical issues, a lack of guests etc...).
The package is entended to be an expo(exposition) heavy piece, meaning that it's main job is to explain things the audience. In this case I am explaining some of the key unions in the country, and their influence in the strikes.
This meant that I didn't have any GVs or 'talking heads'(interviewees) to use as a way of creating more interest, or varying what the audience sees/hears.
To combat this I tried making some graphics to help the audience follow along with everything I was saying. I also used some archive footage that WINOL had of previous union strikes.
Overall, I was pleased with the outcome, with the restictions of what I could actually produce, I feel it was a decent attempt. The package was used a few times throughout the broadcast.
One way i perhaps could have improved the package would have been to maybe try and get some of the union leaders/members to explain a bit about their Union, but some may consider that a bit pointless and would go against the idea of only showing a person giving 'comment' and only having facts in your own voice.