Frank Turner comes home! 28/10/0

The Winchester Guildhall is full to the brim with expectant fans for solo artist Frank Turners biggest ever hometown show.

The atmosphere reached boiling point as Turner hit the stage to rapturous applause, launching

University of Winchester welcomes Ian Anderson

In conjunction with the behemoth of journalism Ian Anderson's' visit to the University of Winchester, I decided to post some pictures of his tour of our brand spanking new television studio.

Television studio

The internet may not be the death of the music industry

Interesting article in the Guardian today about Cheryl Cole's debut album which went on sale today.

Cole's debut single Fight For This Love is currently the fastest-selling single of 2009 and the album 3 Words is expected to be one of the biggest of the year.

cheryl cole

Resurgence in studies into health benefits of LSD and Ecstacy

During the 1950s and 60s research was carried out into the effects of psychedelic drugs. In some places they were even used as cures for anxiety and depression. However as the use of LSD and Ecstasy as a recreational drug began to increase, studies into the possible beneficial effects of the drugs were suspended amid fears that taking them would cause mental illness' such as schizophrenia.

Griffin on Question Time - more harm than good?

Well, despite all the protests and complaints, it went ahead. Nick Griffin, leader of controversial right wing party the BNP, appeared for the first time on Question Time.

Predictably, the party's exposure to a Nationwide audience provoked outrage as Griffin, although unsurprisingly more subdued than usual (check out this speech made to a group of right-wing extremists in the US: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04QolIvfQEw ) still managed to make a few ludicrous claims such as that if Churchill had been alive today he would be a member of the BNP, which is the focus of the story in The Times today.

Bick GriffinWhile the debates about whether Griffin should have been allowed on Question Time in the first place or whether he will be allowed on again will continue to rage, a new debate will now surely take centre stage, how effective was his performance on the show?

Inevitably the focus of the show was centered on Griffin and his controversial beliefs on issues of race, immigration and multiculturalism. There are two ways to objectively view his performance when it came down to answering questions on these topics.

Number one, Griffin showed a lot of bottle when it came to facing 300 hostile people and was always going to struggle when it came down to answering these questions. He did his best at trying to debate but every time he opened his mouth he was instantly shouted down or had to deal with choruses of boos and jeers from the audience.

Number two, Griffin couldn't hold his own when it came down to intense scrutiny by the panel and audience, choosing to hide himself behind a child-like-veil of 'I didn't do it' when it came down to accounting for his own words, even when he was confronted with video evidence.

Which ever you believe, there is no denying that Griffin can have a case for believing he was treated 'unfairly' as only about 10% of the show was spent discussing his parties policies. The other 90% was (rightly) focused on Griffin attempting to fend off attacks about his personal beliefs and his highly controversial quotes.

The star of the show was undoubtedly David Dimbleby who controlled the show brilliantly. Dimbleby consistently highlighted Griffins shortcomings by pressing him every time he tactically avoided answering questions and he constantly levelled Griffins' own quotes at him and got nothing but consistently nervous and unconvincing responses.

By the end, the audience were essentially ridiculing Griffin. Things were being shouted from all areas of the crowd and people seemed to just get tired of what he had to say. Griffin showed himself to be a nervous and rambly public speaker who tirelessly contradicted himself. However, it is difficult to know how he may have performed when faced with a different audience and a more political line of questioning.

The BNP claim that last night gave them the biggest recruitment drive in their history, with over 3,000 people joining the party. In a poll on the Daily Mail website, 55% of people believe the appearance was a success for Griffin and the BNP.

In this authors opinion, successful or not, Griffin should become a regular guest on Question Time. Maybe then he will get to truly show how much of a politician he ain't and people will soon start to see the real side of him, rather than a slimy yet very clever PR man.

BNP question time

It has been brewing since the announcement that the BNP leader Nick Griffin was set to appear on BBC Question Time and today the anti-BNP protesters turned nasty.

Over 500 people were involved in demonstrations outside the BBC studios in White City.

BNP protests3 police officers were injured as 25 protesters beat BBC security to gain entry to the reception area of the building.

Meanwhile Griffin entered via a side entrance, licking his lips and rubbing his hands.

This whole over the top media coverage coupled with the-now-violent demonstrations has played right into the hands of the BNP. It has made them look like victims and has given them credibility.

Griffin even had the audacity to call the protesters "yobs". Although he then went on to reveal his real right-wing paranoia by denouncing that all the protesters "have been bussed in from around the country by groups funded by Labour councils".

