Monday, November 30, 2009

Health & Safety Gone Mad!

Health and Safety Gone MadPhoto:
I read an article today which basically told me that my childhood days at ten pin bowling alleys weren't good fun but actually a 'very dangerous' environment for my family!

It's another health and safety investigation which seem to plague society at the moment by making pretty much everything a hazard! Apparently the bowling alleys are dangerous because it was too easy for children or teenagers to run down the lanes and get trapped in the machinery...after all the children's parties I used to attend (around when I was 8, you could only be 'cool' if you had your party at megabowl), not once did any of us injure ourselves. The quote in the Daily Mail from a member of the Ten Pin Bowling Proprietors Association is pretty good at denying any "danger"; "I have been in this industry for 40 years and I have never known any member of the public injured by a bowling pinsetter. I have never heard of anybody going near the pins." Pretty clear.

After discovering this ridiculous and expensive (£250,000 expensive) Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report, it got me looking into some others, here and some of my favourites in reverse order...

5) Children at a primary school were banned from making daisy chains incase they pick up germs from the flowers. Handstands, tag, conkers and yo-yo's were among other things banned! (Full Story:

4) Students graduating from Anglia Ruskin Uni in Cambridge were banned from throwing their hats whilst posing for pictures incase somebody was injured by falling headgear. (

3) Carpenters were told to not use brooms to sweep up sawdust because it could provoke asthma and long term exposure could lead to nose cancer. Carpenters were told to buy state of the art vacuum cleaners instead! (Full Story:

2) A lifeguard instructor and her husband were prevented from taking their three children into a toddlers' pool because there wasn't one adult per child! (

Health and Safety gone mad?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Joe Glenton Debate

Stop The War Rally 2007
I read an interesting article this evening in the Daily Mail about Joe Glenton. Joe is a soldier who has served in Afghanistan and from what the article says 'has always hoped to be a soldier', so an army man through and through?

Just to catch anyone up who hasn't seen this story, Joe served 6 months in Afghanistan and before being sent for his second tour in 2007, AWOL and returned earlier this year. Although his full salary was re-instated and he was allowed to continue in the Royal Logistic Corps, he was still unhappy with the war in Afghanistan and began to speak out about it. He has written a personal letter to Gordon Brown and after that disobeyed a direct order from his commanding officer to 'stop giving interviews' by speaking at the Stop The War rally in October. Joe is now in a cell of the military corrective training centre awaiting trial for which he faces a court martial for disloyalty and desertion - a charge that carries up to ten years in prison.

The debate now is whether or not his actions were right or wrong, whether he can be viewed as a war hero or whether he is a traitor to his fellow comrades. I for one feel that if anybody has a right to speak out about the war in Afghanistan, it is the soldiers. Who better can say what it is really like? What they are really there for? What is really happening? He told the Daily Mail; "When I joined the Army I was lean, green and keen. I was proud of being a soldier. After I came back from my first tour I couldn't see what we had given our country. I felt ashamed."

I understand that speaking out against the war, as a soldier is something that 'shouldn't happen' but at the same time if this is how he feels, this is what he has seen, does it owe it to the public, the government and more importantly the 235 soldiers than have died in Afghanistan (source:

Then there is the other side, is he causing the reportedly low morale amongst troops to become even lower? if he betraying his country? is he tarnishing the very reason those soldiers have died serving their country?

I think the soldiers who feel that by speaking out they can do some good for themselves and fellow soldiers then I think is something that can be an important aspect in this war. However I see why this would be an cause for concern for Army personnel.

The surveys quoted in the Mail state that "64 per cent of the public now say the Afghan conflict cannot be won and 63 per cent want our forces to come home 'as soon as possible'." So it seems majority of the public agree with what Joe Glenton is saying but at the same time whether is his opinions are correct isn't the case here, it's whether his decisions are correct.

Being an Asthmatic is Officially Cool!

David Beckham LA Galaxy

That's right folks, this week is the week that Asthma has become cool! And it's all down to one person David Beckham!

