Thursday, 29 November 2012

It's out...

The Leveson Report was finally published today and it’s clear that my post on Tuesday shaped the content. A tougher system of self-regulation backed by law has been recommended and I feel this is the perfect solution. As I said before, a change to the media is needed but it needs to be independent of politicians and the press itself.  

Some people are sceptical that involving the law will turn the UK into a supressed state such as China and it will be the end of ‘free press’. This is a false mis-conception because it wouldn’t control media output, a law would merely mean that people (Richard Desmond) would not be able to dismiss the Code of Conduct and journalists wouldn’t be allowed to constantly use the public interest argument to get out of trouble.

However, I did say I felt sorry for David Cameron but I no longer do. Although Ed Miliband is exploiting the situation so that everyone turns on the Conservatives, him and the weak-minded individual they call Nick Clegg are right. The proposals should be listened to, and this includes a change in legislation. And this needs to happen soon, why wait?

Overall, as a young journalist, my future depended on this verdict and I am pleased with Lord Justice Leveson’s report, It’s not over yet though and I urge the government once again to act upon the findings. Not only is it in the people’s interests but also your position in Parliament. Failure to follow the advice will definitely lose you the election.

I was going to head up to Westminster to try and put pressure on Cameron. But it’s cold, I got in from Everton in the early hours and I can speak to Ann Maine on Monday.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

What next?

I did say you wouldn’t see me until Thursday but I just wanted to briefly speak about the forthcoming verdict from Lord Justice Leveson. I’ve mentioned the importance of free speech before but I can see where the victims of phone hacking are coming from so I’m in a bit of a quandary. The media cannot (I repeat), cannot be controlled by the government but a solution is needed. That’s why (I can’t believe I’m saying this but) I feel sorry for David Cameron, as he can do no right over the issue. I was going to lobby my MP on Thursday but we will instead discuss media reform next week when I go and do work experience for her.

My suggestion is a system of tougher self-regulation. Now, I realise this hasn’t worked in the past but I really feel everything that has happened in the media world has changed the industry for the better. Young journalists are now getting rigorous training in Professionalism & Ethics (like my class) so it is apparent what is right and wrong from day one. Note how most journalists who were caught being unethical such as Rebekah Brooks are older. I don’t mean to be ageist but there is a clear pattern, which suggests that established hacks seem to think they’re invincible. The emerging generation within the industry do not share this sense of entitlement.

Therefore, journalists who are just starting out should not be handicapped with legislation restricting the press just because of a minority of old-school journalists. Young people are normally blamed for most of societies ills but if the media does end up being regulated, young journalists will be the innocent victims of mistakes made by the ‘experienced’.

The Report is made public Thursday afternoon so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I’ll give an updated opinion when I’ve digested it.

I’m off to a rather controversial lecture that I’ll be reporting on. But shhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m not a journalist. And I promise to keep you all updated.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Bye for now!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

I could've been a rich man...

Have you heard about that 17 year old boy from England who created a news app for smart phones called Summly? It’s pretty old news but I was going to blog about it before but I forgot. His idea has attracted over 1 Million pounds in investment to date from various people including Rupert Murdoch. You may not believe me but I came up with a very similar idea so if I had followed it up, perhaps I would be rolling in the money living the high life instead of being a poor student. I need to find my GCSE media work to prove it but I might aswell explain my concept seems as it has now already been done.

Like Nick D’Aloisio (Summly founder), I recognised that newspapers need to incorporate technology to attract young people because most (not me) don’t buy traditional print copies. This is mostly because in the modern internet age, where news is instant, people have less time and don’t want to read long articles. I therefore proposed an iTunes style online paper where the headlines and a brief summary were available for free (like Summly). Then you could purchase the full article for something like 10p. And columns from celebrities could be 20p.

After speaking to friends and family a few years ago, they said it wouldn’t work because you can just go and buy the whole newspaper for 20p. But D’Aloisio has proved them wrong and I regret not at least pitching my idea to an investor. So, the moral of the story is to follow your instincts even if you could fail and don’t regret decisions. It’s cliché but true.

Busy week ahead so I’ll try to blog but if not, you may have to wait until Thursday.

Bye for now!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

In the away end (sort of)

I absolutely love going to away matches and, although our performance was again abject to say the least today, that is why I’ll be up in Everton to support the boys on Wednesday night. But, I do have one grievance with certain stadiums and where they put the visiting wheelchair users.

Just because someone is disabled does not mean they have no emotions. Now, I haven’t been to all the away grounds but this seems to be the thought process at Liverpool, West Ham and today at Aston Villa. There are many reasons why I think this is out of order and clubs should think about re-locating the travelling support.