Griffin has done what any self respecting racist party leader would do and hidden behind the banner of free speech and since the protesters are denying him this 'right' he can now play the innocent victim.

There is a danger that Griffin can successfully play this role well and turn himself into the textbook pantomime bad guy.

Lets see if he can keep up this facade on Question Time tonight at 10.35pm on BBC 1. It promises to be pretty explosive.

How to write news features

In our lecture on Monday we discussed features and feature writing. These are the main feature format used in the news outside the designated 'feature' section. They shouldn't be confused with hard news stories and they are usually longer. Often they are usually located near or on the news pages of a newspaper.

Quite often they can be classed as 'wrap up' articles and a good example I found in one of today's tabloid papers was 'Ten Interesting Facts About Buttons' which was an article that used a news 'peg' of Jensen Button winning the world Formula One title.

News feature I also managed to find 'Top Ten Tips for Writing Effective News Features from News USA which provides some interesting advice:

1. Write for your audience.

Your feature should appeal to a broad, general newspaper readership. All through the course we have been taught to avoid technical jargon and overly complicated sentences, news features are no exception.

2. Follow The Associated Press Stylebook, the universally accepted journalism standard.

Use this style and editors will be inclined to give your feature serious consideration. Break the rules and your feature may not place.

3. Make a keen statement in your first paragraph.

Features are all about grabbing the readers attention so a good idea is to lead with a question or a statistic that highlights the most important point of the feature.

4. Think in terms of “news you can use.”

Readers enjoy nothing more than to read information and tips that can help them and/or that they can apply to their daily lives. Articles along these lines could be very successful.

5. Avoid commercialism. If your feature reads like an ad or press release, editors won’t run it.

Product promotions don’t work well except around the holidays — and even then, they should be accompanied by consumer tips.

6. Remember, the shorter the better.

Editors at all publications have limited space to fill so he chances are your article will have to be trimmed down to fit the space you have been allocated.

7. Use quality photos or graphics.

We learnt that because of the lighter tone of the feature, they are often heavily reliant on photos and graphics. Include these in a feature to make it more appealing and pleasing on the eye.

8. Keep headlines and captions short and to the point.

News organisations often use standard typesetting guidelines, so headlines will need to be kept short but it is important to remember to include all the relevant information needed to lure the reader to the story.

9. End your feature with a Web site, e-mail address or phone number.

Readers need to know where they can get more information.


You can see the original top tips here: http://about.newsusa.com/corporate/Getting_Started/pdfs/top_10.pdf

Ramsay's foul mouth to blame

Dame Joan Bakewell (don't worry, I had no idea who she is either!) was reported in the Daily Express today as saying Gordon Ramsay is to blame for the increase in swearing among schoolchildren.

The journalist and broadcaster argues that children are picking up and copying obscene language used by by the popular TV chef on his shows the F-word and Kitchen Nightmares.

Even writing this now, it seems really absurd that an individual, famous or not, can be blamed for an increase in "a culture of yob-speak" by children.

gordon ramsayChannel 4 broadcasts Ramsay's shows after the watershed and so surely the responsibility lies with the parents?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that its the parents fault that children might be watching TV shows with obscenities in them. Trying to stop children from being exposed to swear words is as ridiculous as blaming a TV chef for all the swearing in the playground.

My second point is only a minor one but still relevant. How does this woman know there has been an increase in swearing among schoolchildren?! How is this possible to prove? It seems to me as this is nothing more than a sweeping generalised statement in an attempt to prove her silly attempt to pass blame.

However, the funniest part of the article lies further down as Bakewell then moves to defend the use of bad language in "certain circumstances". These are loosely categorised as "tense, gritty dramas".

What a ludicrous double standard! Whether swearing in a seemingly 'appropriate' scenario or casual swearing to blow off steam in a kitchen, the words are the same and children can still mimic them.

I'm not too sure this woman really knows what she is trying to say in this article. Maybe its time people stopped trying to push the blame and faced up to the fact that children are always going to be exposed to swear words and the focus needs to be on getting them to stop repeating them, rather than blaming individuals who use them.

New robotic hand can 'restore sense of touch'

The BBC reported a story on the development of what is thought to be the first robotic hand that has feeling.

It work by connecting nerve endings to electronic sensors.

I thought it was pretty amazing so I decided to post the link for your enjoyment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8313037.stm

The midst of an apocalyptic end?