This week saw the 'revelation' that Golden Balls has Asthma and it sort of got me wondering a few things but most of it all it bought me to the conclusion of, so what? The guy is a superb athlete, a spokesman, a role model, a gent and although I realise he is a world phenomenon I fail to see why this is such a big deal. Of course it signals to many kids growing up with asthma (much like I have done) that being asthmatic needn't stop you from becoming a global sports star (obviously that's the only reason I ply my trade in the Winchester Sunday league and not The Premier League!) But, Becks isn't the only sport's person to have it. As I learnt from various news; Frank Lampard, Paula Radcliffe, Paul Scholes and Rebecca Adlington all have the condition.

I suppose a key part for the publicity is that for many kids that have asthma, using their inhalers when they are playing with friends is sometimes considered a nuisance or 'uncool' and the news that Beckham has it may make more kids more comfortable with using their inhaler etc. Which is great and hopefully it'll just bring good things for the 5.4 million or so sufferers in Britain.

I'm just waiting for the next Beckham billboard where his inhaler is as important as the bottle of Pepsi!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WINOL Week 4 Critical Reflection

Another week of WINOL brings another reflection blog! On the whole I feel that this week's bulletin was better than last week's.

The newsroom has a very calm and collected feel to it now, even when packages are late or things are going quite right there are a few of us that keep things calm and keep things ticking along which is a credit to how we work as a team.

As for the sport section this week, we were lucky enough that the guest editor was a sports broadcaster. Andy Steggall joined us and was a great help to myself. I found I learnt a lot more about how a the sports section should operate within in a bulletin.

This week we were again a man short when it came to producing content for the website and for the bulletin. We had a good pool of stories and I think our two minute section was a strong part of the bulletin as it incorporated a variety of sports and also some university sport. This is the first time we have managed to use university sport in our bulletin. It was a bit tight to get the university basketball footage ready in time for the bulletin as they tipped off at 12pm but we managed to get it in the bulletin which I was pleased about.

I am most pleased about the quality of sound in the sports packages this week as this is something I have wanted to fix for the last few weeks. My team really nailed it this week as the quality of the sounds on voiceovers, interviews and crowd noise were much much improved.

Next week I will look to improve on some of the points Andy Steggall made, especially with regards to links and really having a bit more fun with some of the stories and making the links much more interesting and making sure they reflect why that story has made the bulletin. So for example making sure there is a news angle on match highlights so that there is a reason to have the highlights in the bulletin.

I look forward to trying to improve on this week in a week's time!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cowes Sports vs Winchester City FC Match Report

Winchester City avoided an embarrassing defeat on Saturday by producing a superb comeback to win 4-3 away to Cowes Sports.

City traveled to the Isle of Wight on the back of two convincing victories against Laverstock & Ford and Alton Town to face a Cowes side currently propping up the Wessex Premier, having failed to win in their last seven matches.

Cowes started the brighter and made the most of the wet weather when City 'keeper Rory Anderson dropped the ball to allow Lee Davies to slot home inside three minutes.

Things were made worse for City when Craig Thomas curled his shot into the top corner to give the league's bottom side a surprise 2-0 lead. Winchester replied quickly when Zak Glasspool headed home an Adam Roberts corner to reduce the deficit to one goal. 

City then piled on the pressure and were level just before the half hour mark when Ian Davies fired home from Zak Glasspool's pass. The turn around was then compete as Sol Asajile beat three players to fire home from 25 yards and send Winchester in 3-2 up at the break.

The second half failed to live up the standards set by the first half but Cowes' misery was compounded when substitute Nathan Lynch put City 4-2 to seal the victory. Cowes then attempted a comeback of their own when Gareth Bricknell scored a diving header but it proved to be too late as Winchester ran out 4-3 winners.

The result means City remain in 9th place and they will look to continue their impressive form at home to 5th place Fareham Town on Saturday. Saturday also brings a top against bottom clash as Cowes entertain league leaders Bournemouth Poppies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I am a DJ Hero...

I am a DJ Hero...well at least that's how I feel after having my first taste of playing action on Activision's latest game offering, DJ Hero.

I played it for the first time on Monday night when we had a "mini" party for my house mates 21st and it is an incredible game for a party. For anybody who loves the Guitar Hero series of games (and I know a fair few people that do) this game is right up your street, bringing a fresh outlook to the Guitar Hero idea.

