Tag Archives: journalism

CJS Breakfast show

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Practicing our Breakfast show

Me and Karen, practicing for the Breakfast show!

As a part of our exciting course we have the opportunity to work as a team to produce an hour and a half breakfast show. At the beginning of the week, we’ll have a breakfast meeting where we’ll all share story ideas and then assign a couple of stories to each member of the team.

Last week was my first breakfast show, and so we all spent the week gathering material, phone bashing and getting around our patch to get a range of light and serious stories to have an editorially balanced breakfast show. Myself and my colleague Karen volunteered to be the presenters. We spent some time in Bargoed speaking to people about the history of the town and the plans for its re-development.

We also went to speak to Andy Gorno, a Welsh food producer who has both Italian and Welsh heritage to find out who he’d supporting in the Italy V Wales on the weekend. On Thursday evening we sub-edited the programme to avoid any slip ups when reading through it.

It was one of the most exciting production days as we really got to know our content and worked really well as a team. The programme was recorded in three slots of half an hour, so here’s a sneak preview of our show:

(Team- Geraint Thomas, Tom Lewis, Tim Walsh, Niamh Hannon, Zahra Ullah, Kelly Bradnick (editor,) Karen Lyons, Lavinia Hoyos, Bethan Muxworthy.)

6Nations7Marathons

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(Broadcast, 24/02/2012.)

With two big welsh matches in London this weekend you’ll probably have to set off early to avoid a busy M4.

Three men took it to the extreme and left Cardiff last Sunday, but they are doing it for charity and they’re running the whole way.

They’re hoping to arrive in Twickenham just before the National anthem to watch the match.

I caught up with Mike Hnyda to see how they’re getting on…

Reporters and the Reported Essay

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“Does the phone hacking scandal show that good journalism will be the first casualty of the digital revolution in the media?”

 Any review of the gloomy headlines of 2011 would undoubtedly include phone hacking at News International, which shocked and shamed Britain. During a few chaotic weeks in July, the scandal erupted into a crisis for the press, police and politicians, exposing corruption, malpractice and illegalities. In almost immediate reactions to the scandal; the News of the World closed, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner resigned, several leading media figures were arrested, Rupert and James Murdoch appeared before a House of Commons Select Committee and the Leveson Inquiry was announced.

The fact that journalists could stoop so low as to hack the phones of murder victims and dead soldier’s families, undoubtedly damaged the public perception of the press. It begged the question posed by Jeremy Paxman in Newsnight, “what’s gone wrong in the culture of the media in this country?” Broadcaster Anne Diamond asserted we live in a press world where “values have been distorted by the worst journalists.” The same press world where according to Nick Davies, The Guardian journalist, who appeared in the same programme, “journalists are stabbing each other in the back, routinely breaking the law to sell newspapers.”

Any attempt to answer Paxman’s question must consider whether the digital revolution has helped create a breeding ground for bad journalism and made good journalism its first casualty. We are undeniably being swept along by a wave of technological advances which have given us iphones, ipads, laptops and made us witness to the rise of social networking sites, blogging and growth of online resources. This digital revolution has not only changed the face of journalism forever but given birth to an arch-rival, citizen journalism. As Richard Tait, Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University maintained in his lecture, “it seems anybody with a laptop or mobile phone can be a journalist.” In a world where, according to Ian Hargreaves In his book Journalism: Truth or Dare, “news is multimedia, global and ubiquitous,” news gathering is taking place in a highly competitive, overcrowded market place, with journalists racing to capture exclusive content.

 Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, in his post-Hutton guidelines for journalists  warns that, “inside many journalists there is a little demon prompting us to make the story as strong and interesting as possible, if not more so. We drop a few excitable adjectives around the place. We over-egg. We may even sex it up.” Regrettably, that demon has also prompted some reporters to practice the ‘dark arts of journalism,’ in a working environment where, according to former Mirror Journalist James Hipwell’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry last November, phone hacking was “a bog standard journalistic tool.”

Charles Reiss, London Evening Standard’s former Political Editoralso acknowledges that as story tellers in a marketplace there is the potential danger that reporters may be spurred on to “go that little bit too far and produce stories that depart from the truth.” He nevertheless has confidence that good journalism will only be a casualty of the digital age if basic principles of reporting are forgotten. As Peter Preston, former editor of The Guardian tells us, good journalism is a “journalism of verification…it must be accurate…must be authentic, complying with the law, complying with the regulatory framework.” Rusbridger reminds us of an important point, namely “it is the rogue actions of, I hope, a few journalists (which) have landed the press as a whole with a series of inquiries.”

When Cardiff University hosted a debate ‘Hacked off,’ Rob Williams, online Sub-editor of The Independent agreed with Rusbridger  believing a far more representative portrayal of the profession is one in which journalists are “working hard to get things right, operating in a professional and ethical manner day in day out.” In Jon Snow’s 2011 shown on Channel 4, Ian Hislop makes the important observation that journalists’ bad behaviour was exposed not by MP’s or the police but by other journalists.

The Leveson Inquiry has in essence been tasked with washing the professions dirty laundry in public. Whilst it has to date and undoubtedly, will continue to uncover uncomfortable truths about the way a number of journalists have behaved in the past, Rusbridger optimistically asks that, “as we enter this period of reflection and investigation of the worst of what journalism can do, let’s also keep in mind the best of what journalism can do.” To Rusbridger this is “a once-in-a-generation chance to celebrate great reporting.”

