WINOL: Features Archive

At the age of just 15, Paul Blackburn was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years. Presented, edited and produced by Tom Morgan.

Media Law - Year Three Notes Archive

A collection of posts looking at media law, including tips for journalists, case examples and information on the various codes of conduct. Click here for more.

American Election 2012 - US Embassy Report

Myself, Lee Jarvis, Sam Sheard and Kirsty McDonagh spent the evening at the US Embassy as part of WINOL's coverage of the 2012 American election.

Work Experience: The One Show

This blog post serves as a summary of what I got up to during my time at the BBC and also provides some information on how the One Show is run.

Work Experience: PC Advisor

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The first of these placements was at PC Advisor in London.

Work Experience: Basingstoke Gazette

After breaking up from University for the summer, I arranged two separate work experience placements to keep me occupied over the break. The second of these placements was at the Basingstoke Gazette.

HCJ Notes Archive: Year One and Year Two

A collection of lecture notes, seminar papers and seminar summaries from Year One and Year Two on the HCJ course at the University of Winchester

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Lecture 2 Summary

Yesterday I had my second lecture on the history of Journalism. There were some interesting discussions. I'm slowly developing a love for the weird and wacky side to the history and theories we're learning about.

Take, for example, Thomas More's description of 'Utopia'. (1518) It's insane. Basically, it's a vision of the perfect world. A flawless, perfect world in social, political and moral terms. Admittedly, some parts of Thomas' vision don't make much sense to me and I really wouldn't fancy popping over to the Southern hemisphere for a relaxing week away. More says that on Utopia there are no locks on the doors, suits last 7 years, all clothes are made by families and no difference is made between Summer and Winter clothing. Should Channel 4 look into this theory and implement it into a new Philosophical reality TV show?

Pictured above: A map of 'Utopia' by Abraham Ortelius

As peculiar as it may seem, More's theory of a perfect world is strangely fascinating. René Descartes also strikes me as a very interesting man. His work was not only unique but particularly influential, marking the 'intellectual transition' from the Middle ages to the modern world. We went on to discuss his view on what he called 'false ideas'. Interestingly, Descartes came to the conclusion that if he was not to live under false ideas he should dismantle his beliefs. Essentially, he wanted to 'unlearn' everything and rebuild his knowledge from the ground up. He also decided that while he was doing this, he would stick with the most moderate ideas around at the tine. Clearly, his passion for the pursuit of truth was a process he believed was vital to his own intellectual well-being.

Obviously, when one thinks of René Descartes the phrase 'I think, therefore I am' comes to mind (In Latin this translates to 'Cogito ergo sum') But what does this mean and why is it so influential in the world of philosophy? The video link I've embedded above is a nice reading of some of Descartes' thoughts that portrays the philosophers ideas and theories. Descartes attempted to prove his own existence as a thinking being by doing exactly that - Thinking. Personally, I think the thing I admire most about René is his complete determination, drive and desire to answer some of life's most important questions, even if these questions seemed unanswerable in the first place. As he said himself, 'Is there not a God, or some being, by whatever name I may designate Him, who causes these thoughts to arise in my mind?"

Lecture 2 (Raw Notes)


'Rebirth in learning'
Aristotle – Key in the Middle Ages
All learning guided by sacred books

Aristotle and the Bible began to merge

Pythagoras, heavily influential
Idea of numbers at the centre of understanding

Believed you could understand science through numbers


Remembered in his dialogues / discussions

Central figures – Aristotle / Plato
Plato = Aristotle's teacher

Disagreed on a great number of issues

Plato's 'cave analogy'

Aristotle didn't believe in a perfect world outside of our own.

Plato thought the senses are always confused and impure. Only the soul can have knowledge of the forms.

Renaissance – North / South Europe
Followed by the 'Age of reason'

End of the dark ages, beginning of the modern age

1492 – Columbus

New technology, travel tales become a tradition. Thomas More's Utopia

Creation of global economy

Medici family built their fortune in banking and getting around the ban on charging interest.
They became incredibly rich through dodging the ban of interest

Protagoras - “Man is the measure of all things”
South – Direct attack on the teachings of the church
North – Attempt to find compromise

Scientific Renaissance:

Galileo argued that the Bible shouldn't influence science
He stressed the quantitative, not the qualitative

Telescope – Direct attack on Aristotle


The beginning of political science
Representative of Southern Renaissance humanism
Wrote 'The Prince'
Written for Medici rulers of Florence, a 'how-to' guide

Wrote about:
How to get power
How to keep power

The message? Get power by any means! Hope when you held power you would do good deeds.
Described explicitly how to get power – Questionable morality?