The game features over 100 tracks from various artists which you can scratch, cross-fade and beat match to on the DJ Hero turntable controller. It includes a wide range of genres, such as Hip Hop, Electronica, R&B, Motown, Pop and Rock to give the game a an array of mixes and artists to play with. The game also offers the opportunity for another player to use a Guitar Hero guitar controller to play alongside the DJ on some of the rock mixes - an excellent aspect for a two player mode.

I am totally and utterly useless when it comes to using musical instruments, it would be fair to say that I am musically illiterate but the Guitar Hero and now DJ Hero games give people like me a chance to pretend we're Dave Grohl or Pete Tong instead of trying (and failing) to do it for real. I mean, I'm never going to become a rock star by using a recorder am I!

Just like the Guitar Hero games, DJ Hero makes a party that little bit different and provides an all round good time! Check out this video of one of my friends being a DJ Hero...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WINOL Goes Live! Week 3 Reflection
So this week was the week that WINOL went live for real and I have to say I think overall it was a great success! We've had an excellent response in terms of traffic to the site and to watch the news bulletin as well. I also think this news bulletin was the best we have produced so far which was great timing!!

As a sports team we decided to select stories we would cover at the end of last week so that we would be prepared and we had a really good selection of stories lined up, covering a variety of teams, sports and types. However, three of our stories fell through over the weekend due a number of reasons and come Monday it seemed like we would be short, but Tom Otrebski (deputy sports editor) and I managed to come up with a pretty decent running order in the end as we fulfilled our two minute slot pretty well which included two different sports. One thing I was disappointed about was the sound quality of our packages, this was something that I wanted to improve on from the week before but is still something we need to work on as a team and hopefully we can get it right this week.

I am very happy with the way we are working as a team due to the fact that we have been a man down for the majority of the time due to illness and we are still producing a good sports section for our bulletin. The same goes for our section of the website which I feel is a very strong part of as a whole as the sport section contains the most amount of stories and is drawing in a good number of hits, for example we get a good number of hits for our non league football coverage.

I spent most of my time this week organising my reporters and sorting out which stories we could run (especially on Monday due to losing the three over the weekend.) Once we had decided and I had sent reporters for each story I began writing more copy for the website. On the Tuesday I attended the Winchester match for which I produced the match report and then helped Grant and Arnold with their packages on the Wednesday. Tom and I wrote the sports script and links which I think were pretty strong.

Due to problems with uploading last week the bulletin was shortened to 10 minutes so had we still had the good pool of stories we started with it would've left me with some tough decisions over which stories to run as we only had 2 minutes to fill instead of 3-4! This is a challenge I look forward to over the next few weeks. We filled our sports section with a variety of sports and a variety of story types by using NIBs, a VT and a graphic which I was happy with.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Winchester City 1-0 Alton Town 17/11/09

Winchester City vs Alton Town
Winchester City extended their unbeaten run to four matches last night with a 1-0 win over Alton Town at the Denplan City Ground.

City have won three and drawn one in their last four matches whilst Alton had failed to win at their last three attempts.

The first half produced a tightly contested midfield battle with neither side having a clear-cut chance. Despite a difference of nine league places between the two sides the first half was evenly matched and ended goalless.

Winchester manager Stuart Hussey’s half time team talk seemed to have an effect as his side produced a dominant display straight after the break.

Winchester winger Zak Glasspool was guilty of missing a guilt edged chance as he fired his shot over the bar from six yards with only the 'keeper to beat.

A few minutes later, in form midfielder, turned striker Danny Cox beat Alton ‘keeper Dan Hill from outside the area but saw his curling effort hit the crossbar.

Winchester continued to press their opponents and had more chances to break the deadlock. Ian Davies, who replaced the injured Nathan Lynch after 15 minutes, tested Hill but the Alton 'keeper
kept his side in the game once again.

Moments later, Davies was again causing the Alton defence problems when he broke through on goal but was brought down in the box to earn his side a clear penalty with twenty minutes remaining.

Danny Cox fired the penalty home to break the deadlock and score his fourth goal in as many matches.

Alton then came back into the match and with just five minutes left the away side sent a free header over the bar to give Winchester the three points.

Stuart Hussey was pleased with his side’s performance;

“I think it was for all to see in the second half that we totally dominated. We really played some great football and that’s pleasing to see."