When The Sun editor Dominic Mohan appeared before Lord Justice Leveson in January he pleaded with him to create a “level playing field” between papers and the internet, blaming the totally un-regulated web for the falling circulation of newspapers. Lord Justice Leveson has already described the internet as “the elephant in the room” of his inquiry. With or without a playing field therefore, surely the best way for journalism to display its wares must be to capitalise on the very fact that it is a profession.

News online tends to have bias and as Peter Preston argues is geared towards a “specific audience.” To regurgitate such subjective reports would not be an example of good journalism. It is the job of the good journalist to take these accounts, add opinion, other facts and perspective to provide an end product which offers an objective, trusted view of events. Preston sees journalists as being imbued with a “sense of mission” and in a world of information over-load have a unique professional ability to sort out the “wheat from the chaff.” To quote Mark Brayne, former BBC Correspondent, good journalism matters because “it is the mirror through which people get the knowledge of where they are living.”

The digital revolution could therefore be seen not as a threat to good journalism but rather its saving grace, equipping reporters with the necessary tools to continue to ply their trade as trusted, responsible, impartial news gatherers in an ever-increasingly over-crowded media world. Six months after the phone hacking scandal rocked Britain January has seen the editors of the disgraced News of the World’s sister titles, voicing their support for a radical reform of press regulation to uphold press ethics but not through legislation. James Harding, editor of The Times has told Leveson “we don’t want to be in a position where the Prime Minister decides what goes in newspapers.” In contrast Alan Rusbridger has welcomed the prospect of a “regulator with teeth” and statutory under-pinning.

Lord Justice Leveson has summarised his challenge as finding a system that will work for press and public in the long-term. He has stressed that it will not be good enough to have an inquiry which will only lead to an “immediate improvement” in the behaviour of the press in the wake of one ethical scandal, only to be followed by “a gradual drift back” to old bad ways until the next ethical scandal. Leveson is therefore determined to establish a system “sufficiently robust to cope with the trouble so that in ten years time we don’t have to do the whole thing again.” If Lord Justice Leveson can achieve his laudable goal, good journalism will continue to thrive and the phone hacking scandal will make bad journalism the first casualty of the digital revolution in the media.

The joys of growing up

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Admittedly it’s been a while fellow bloggers and I know it’s not acceptable to keep apologising for MY lack of blogging and so I’m just going to fill you in on my busy life and continue to do this as often as I can.

I really am learning how to be a broadcast journalist in 9 months- a bit like a journalistic pregnancy. I sleep, eat and breathe news and my brain is constantly working overtime as I think about ways I can be interesting, creative, organised and as my lecturer keeps telling me ‘relax and slow it down.’ I have a tendency when i’m excited to speed up and it has its positives (meeting deadlines,) but can also have its flaws (sometimes I feel like im in the panic room on the Exit List.)  Anyone who hasn’t seen that game show, it’s very addictive.

Nevertheless my life is 100 miles an hour and with less than a month before I break up for a very exciting 3 week work placement the pressure is on. It is possibly the most important year of my life but I am still making time for socialising and fun and of course I’ll be sharing that with you.

Firstly, yes it’s that time of year again- the Six Nations! Possibly the most exciting time of the year as I’m a massive

the aftermath of the rugby match

Crowds flocking out of the Milennium stadium

rugby fan and there’s nothing quite like a rugby day in Cardiff. Any home games at the Millennium stadium brings thousands of supporters, the streets are packed and the atmosphere is phenomenal. Yesterday Wales were playing Scotland and as the game ended the streets flooded with happy Welsh fans and the Scots were a great sport as they proudly wore their kilts.

This weekend was my 24th birthday and was celebrated in style with a house party theme, ‘seven deadly sins.’ My very good buddies made me heart-shaped biscuits and decorated the house with birthday banners and balloons.

I also loved the practicality of all my presents and how they were all useful for my journalistic lifestyle- a blazer, a smart shirt, posh handbag, pearl earrings, classy necklace, ‘State of Play’ DVD etc. 

It was definitely a memorable birthday and I am lucky to have so many good friends. The costumes were great;  a pride of lion’s, a lot of people GREEN with envy, some Katy Perry style ‘Gluttony’ costumes, Mr. Darcy himself (lust,) Miss Pride and many more.

Birthday fun

Seven deadly sins birthday

So that’s pretty much the social side of my busy life but journalistically it’s also been a bit crazy. Every Tuesday and Friday we have production days which reflect a real day in a newsroom. More often than not, the days will start with a stressful rush to get a 5 minute bulletin out by 9 o clock but then as the days go by and the interviews begin to come together the days are a massive adrenalin rush.

There’s no better feeling than working and developing a story, timing a bulletin perfectly, getting some great interviews and the list goes on. As I have finally got to grips with the technology side of things thanks to practicing in the TV studio and radio  booth the journalism can be the main focus.

TV studio practice

Practicing in the TV studio.

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day, that time of year when men feel a huge amount of pressure to buy the perfect gift and treat their loved ones to the usual cheesy gifts: chocolates, roses, teddies ETC.   I am very much looking forward to covering a story on it in the Rhondda.

Valentine’s Day is often focused around couples going for candle-lit dinners but this year the council are running a campaign ‘Love Leisure for Life,’ to encourage couples to exercise together on Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be an early start tomorrow as we go and see for ourselves how many couples will be hitting the leisure centres for a romantic swim.

I’ll let you know how it goes!