After attending a seminar on the media law that all journalists must follow I was encouraged to share my knowledge to you readers! Personally I found it astonishing how careful you need to be when reporting a story especially when it’s a court case. If a journalist was to slip up on one of the following regulations, accident or deliberate, they could find themselves behind bars.

I researched further into the Media Law and the websites of National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and PCC helped me to understand it all. The following is the Code of Professional Conduct (available from NUJ and PCC) explained…

Objective writing – When quoting, avoid Joe Bloggs ‘states’ or ‘confirms’ etc. These phrases can be misleading and is much safer to stick with a simple ‘said’.

Ethical – Confidential sources need to be protected.

Good taste – There needs to be a level of discretion when using photography, especially when it’s of a sensitive subject. For example avoid using a close-up shot to show a dead body.

Accuracy – Avoid misleading or distorted information – this may lead to defamation! Comment and fact need to be differentiated.

Tip: When interviewing a source, use quotation marks in your note-taking to avoid confusing direct quotes with summarised ones.

Information needs to be fair and honest – A one-sided view should be avoided; a story using balanced quotes should be adopted as it strives for an impartial view.

When it comes to children… Pupils at school must not be interviewed or photographed without permission from the school authorities, e.g. the headmaster/headmistress.

 Interesting facts about reporting a court case:

If a person is under 18 year of age and is involved in court proceedings details such as their name must remain confidential.

As photo equipment is banned in court, the press hire illustrators to sketch the scene.


A list of requirements of reporting a court case:

–          Include the defendant’s name, age, and address.

–          Report the charges.

–          State the plea, verdict and sentence passed.

–          Identify the magistrate by name, but NOT the jury.

I hope you have found this informative!

Emma Watson has significantly grown up since she first entered our lives as best friend of Harry Potter. When she’s not brewing polyjuice potion or fighting death eaters she’s busy in the fashion world. Recognised for being the face of Burberry, Emma is also renown for her fashion designing. She has just released her second fashion line as part of the ethical clothing chain; People Tree.

Emma and others modelling new line

On her webpage, Emma has revealed her spring/summer fair trade collection which can be viewed on People Tree. The range has been launched just in time for Fair Trade fortnight which commences on February 28th and runs until the March 13th. Having joined the company in 2010, this is Emma’s final collaboration.

 This range is slightly different to the previous, featuring the likes of fitted dresses,blazers  and brooches for the girls, and for the guys its quirky Tee’s and scarfs. The prices are fairly reasonable, ranging from £35 to £95 for a good quality dress.

In 2010 Emma started working on the designs, finding time in between her studies at Brown University in Rhode Island. She travelled to Bangladesh to see how the clothes were being made and was able to see the tremendous difference of fair trade. About the trip she said (taken from her website):

“It was an incredible and life-changing experience – I really wish everyone had the chance to see the difference Fair Trade makes with their own eyes! Fair Trade fashion comes from the villages – and provides a real alternative to working in a garment factory and the harsh environment of living in a slum. Fair Trade fashion is often completely handmade – and made of 100% natural and organic cotton – and it’s a small miracle that we as consumers can participate in a process that is keeping skills and communities alive and helping them to prosper.”

I find the work of Emma and People Tree inspiring – The clothes are fashionable and cool and because they are ethically made I have  full confidence in purchasing from their company. More information about the company and what they do is available on their website – I recommend checking it out – it’s very interesting!

Look out this spring for Emma’s new collaboration with Alberta Ferretti which is said to be a collection of pieces made with organic cotton. More information about this can be found in US Vogue magazine, March ed. Like me follow Emma on twitter to keep up with the comings and goings of this actress turned fashion star!

A Lucky Escape

The Hostel, Christchurch

A friend uploaded this picture of the hostel he was staying at when the Christchurch earthquake struck, through his social network site: Facebook, twitter and his website.

Currently travelling with his girlfriend in New Zealand Rob confirmed along with this picture of the hostel they that they were thankfully safe, and had escaped the earthquake unharmed. Several pictures like this can be seen over the internet, especially through User Generated Content (UGC) and posted on sites such as YouTube and Flickr. A flood of links were posted over twitter, which is where I first heard about the earthquake on the morning of the 22nd February. To be honest if I didn’t go on twitter when I did, I probably wouldn’t have found out about the disaster until hours later that day.

It is times like this when social media is a great means of communication. Through its usage, Rob was able to connect with his loved ones in which they could comment back, confident that he would read it. This picture acts as a documentation of the earthquake, and therefore informs the public of the severity of the earthquake. Due to the high technology of web 2.0 people are able to share this information on the internet and are able to interact through commenting on the UGC.

Sleeping protest at Tahrir Sq

Similar usage of social media is recognised in the live blogging of journalists in Egypt. Due to the near internet black out while the protests were taking place in Egypt the public were desperate for news. The live blogging of Al Jazeera became a popular source of information. The international news network streamed current videos and pictures (pictured right) of the protests and demonstrations thst were taking place in Egypt. The network was an effective source of information throughout the crisis, and the brilliant usage of the social media is responsible for this!

Semesterisation at BU

I am an education reporter, reporting for the local daily. My objective is to find a story on Bournemouth university semesterisation.

Here I write about the experience and the process I went through in talking to relevant sources and the questions I asked.

My process commenced when I went to the Student Union (SU) office and talked to the SU President, Toby Horner. I asked him first of all what semesterisation was in order to give me a clear definition. We then discussed which courses are affected by this and who will be in the future. Toby being a fellow BACOMM student (BA Communication and Media), informed us that the university is going through changes. Several courses are making alterations to their units due to feedback channelled from the course leaders, lecturers, and students.