Reading the news, it appears Amazon will unleash its Kindle upon the UK market next week and in good time for Christmas. Now, for those of you who don't know, the Kindle is a wireless book reader device on to which you can download books and get them delivered to you in under 60 seconds. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0015T963C/ref=ms_sbrspot_0?pf_rd_p=494263771&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=507846&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1VGQ09T29YA80KJVWHK4

kindleThe e-book market is potentially hugely lucrative and it is currently dominated by Amazon. However sensing the huge potential in this and not want miss out on a piece, Google is set to launch its Google Editions in early 2010. Now rather than simply provide competition to Amazon, Sony and Plastic Logic for the way e-books are read, the eggheads at Google have been very clever indeed.

Google Editions will be a full online library meaning that Google can get a say in not only how e-books are read, but also how they are bought and sold. What is sure to have Amazon quaking in its boots is that Google Editions will support a variety of e-reading formats, something that its online Kindle e-book store cannot do.

I know what you're thinking. Why should I care?

The blogging world is currently buzzing with the topic of e-books and the impending doom of the written form. While it is far too early to tell the extent of damage e-books could have on the publishing industry, the fact is e-readers have proved to be increasingly popular over recent months. If Google Editions really takes off and it fulfills its claims of being able to make available 500,000 titles from day one, it will certainly have a huge impact instantly.

This will not just effect the publishing trade but also the Journalism industry. If a huge number of e-readers are sold then people could ultimately decide that 80p a day spent on a newspaper is an unneccessary expenditure as the proper "paper" version of the newspaper is available on their fancy new toy anyway. Print Journalism has certainly taken a huge hit with the unprecendented expansion of the Internet and this could change the way the whole industry operates.

Could this prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the print Journalist?

If it is, remember that you read it here first!

World Wide Mistake

The two forward slashes at the start of Internet addresses have been the bane of many Internet users' life. Typing them in has wasted hours of precious time and if you mistakenly miss one out you are faced with the error message that we all dread which means you have to type it in again. It really is a huge deal...apparently!

This week Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web has come out and apologised for the inclusion of the two // at the start of addresses and admitted they were 'unnecessary'.

He even admitted if he had know they would have caused so much 'hassle' he wouldnt have devised them.

I found this news story one of the most entertaining I have read in a while. Mostly, because I thought it was hilarious and totally bizarre to think that some people could really have felt inconvinienced by having to type in two forward slashes, but also because it made me think of the amount of unneccesary and pointless things that are now all over the web thanks to Berners-Lee's invention. I decided to pick some of my favourites for your enjoyment.

1. http://www.Faceinhole.com

I never really understood the appeal of this website but it seems to have become really popular for some reason. The website offers a selection of photographs of famous people without faces and the idea is that you place your own or someone elses face in that hole. Hense, face in hole. In case you were wondering, yes they do look really stupid.

2. http://www.pointlesscalendar.com/

A pointless website where you can buy a pointless product. This "calender" has four rows of ten numbers and no days of the week designed with the idea in mind that it can be used again and again!

3. http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/

Yes, this is a real website. The funniest thing about stumbling upon this site was finding out that it had 19,000 members! If you can find a point to this website please comment and let me know.

4. http://www.piratequiz.com/

Ever wanted to find out your pirate name? If so then give it a go. Mine was Dirty Sam Bonney!

5. http://www.dramabutton.com/

My personal favourite and totally unneccesary, guaranteed to bring laughs though!


Please feel free to comment on my choices and add your own favourites.

Wine expert wins defamation case

Following on from today's university lecture on defamation and libel, I stumbled across an interesting article from yesterdays guardian online news page.

The case involves one of the worlds top wine dealers, a Paris wine cellar, Thomas Jefferson, and the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold.

Apart from sounding like a synopsis from the latest Dan Brown novel, the case has had significant impact on defamation cases as a whole.

The story begins 24 years ago, a bottle of 1787 Lafite was sold in London for a staggering £105,000. It remains the biggest sum ever paid for a single bottle of wine and much of the value is down to the initials 'TH.J' printed on the side of the bottle which, it was claimed, meant it belonged to the third president of the US Thomas Jefferson.

Michael Broadbent, the man who authenticated the wine and presided over the auctions for the bottles won and apology and substantial damages from the publisher Random House over a bestselling book, which, he argued, had suggested he had sold the wine knowing its provenance to be suspect.

The book brilliantly entitled 'The Billionaire's Vinegar' by Benjamin Wallace outlines the case of the so called 'Jefferson Bottles' and because of the ruling in the case must now be removed from British bookshelves.