The result leaves Winchester in 11th place on goal difference, whilst Alton Town stay in the bottom three.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Moneyfields FC vs Winchester City FC Match Report

Moneyfields vs. Winchester

Moneyfields Sports and Social Club. 07/11/09

Winchester notched their 11th draw of the season on Saturday as they played out a goalless draw with in form Moneyfields.

Winchester travelled to Moneyfields on the back of a midweek victory to face a side that had lost just once in their last four matches.

City once again lacked the finishing touch as they were unable to capitalise on their dominance and left Moneyfields Sports and Social Club disappointed with just one point.

Winchester’s front man Shane Flooks was guilty of missing his side’s best chance in the first half on the 25-minute mark. Flooks managed to get through on goal but dragged his shot wide from the edge of the Moneyfields area.

Five minutes later, City's Nathan Lynch was causing problems for the opposition defence but squandered the chance by hitting his shot straight at the Moneyfields’ keeper.

Winchester continued to press as half time loomed as Adam ‘Pedro’ George produced a good save from the Moneyfields’ keeper with a curling shot from the edge of the area.

The first half ended goalless with Winchester having failed to take the lead despite their dominance. Moneyfields rarely threatened the City centre backs Guy Butters and Connor McCarthy who produced a solid defensive display.

The second half produced a rather dull affair with both sides having few chances. Winchester’s best chance was in the form of a free kick on the edge of the area which Zak Glasspool sent over the bar.

Winchester boss Stuart Hussey thought his side had deserved the three points;

“Coming away to Moneyfields is never an easy place to come, but over the 90 minutes I think we deserved the win,” said Hussey.

“We’ll go away a little disappointed, but that’s one defeat in 11 for us now, so overall reasonably pleased,” he added.

The result leaves Winchester in 11th place, six points outside their season aim of a top eight finish, whilst Moneyfields are five points better off in 10th place.

Mark Lovell

Moneyfields vs Winchester City FC Highlights

Highlights produced by me for Winchester City FC's away match to Moneyfields on 07/11/09. From now on I will post the match reports and highlights packages I produce here, whilst highlights and match reports produced by other members of the sports team can be found at

Mark Lovell

New Milton vs Winchester City FC Match Report

New Milton Town FC vs Winchester City FC
New Milton FC vs Winchester City FC
Fawcett's Field 03/11/09

WINCHESTER city earned their third victory of the season on Tuesday night with a one nil win over local rivals New Milton Town.

City travelled to Fawcetts Field to face a New Milton side lying in 17th place with just three wins from their 15 matches. Winchester sat just two places higher having drawn ten of their matches so far this season.

The visitors pressured New Milton for majority of the first half but as has been a problem for City this season they were unable to find the end product to kill off their opponents and the first half ended goalless.

After the break it was New Milton who came out the livelier and put their opponents under a lot of pressure and forced City keeper Rory Anderson into a good save.

It was the introduction of Adam Roberts as a second half substitute for Adam ‘Pedro’ George on the 53rd minute. Roberts turned the game in Winchester’s favour as he began to dominate the midfield battle.

Just past the hour mark Winchester forced the New Milton ‘keeper into two great saves who kept his side in the game on a number of occasions.

However, City’s dominance proved too much for their opponents as they sealed victory on the 75th minute when Danny Cox slotted home Adam Roberts’ cross.

The relief for many of the travelling Winchester fans was clear as their side had finally closed a game out and added to this season’s number of victories and not the growing number of draws.

Mark Lovell

Same old Rooney?

Wayne Rooney
Picture courtesy of dullhunk.

I read an article in the Times today about Wayne Rooney by their Chief Sports Writer Simon Barnes. He starts by describing how Rooney used to be; "an unstoppable teenager who tore football matches in half just for the hell of it, the player who made the world afraid", but goes onto suggest that Rooney isn't that player anymore. We must be watching a different Rooney.

Rooney has been in superb form these last two seasons and I'm sure his current form especially will strike fear into many defences when the World Cup kicks off next year. Having captained England for the first time on Saturday in the 1-0 friendly loss to Brazil, Barnes suggests "nobody was really sure if he was playing," well I was. Rooney was one of the few players to come out of the match with any credit in my opinion. And before we start to slate the England performance, lets not forget that it was our second string against Brazil's first string. A first string that has the capabilities to lift the trophy in South Africa next year!

