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

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Showreel: September - December 2011

A collection of footage taken from my first term as reporter for WINOL, Winchester News Online. The stories covered in this montage include: Southampton strikes, Energy prices, Winchester 'Zombosium', Southampton photonics, London November protests, Sound Radio charity event and Southampton taxi policy.

WINOL - Week #10 Notes

WINOL - Week 10 Analysis

This week was slightly stressful to say the least, but I'm happy with the outcome. On Monday morning I came to the news meeting with two ideas for stories, neither of which were solid at that point as I was still waiting on some calls. I had a story regarding the University of Winchester and a grant they'd received, but admittedly it was pretty dull. I decided to focus my full attention on the taxi story, which was a genuinely interesting story to research further into.

I managed to organise an interview in Eastleigh with Kevin May, a local taxi firm director who had spent a large sum of money fighting the taxi camera policy in court. Kevin was a great interviewee. He gave some nice quotes and was clearly upset at the policy the council were enforcing. I wasn't particularly pleased with the location of the interview. In the end we ended up setting up in one of the offices at the taxi firm, but the shelves Kevin was sat in front of made it look like we were in a shed of some kind! It's a shame that we couldn't film the interview outside in front of some Taxi's, but at that point it was too dark to attempt that.

The sound from the interview was a good quality. My thanks go to Daniel Mackrell for helping me out throughout the day. Dan did well at framing the interview correctly and ensuring everything went smoothly behind the scenes.

My biggest issue this week was balance. I had pressed the council for a statement but I was getting sent from person to person and got the feeling nobody really knew who would be the best person to speak to.

Admittedly, I was a little disappointed at this point because I had a good interview but no balance from a council member. I heard that Louis was interviewing Royston Smith and asked him if he could grab me a statement on the issue once Louis had finished his interview with Mr Smith regarding his own story. A big thank you to Louis who managed to get me a video clip of Royston Smith arguing why the camera technology was so vital for the protection and safety of the public. If I hadn't got this balance, my story would have been a flop.

Totalitarianism - Seminar Summary

Totalitarianism refers to a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator. Ultimately, the movement revolves around the idea of complete power and control. Totalitarianism is a political system where the state in control believes 'everything is possible'. The main phenomena of totalitarianism  is that you are told what to believe. To enforce such a system, a policy of terror needs to be implemented. To drive fear into the heart of the public will destroy a sense of individuality, which is the vital first step to controlling the masses.

To shape a totalitarianistic society a single process of thought must be formed. Anybody that goes against this single thought must be punished and made an example of. Individuals that go against the single idea backed by the ruler are seen as enemies. In a sense, the public's perception of reality is altered somewhat, to the point where free thought is made difficult, if not impossible. Several links can be drawn between totalitarianism and Darwin's theory of the 'Survival of the fittest'. The supposed idea of an 'inferior race' is obviously linked to the Nazi party's justification of the holocaust. The holocaust is a clear example of how totalitarianism is used to strip people of their identity, rights and citizenship.

Hannah Arendt, born in 1906, was a German political theorist, believing in the individuality and the spontaneity of people. She wrote a number of articles for the New Yorker, also believing that no thinking person could be solely responsible for genocide. Arendt would argue that the only defence against totalitarianism was the idea of individuality. In her opinion, it wasn't necessary to possess wickedness in order to commit crimes. Her theory links well with Stanley Milgram's psychological study regarding authority figures, but I'll come to that later on. 

The Holocaust began in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany

Arendt wrote about a court cause concerning Adolf Eichmann, who was a key member of the Nazi party. Eichmann was one of the figures behind the planning of the holocaust, organising the process of the deportation of Jews. Arendt believed that Eichmann could be considered guilty, however not for the reasons proposed by the Court. She stated that his only crime was not thinking about his actions and serving whoever was in control with blind obedience. This links back to what I said earlier, which is the idea that no person on their own could be responsible for genocide. Instead, a number of people are involved. Eichmann was carrying out orders from a peer, not creating them himself.

A BBC Four documentary clip exploring Milgram's study

In 1963, Stanley Milgram published the results of his experiment related to the idea of obedience. The aim of Milgram's experiment was to investigate what level of obedience would be shown when participants were told by an authority figure to administer electric shocks to another person. In reality, the people the participants were 'shocking' were actors. 