Now in relation to what we studied in lecture today, it is clear that this defamation case was successful because the book can be seen as discrediting Broadbent in his profession.

While Michael Broadbent has retired as the senior director of Christie's wine department he remains, according to Adam Lechmere, editor of decanter.com, "among the top three most respected wine critics in the world".

Broadbent's lawyer Sarah Webb said he had been forced to take action because the book suggested he had acted "at best unprofessionally, at worst dishonestly".

This case is interesting because it still has as yet to be proven whether the Jefferson bottles are actually genuine.

In response to the ruling Benjamin Wallace told the Guardian: "I have never felt that Mr Broadbent acted in bad faith, and contrary to his claims, I maintain that The Billionaire's Vinegar does not suggest that he did."

High Court reinstates nurse whistleblower

The papers today are reporting the story of the reinstatement of Margaret Haywood, a nurse with over 20 years of experience who was struck off the register for bringing to light cases of unacceptably low standards of care for elderly patients.

Haywood secretly filmed patients at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton to show they were being neglected. Her findings were broadcast on the TV documentary series Panorama .

The cases exposed included a patient who was left to die alone and another who was forced to wait hours before being allowed to go to the toilet.

There was a public outcry when the nurse was struck off in April for breaching confidentiality, however the penalty imposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was overturned yesterday by the High Court in London.

Not good enough I'm afraid.

Those individuals who have the courage, honesty and bravery to expose genuine cases of neglect and wrongdoings should be rewarded rather than cast off as troublemakers.

Whistleblowers risk being condemned by friends and co-workers and also face disciplinary action and in some extreme cases, dismissal. Dismissal is exactly what happened in the case of Margaret Haywood and while the decision may have been overturned, the accusations by the NMC of what she was doing was wrong still stands.

The fact that the case has been overturned because of public outcry will have little effect on people in the future who are considering exposing unacceptable practices as they could be (understandably) discouraged because of fear for their careers.

I am certainly more inclined to trust a whistleblower who saved suffering and even lives over someone who goes to work every day, saw this happening and does nothing about it.

The dreaded interviews

One of the most nerve wracking and seemingly unconquerable fears I faced as a first year Journalism student was the prospect of face-to-face interviews.

Not being an overly confident person the prospect of sitting down with a seemingly unwilling interviewee to ask them questions that they have probably been asked dozens of times was about as appealing as sticking a needle in my eye.

As this was one of my biggest fears about undertaking a undergraduate degree, I have put a lot of time and effort into attempting to improve my interview skills and I have managed to pick up some useful tips along the way.

1. Do your homework!

As a reporter you will usually have time to prepare for an interview as the News Editor will tell you about it beforehand. It is essential to use this time well to read up on your interviewee and ready any past articles/stories about them. There is nothing worse than the dreaded realisation you have to attempt to ask questions to someone you know nothing about. You don’t want to stumble through the interview making the source think you don’t understand the topic.

2. When setting up the interview don't leave the interviewee in the dark about what you want to ask

Providing them with some details before the interview will give the interviewee a chance to think about some of the questions you might ask and gather relevant information they think you might need for your story.

3. Prepare a few questions beforehand

Interviews (especially ones with people who like nothing more than to talk about themselves) have a tendency to drift away from the topic you want to talk about. This is why it is important to have some questions pre-prepared and while it is important to keep your interviewee talking, having a question you can ask to get the interview back on track is important.

From my experience I realise that you don't have to rigorously stick to your original questions and asking follow up questions will relax your interviewee and show you are actually listening to what they have to say.

4. Think of your readership

It is essential to consider what you want to get from the interview and what will the reader/listener/viewer want to know about the topic. It is equally important to remember what would be of particular interest to your audience.

Understanding these tips greatly helped me when it came to heading out and talking to people in order to get the information I needed. Hopefully I can keep on furthering my learning and before long I could be interviewing interesting characters such as this lady.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp0Q3UJHrkU

New mums shun NHS

The Independent on Sunday today covered a story that an increasing number of new mums are choosing to ignore motherhood advice given by the NHS in favour of turning to the Internet.

A survey found that "information overload and conflicting guidance" mean that only a shocking 3% of new mothers put any faith in anything the Government or the Department of Health has to tell them.

baby
It is easy to see why.

The NHS is constantly in the news for the wrong reasons. An institution that is criticised for its lack of funding, staff shortages and long waiting lists is never going to have the public confidence. Plus the rapid growth and ease of access of the Internet means useful information is never more than a click away and sites such as Netmums and Newmothers means advice and guidance can be sought from individuals battling with the same problems.

