Tag Archives: BBC

Why “unpatriotic” BBC might help England win 2018 bid

23 Nov

How powerful are media today? John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Tiger Woods will say that they are ruthless and devil-cursed monsters that can bite you till your reputation is ruined.

England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson may share with them the same idea, as he accused the BBC‘s plan of being “unpatriotic” of releasing a documentary about the bidding scandal of 2018 World Cup just two days before the result will be announced on 2 December by the world football governing body FIFA.

But don’t forget one plain fact, the media are not always angels of darkness. In many cases they are two-edged swords, which means they also bear the capability to make things right.

Integrity of a nation

Whatever event the BBC covers, or wherever the BBC goes, there is one thing that cannot be changed – it is a British media, with well-known journalistic impartiality and independence.

Therefore to a large extent, its voice will be quoted as how the Britain as a nation thinks in an impartial and independent way.

Its plan to put the investigative documentary on the Panorama programme can be considered as a behaviour that proves its duty to the truth, again.

Rather than damaging the bid, what the BBC has planned to do can add more credits to the integrity of Britain by showing that the nation is not trying to avoid some facts that may sabotage the whole plan, that the nation has realised what is right and what is wrong.

The BBC could help England win the 2018 World Cup

Conversely, Mr. Andy Anson’s public accusation sounds more like a defense, actually a very weak one for what they and the FIFA both know that could be true.

Avoidance rather than frankness will only amplify the deficit of confidence that England has for 2018.

The “cold turkey” therapy

Like drugs, a scandal can be equivalently stubborn and hard to tackle with gradual and mild ways. To finish the pain, sometimes the “cold turkey” is necessary.

Like what Margaret Thatcher did to the British economy in the 1980s, the scandal saga about the 2018 bid needs a cold and quick finish, although it may not taste quite sweet at the very beginning. But it is better than suffering from chronic diseases.

The BBC has done the England bidding team a great favour by opening Pandora’s Box once and ever.

If there is really something negative happened, the release of the documentary will make a closure for the saga. On the morning of the next day, England should be largely relieved from the unbearable moral burden.

After all, the FIFA is judging the “soft” and “hard” power of a candidate country on a whole scale. A scandal may leave England stained a little but it will not erase the long football history and its preparation for the World Cup.


Travellers Keep Plans to Germany Despite Terrorism Threat

17 Nov

Itineraries in Germany are not influenced although terrorist attacks are said to take place in the end of November.

Germany holds information that Islamic radicals plan to execute attacks, putting Christmas tourism under significant threat.

However travellers tend to keep their initial plans to go to Germany, taking terrorist attacks as a lesser serious factor.

“My journey won’t be changed,” says Xudong Zeng, a Chinese student in the UK who has planned to go to Germany during Christmas holiday, “Nobody knows what will really happen. As a matter of fact, living the world itself contains a lot of fatal threats.”

Zeng seems to be echoed by Zheng Zhou, who intends to travel to Germany in Easter holiday next year. “It won’t affect my intention to go to Germany. Of course there will be some worry about it, but not much. ” Zhou says.

Move of government

German tourism under threat of terrorism

The German government has strengthened the security at airports and stations in response of possible attacks.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the BBC today that the strengthened security would be in practice “until further notice”.

The quick reaction of the German government helps keep travellers’ confidence in the security situation of their coming journey.

Xudong Zeng said that she was less worried about the terrorist attack because of the extra security in transporting hubs in Germany.

She also said that she now took terrorism in a much less serious way because she was previously warned by the media that there would be attacks in the UK, but nothing serious have ever happened since then.

The Europe has been plagued by terrorist attacks since October. Germany and France are under severe threat of terrorism.

UK travellers were warned by the Foreign Office as the threat level over Europe was raised from “general” to “high” in October.

As a main tourist destination during Christmas, Germany attended the World Travel Market which took place from 8th to 11th of November in London.

Facebook Releases New Messaginng Experience

16 Nov

Facebook revamps its messaging system to deliver its users a different experience of communication online.

Mark Zuckerberg’s popular social networking site is said to synchronize SMS, Facebook chat, and IM in its new messaging system. Users will be able to have an @facebook.com email address.

“This is not an e-mail killer,” the young billionnaire told the BBC, “It is a messaging system that includes e-mail as part of it.”