While in the SU office, Ko Leech, Vice President Representation, informed me of the feedback she had received in the meetings she had attended on the subject. The disadvantage for the lecturers is that there is less time allocated to marking assignments. Ko stated that she had heard mixed reviews from the students. Some found it hard to absorb so much information in such a short period of time, and struggled with January exams. Other students preferred semesterisation as they knew longer modules meant a stressful end of the year with deadlines and exams.

Talking to the members of the SU team was supportive in finding my story as they informed me the positives and negatives of semesterisation, talking from their own experience and from students who have voiced their opinions. After speaking to the members of the SU team, I decided that I wanted to concentrate on getting the angle for my story from the point of view of the students of Bournemouth.

Ko had informed me of particular courses that were fully semesterised, such as BA Advertising and Marketing. Students of this course became a valuable source to me as I intended to question them on their experience and opinions of this way of learning. From my own knowledge I knew that some of the units from BACOMM were semesterised while others were long modules spread over the academic year. From there, I decided to talk to BACOMM students in Level H as well as BA Advertising and Marketing. These students like myself, have experienced the course before semesterisation and through its introduction in a number of the course’s units. And therefore should have some valuable comments on the situation.

I also posed the question “how do you feel about semesterisation”, to a random selection of students found in the library, canteen, and Dylans bar. It was interesting to note that many students did not know what it meant or were even aware that it happened at this university. It became apparent that the Level H (final year) students were the ones that had most to comment on about the situation.

This experience was extremely valuable to me. It was an opportunity to talk to fellow students. I was able to overcome the communication barrier by approaching people and asking intriguing questions. As I was only given an hour to gather information from relevant sources, it gave me a chance to experience the pressure of real life journalism

Why Journalism?

Why did I choose to study the unit journalism?

Easy; I love to write.

 I particularly love to write features, it allows me to get deeply involved and interested in a particular location or hobby. In Level I, I wrote about my surfing experience as a feature article. It was very rewarding to be able to write about my experience. Being involved in the subject I was writing about helped me to get my voice in the story, making it a credible read. I also enjoyed talking to all the topless surfers. I was able to get a better response from them as they respected me for attempting to surf, providing my feature with honest feedback about the surf reef. I am very excited about getting the opportunity to write another feature, and am eager to entertain and excite the reader.

I also chose this unit to improve my news writing and to adopt a cool journalistic style. I am excited to find a fresh new angle which will interest and inform my readers.

Watch this space!

In my two years of living in Bournemouth I have discovered that going for a burger is the best hangover cure. In this time I have had some of the best burgers, and now I have decided to compare my favourites in terms of taste and value for money. These include JD Weatherspoons, Inferno, o’neills, and Harvester

Gourmet Burger at Weatherspoons

I started with the JD Weatherspoons in Winton, named The Parkstone and Heatherlands. Usually I don’t rave about their burgers, however this time I tried the gourmet burger, pictured left, priced at £5.49, including a drink and was very impressed. There was so much taste in the burger, filled with onion rings, bacon, and mountains of cheese. The relish was also very tasty. I award this burger a 9/10 for its value for money and a 8/10 for its taste, as the chips could do with some improvement. 


Harvester Burger

  At Harverster I had a beef burger, pictured right, priced at £4.99. Unlike Weatherspoons it didn’t have all the flavours the Gourmet had, however the chips were far better. Harvester is a bargain as you get a free starter which is the salad cart, although you do not get your drink included like at Weatherspoons. I award this burger a 8/10 for its value and a 6 /10 for its taste. The burger could be improved as it was burnt round the edges. 

                       At o’neill’s a cheese and bacon burger is priced at £3.49. Although it doesn’t have the onion rings like the others it is very good value. The burger relish is superb, and the portion size is better than the two above. However that could just be because the chips come in a fancy bowl. I award this burger a 9/10 for its value for money and a 8/10 for its taste. 

The Inferno


Scream burger at Inferno

Next visit was to the Inferno pub where the biggest selection of burgers awaited. However, to keep it fair to its competitors I chose the classic scream burger, with all the trimmings of bacon, cheese, and onion rings. As I went after 3pm my burger and drink combo came to £5.75, just slightly more than JD Weatherspoons. I would definitely say that this burger beats its competitors in terms of taste, scoring a whopping 9.5/10. However it does not beat Weatherspoons in comparison to price. Although for me, even being a student, I would stretch my pennies to have an inferno burger over anything else. 


I took a picture story of all the different animals I saw in Woburn Safari Park. 

Squirrel monkey in 'Monkey Business'


Wallabies in 'Australian Walkabout'


 The park has a foot safari, where you can see the smaller animals such as the monkeys and wallabies. It is so much better than a zoo as the animals are allocated to much bigger and better habitats. It is also a much better experience for the visitors as you can actually go into their surroundings and view the animals more naturally, rather than behind bars. 

However I was quite thankful that there was a barrier protecting me from the bigger animals….

Asian Elephant


 The penguins were my favourite. 

They waddled about the water’s edge….. 

Humboldt Penguins


And Posed for the camera…


Next was a visit to see the goats. An old billy-goat gruff was really not interested in me (pictured below). 

Me and a billy-goat


 In order to do the next part which was the road safari, I needed my car…. 

Dora my dear old car


Next stop was the Kingdom of the Carnivores where we met lions and tigers, who were just a bit too close for comfort. 


I remember being very scared when this picture (below) was taken.
After seeing the big cats it calmed down a bit….only just a bit… As we drove through the African Savannah section where we saw the rhinos (pictured below).

And then we drove through the desert to see the Bactrian Camels (pictured below). 


The last leg of the Safari was driving through the African Forest, where the monkeys kept us amused with their cheeky antics (pictured below).