Saturday, 27 February 2010



To Existentialists, there are no reasons, there is no particular purpose - existence is the only thing there is. But it's not as simple as that.

They say nothing has any point, so when people say "I don't care" or "whatever", it is an existentialist trait.

But (using instead of 'however' just to please Chris - 'bad faith'), in Jean-Paul Sartre's 'Existentialism is Humanism',

It may appear grim for somebody to have these views, but some of their philosophy is definitly valuable.

Albert Camus - 'The Outsider'

This book involves a white man who decides to murder a black man for no reason. This draws upon the Existentialist attitude that there should be no limit to action and self-expressionism - even if it involves killing another human being.

"Might as well, it's as pointless as anything else."

Another interesting aspect of the philosophy comes when the man is told to apologise in court, but he refuses as he simply isn't sorry. It enforces the strong belief in Existentialism that avoids conforming. For example, to conform would be to apologise, just to get a shorter sentence.

Jean-Paul Sartre - 'Nausea'

'Nausea' tells a story of a man who is trapped after getting a woman pregnant. He doesn't know whether to leave her or ask her to get an abortion etc.

As a result, he constantly suffers with nausea as he is reliant upon her decision. This brings about Sartre's famous quote: "hell is other people".

The moral of this story is to act make your own choices before somebody else decides for you. More importantly, once you have decided, you should make a passionate commitment to fulfilling it.

Generally, Existentialists think one of the main purposes of life is to make a passionate commitment to something (e.g. - Me following Saints FC until I die!)

Non-teleological thinkers

Existentialists believe that Western philosophers have made a mistake in looking for being.

Instead, they think that life is one big void of nothingness. There is no reason for anything.

This contradicts teleological thinkers such as Hegel and Marx who say everything has a purpose (e.g. - we live a good life to get back to the Garden of Eden).

Positive elements of Existentialism

Existentialists very much endorse 'personal liberation' and reject the idea that one should conform to what ever stereotype they may be attached with.

They believe you are born with a story (thrownness), and it is up to you to re-tell this story. The past has gone, the future is yet to come, so live for the 'eternal now.'

Always act in good faith, in that you should be honest rather than fake in what you do. Existentialists hated the Nazis as their policies were largely based on lies (bad faith towards Germans).

'So-called existence'

'So-called existence' is the theory that people should go through certain rites of passage in life at specific times (e.g. - going to school at 5, getting married in your 20s).

Existentialists strongly disagree with this idea and say you should hit these milestones at any point you want - or not as the case may be.

Existential Oppression

Existentialists believe that nobody can and/or should be summed up.

For example, they hate any assertion that women shouldn't play sport. This is called 'Existential Oppression'.


Some believe Existentialism is just Marxism minus teleology (i.e - change/revolution, but for no reason).

After the epic failure in Communist Russia, some say that it was an example of neo-Marxism - an attempt to reinvigorate the class struggle between the bourgeoisie (now called determinists) and the proletariat (non-determinists).

This resembles Nietzsche's idea: "determine your own destiny or somebody will determine it for you."

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Planning planning planning!

On Monday, I was a planning like crazy, making the most of the little there is to plan for. I was given the run around by Hampshire County Council when I enquired about their budget, but we'll be back!

Unfortunately, the friendliest press officer appears to be from the Environment Agency - one of the least newsworthy sources for Winchester at the moment.

On Tuesday, I went out filming with Tom on his 'paedo story'. The interview of one of the victims, that came just after sentencing, was quite emotional so it was beneficial to have experienced it. In journalism, one can't make a living interviewing politicians all the time, you have to be in more difficult situations at times. This is my first experience of a true crime story and it was valuable that I was able to go through it.

During Wednesday's morning meeting, it became clear that we were light on material. It enforced the need for 'stock' stories, packages that are almost timeless, in the event of these slow weeks.

