Workshop 9

I wanted to improve on the blog by creating much more varied and investigative articles for the film section. Review sites are very popular online so to create something more original I decided to expand from film reviews to stories from the British film industry as a whole. I researched stories from I included a story on the re-release of Chariots of Fire as part of the Olympic celebrations; I chose this story as news on the Olympics are very popular with the British audience.
Another popular topic in Britain today is Government spending, I wanted to see what money if any the Government were putting into the film industry and discovered that the Department of Education were supplying grants for culture and arts.
Were now at the end of the production of our blog, these last few days are vital to make any corrections and write a few more posts.

Workshop 8

During our lesson I focused on organising the images to create more of a professional look. I was advised the best way to do this was using a slideshow. I came across one or two issues while creating the slideshow, after adding a caption the Javascript would break and the slideshow wouldn’t appear on the blog. I knew it had to be something with the captions so I played around with the text until I realised it was the brackets that was causing the code to break. In the future I could save time by searching for solutions and guides on the internet.
If I wanted to create a slideshow with images and a larger chunk of text I would have to use another method as the default slideshow moves too quickly and doesn’t have enough space for more than a sentence.
Work on the group blog is going well and we have even had a few followers, my aim for the next few weeks is to add more reviews of films and add more articles on up and coming film stars. I will also start looking into more alternative media such as polls or questionnaires.

Workshop 7

This week we have been adding content to our blog. I have taken charge of the film section. By splitting up the categories this way we avoid duplicating content while we Work seperately.
I looked at other successful film review sites and discovered that top 10 lists were popular. Lists are so popular as people often scim read blogging sites.
I also added information such as the director and actors at the start of each film review. I wanted the most basic information on each film to be easy to find and clear.
I also started an archive of film trailers by adding another page. I thought this would be more original than simple adding a trailer to each review.

Workshop 6

First Day of Group Work

Our first idea was to do a review site for film, music and theatre. We then decided to narrow that down and target a more niche market, we discussed different ideas and finally decided on focusing on British entertainment. We thought this would be a popular blog; because of the sheer mass of British events this year, such as the Olympics and the Queens jubilee, everyone may be feeling a bit more patriotic. The website is designed to be a celebration of top British artists and actors.
Another reason we went with this idea was the opportunity it gave us to use other forms of media such as video and music.
Today we focused on picking a theme for the blog as well as editing the little details such as the title and tag line. We added a second page which includes a brief description for the blog.
We chose our theme because the contrast of the black and white background will really make the images stand out, this style of background is often used of cinema and music based websites such as:

The next stage is adding the content using posts.

Workshop 5

Production begins on Horses of Mcbride
An Original film by one of Canada’s largest private broadcaster.

The Story
Quinn and Porter on location at Alberta Moose Mountain
The film follows a true story of a heartwarming rescue mission, undertaken by the Mcbride community, to rescue two starving horses trapped on a mountain side. In this film, cowboy-outfitter Matt Davidson (Aidan Quinn) has decided to sell his family ranch and find work in the city. His daughter Nicki (Mackenzie Porter), who dreams of being a guide with her dad, is shocked and angry. It’s late December when two starving horses are discovered high up on the Rockies trapped in a prison of snow more than 30 miles from any road. After seeing the spirit in their eye, Nicki commits to getting them off the mountain – somehow. With no other options, she picks up a shovel and starts to dig out the mile long path of deep snow, inspiring her father, family and an entire community to pitch in.

The real story in pictures

Images from:

What I found most helpful from this tutorial was discovering the different ways to resize an align an image. Before this session I would manually change the height and width of an image using the HTML code. This only worked if the maths was simple and the ratio could be easily calculated. I now have two very effective methods to adjust my images. For complicated alignment and resizing it is worth uploading the images into photoshop, for example if you wanted the images to overlap using this program would be the most effective way of doing this. For simple resizing using a online ratio calculator is the quickest way to resize an image without corrupting it.

Workshop 4

London Rioter Prosecuted

I am sure many of you remember the horrific footage from the BBC of a 144 year old furniture shop ablaze in Croydon during the summer riots. Although the shop will never be replaced the owners have found some comfort in the recent plea from Gordon Thompson, 33.

The Plea
During a trail at the Old Bailey, Gordon Thompson pleaded guilty to several counts of burglary as well as starting the fire in Reeves. He admitted to lighting one of the sofas after taking a laptop from the store.

The Punishment
Judge Peter Thornton QC, stated that Thompson would be receiving a lengthy sentence for his crime.

What happened to the store?
After the blaze the store was left destroyed and the ruins have recently been demolished. The company that has been in the Reeves family for 5 generations is still trading from a refurbished premise across the street. Although the blaze didn’t destroy the company it will remain a very painful memory for the family and one of the most iconic images from the summer riots.