Firstly, it means that you have to stay quiet and if you don’t (like me today), you look like a mental person which attracts a few looks. Secondly, you feel vulnerable to attack. Not being melodramatic but at West Ham in particular, I was celebrating a goal in my usual intense manner and I thought things were going to kick-off. I wasn’t intentionally goading the fans but all I’m saying is if the away fans were in with me at the Emirates, I’d get annoyed (Barcelona a few years ago). Thirdly, you feel isolated and cut-off from your ‘family’ of fellow Gooners. It’s like modern day segregation and I’m not standing for it (literally).

So, I want clubs to take heed and put us disabled lot in the away end. I want to be thanked by players (even if it is a few claps above the head) and not sat on the other side of the stadium.

Rant over but I need to vent that one. Blame Gervinho!!!

Bye for now!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Question Time...

Every Thursday night at 10.35pm without fail (except last week), I snuggle up in bed to watch Question Time on the nation's favourite channel, BBC One. Aren't you jealous? Talk about living the high life. So, why am I not out like a normal student. Three reasons. 1. I'm bored of lifts (see previous post) 2. I have to get up at 8am for a lecture (early by my standards) and 3. I enjoy a good debate which ends in me shouting at the T.V.

I've always wanted to be in the audience but unfortunately, my applications have not been successful. Perhaps this is best as I might end up like that woman shouting last night who David Dimbleby sternly told off. "Madame, please don't shout out from the back" His face was a picture. If you missed it, go on iPlayer and watch it from 55:40. Comedy gold. She was only interrupting Charles Kennedy. Who cares?

Anyway, my point is that's how passionate I get at home. But, I can work on my restraint and learn to argue my point better like journalist Owen Jones. I have enormous respect for him and agree with most of what he says. I too want to eventually work for the national press and appear on the QT panel so he may be a good model for me.

Right, enough of my aspirations. Up to Birmingham for a bit of Arse tomnorrow.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Landmark figure...

Last night, I reached 10, 000 readers of my blog. There is no way of me knowing exactly whom it was otherwise I’d do some kind of prize draw like a footballer. If I get to 20,000 by my birthday (30th Dec), which is unlikely, I’ll give a few prizes away. So, that means if you want a signed photo of me, you have to spread the word.

But seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people that read the drivel I write. I think the blog title is a bit of false advertising. I’m not getting up to exciting adventures like the title implies so I don’t get the fascination. It’s probably because of my endless plugs on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps, I should take my publicity up a gear and go on the Jonathan Ross show.

If you’ve met me at University, make sure you read my previous posts as well so you get a full picture of Wheelchair Boy. Don’t worry, I’ve only done 52 so I’m still only a baby.

Bye for now!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Getting into the festive spirit...

I love this time of the year. I know it’s not even December yet so I can’t decorate my room but after Bonfire night, what else have we to get us through the freezing cold winter period? I’m an atheist (hope I haven’t shocked anyone with that revelation) so the festival isn’t significant for me and I’m no longer a child (although some people think I am) so the presents aren’t everything to me. But, what I like is the whole feeling you get from being around family and friends at this time of the year.

Regarding presents, obviously I’d like some (lots) but who wouldn’t? All I’m trying to say is that they are not the sole part of my celebrations anymore. To tell the truth, I enjoy buying gifts just as much as I do receiving them. I get taken in by all the colourful advertisements and the buzz around the busy shoppers. And without sounding like Jimmy Savile (excuse the dark humour), it’s great to see children full of joy.

So, forgive my Christmassy tweets and Facebook statuses from now until next year. It’s not only the 25th that is the key date but also the birthday of the true saviour on the 30th (19 this year!?) before it’s time for a new year. That’s if the world doesn’t end on the 21st

By the way, yes, I have been playing my two Glee Christmas Albums loudly and proudly. I’m not ashamed. I was born this way!

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Good luck...

I’m starting my blog with yet another apology. This time I’m sorry for leaving it so late to post. I’ve been busy all evening sending off my CV and letters in the search of some work experience. Also, my flatmates have been distracting me with nostalgic conversations about EastEnders which brought up interesting topics to say the least.

Basically, the reason I haven’t skipped tonight’s post is because I want to wish my fellow students the best tomorrow when they go to the NUS led #Demo outside parliament. I definitely will be there in spirit but can’t make it, partly because I’d have to get up early, partly because I’d miss a lecture but mainly because I’m going to Arsenal tomorrow night. I fully back the march. Just because the government have already imposed the fees doesn’t mean young people should stop complaining and accept them. It’s a democratic right to protest and speak out for what you believe in. That is why if you are going tomorrow, I commend you for not letting your voice be suppressed.

In other news, my dad had Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson in the back of his taxi today and, after speaking to my dad, she wants to meet me.  So, the future looks very bright indeed. This Wheelchair Boy has so many more adventures on the way.

Bye for now!