The results were startling. All 40 of the Participant's obeyed the process up to 300 volts, at which point 5 refused to continue. During the study, many participants showed clear signs of discomfort. On one occasion, a participant had such a violent seizure experimenters had to intervene for the participants own safety.

Milgram summarised his findings in the form of a 9-point list. Perhaps the most relevant findings in relation to the holocaust were the following:

1) Participants believed the experiment was being carried out for a worthy purpose. They felt they were helping to advance knowledge and understanding of learning processes.

2) Milgram was arguing that an important factor influencing behaviour is the situation a person is in

3) We often believe a person has behaved the way they do because of their personality, when in fact it is the situation which shaped their behaviour

1984 by George Orwell tells the story of Winston Smith, a man living in a totalitarianistic society where he is made to re-write history (literally) by order of his leaders. The film links heavily with the themes explained at the start of my post. The world in which Smith lives is a world where citizens are told what to say, do and think. The citizens in this world cannot go against the thought of figurehead 'Big Brother', as to do so would result in severe punishment.

The flag of the ruling party in the film adaptation of 1984

The world in which Smith resides is governed by the Thought Police, a force whose Job it is to ensure members of society obey the rules set fourth by Big Brother. This force essentially enforces the idea that no individual is capable of thinking for themselves. Citizens in this world cannot act on impulse, they must act on the wishes of Big Brother. Smith goes against the body he serves, falling in love with a fellow citizen. In the world of Oceania, this is illegal. 

1984 is effective in showing the brutality of a totalitarianistic society. As is stated at the start of the film, "Those who control the present, control the past. Those who control the past control the future".

Friday, 9 December 2011

Existentialism, Politics and post-humanist morality - Raw Notes


* Closest to Psychology
* Deals with subjective perception of things

Romanticism - A pessimistic outlook at its core

Husserl - Duck, rabbit conundrum.

* Conciousness is intentional, and meaning is fixed subjectively
* Some knowledge / ideas have more priority than others
* Phenomenology and types of literary Journalism - looking at the familiar as unfamiliar and vice versa

Nazism - Links to Rousseau

Heidegger - A student of Husserl

* Wrote 'Being in Time'
* Interested in how the personality develops in time
* Before Heidegger, it was assumed the personality did not change
* Heidegger thought the personality is ever-changing
* Dread - You're concerned about what will happen next
* He thought highly of Hitler
* Third Reich
* Heidegger felt no guilt over his role in Nazi Germany

Time, for Heidegger, is a structure of being.

'Being' - The dasein

The past - Guilt
The present - Dread
The future - Unknown

Satre - Where does guilt / dread come from? Other people. ("Hell is other people")

* Satre's book, 'Nausea'
* 'No Exit' play
* Satre was imprisoned by the Nazi's. Famously stated: "I've never felt so free". No hypocrisy. He was a prisoner and that was that

Hell is other people, but at the same time we are other people - Collective conciousness, Carl Jung

Totalitarianism - Raw Notes

“Totalitarianism is a branch of phenomenology” - Hannah Arendt disagreed, describing the holocaust as 'normal'.

[ The main phenomena of Totalitarianism is that you are told what to believe ]

What is Totalitarianism?
  • “A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator ( not restricted by a constitution or laws )
  • A political system where the state in control believes that 'everything is possible'.
  • Strives for limitless power through the control of the public sector and the private sectors within it
  • Complete control over everything
  • Enforce it – A policy of terror needs to be implemented
  • Mass, senseless, reasonless slaughter. Drives fear into the heart of the public, destroy the sense of individuality
  • Needs to be constantly attacking and have no other purpose other than to destroy
Arendt's View
  • A critic of Nietzsche
  • Believed in the moral universe of Totalitarianism
  • Nietzsche’s 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' stated there was no such thing as 'supermen', and that we are just going about our daily Jobs as human beings
  • Arendt disagreed
  • Believed in the individuality and spontaneity of people
  • Wrote a series of articles for the New Yorker
  • No thinking person could be responsible for genocide. It's not necessary to possess wickedness in order to commit crimes.
Eichmann Case
  • Arendt wrote about a court case concerning Adolf Eichmann who was a key member of the Nazi party
  • She believed he could be considered guilty but not for the reasons stated by the court
  • She said Adolf's only crime was not thinking about his actions and serving whoever was in control with blind obedience
  • No thinking person could be responsible for genocide. It's not necessary to posses wickedness in order to commit great crimes
  • Study to see how far people would go when receiving orders from an authority figure
  • Influenced by the events of the Holocaust
  • “Obedience to authority”
  • 33 out of 40 P's administered the full range of shocks up to 450 volts
  • 2/3 of all people undertaking the study gave the participant a shock which could kill
  • The holocaust is an example of how totalitarianism is used to strip people of their identity, rights and citizenship
  • Everybody blames Hitler, but was it just him at fault?
  • There's no one person that can mesmerise everyone and do everything, argued Arendt

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Update: New WINOL Page

I just created a new page on my blog specifically for keeping track of the WINOL episodes I've been a part of, and my thoughts on each one.