Sports Editor Grant Payne did well to cover up for the light material by using his contacts; he managed to get a last minute interview with Winchester's Rugby Coach Mike Marchant. Yours truly was also good at playing the Sports team's taxi to make it happen!

Monday, 22 February 2010



Me and Grant noticed that the latest Bournemouth Match Report was called...'Bournemouth Match Report'!

This is so bad. Why?

REASON 1: We do not know what report it is! Is it on their last game? The Rochdale game? The Torquay game? For example, a Saints fan will go looking for a report on a specific game (i.e - last game, Norwich) not any old 'Saints Match Report.'

REASON 2: It just looks awful. If I was Sports Editor of the BBC, I would want to sack the person who wrote 'Saints/Bournemouth/Winchester City Match Report' as their title/headline/thing you click on to get full story!

If we can't do a clever play on words as our headline (e.g - Guy Butters Winchester Up) then just use the score as the headline (e.g - Norwich 0-2 Southampton).

You might call me barking mad, but that report was on the front page today (which is bad enough) and if I hadn't heard of WINOL and saw that, I would probably move on to another site!


I'll start by saying: we need to get this bulletin out there more!

Only 90 unique users came for the 'Live at 5' on Wednesday, very disappointing having reached around 600 last year.

The headlines were better this week, but the shots still could have been better; this sequence is meant to excite the viewer! There was also a rhetorical question in one of the headlines - this is bad as it implies we don't know the answers. We're journalists who are meant to find them out.

I thought Chris was slightly harsh with his comments about Stu's story on the local road closures. Stu tackled a fairly mild story with a fresh approach, talking to people at the heart of the issue. He managed to get somebody saying they were "frustrated" and had "lost half of all trade" - great effort! Subject and verb agreement wasn't always there in the scripting of the package though.

Catherine's managed to get a 'WINOL Exclusive'! It was not only exclusive, but a story about a well-known UoW graduate. She got it on record, a 'no denial denial' from Orange and used somebody watching a video with him in it to avoid copyright issues - fantastic stuff! It should have been top story.

Jon's diction in his student voting story was excellent, but he sadly fell into the trap of including comment. The comment can only come from interviewees (quotes).

Hobbs' sex stalker story was decent, it had so many legal landmines but he avoided them all.

The material for the sport was pretty good considering the main game was called off! Not sure about mentioning the Saints/Pompey score four days after it happened though.

Claire's 'And Finally' story was very well told, the camera's 'grammar' was excellent as it got closer and closer to the subjects/issue as the package progressed. Need better quotes though.

Good luck to Lucy and Stu for 'Live at 5' on Wednesday.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


'A Space Odyssey' Screening

'A Space Odyssey' by the magnificent Stanley Kubrick was made up of two main stages: monkeys evolving into homosapians and humans evolving into superhumans.

The opening shows the monkeys co-existing with other species; this is at the point when their brains are very small, they are not aware that they need protein for their bones, brain, development etc.

The monkey's lack of knowledge is emphasized by their encounter with the obelisk. Later, the human's lack of knowledge (relative to superhumans) is exposed.

The obelisk would only be a phenomena to humans. The strange place on the moon would only be a phenomena to the Übermensch. These things are a phenomena when we can perceive them. Meanwhile, they are 'noumenal' if we cannot perceive them (e.g - music) according to philosopher's such as Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer.

Then comes the chief ape Moon-Watcher's discovery/theory, the blissful moment when he hits another animal with his bone accompanied by joyous classical music. This enables him to have a higher social ranking and be the leader - he has essentially discovered war.

We see Moon-Watcher's dominance over the other monkeys in a 'speech.' His troop then go to war with another. The noises made in the speech and the battle are the first ever examples of speech. The noises frighten, warn off and encourage/discourage etc; George Orwell said this was the primary purpose of language rather than to merely communicate.

Now its the turn of the humans. They're living in space trying to get to Jupiter, they can't do it as they are not adapted to it (e.g. - no gravity, unable to eat, deficate etc).

