Tag Archives: journalism

Eamonn Matthews told journalism students to “tell the truth”

18 Nov

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Unreported World‘s Eamonn Matthews emphasized the importance of truth in TV production during a talk to students on Tuesday. “Our duty is to tell the truth.” He said.

The managing director of Quicksilver Media and producer from Channel 4 gave a lecture to students at the University of Westminster about how to execute good TV journalism.

“TV journalism has a duty to put cameras to places that people don’t want you to.” said Eamonn Matthews on the cruciality of transgression in the production of Unreported World.

He also pointed out that secret filmming is “important to TV” in the pursuit of the truth, but it must be conducted “in a proper way”.

The expense of the truth

Eamonn Matthews has also acknowledged that truth-telling is likely to sabotage the safety of people who are involved in the prgramme production. There is a possiblity of being taken to the court.

“Don’t tell lies,” He said to students on facing a legal issue, “Do it in a straightforward way. Straightforward journalism is the best defense.”

In terms of physical safety, he has mentioned that reporters are constantly under threats, among which car crashes and kidnaps are most prominent menaces.

Eamonn Matthews is talking about the truth in TV journalism at the University of Westminster

Being asked about the possibility of reporters suffering from psychological traumas, Eamonn Matthews told students that “it happens sometimes”.

“They will talk to someone, “He added, “But for most of the time they are robust characters. They must keep their humanity as well as working.”

In the respect of the truth, it is sometimes necessary to oppress emotions, as he has also stressed that journalists should not interfere too much into the subject’s life even while reporting stories that may provoke sympathy.

Elements of good truth-telling

Eamonn Matthews believes that TV journalism can reveal the truth in a better way than other platforms such as the newspaper, as he said: “TV can bring alive what is real in the middle of the world.”

“There are real things happening, and only TV can do this job. It can take you to a place and make you feel you are there”. He added. Therefore he thinks that the story is the first thing that shoud be considered before filmming anything.

Apart from the story, he has also stressed the character and the narrative as the other two crucial elements for genuine TV journalism.


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.

Attention! Incoming the new presenting tool

16 Nov

Prezi is a new tool that can be utilised by anyone who need to do a presentation. Unlike the popular Powerpoint of Microsoft Office, Prezi provides a chance with the audience to see the big picture of your presentation.
However problems can me met if you are using the free or trial version. It is not that convenient to choose font and colours of the words.
Although it is fairly easy to use it to generate a simple but cool enough experience of presenting slides (if you say so), it will take time or even money to make it perfect looking.
Click here to another page for my work done for our Issues in Journalism module.

The Girl with A Travelling Heart and A Camera

8 Nov

* Below is my work after a killing afternoon. Once I felt that I hated these two teachers. Now I realize that they were just trying to simulating the situation in a real newsroom. I love this job even more now.


She sits down wearing her scalf, holding her camera. Adjusting herself to the chair indicates her abundant energy. “Let’s get started.” She said.

Rashmi Narayan, journalism student at the University of Westminster, lives with an energetic heart and her pictures.

A travelling heart

Rashimi never stops travelling. The rest of the world is just so tempting that she cannot resist the allure. “I like running out.” She says with a big and proud smile.

“I tend to go extreme. I’d like to go to either very big cities or somewhere that nobody has ever been there before.” Says Rashmi with a serious attitude. For her, places like London and some anonymous Pacific island bear the same interest.

Rashmi Narayan with her camera in the newsroom

She is a huge fan of big cities. Coming from Bangalore, India, which in her words is a “small city”, she is keen to explore metropolis in the world.

She appears to be quite exited trip to the United States during the Christmas holiday, but she soon turns disappointed when she knows that New York is not on her route. Instead she will go to Texas to meet her sister.

“I have many friends there,” says Rashmi on her trip to Texas with detectable disappoint, “It is boring, not festive and there is nothing colourful”.

“Bangalore is not a big city. Bangalore has no life. I love city with life. People are saying that Bangalore is a good city, and there are so many things there. But I’d rather to leave it there.” Rashmi loves Bangalore as the place where she was born but not as the place to explore.

She finds her passion in big cities because there are many opportunities for her, ranging from technology to arts and entertainments.

Also because she is a student, she tries to grab every chance to embrace the rest of the world before starting her career.

She says :“I’d like to gain experience that I can take home when I am still young. When you are working, there is no time. I can make time for this, but it’s not free. When you are a student, you don’t have many responsibilities to bear. ”

She fancies enriching her knowledge and conception through travelling. She always goes to a place with a certain notion, but sometimes the destination can also let her down.

The trip to Egypt seems like that destination. She says: “People there don’t know much about Egypt. They can show me the direction of some place if I ask. But when I ask something about the Sphinx, they don’t know about it.” That is the experience that actually changes rather than enriching  her notion about a place.