The page can be viewed by clicking on 'WINOL' at the top of the page or by using this link below:

WINOL - Week #9 Notes

WINOL - Week 9 Analysis

This week was easily our biggest yet, in which WINOL attempted to broadcast live from Southampton as we covered the strikes on November 30th. I wasn't at Southampton HQ at any point during the day, but from what I've heard, I think we pulled it off!

Me, Flick, Becky and Greg headed off to London with the task of collecting interviews and GV's and sending them back to Southampton HQ. I knew this was going to be difficult. To send clips over the net you need a decent upload speed. Decent speeds cost money, so it was always going to be tricky finding somewhere in London that not only gave free WiFi, but gave free WiFi that was a decent quality.

We got there at around 10am and straight away we started gathering content. Within 20 minutes of arriving we'd already filmed an interview. We filmed some GV's of the location where the march was beginning but at that stage nothing particularly interesting was going on. As a result, we decided to head to McDonalds to upload what we had taken so far and would return to the march later on when the attendance was higher.

Straight away, we ran into problems. I tried to upload the interview footage raw and it came in at 800mb, which is massive considering we were also planning on uploading that. It would have taken hours. I tried to work out how we could overcome this problem because if we couldn't there was no way the Southampton HQ would be receiving any content from us at all.

I had taken my laptop with me on the day, which was vital. I decided to import our raw footage into an editing program called Camtasia Studio. From there, I re-rendered the footage into a smaller size using the video settings and output format. Using this method I was able to get an 800mb interview clip down to just 30mb. 

From that point on, we decided to go about filming in a slightly different way. We used the Canon 550D purely for interviews. When it came to GV's, me and Becky were uploading from our iPhones. On a 3G network, it took us about 30 seconds to upload a single GV, which was absolutely fine. Over the course of the day I sent about 20 GV's to my YouTube channel from my phone. Gathering GV's was fairly straight-forward using this method.

We got a nice variety of content on the day. Flick did a nice piece to camera, which gave us something different to use. Up until that point we had just been using GV's and interviews. We did have a slight issue with the sound from the 550D. Naturally, we were recording in a loud environment and at times it was difficult hearing what the interviewees were saying. I still think the footage was usable, however.

Overall, I'm pleased with how the day went. I'm extremely glad I worked out how to re-render our raw footage on the go into more manageable chunks so we could send it to Southampton. Having all that footage and not being able to show it off would have been a horrible feeling.

Well done to the WINOL team for a great job and thanks to the team that was with me in London. I also think a massive thankyou is owed to my friend Greg, who rented out the equipment for us, helped us carry things around London, and also showed us the best settings to use for the 550D.

WINOL - Week #8 Notes

WINOL - Week 8 Analysis

This week went fairly well in my opinion. I ended up covering Winchester Sound Radio's 24 hour broadcast for Children In Need. It was nice that the story was located on campus as up until this point I have been used to moving around, primarily to Southampton which I've visited a lot during the news gathering phase.

The piece featured 3 interviews, which I thought was great as it made the story more interesting to watch. Having more than 1 interview tells the audience that what's going on is a wide-spread project and it's not only going to support a worthy cause but its also got many people behind it.

All my interviewees came out with some nice sound bytes. I particularly liked the soundbite I used for the headline clip in the broadcast which featured Joy Carter, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester. She said: "It's a no-brainer, actually. People have to tune in!". I think it's important to have a member of staff at the University have their say as it gives another dimension to the story. I could have just used the viewpoints of students for the package but thought it would be a welcome addition to include Joy.

My only gripe with the package is my first interview. Aarran Summers was a great interviewee, but I used his audio interview over a GV of him talking into the radio mic in the studio. It looked odd, because the audience expected to either see Aarran in real time or have him turn to the camera and then continue talking, addressing the audience directly.

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