Rules of Machiavelli

In conflict always support the weaker side, because when the conflict is over you will be the dominant power
Centralised regimes are difficult to conquer but easy to hold

Armed prophets succeed, unarmed ones always fail
If you plan to take power, appoint somebody to do the nasty work!

Cruelty vs Clemency

It is better to be feared than loved, for love is fickle but fear is constant”

Rene Descartes

17th Century
Advocated systematic doubt
Great concept for Journalists

Marks intellectual transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world

Completely against Aristotle

Loved long lie-ins! He believed he did most of his best thinking in bed. He also felt his formal education had given him nothing useful
When he was older, he went travelling
Joined wars around Europe
Believes he cannot rely on anything learned from custom

Comes to the conclusion that if he is not to live under false ideas then once in his life he should dismantle his entire belief system and build it up again

While he was overhauling his ideas he will simply go along with the most moderate ideas around at the time

Can we really be sure of anything?

I think, therefore I am”

He has proved that he exists, but he can doubt everything else. Even his own body, so therefore his mind/soul must be distinct from his body


Finds that in his mind, he has the concept of a perfect being. The idea of god has been given to me by god.

God is not a deceiver.

Modern philosophy begins with Descartes

Russell's P.O.V - “This was insanity”

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Lecture 1 (Raw Notes)

The History of Western Philosophy

As time goes on, the authority of the church diminishe
Renaissance – Science didn't play a huge part
Emancipation: “Emancipation is a term used to describe various efforts to obtain political rights or equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally in discussion of such matters.” 

Until the 17th Century, nobody really cared about philosophy
Unlike religion, science is completely ethically neutral
    Political condition – Renaissance: After the death of Frederick II In 1250, Italy was free from foreign interference until Charles VIII invaded in 1494

    Italy: 5 important states – Milan, Venice, Florence, Papal domain, Naples

    Democratic: Democracy is a political government carried out either directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (Representative democracy) 

    13th Century – In Florence, conflicting classes – The nobles, the rich merchants, small men

    The nobles were Ghibelline (A member of a medieval aristocratic Italian faction that supported the German emperors in a long struggle against the Popes and the Guelphs)

    The other two were Guelf (The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries. The struggle for power between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire had arisen with the Investiture Conflict of the 11th century.)

    The Medici ruled Florence until 1737 but it became poor and unimportant

    Humanism: “Humanism is a worldview and a moral philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance. It is a perspective common to a wide range of ethical stances that attaches importance to human dignity, concerns, and capabilities, particularly rationality.”

    Italy – Constant wars until coming of French in 1494 but didn't interfere much with trade or prevent the country from increasing wealth.

    Gemistus Plethora did much to promote Platonism in Italy. So did Bessarion.

    Platonism: “The embracing of the doctrines of the philosopher Plato, popular among the poets of the Renaissance and the Romantic period. Platonism is more flexible than Aristotelian Criticism and places more emphasis on the supernatural and unknown aspects of life

    The Renaissance was not a popular movement, it was a movement of a small number of scholars and artists.

    Niccolo Machiavelli

    He was a Florentine

    Florentine - “a native or resident of Florence, Italy”

    Wrote 'The Prince'

    The Prince examines the acquisition, perpetuation, and use of political power in the western world. Machiavelli wrote The Prince to prove his proficiency in the art of the state, offering advice on how a prince might gain and keep power. Machiavelli justified rule by force rather than by law. Accordingly, The Prince seems to justify a number of actions done solely to perpetuate power. It is a classic study of power—its acquisition, expansion, and effective use.

    He also wrote 'The Discourses on Livy':

    The Discourses purport to explain the structure and benefits of a republic, a form of government based on popular consent and control. It is considered almost unanimously by scholars to be if not the first, then certainly the most important, work on republicanism in the early modern period

    The love of liberty came to the Renaissance from antiquity

    Remember – Machiavelli never bases any political argument on Christian or Biblical grounds

    His beliefs were

    Important – National dependence, security, well-ordered constitution
    The best Constitution apportions (divide and distribute) legal rights among prince, nobles
    because a successful revolution would be difficult to achieve

    He is of the opinion that civilized men are almost certain to be unscrupulous egoists (immoral and self-centered)

    Politicians will behave better in a community in which their crimes can be made widely known
    In Northern countries the Renaissance began later than in Italy

    The Northern Renaissance was in many ways different to that in Italy. It was associated with public virtue


    Born in Rotterdam.
    He was illegitimate
    He became a monk and hated it
    In 1493 he became secretary to Bishop of Cambrai. Gave him opportunity to travel.
    Had little knowledge of Greek, but was an accomplished Latinist

    Erasmus hated the scholastics – saw them as superannuated and antiquated

    He didn't really like any philosophy

    After leaving England in 1500, he worked to learn Greek

    Too poor to afford a teacher. Tried Hebrew. Gave up.