More than a third of the women surveyed admitted that "confusing" advice on certain issues such as feeding and sleeping routines has marred their experience of being a parent.

Former Midwife Vicky Scott says that now "midwives don't have the time to understand problems before dispensing advice" and so the scepticism of the state will continue to grow as the problems with the NHS mount up. Whomever is in power after the next election will have to plug this trust gap between the Government and the public in order to regain their confidence.

Just checking up on you..

facebook

I found this hilarious clip on one of the (dis)advantages of parents using social networking!

Check it out at: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/facebook_twitter_revolutionizing

Students Living the Life of Luxury?

Leafing through the Daily Mail during my lunch break, I stumbled across a rather interesting headline that read: Hard Up? Students are living a life of luxury, says Professor. Now, being a student myself this certainly got my attention.

Delving a bit deeper into the story and I was startled to find that it wasn't in fact a clever misleading headline but a genuine quote from an article published in the Times Higher Education magazine and The Professor in question was a man named Kelvin Sharpe.

Professor Sharpe certainly doesn't pull any punches and is quoted as saying students these days enjoy the spendthrift life enjoyed in Friends by regularly splashing out on £2 cappuccinos and eating at restaurants a lot. We can then go back to our student homes that are "equipped with large LCD TVs, Sky Boxes and several high end laptops.".

Reading on I wasn't too sure which, if any, University managed accommodation Professor Sharpe was actually talking about. I have friends at University all over the country and I couldn't name one that could even be jokingly described as a (quote) "posh pad with two bathrooms".

In this current economic climate, eating out has become far less of an expenditure as it used to be and choose the right day and you can get three courses for £10, I wouldn't eactly say lavish spending.

However, (and trying my best not to turn this into a bitter rant) the one final point that really surprised me was that at no point in this unnecessary swipe at students was there any consideration taken to the fact that maybe some of these 'big' spending students actually work an awful minimum wage job to afford there (quote) "Ipods and LCD TVs". I happen to know several people who work a bar job that often sees them home at 2am or later who then struggle to get up for a 9am start.

With the news that some students still haven't received there student loans and the rest of us still coming to the realisation that we have to work 20 hours a week because they barely cover rent, I guess we should be grateful that we have a middle class, Oxford Educated Professor to tell us we got it easy.

Tories Hopeless Battle against Binge Drinking Britain

So election time is fast approaching and with it comes more ambitious promises from the Tories to fix the seemingly unfixable broken Britain.

My favourite one this week was the pledge to crackdown on binge drinking. The Tories are proposing to increase the tax on alcopops and super-strength lager in effort to crackdown on "drink fuelled louts" as The Sun so delicately puts it. Therefore, under the new proposals a four-pack of strong lager would rise by £1.33.


Drunk
Now maybe I'm just being facetious, but can you really see four semi-pissed individuals getting ready to hit the town, walking in to an off license and picking up a 4 pack of 9% Tennants Super Lager and then suddenly having a moment of clarity and deciding maybe they shouldn't buy this product. Maybe they should call it a day and go and get an early night as tomorrow will bring a busy day of being a good citizen and helping the local community. All because of the extra £1.33 extra they didn't spent the night before?

Basically, my incoherent and somewhat rambling point here is that people will always drink irresponsibly, there is no point punishing the millions of individuals who like to go out, have a few drinks of whatever they chose and have a good time. All this will mean is people who drink ten cans of lager before a night out will now only be able to drink eight.

Over the years binge drinking has become embedded into the British culture and a relatively minor tax hike on a few products certainly isn't going to change that any time soon. Let be honest, even if it did, people will just drink something else.

Criminal Cases in the Crown Courts

When reading up on the Crown Courts in the new edition of McNae's Law for Journalists;

http://www.amazon.co.uk/McNaes-Essential-Journalists-David-Banks/dp/0199556458/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255010671&sr=8-1


McNae's Law for Journalists
I found one section on reporting on majority verdicts particularly interesting.

In Crown Court, a judge will initially advise a jury to arrive at a unanimous verdict on each charge however if the jury had 'retired' for at least two hours and ten minutes and has failed to reach a verdict, then the judge will rule that a majority verdict is acceptable for each charge.

Now if a defendant is convicted by a majority then it is unproblematic for the media to refer to the fact that it was by a majority decision. This is because it indicates that one or two people didn't agree with the guilty verdict, and to report this is regarded as fair to the defendant.