“Camera is my life.”

Asking about the only thing that she will take out of the room when there is the fire alarm, Rashmi named her camera.

To her, pictures can help her recording memory. She says: “Every picture speaks to me. With a camera, I can see the pictures again and again.”

However according her it seems not a domain to start a career. “Many people people have talked about this to me. But when it becomes your profession, people start to expect much from you. It is more free as a hobby”, says Rashmi with a smile on her face, again.

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.

It’s all business, but we made this

31 Oct

Dr. Taya Thussu from the India Media Centre gave us a lecture on 25th October, talking abut “infortainment”, which mean news that is treated for entertainment.

The market conception in news production is very logical. Sponsors want to sell their products, so they need time/coverage for publicity. Owners of media need to make profit from media outputs, so they will influence to provide what the audience want and to make sponsors happy. So technically if the owner of the media is rather profit-oriented or does not have a healthy financial situation, the media will hardly operate independently. The US is a highly commercialized society, which make infortainment an understandable output.Of course we are still talking about media independence and ethics, but without money, they are only utopian conceptions. It’s all business.

Within the communication process, it seems that the audience are only passive receivers of information, and that they cannot do much about what to watch and to read. But the modern audience theory indicates that audience can actually be quite active. Audiences can decide whether the idea from the media output is acceptable or not. They can execute their own process of decoding. There can be many results out of many decoding processes, as different people bear different situations. But there is a prerequisite. That is, people need to be critical enough. Audiences need a certain degree of education and be reflective enough.

The problem is, people in these days do not think much about what they get from the media. “I have been work for the whole day, why should I bother what’s on the media? Leave them to the academics.” That’s probably what most people will think.

People are pragmatic. They turn to the media for a need. The media will fail if it cannot satisfy people’s need. The dark side for today’s newsroom is that people tend to entertain themselves rather than actually accumulating some knowledge. That is why tabloids sell. Hard news like politics can actually make people bored. People need relax.

As an answer to people’s need, the media start to provide what people need, rather than holding the journalism principle. That is how the media can attract audiences and therefore survive. It’s all business, and we made this.

A new flavour of journalism (Article posted on 18 October 2010, transferred from another blog)

19 Oct

Journalism is a broad subject, under which there are many specialists, such as sports, travel, business and so forth. Just like selling normal goods, there is a trend of pursuing a niche market, which guarantees that everyone get what he/she wants. So is the situation for journalism. An important part of journalism is to sell news, e.g. to attract readers in order to reach as many people as possible. This may be why there are so many different specialists under the subject of journalism.

Today we’ve been introduced a new way of writing stories. Today’s subject is lifestyle journalism. I myself am even not sure what lifestyle is, but one thing that I am sure is that it is everywhere in our life.

For journalists, it is important to notice that the way of writing and structuring a story is quite different form that of a news story or even a news feature. Concerning lifestyle writing, you must show your passion with attractive words. Impartiality and fairness can sometimes even be compromised, which can not be imaged in the context of news writing.

I would say that to write articles with a different style is really a funny thing. To taste this new flavour of journalism is like to find a brand new part of my brain.

Below is my work in the class, which may probably make some sense. In this article I covered the Portobello Market, one of London’s most famous market and a tourist spot now.

Copyright held by the blogger.                                                                                             Pitcure copyright held by the blogger.

Are you bored on Saturday? Then going to one of London’s most famous (and some say the world famous!) markets is a good choice. Every Saturday form 8 am to 5 pm, London’s Portobello market will never let you down. Get ready for a feast for your eyes, nose and even those greedy taste buds!

It is better be a clear and sunny day, as you will not want to ruin your good mood – though this does not happen regularly in London.

So now we have a good weather. What else? Probably patience, but sometimes we also need tolerance. Portobello market is growing almost as a tourist spot. The bright side is the atmosphere of every Saturday on the Portobello Road will be incredibly fantastic. But the dark side is, you almost cannot avoid floods of people.

Then comes the shining part of the market. If you are a fan of boutiques that sell various goods, then Portobello market is your paradise. From books to cooking wares, from paintings to leather products, you name it. If you are just a window shopper, it might even be too dazzling.

Now you’ve seen loads of interesting boutiques. It’s time for some refreshments. Foods and drinks are never in short on Saturday’s Portobello Road. Something that is worthy to try is the Spanish paella. Choices can be made between chicken and seafood flavour, either of which will simply bring your stomach into heaven.

What about some street show? Street artists bring their original work to the market, enriching the atmosphere with some sounds of Muses.

Answering the call of nature can be a small problem at Portobello Market. Public toilets do exist but normally they are either hard to be found or far away. A tip is to try to go to those bars at the street side.

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