    He wrote 'The Praise of Folly':

    Erasmus had a considerable influence in stimulating English Humanism

    The curiosity of the renaissance gradually became scientific

    Made a vast collection of Latin proverbs

    Wrote VERY successful book: colloquies to teach people how to speak Latin

    Sir Thomas More

    1478 – 1535


    Followed his father's profession as lawyer

    1504 he was member of parliament

    Led opposition to Henry VII's demand for new taxes

    More is remembered solely on his account of 'Utopia'

    An island in the Southern hemisphere
    Everything is done in the best possible way
    There are 54 towns
    Anyone may enter any house
    All are dressed alike
    Family life is patriarchal
    Most people eat in common halls
    Both men and women punished if not virgin when married
    All religions tolerated
    Priests are few. They have honour but no power
    Admittedly, Utopia sounds dull. There is no diversity
    Reformation – Authority of Pope rejected

    Counter reformation – Revolt against intellectual and moral freedom

    3 great men of reformation and counter reformation were Luther, Calcin, Loyola

    The rise of science:
    4 great men – Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton


    Devoted to astronomy
    Believed the sun was the centre of the universe


    First important astronomer to adopt heliocentric theory
    Influenced by Pythagoreanism

    Great discovery of his, three laws of planetary motion.

    Law 2: The line joining a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times

    Law 3: The square of the period of revolution of a planet is proportional to the cube of its average distance from the sun


    First discovered the importance of acceleration in dynamics. It means the change of velocity. Found the milky way consists of a multitude of separate stars

    He was condemned by the inquisition privately in 1616, publicly in 1633


    "His 1687 publication of the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (usually called the Principia) is considered to be among the most influential books in the history of science, laying the groundwork for most of classical mechanics."

    Francis Bacon

    1617 – acquired his fathers office of keeper. But eventually prosecuted for accepting bribes from litigants.

    £40,000 fine, although not forced to pay the fine and only stayed in the tower for 4 days


    15, went to Oxford
    Research his background. Achievements etc.

    Wrote the leviathan:
    In the book, which was written during the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract sovereign. Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war — situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all") — could only be averted by strong central government"

    Monday, 27 September 2010

    Lecture Notes Archive

    Notes to all my lectures will be here and links will be provided. This post will essentially serve as a mini-database.


    Lecture 1 Summary - "Introduction to the History and Context Programme" - 24/09/10
    Lecture 1 Raw Notes - 24/09/10
    (Renaissance, the Medici, Platonism, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Thomas More, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Bacon, Hobbes)

    Lecture 2 Summary - "Introduction to the History and Context Programme" - 28/09/10
    Lecture 2 Raw Notes - 28/09/10
    (Renaissance, Plato's cave analogy, scientific renaissance, Machiavelli, Descartes, dualism)

    Lecture 3 Raw Notes
    (John Locke, social contract, Hobbe's, state of nature, law of nature, manual for revolution, human understanding, innate ideas) -17/10/10

    Lecture 4 Summary - "Introduction to the History and Context Programme" - 09/10/10
    Lecture 4 Raw Notes  - 09/10/10
    (Adison, Royal Exchange, The Spectator 476)

    Lecture 5 Raw Notes - 09/11/2010
    (Hume, The Vienna Circle / Logical positivism, causation, induction, the 'is/ought' problem, the verification principle)
    Lecture 5 Summary / Seminar Notes - 17/11/2010
    (Hume, The Vienna Circle / Logical positivism, causation, induction, the 'is/ought' problem, the verification principle)

    Lecture 6 Raw Notes - 02/12/2010
    (economics, Smith, Hume, trade, British Isles, Darien Scheme, Irish famine, 'The Wealth of Nations')
    Lecture 6 Summary / Seminar Notes - 02/12/2010
    ('A Modest Proposal', 'Wealth of Nations', Smith, Swift, Irish famine, commerce)


    Lecture 1 Raw Notes - 08/02/2011
    (Rousseau, Romanticism, Social Contract, Enlightenment, General will)
    Lecture 1 Summary / Seminar Notes - 15/02/2011
    (Mary Wollstonecraft)

    Lecture 2 Raw Notes - 22/02/2011
    ( Prometheus, Romanticism, Ozymandias, Ode on a Grecian Urn)
    Lecture 2 Summary / Seminar Notes - 01/02/2011

    Lecture 3 Raw Notes - 08/03/2011
    ( )
    Lecture 3 Summary / Seminar Notes - 15/03/2011
    ( )