He suggests that Rooney has changed over the last five years. Let's have a look at his goalscoring record over the last five years...

2004/05 = 24 (5) Premier League appearances - 11 goals
2005/06 = 34 (2) Premier League appearances - 16 goals
2006/07 = 33 (2) Premier League appearances - 14 goals
2007/08 = 25 (2) Premier League appearances - 12 goals
2008/09 = 25 (5) Premier League appearances - 12 goals
2009/10  = 11 Premier League appearances - 7 goals so far. 
So this season Rooney score the most Premier League goals for Manchester United ever. Seems like if anything he's improved? I got my stats from the Manchester United website.

Then there's his England goal scoring record; 25 goals in 57 appearances, a very impressive record. The same guy who goes "missing" for England was also voted England player of the year by fans for 2008 after scoring 5 goals in his 8 competitive appearances. 

To suggest Rooney is a different player is fine, of course he will have changed from the 16 year old that was thrust into the limelight. He's matured, he's grown, but to suggest that has made him a worse player for England is a joke. Let's wait until the World Cup before we slate the team and one of our best players!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How To Get Into The Google Index

Getting into the Google Index is vital for all websites and blogs. Google is the number 1 website in the Alexa rankings ( That means that it is the most used search engine and therefore having your site in it's index can be vital for increasing site traffic. If your site isn't in it then it cannot be returned by a Google search. Here's how to get into it:

Step 1. Sign into Google Webmaster Tools with a Google account at

Step 2. Click 'Add a Site' and enter your site's URL.

Step 3. Select which verification method you wish to use, for this example we will use Meta Tag. You will then need to insert the Meta Tag html code into your site's home page. You will then have to wait until the Google 'spiders' have crawled your site to check and analyse your page.

Google spiders follow links and analyse the pages to put them into the index. The more times they crawl your page the better meaning regular updates are very important. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important also. You can check your sites progress at places like Alexa (above) and also, on seoworkers, under tools and then analyser to analyse and check your SEO.

How to Avoid Copyright Issues - Flickr

Flickr is a fantastic website for uploading photo's and images. It's especially useful for wannabe photographers to produce a portfolio of their photo's but it's becoming increasingly useful in my world of blogging. Here's how to use the photo's and avoid copyright issues:

Step 1. Go to and click 'search'

Step 2. Click 'Advanced Search'

Step 3. Scroll down to the bottom to "Creative Commons" section and select "only search within Creative Commons-licensed content." (You can also select for commercial use or adaptation.)

Step 4. Search for the Photo you wish to use, scroll to the bottom to see these options.

Step 5. Check what options are available for this photo. You must check you are free to "
to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work". If this is the case the person may require you to attribute their flickr account. You can do this by pasting the code into your website. If this isn't the case the you cannot use the image.

Step 6. Insert the image into your blog with attribution. Job Done!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WINOL Week 2 Critical Reflection
We had the second (and final) dummy run of WINOL this week and I think, overall, it was a much better production.

I feel that as a group of editors we ran our editorial conferences and production meetings much better. We didn't discuss the stories at length in the editorial conferences, just let the reporter sell his or her story and then we set deadlines and time limits etc which I found to be a much more efficient method.

As far as the sports side goes, I was fairly happy with what we put out but was disappointed to have only had football content. The reason for this was that our rugby story was cut due to the bulletin being too long, for next week, my team and I have arranged to cover a wider variety of sports. This is something I will look to continue to do when possible.

Another aspect I will work on with my team is sound quality of packages for the remaining productions as I want our bulletins to tick all the boxes in terms of production quality.

Once we had uploaded all of our sports content onto the hard drive I started to make myself available to help other members of the WINOL team, for example with editing packages that were getting close to deadlines.

We are in a fortunate position on Sports in the respect that the majority of our events are scheduled so filling our section of the bulletin should be easier than news. I have found in the first two weeks that it has been so this should allow us to work towards better quality packages for the rest of our WINOL bulletins.

We have also continued adding content to the Winchester Journalism website which can be found under the sports section.

