Reflections on my presentation of a milestone in journalism history.

I was very pleased with how my presentation went. Having been decidedly nervous, as I always am when getting up to speak in front of any group of people, I actually felt quite relaxed because of the company I was in. I had once again enjoyed doing my research which was no surprise because I have a great thirst for knowledge and always enjoy finding out new things, especially about subjects that I feel I already know pretty well like the case of Jack the Ripper. My influence for using that period of history to show a milestone in journalism was threefold. Firstly it was regarding the photo of the horribly mutilated body of Mary Jane Kelly which I believe provided a breakthrough in a different field, that of forensic photography, which has then seemingly had an influence in press photography in later years. Secondly it showed the huge power of the press as they hounded a very powerful man in what certainly was at the time a very politically motivated office, Sir Charles Warren as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force, and forced him to resign that position. Thirdly I believe it provided us with an example of how the press can use their power to almost run a murder investigation by putting ideas forward about who could be the murderer and sensationalising the case thus keeping it very much in the public eye and also by seemingly trying to help the police by publishing pictures of what were thought to be a genuine letter and a post card from the killer to see if anybody recognised the handwriting.

World War 1 Centenary

After a very long day yesterday travelling from Hull to Mouscron in Belgium we finally started going to visit the sites of this terrible “War to end all wars”! Our first port of call was Polygon Wood and the cemetery and  the memorial to the 5th Australian Division and the monument to the unknown New Zealand soldiers who fell there.

After an opportunity to walk round and take photos of both cemeteries and the memorials we got back on the coach we’re travelling in and were taken to Black Watch Corner, so named after the famous Scottish battalion The Royal Highlanders.

At Black Watch Corner we came across a recently erected memorial and, once again, we were given time for reflection and to take more photos. We also heard about the brave action of The Royal Highlanders that led to the recognition of their bravery that stands there today.

After a short time at that memorial we then moved on to Poperinghe, or Pop as it was affectionately known, and firstly we visited the cemetery there and were told the story of 2nd Lieutenant Poole  of the West Yorkshire Regiment who was a victim of a miscarriage of Military justice when they ignored medical advice and, due to his rank, had him shot for desertion as an example to his subordinates of what could happen.

Whilst there I also noticed 4 graves stood side by side of men from The Royal Army Medical Corps who all fell on 24th December 1916, upon asking our guide he explained to me that they had probably been trying to rescue an injured man from No Man’s Land and had fallen victim of a shell or a heavy attack.

From there we went to see “The Death Cell” where condemned men were kept before being executed by a firing squad in the yard outside, this place felt very strange because of the nature of it.

From Pop we were then taken to Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and Visitor Centre. In the visitor centre you may explore the database and browse the hospital diaries. There are hundreds of pictures of the men buried there which are described in the information book as “faces behind the headstones”.

After this very emotional visit we then moved on to an even more emotional place as we visited The Menin Gate. Taking many pictures and looking at the columns of names of men who have no known grave you do feel a great deal of responsibility and weight of history and huge emotion.

After lunch we were taken to the village of Gheluvelt and the Chateau there where, on 31st October 1914, several British regiments were attempting to stop the German army breaking through their line and pushing on to Ypres. With the South Wales Borderers under intense pressure and retreating through the grounds of the chateau the only British battalion in reserve, the 2nd Worcester’s, were ordered forward to try and ‘plug’ the line. With only 350 men, outnumbered by 65 or 70 to 1, the Worcester’s made a bayonet charge and forced the Germans back, therefore, reclaiming the lost section, which then in turn, enabled the British line to fall back in good order.

After hearing about this heroic action, and seeing the memorial to the men of the South Wales Borderers and the 2nd Worcester’s we were then taken to the new In Flanders Fields Museum. There are many very impressive displays in this museum and having spent an hour there, due to time constraints, it was very widely agreed that 1 hour is nowhere near enough time to appreciate this museum as much as it clearly deserves.

After this we were taken back to the hotel in Mouscron.

Propaganda and Ideology

Learning about Moodle and the library services we can access was very useful and enlightening. I will certainly be using the library after what Carol showed, and told, us.

After our library session we went back to the newsroom and had a very good lesson about Propaganda and Ideology in which most of the talk seemed to revolve around Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime and their use of the above named subjects.

There was also talk about the influence of the press on politics showing the Daily Mail to be a right wing tory publication and also encouraging us to think back to our visit to The Salford Star in September.

We learnt about how we must first understand ideology before we could understand propaganda and we had what was effectively a brainstorming session as we discussed the difference between them.

On the traditional power point we were shown examples of ideology such as Bolshevism and Marxism among others. We were also shown the similarities and differences between propaganda and persuasion.

We saw some wartime posters and we learnt about the effect on the press if they don’t support a particular ideology especially in a time of war.