    Lecture 4 Summary / Seminar Notes - 26/04/2011
    ( William Cobbett, Farming, Taxes, Rural Rides, Industry )

    Lecture 5 Summary / Seminar Notes - 20 /05/2011
    ( Zola, J'accuse, The Dreyfus Affair )


    Lecture 1 Summary / Seminar Notes - 11/10/2011
    (Tabloid Nation, Chris Horrie, Lord Northcliffe)

    Lecture 2 Raw Notes - 18/10/2011
    (Freud, Oral, Anal, Sexual Development, Dreams, Psychoanalysis)
    Lecture 2 Summary / Seminar Notes - 18/10/2011

    Lecture 3 Raw Notes - 27/10/11
    [Frege, 'The Three Critics']
    Lecture 3 Summary / Seminar Notes - 03/11/11

    Lecture 4 Raw Notes - 10/11/11
    [Keyne, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money]

    Lecture 4 Summary / Seminar Notes - 17/11/11
    [Keyne, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money]

    Lecture 5 Raw Notes - 24/11/11
    Lecture 5 Summary / Seminar Notes - 01/12/12

    Lecture 6 Raw Notes - 08/11/11
    [Satre, Nazi Germany, Heidegger, Husserl]


    Lecture 1 Summary - 29/01/12
    [Tabloid Nation, Chris Horrie]

    Lecture 2 Raw Notes - 09/02/2012
    [Existentialism, Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth]
    Lecture 2 Summary - 21/02/2012

    Lecture 3 Raw Notes - 25/02/2012
    [Modern Mathematics, Logic and Language]

    Lecture 4 Raw Notes - 10/03/12
    [Fear and Loathing, Existentialism, Tom Wolfe, New Journalism]
    Lecture 4 Summary - 10/03/12


    Codes of Conduct - 02/12/2010

    The Freedom of Information Act

    Media Law - Online Lecture 1 Raw Notes 
    (Contempt of court, defamation, civil law, criminal law) - 28/09/10

    'Essential Law for Journalists' - Chapters 1 to 7 Raw Notes
    (Freedom of expression, standard of proof, categories of criminal offence, hearings, Magistrates, Crown Court, age of criminal responsibility) - 03/10/10

    'Essential Law for Journalists' - Chapter 17 Raw Notes
    (Inference, innuendo, bane and antidote, errors and apologies) - 20/10/10

    'Essential Law for Journalists' - Chapters 22 to 23 Raw Notes
    (Breach of confidence, obligation of confidence, privacy, copyright, OFCOM, Local Government Act 2000, sources)

    'Essential Law for Journalists' - Chapter 27 Raw Notes
    (Copyright, speeches, ownership, Parliament) - 17/11/2010

    'Essential Law for Journalists' - Chapter 28 Raw Notes
    (Public Authority Act 2000, advice and assistance, absolute exemptions)

    Saturday, 25 September 2010

    Lecture 1 Summary

    Yesterday I had my first lecture as part of my new Winchester University Journalism course. The talk was very interesting as a whole, exploring the links between Philosophy and Journalism.

    I find it fascinating seeing how human knowledge has developed over time and the effects these changes have had on society. Medicine, construction, art, religion. The growth of all these have defined us and our ancestors. Thank goodness for technological advancement. I don't think I could handle using a stone car with a hole in the floor like on the Flintstones. Sounds abit tiring.

    I don't even have to stray far from my accommodation to see marks left from the past. I'd debating taking a trip down to town and having a look around the cathedral. There's nothing like that near me at my hometown. It's a welcome change. Me and my housemates actually went on a 'ghost tour' of Winchester on the night we arrived. Our tour guide told us about about the history of the place, which was nice. The main thing I took from the tour was the fact that pretty much everything's haunted. I've learnt to assume every establishment is safeguarded by a floating see through person.

    I've never studied History as a subject in great detail, but the idea of learning about the history of the press is appealing. Good old Johann Gutenburg. Before Johann's printing press people were made to copy out whole books by hand. Again - That sounds tiring.

    The invention also allowed the preservation of important, momentous human knowledge. Construction plans, religious ideologies etc. I was researching Johann's life earlier today and read an article that stated he never actually made alot of money from his invention. It's a shame, considering it's argubly one of the most important inventions ever.

    The lecture yesterday gave me a strong idea of how my learning is going to be structured as the course progresses. Thankfully, it's looking like a very interesting course to be involved in!

    Thursday, 23 September 2010

    1st Post

    Hello! I've just created my blog for the Winchester Journalism course. My name's Tom and I'm from Hampshire. I also support Arsenal FC which is perhaps controversial (a possible reason never to visit my blog again?)

    I plan to update this blog regularly so keep checking back!

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