This week's bulletin was much better as we managed to fill the 15 minutes and had full content, but there is still room for improvement which is something we will continue to work towards.

Points for improvement:
1) Sound quality of packages
2) Voice overs on highlights packages (so my reporters and I aren't just saying what we can see)
3) Cover a wider variety of sports
4) Improve the shots used for headlines

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paying for Online Content...

I read in the Independent today that Rupert Murdoch let slip last week that he has been talking to other publishers about how to charge online readers for the content produced on newspaper websites.

The principle behind it is that many people are turning to websites for their primary source of news as opposed to buying newspapers. Newspapers are obviously losing money from this as many people will choose to use the Internet and get the news from newspaper websites for free, instead of buying the actual paper. The Internet has had a massive effect on traditional media, especially newspapers, and will continue to run them out of business as many media experts have predicted. This year has seen two of the newspapers in the above image already go bust, The London Paper and The London Lite (admittedly these were freesheets!)

I found this article from 2006 in Time which states "Newspapers on paper are on the way out. Whether newspaper companies are on the way out too depends. Some of them are going to find the answers. And some are going to fritter away the years quarreling about staff cuts." (,9171,1538652-2,00.html)

I think a key player in all of this is advertising. As it says in the article above, newspaper companies could survive if they can keep advertising revenue from the online content, even if the newspapers themselves go bust. Increasing the advertising could also be key as advertising really is the lucrative market here.

The main opposition will come from people not wanting to pay for the content, especially as they are paying for their Internet connection already. But I think that this is something that could easily be counteracted.

I think if newspapers were to become extinct I'd consider paying for news from a professional news source, written by a professional journalist, mainly because I think the credibility of that compared to a blog written by 'some acned 12-year-old in his parents' basement recycling rumors from the Internet echo chamber' as the above article humorously suggests, would clearly be much more reliable. Credible journalism costs money so I would have to say that it isn't fair for readers to expect this for free. I'd still prefer a paper though!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Magic of The Cup!

The FA Cup

The first proper round of the FA Cup kicked off this weekend and once again I caught Cup fever! I only managed to catch today's match between Northwich Victoria and Charlton. It was a typical FA Cup match with the underdogs overcoming the bigger side and producing a really fantastic performance.

Northwich put in a performance to be proud of and deserve their place in the second round. Teenage substitute, Wayne Riley scored the decisive goal and that will surely be a moment he'll remember for all of his career.

Another Cup upset was Staines Town beating League Two Shrewsbury, whilst local side to me Eastleigh, making their debut in this round of the competition, lost to an injury time goal against Barrow.

The Cup is something that brings all football fans together and the thought of more giant killings is something I look forward to, especially when the Premier League teams come in and Saints beat Arsenal 5-0 at the Emirates!!


WINOL Week 1 Critical Reflection...

Winchester News Online Sport
So, we had the first week of WINOL(Winchester News Online) last week, the first dummy run I should say before we get going properly.
WINOL is a news programme that is being run by second and third year journalism students at The University of Winchester. We cover news and sports in Winchester and the surrounding areas. Third Year students have taken on the editorial positions whilst second years have taken on the staff positions.
As I have taken on the role of Sports Editor, my main tasks include organising my sports team, deciding which stories we are going to run and ensuring that these stories are produced on time and to the required broadcasting standard.

I think as a whole the sports section of the news bulletin this week was good as we included a good variety of packages which included different sports. We had two highlights packages (one football and one ice hockey), one NIB (news in brief) about the local rugby team and a graphic used as a NIB to preview the local sides involved in the FA Cup first round this weekend.

As a sports team we are required to produce content for the sports section of the news bulletin and also produce content for the news website ( We managed to fulfill our duties on both parts and I am very proud to say that the first published content on the WINOL website was from the sports team. This week I will be looking to get more content published on the website and will be aiming to have more content written regularly.