There was talk again of Town Hall pravdas and their effect on the increase of council newspapers and their frequency and scope and the subsequent decline of local newspapers and journalists.

We also covered the factors beyond class that determine how we see ourselves such as gender, geographical location, ethnicity, income and religion.

Major Event Essay

On Sunday 2nd November there was a rugby league match in Melbourne between Australia and England in the Rugby League 4 Nations competition. There was live coverage on BBC TV and much analysis and reaction on social media including Facebook and Twitter and reports in all the major tabloid newspapers and Rugby League trade papers.

Established Rugby League accounts on Twitter and Facebook, such as Love Rugby League, gave up to date “commentary” by posting on Twitter and Facebook as major incidents happened in the game. The BBC coverage was a better standard than was expected with presenter Mark Chapman and 3 guests in a studio in this country and a full commentary team including Dave Woods out in Australia and included interviews with some former and current Australia and England players and was interestingly shared with Australian Channel 9 Wide World of Sports.

The major talking point was the decision by the video referee to disallow a try by England winger Ryan Hall in the last minute which would have won the game for England if the resulting conversion had been successful. As would be expected this took up about 90% of the coverage by the tabloid papers and Rugby League papers the next day and there was an explosion on social media as fans on both sides of the world debated whether it was a try or not.

There were pictures put on Facebook and Twitter by both disgruntled English and surprised Australians that seemed to prove that a try should have been awarded and there was the usual chatter between fans of the opposing sides about how England were robbed or Australia deserved their 16-12 victory depending on each persons viewpoint of the match and that particular incident.

League Weekly and Rugby League Express both devoted double page spreads to the match, whilst The Sun opted for a quite generous double column in their sports section next to a larger coverage of the build up to the upcoming England v New Zealand rugby union match.

The Daily Mail gave a similar amount of space as The Sun to their coverage of the England Heartbreak.

Cats Reflection- History of Digital Media

We were taught about how journalism had changed with the development of social media and other tools. We learned about how useful and important the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In can be for journalists and how to verify things such as pictures or videos which are sent to us via social media and to check the reliability of the person/people who send it.

We learned about the ‘Technical’ beginning of the internet on 1 October 1962 and about certain important events in the history of digital journalism.

Learning about how, sometimes, the days weather forecast can be revealing, be it on that day or a previous day, we were told about Wolfram Alpha and how it can be used.

There was also information about what questions to ask a person to verify what they are saying such as asking where they are stood, what else can they see and what recognisable landmarks there are nearby such as familiar buildings.

We were also introduced to Google reverse image search which is used to see if it’s possible that a picture that has suddenly appeared on social media has actually ever been used before in connection with any other story.

We were taught about how we can check if a person has enabled their device to show their location and to also cross reference landmarks on Google Street View or the satellite view if Street View isn’t available for that particular location.

Reflections- History of Journalism

A very informative lesson, we were taught about many important dates in the history of journalism such as when papers were first seen in Britain (early 16th century) although at that time most of the news was announced by Town Cryer’s.

The core of this session was based around a very interesting timeline of journalism, right from the very start up to the phone hacking scandal and subsequent closure of The News of the World.

The timeline included such dates as 11th March 1702 when the first daily paper, The Daily Courant, was published by Elizabeth Mallet and other first time events in journalism such as the first Copyright Act in 1709.

We heard about The Press Association being set up as a national news agency in 1868 and the foundation of England’s Chartered Institute of journalists in 1883.

Certain other events and dates in the timeline included the publication of The Mirror (1903) the first “Tabloid Paper”, 1907 when the National Union of Journalists was founded and 1912 when Columbia University launched the first graduate programme funded by Joseph Pulitzer.

We also heard about the publication of Today, the first national daily paper in colour, in 1986 and News International moving all its titles to a new plant at Wapping.

We also now know that News International placed Pay Walls around its online content for The Times and The Sunday Times in 2010.

I found this lecture to be well presented, enjoyable and, most of all, informative and helpful in many departments.

Semiotics, The Sun Vs The Daily Telegraph

The Sun

Large headline, Not much text, Shock tactics, Attention grabbing,Lot’s of pictures on front page, poppy and words “We Will Remember Them”, Bold print, Concentrating on scandal, Slang terms, Red underlining conveying urgency, padded headline at the top, Much more visual, Simplistic title, More contemporary, Headlines in capitals, Particular about its price.


The Daily Telegraph

No sensationalism, precise headline, Lot’s of text, One main picture (royal subject) and one small picture, Cartier (up market) Advertising, Padding headline at the bottom of the front page (story continued on page 6) Small headlines at the top, Small cartoon, Much more descriptive, Professional typography, Old style type for paper title, Traditional paper appealing to certain audience, No price