New direction for The web we weave

I have decided to take my blog in a new direction and will be focusing on issues within journalism and changes which affect journalists and those who consume the news.

Keep a look out for my new more regular updates.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Superdrug drop Katie Price’s perfume range

Just read this on BBC website the high street store Superdrug has pulled the glamour model’s perfume from their selves after reports in the Observer claiming Indian workers making the bottles were paid less than the minimum wage.

I hadn’t realised Superdrug had such strong ethical roots but good on them for taking a stand and removing the perfume from sale if these reports are indeed true. It looks like they could be as Price’s rep said production has moved back to the UK.

This is the type of journalism I want to do, uncovering injustices like this. It all stems from my geography roots I suppose.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interconnnected world Oct

Working Life – Day 10

This was my last day before my week long break in Newcastle, well by break I mean more work experience. I can’t believe how at home I feel in the office now and how much I’ll miss it for the week.

Today I saw the fruits of my labour as my own story on the young girl who was in need of a wheelchair made a lead and my article on the Belfast marathon made a downpage. However, they did cut the quote I had used my contacts to get, my few contacts so far here in Northern Ireland.

Time does fly when you’re having fun and I don’t know how many times I have said that. Today I worked on a story about Northern Ireland’s first surfing competition which was cancelled because the weather….was TOO good for once.

Once again spoke to some really nice people who were actually gutted to have the event postponed until May time. This kept me busy for the afternoon and when the newsroom quietened down the news editor and I had a chat about how my 2 weeks had gone.

It has been great to have had a news editor who was attentive despite being so busy and also a team of reporters who were so welcoming. Looking forward to getting back next week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Work Placement

Working Life – Day 9

The penultimate day of my second week and I still can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. I almost feel like one of the reporters.

Today I finalised my story on the young disabled girl who needs an electric wheelchair (I had put it in the wrong basket last night) and finally got to speak to the young Comber soldier. I was also given a story on the upcoming Belfast marathon.

Along with being busy with stories I also got to sit in on the news reporters meetings. Not the editorial meeting but it was still great to hear what the reporters were working on and what the news editor thought about the ideas reporters were bringing to the table.

Another successful day in the newsroom and my article from the other day was on page 8.

Leave a comment

Filed under Work Placement

Working Life – Day 8

Diversity is the spice of life. I love surprises, especially ones which can lead to stories.

Today I was lucky enough to stumble upon my own story to pitch to the news editor which will hopefully be in Fridays paper. In the canteen there was a petition to help a severely disabled young girl from Belfast get her new pink electric wheelchair.

It turned out she was having trouble getting the electric wheelchair she was measured for in February 2009 and is now being told she cannot get one under recently reviewed guidelines due to her epilepsy. She must be seizure free for a year before she qualifies now but her mother worries this may never happen.

It was a great story to work on and the Belfast Telegraph’s education correspondent was extremely helpful after she pointed out the petition to me in the canteen. I enjoyed working on something fresh and as long as we get the picture on Thursday then the article will hopefully pass the test and go in on Friday.

My story on the wild pigs made it into the paper as did my piece on Philippa O’Hara, unfortunately it was cut down but with so many stories flying about the office this is something I must get used to. I can’t believe 2 weeks is almost over here at the Belfast Telegraph.

My week in Newcastle is fast approaching and then I will return to the Belfast Telegraph offices for one final week. I have learnt a lot already and I will be able to apply this in the future.

And although my future job prospects are uncertain at the moment I feel positive about getting into my first newsroom, whereever it may be. I do have the feeling however that the job will be all consuming and I will not want to turn off, but then again do journalists ever turn off?

Leave a comment

Filed under Work Placement

Working Life – Day 7

So today was the last day of the Bank Holidays, thank goodness, I’m looking forward to seeing the newsroom back to its usual buzz. The holidays seem very frustrating for journalists as no where is open and there are few people tied to their desks like the unfortunate journo.

The story I wrote on Monday was unfortunately nibbed but the same story appeared on page 3 of The Irish News. This shows how newspapers have to cater for different audiences.

My story was on Ireland’s Greatest, an RTE programme. This would be of greater interest to those who watch the channel and also more so those from the south of Ireland, therefore it was a perfect page 3 lead in The Irish News.

Apart from the disappointment of not getting a by-line I was kept busy in the newsroom. I spoke to Over the Rainbow hopeful Philippa O’Hara again after she didn’t make the finalist list.

From there I wrote a piece on her overall experience which was quite fun as I was given licence to be creative. Along with that story I wrote a cute picture story on love blossoming between two new wild pigs at Belfast Zoo.

Another story which landed on my lap was about a soldier from Comber who is hoping to compete as part of the ski team in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately the press contact details meant I had to telephone Germany.

In the end the story was put on hold as we couldn’t get an international line in the office as those who work on the switch board were still on holiday. We also needed a different pictures but watch this space as the story is still in the pipeline.

Since I moved to sit in the news reporter area I have met some really lovely people who have offered me some great advice and welcomed me into the reporters hub. The announcement of the General Election was the buzz of the newsroom as reporters began ringing round Northern Irish politicians for their insight.

It’s such an exciting time to be a journalist, especially one starting out, as this has been labelled the most interesting election in a generation. At this stage I don’t think anything could put me off a journalist’s life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Work Placement

Working Life – Day 6

I am left today with a distant knot of anguish currently twisting in my belly. I have just been told by another reporter that many journalism jobs going require at least 3 years prior work experience, please say it isn’t so!

Maybe I was naive to think I could walk out the doors of JOMEC and straight into the paper of my choice. Well, any paper come to that.

Obviously the fight for jobs in journalism is a tough one, you have to be the best of the best to get ahead. But what if your best isn’t good enough and you are left crushed by the others who beat you to the post.

Overall today has been another good day here at the Belfast Telegraph but I am now a little concerned about leaving the security of my course. Reality has hit me in the face like a wet flannel. Swanning into a job just may not happen.

Anyway, today I helped out updating a story about the Catholic church for the afternoon edition by telephoning a victim of the well-documented Irish Catholic church scandal, unfortunately waking her up, luckily for me she was lovely. That’s the problem for journalists working on Easter Monday, no-one’s home and if they are they more than likely do not want to talk.

My story for the day was on RTE’s release of the Top 10 in their Ireland’s Greatest programme which has been asking viewers to vote for the greatest Irish person ever. The only person from Northern Ireland to make the Top 10 was John Hume.

I did a bit of ringing around for comments and enjoyed learning about those that had made the Top 10, ‘unfortunately’ Bob Geldof didn’t quite make the cut! I even tried Westminster to get a quote off David Trimble as he and John Hume won the Nobel Peace Prize together in 1998, but of course it being Easter Monday there was no-one in the office.

The office has been very quiet today as those who aren’t journalists enjoy a four-day-weekend. Therefore, as I was told, unless it all kicks off we can be sat twiddling our thumbs to some extent.

I’m starting to feel very at home in the news room but my feet are getting itchy to go out and do some district reporting. I miss Cathays and its quirks and hidden news.

I think being a beatblogger, like Hannah Waldrum in Cardiff for The Guardian or Ed Walker for Media Wales, would be a really interesting job. You’re always on the go and meeting new people and you really get to know the area in which you’re working, if only I could try something like that……

Leave a comment

Filed under Work Placement