I think that my sports team worked very hard to produce the content they did. One thing I will make sure of next time is that all of the content is produced on Final Cut Pro instead of Premiere Pro as this caused some problems when it came to stacking the VT's ready for the bulletin. I have also told my reporters for this coming week to have content ready earlier, not because they were late last time (in fact they were all near enough on time...ish!) but because it all became a bit of a rush when we were nearing live time so it made sense to ensure that our deadline was earlier so that the run up to live time was smoother and more relaxed.
I will also try to ensure that all of my sports reporters are made available to other teams once they have completed their sports requirements as WINOL is a team effort and it is important that once individual team tasks have been completed that we work as a team to produce the best bulletin possible.
I think the main points to improve are perhaps the commentary on sports highlights packages, ensure my reporters write their own links, make sure we have standby packages in case some fall through and also to make sure I give the production team the precise timings for each story including the in and out words to make VT operation smoother.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Drunken Mistake?

After reading an opinion piece in The Times today by Melanie Reid I was left in two minds as to whether or not I agree with what she was saying. She was discussing the recent pictures that were printed in the national newspapers of a drunk 19 year old student urinating on a war memorial.

Melanie Reid explains how this student came to be in this awful position, he had been on a pub crawl called Carnage, which if you're a student reading this, I'm sure you've head of and many have probably been on! In some respects, I feel sorry for the student as many people in Britain have been in the position where they've consumed far too much alcohol and have done 'silly' things but in the same respect I think it is an absolutely disgusting act.

She goes on to blame the drinks industry and with her last line asks the question "Why weren't Carnage in the dock? That they weren't says it all." This is a reference to the fact that the student who urinated on the war memorial has been in court and could possibly face a jail sentence. I think that blaming the drinks industry is a cop out when it comes to people facing responsibility. Yes these bar crawls promote drinking and many people get extremely drunk when on them but surely that is the choice of the person? They are not forced to go on these crawls and many people I know who have been on them have always had an excellent time. The act of urinating on a war memorial is perhaps a result of going on the bar crawl organised by Carnage but he himself got into the state he was in and he himself urinated on the war memorial.

I see that this student has been made an example of and is in someways a scapegoat for the binge culture that is often plastered across the tabloids but in the same way I think after such a disgraceful act it was just, a war memorial is a place of remembrance and place that deserves so much better.

You can see the picture here:

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Football Fan Always Knows Best...

Rafa Benitez

A lot of this weeks sports coverage has revolved around the security of Rafa Benitez's job as Liverpool F.C. manager. Liverpool have had a pretty bad run of results recently (if you take away the 2-0 win over Manchester United!) But as the tabloids were busy rolling out the Halloween puns ("Hell-oween" and "Liverghoul" were too crackers) after Liverpool's latest loss against Fulham, I was thinking about Rafa's Liverpool achievements so far.

This poor form has made a lot of people to call for Rafa's head as Liverpool lie in sixth place after 11 games. I agree their current form does cause concern and I can understand many Liverpool fans being gutted to see their side seven points behind Manchester United and nine behind Chelsea but at the same time Rafa Benitez has done a fantastic job for his side. I think too many people believe Liverpool have a right to win the league this year after last season. Finishing second last year was a fantastic achievement and to push Fergie's men most of the way is even more of an achievement and clearly shows the improvement under Rafa. Then there's the Champions League win in his first season at the club, the F.A. Cup win the following year which was followed by a Champions League runners up medal the following season (which was then followed by the already mentioned runners up Premier League season the year after!)

Rafa has clearly been a success at Liverpool and perhaps another huge success can be the signing of Fernando Torres, probably, if not, THE best striker in the world? An absolute bargain at around £20million. But that has also caused a problem for the Spaniard. Rafa's use of Torres when he hasn't been fully fit or use of him in his 'rotation' policy has also drawn criticism from fans and the press. If Torres wasn't fully fit then taking him off against Fulham was the right decision as even if it isn't the top priority of the Kop (compared with Premier League glory), The Champions League game against Lyon is financially very important for Liverpool and Torres could be vital. That is unfortunately the fault of money driven modern football, not Rafa Benitez.

Perhaps Liverpool aren't title contenders this season but I wouldn't say they are totally dead and buried, there is bound to be more success and improvements under Benitez at Anfield and I am sure if he is left to carry on he can improve on the second place in the Premier League that he achieved last season.

Football commentators, football pundits and more importantly football fans (myself included) always think they know better than the manager, and think they could do a better job. Clearly, I'd have Southampton F.C. in the Champions League by now, right?