However the problems lie in regards to reporting when a defendant is acquitted by a majority vote. It is regarded as 'undesirable' to publish the fact that it was by a majority verdict as it indicated at least one member of the jury believed the defendant to be guilty.

If reported, such an suggestion leaves a stain on the defendant's character even though he or she was cleared of the charge.

This could prove to trip up many journalists who believe they were reporting a seemingly innocuous truth so it is definetely something to watch out for.

ITV Idol?

The Independent surely has the story of the day today.

Simon Cowell

The paper highlighted a rumor that Simon Cowell and retail tycoon Sir Philip Green are working on a bid to save the soon-to-be-doomed broadcaster ITV.

A channel full of repeats of Britain's Got Talent,The X-Factor and American Idol. Great stuff.

However it might not all be bad as we could soon see some exciting new programmes hitting the airways such as 'Trousers: How High is too High?' and 'Ten Essential Guidelines On How to Act Like a Prima Donna at Your Birthday Party' .

Unfortunately friends of the pair deny the rumors. Maybe they could start off small with a two man double act. Then maybe ITV could get some laughs for once.

Too sick to work?

David Cameron

The recent announcement by David Cameron to cut incapacity benefit to those deemed "fit enough to work" has been met with an understandably mixed reaction from the British public.

Cameron suggested bringing in a new test to determine whether individuals should be placed on job seekers allowance instead of incapacity benefit which would mean reducing their benefits by £25 a week.

There are 2.6 million incapacity benefit claimers in the UK and the Conservatives believes one in five are actually fit enough to work. That's about 400,000 people.

For one of the millions rightfully claiming benefits this will mean more stress as they have to go for more check ups and tests to determine whether they are actually unfit to work.

Some individuals will undoubtedly believe that if they are told they are fit enough to work, the jobs they are qualified to do just simply aren't there.

Anthony Phillips from Cambridge who stopped working a year ago from a heart condition said: "They should think about cutting their own wage packets before picking on the already poor." (BBC News)

Cases in the UK must be handled more personally and should take into account the whole picture of the claimant.

The Conservatives need to realise that their proposed system of ticking boxes and fulfilling criteria will lead to many people in the UK feeling like scroungers.

Letterman blackmail case

David Letterman
Last week, the U.S. chat show host David Letterman shockingly informed his viewers of his affairs with women who work on his late night show.

He made the revelation during a filming of his late show because he said he was being blackmailed by a former colleague attempting to extort $2 million from him.

As the UK media history has shown us, Letterman had several options available to him once he knew that someone was in a position to expose his wrong doings.

As with the 'royal' blackmail case last year, Letterman could have applied for an injunction preventing the newspapers from reporting his name. Even though once the case went to court anyone with access to the Internet and even the remotest knowledge of how to operate a search engine could have found out the name of the 'celebrity' embroiled in the scandal.

More recently this inadequacy of media law was once again exposed in the UK as the papers were banned from revealing the identity of a TV journalist who was involved in an extra-marital affair which resulted in a child.

In order to make the area of media law relating to the press banning publication of names more airtight the Internet needs to closely regulated. This is a totally separate issue and many feel this would never be entirely possible because of the scale of in the World Wide Web.

More importantly the Letterman case demonstrates that some celebrities are willing to stand up tall and admit they made mistakes, even if it takes a blackmail case for them to finally come clean.

Maybe its time some UK celebrities started to face the music as well.

Barmy Blaney's Blarney

Browsing the news websites this morning I stumbled across a fine example of a giant waste of time:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8285954.stm

For those of you who didnt bother to click the link then basically a blogger called Donal Blaney managed to get a high court injunction preventing someone writing under his name over a fake twitter account. Some of the provocative tweets posts included:

“So the Iranians were lying all along. Time for the RAF to start practicing bunker bombing...”

“Now Obama, who the eurofederasts [sic] love, is happy to leave us to the mercy of the mad mullahs...”

All very amusing.

An equally effective, less time consuming and certainly less over-the-top solution may have been to email the nice people at twitter and ask them to take the account down.

In a shameless display of egotism Blaney then wrote on his blog that: "It is, as I have said in the media, the day the scales of justice were tipped back in favour of innocent victims".

Lets hope this doesnt set a precedent for overly sensitive drama queens wasting legal time and resources on trivial matters.

Oh and Blaney my name is Matt Clifford, thought it might make my injunction easier.


About Me

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I am currently in my final year at Winchester University studying Journalism. I hope to become a music journalist although I now realise how difficult it would be to make a living from. Im currently assessing my career options so any suggestions would be welcomed!

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