Video from

Copyright Law has always been a bit vague for me especially with regards to writing online. I was aware of the copyright on images and videos but did not know how much information could be taken from an article before you infringe on copyright law. Now I know that it is down to the discretion of the judge. This means that you have to be careful when using secondary sources to produce content.

Workshop 3

They got Milly’s number from her friends not us, say the police

Surrey police have stated that a News of the World journalist obtained Milly Dowlers phone number from her school friends.
One of the biggest stories following the Leveson inquiry was the discovery that Murder victim Milly Dowlers phone messages had been hacked by members of the News of the World. It was first believed that the journalists in question were able to obtain Milly’s number via a source in the police. New evidence has proved that this is not the case and is yet another act of fowl play discovered by the Leveson enquiry.

Could the police have done more?
It is not only the journalists of the News of the World that have come under question over this recent discovery but the police’s actions have not been forgotten, or should I say lack of action. It is still unknown why the police did not investigate the newspaper after learning it had hacked the phone. One other question remains, who deleted the messages off Milly’s phone giving her parents false hope as to whether she was still alive?

What the public think
It is not unknown that the phone hacking scandal has brought shame for the journalists involved, so what does the public think of them now following this latest scandal.
Will Eggleston Law student, Manchester 20 ‘I don’t know what was worse, thinking the police had sold delicate material from a murder enquiry or that once again the News of the World had attempted to lie their way out of more shameful behaviour.’
Kathleen Carrol Administrative Manager, Liverpool ‘ its seem like the longer this inquiry goes on the worse the actions of these journalists get, using young school girls to obtain illegal material has to be one of the worst things I heard.’

I often find it easier to write for online, subheading the text, breaking down and simplifying the paragraphs seems like a much more natural way for me to write. The challenge was keeping the information concise and cutting out as much as possible so that even if you skimmed the short article you would still gain a good understanding of the content. To give myself some guidance I looked at wedsites such at the BBC online and noted how their articles were laid out and written. I noticed that the subheadings often didn’t act as a titles for the next few paragraphs but were simply the most eye catching quotes from the text.

Workshop 2

What kind of Journalist are you?
What topics are you most interested in as a journalist?
I have a strong interest in world and travel news. I like stories that come from the other side of the world; whether its based on nature, science or politics. I also enjoying reading and writing reviews.

Which blogs, news sites and forums cover these topics best?
For world news:

For reviews

Do you have any hobbies or interests?
I have grown up around horses all my life and still compete today so horse-riding is a very big hobby of mine.

Which blogs, news sites and forums cover these topics best?

Today we focused on tweaking WordPress as well as defining the difference between a post and a page and how the two methods are used. I have had a lot of experience using CMS websites so I have had no problem with the technical side, such as changing font size and positioning. What I did learn today was the clean cut definition between a post and a page, this has helped in knowing what tools I should use when adding certain content. I know now that any content that needs to be constantly updated is added using a post.

Workshop 1

A word about WordPress
There are hundreds of CMS websites available; WordPress is a relatively simple system compared to most. It is because of this that it remains one of the most popular bloging sites among journalists as it has a great platform for beginners and only requires basic knowledge in HTML. It also contains one of there largest documentation systems with hundreds of pre made themes, images and layouts. This allows those with little knowledge on website design to pick and choose pre made codes to change the theme and layout.
Using sites such as WordPress allows you to express yourself using several media forms such as videos and music. Adding these is just as quick as typing a post, for example you could capture an event on the video camera on your phone and upload it to WordPress in a matter of minutes. This means that breaking news and footage are more likely to appear online before it is broadcast on TV or radio. By being able to include these media formats, the way you to tell a story becomes different. for example if you are reviewing a band you can include an MP3 of one of there songs and go into a lot of analytical detail on that one song.
With so many CMSs available bloging has become popular among the masses, not just with journalists. This means that getting your bloging site recognised and gain a decent readership is almost impossible. WordPress has its own PR team, that for a fee, can work with you and your website to help gain a bigger readership, this is a common feature in CMSs showing that they are no only used to help produce websites but to also improve their circulation and popularity.
The quality of the content can suffer due to the speed that news needs to be produced to keep up. This of course only relates to bloging sites that aim to produce up to date news. These sites can also be used for feature writing or reviews, the pace in which these are produced is up to the writer.
Despite the growing popularity of CMS, national paper websites still remain the most popular source of up to date news. Despite also using CMS technology these often have a large team in charge of day to day running. The public are also more likely to trust articles from websites such as, as they are much more closely regulated. Many blogs often contain false and damaging statements as there is no regulatory body to oversee them. Websites produced through WordPress are often a much more personal process making them more popular with the individual journalist.

One thing I have learnt is that despite their size, companies such as the BBC use CMS programs not too disimilar from Wordress. This has given this corse more relevance for my personally as at first I did not see creating a blog part of a professional career in journalism. This workshop has shed light on the purpose of using CMS and how it is used by professional media companies.