“It will handle messages across all the ways you want to communicate.” He added.

Will a messaging system of a social networking site change the idea of email?

The 21st century email with trouble

The new Facebook messaging system intends to provide users of the social networking site to have communications of “lightweight”, according to Zuckerberg.

It will be rather convenient to disseminate a message to different platforms within one emailing system, but this also gives the chance to spams to spread just as fast as one can send a message.

It is also questionable that people who use email for formal causes may keep their existing service as the new system provided by a social networking site might be too casual.

“Gmail Killer”

The idea of combining electric communication tools is not new. Google’s gmail has already realized it by its gmail service. Users of gmail can send email as welll as IM and online chat.

Perhaps this is partially why the term “Gmail Killer” was picked up many times, apart from the competing intention that Facebook shows towards the giant searching corporation.

Although Zuckerberg is keeping denying that Facebook messaging is not a Gmail killer, it is hard to conceal his ambitions to introduce a competitive revolution into the emailing service.

Google combines communicating tools but stays as a mail service on the basis, while Facebook makes this move as a social networking site. It is left to the time to tell who will be successful eventually but the trend of convengence of communication tools is already detectable.

One step to the cap for Jay Bothroyd

14 Nov

England manager Fabio Capello released his squad for Wednesday’s friendly game against France at Wembley Stadium. Jay Bothroyd is about to receive his first cap for England if he made his appearace.

The striker from Cardiff City has showed a phenomenal condition as he scored for his club in the last consecutive games.

If Bothroyd manage to stand on the pitch at Wembley, he will become the first serving Championship player who play for the national team.

Jay Bothroyd’s inclusion in Capello’s squad has aroused enormous welcome and excitement among Cadiff City fans.

“Well Done Jay,” says one fan named “Roath Bluebird” on a forum of Cardiff City supporters, “Definitely deserved on this seasons performances.”

Still one step away

However the 28-year-old striker still needs some luck to prevent his cap from being blown away as competition on the attacking line is severe.

Together with Bothroyd, Fabio Capello also calls in Andy Caroll, the 21-year-old striker from Newcastle United, “the one for the future for England” in the words of the manager.

Gabriel Agbonlahor  from West Ham United and Peter Crouch from Tottenham Hotspur are also included in the squad as Capello’s attacking options.

While star striker Wayne Rooney from Manchester United is absent due to injury.

The international friendly game of England versus France will kick off at 20:00 GMT on Wednesday 17th November at Wembley Stadium.

This is also the final appearance of England in the international games in the year 2010.


England squad in full:

Foster (Birmingham), Hart (Man City), Green (West Ham); Gibbs (Arsenal), Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Jagielka (Everton), Lescott (Man City), Richards (Man City), Ferdinand (Man Utd), Smalling (Man Utd); Walcott (Arsenal), Wilshere (Arsenal), Young (Aston Villa), Gerrard (Liverpool), Barry (Man City), Johnson (Man City), Milner (Man City), Henderson (Sunderland); Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Bothroyd (Cardiff), Carroll (Newcastle), Crouch (Tottenham).

Tell me you didn’t have an agenda in your mind, please

8 Nov

Being the world’s largest developing country and a rocketing economy, it is not surprising to see China on the news agenda of British media. But it IS a little surprising when I see a Chinese artist being under house arrest so easily finds its place on the news agenda.

Ai Weiwei was under house arrest on Friday at his home in Beijing. This story was easily picked up by British media like the BBC and the Times.

Continuity of the previous agenda?

There must be something to do with his recent work on display. Last month Ai has just filled Turbine Hall of Tate Modern with 100 million hand-painted ceramic sunflower seeds. This is apparently news worthy for British media as it perfectly satisfy the criteria of proximity, supelativeness and to some extent quirky.

Especially after the picture with Ai holding his seeds has been displayed again and again by the media, some impression will be implanted in brains of British people. It is also understandable that it will ring their bells when something (especially bad) happens to this (crazy) modern artist.

But this is not enough to put him onto the news agenda again.

Beyond art

When we are talking about this, we must first know what kind of person our subject is.

The Times describes him as “an outspoken critic of the ruling Communist Party, and a man whose political activism is reflected in his art”. In other words, our subject is somehow in a tricky relation with the Chinese government.

Thanks to The Times pointing out the ruling party, I can hear Noam Chomsky reminding us of the “Propaganda Model”.

To put it in a simple way, the “Propaganda Model” refers to several factors that may influence media outputs. There are basically five filters within the news producing process. Ideology is one of them.

Putting this in mind, we can now to some extent understand why a Chinese artist with political activism could easily find its way to the agenda.

Because the news institution itself has an agenda in its mind.When bringing Ai Weiwei again to the news agenda, it is beyond just art.

Conspiracy talking

I must sound a little about conspiracy now, but so do British media.

Being an uprising economy also means an easy way of being demonized. Plus there is the ideological difference. These factors makes the Chinese government an easy target especially when coming to human rights.

In this sense, Ai Weiwei’s case is a perfect story of a Chinese political activist being in trap set by the evil government. He is one part of the long-term news agenda.

Kindle won’t change anything

3 Nov

Kindle can be used as a tool to browse the Internet

The BBC says yesterday that Kindle can bypass China’s Great Firewall, but it will not change anything about Internet censorship in China.

Another way towards liberty?

By the first glance at this piece of news I am very pleased with it, as there is one more way to get access to the real world. Chinese people are obssessed with the notorious Great Firewall (and I am not saying it good or bad) for many years. As a result, they cannot browse sites like Youtube and Facebook via an IP in China.

The government always tries to convince its people that this is for the consideration of national security and social stability – I myself still think so – but this means that the Internet is not open any more for Chinese people. There are something happening on the cyber space where they actually cannot but theoretically they should get access to.

Since the day that the Wall fell, Chinese people have been looking for ways to get over it. People in China now can log on to those banned sites with the assistance of computer technology.

Kindle’s fancy function – whether it is realized consciously or unconsciously – provides an alternative way for people in China to be able to see the whole landscape of the Internet, which should be safeguarded.

No big change

There is by so far no sign of any agreement between Amazon and the Chinese government. This possibility can be really trivial considering the attitude held by the government towards the American company Google. In terms of social stability, Beijing tend to apply an unswerving stance. There is absolutely no space for negotiation.

The reason why this gray function of Kindle is still on-going instead of being prohibit, is that the government wants it to be there. In other words, the government does not care about the influence of this function…yet.

As a portable e-paper reader, Amazon’s Kindle still lacks popularity. According to the BBC, a Kindle will cost from 1200 (£112) to 3500 (£327) yuan. Although the price is similar to that of a mobile phone, the idea of reading electronically is brand new to Chinese people.

Not until people in all coastal and some inland cities use Kindle to surf the Internet, the government will not call for halt on it. Before this is realized, its influence is rather limited.

Oops, I’ve chosen the Gaga course

3 Nov

We won’t wait very long to hear students in the University of South Carolina to say so, as the university has launched a course about Lady Gaga and her fame, according to the BBC.

Bound to sell

This is a course that is bound to attract interests. There is no doubt about a pop star being the most prominent selling point. Just like news, celebs always sell. In this voyeuristic society, people feel satisfied to see what happens to stars. On one hand people need someone to worship, on the other hand they need to unveil their star to know everything about him/her.

The second eyeball attractor is the rare combination of celebs and academia. Whenever these two elements go together, it is quirky and therefore newsworthy. Pop culture stands for consumerism. People tend to consume and forget. The only unchangeable trend is change. Sociology is far more rational. It analyzes, it deconstructs and sometimes it bores.

It reminds me of the American TV series called The Big Bang Theory, where several scientists are presented as hilarious figures. It is another way of combine pop culture and academia, and it works. More importantly, it sells.

A living course

Now sociologists want to sit down and look into some popular figure and her fame. Research used to lag behind what actually happens in the real world. But not for this course. One of the most interesting part of this course is that it is living.

Let me introduce the name of the course: Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame. According to the BBC, course leader Prof. Mathieu Deflem initially intended to call this course “Sociology of Fame” or “The Sociology of Celebrity”. My favourite part is, the subject of this course is alive and so is her career. The content of the course may go together with her career. Ups and downs can be perfect cases for sociology, and people who are involved in this course never know what will happen to their subject in the future. The course breathes with the subject.



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