All human thought is stored on the space craft in the form of computer 'Hal' as they try to get to Jupiter. 'Hal' was actually holding them back as human thought was not adapted for this mission in space.

Dave (human version of Moon-Watcher) realised 'Hal' had to be defeated, in order to bring about the next stage of development - the Übermensch. 'Hal' is representative of the human race and the fact that they are limited to life on Earth; Nietzsche said: "humanity must be overcome."

Moon-Watcher's discovery of war and protein to develop the brain (the bone scene) and Dave's dismantlement of 'Hal' were parallel and both necessary for the evolution of their respective species (the final scene). This was highlighted by the use of the same music, Strauss's 'Also Sprack Zarathustra', in both scenes.

Key Points

- We don't know what superhumans will be like any more than the apes knew what humans would be like.

- The obelisk was as noumenal to the apes as strange place on the moon was to the humans.

- The monkey's evolved into homo sapiens, enabling human activity (more or less) as we know it.

- Dave was 'the last man,' making way for the 'superhuman'.

- Moon-Watcher's discovery of the concept of war (that brought hierarchy/domination) was just as momentus as Dave's shutting down of the human race to make way for the Übermensch.

- Kubrick's use of (scaled down) real-time in the film shows how things have evolved/developed quicker and quicker as time passes.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


This week's bulletin was editorially stronger and was done in one take.

For whatever reason, we had techical difficulties with the VTs/graphics but we got through it; the apology and the whole 'get on with it' attitude was well done by Joey.

Stu and Catherine's packages stood out this week as they showed initiative to get the most out of their stories. The bulletin would have been a bit flat if it wasn't for them; definitly this week's golden reporters!

The sport was very well written by Jason, particularly the story about the footballer's heart attack. I was also praised by Brian for the way I handled this part on the actual bulletin.

On a personal note, I was happy with my presentation of the sport, but the little mistakes still happen, which is frustrating.

The change-over between news and sport is still an issue, although everyone on the floor and in the gallery has a difficult job. Like Brian said, we will get used to the these news days and the pressures that come with it.

I thought Veronica communicated with me well from the gallery; I know there were problems up there, but down on the floor it seemed okay!

Overall, a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Notes from Monday's WINOL debrief...

Firstly, I'll mention an editorial point as it is not evident from the actual output of the bulletin.

Most of the team were disappointed that mine and Stu's interview with a PCSO didn't get included in the bulletin. The thefts in the library were a security risk and the information he gave was relevant to all on the campus.

We also took close-ups of security packs that the police were circulating, which included a lanyard (pictured, right). It would have been something of a public service to have made people aware of this.

We were also reminded how important our choice of clip is for the headlines. When the top stories are being read out, the best shot from each package should be in vision; if that shot is not striking in any way, it doesn't look promising for the rest of the bulletin in the eyes of our audience.

Another editorial point - We may have ran away with the fact that Stu's story was about student housing, so just put it at the top of the bulletin on that basis. As the story wasn't contemporaneous (the script said "next year"), it may have needed to be dropped down the order.

There was too much 'expo' (stats) in most of the packages. We need to focus more on what people are going to actually do. But, in light of this, we need to remember to maintain balance; Claire's story involved a Tory-led council but only Labour and the Lib Dems got to voice their opinion.

There was a glaring spelling mistake in a text graphic included in Tom's package. 'I' before 'e' except after 'c,' as in 'received.' It would really put me off a news channel/bulletin to see something like that, but Stu is including a statement in his package this week, a chance for the team to immediately make amends! Sorry Tom!

Finally, in Sport, we don't have to describe the action as such, we can add extra (but related) information while the pictures speak for themselves.

Circulation figures for the bulletin were nowhere near our target, we need to spread the word and then get it right on Wednesday.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche hates Christianity, which is hinted at in his book, the core reading, 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra.'

He calls their teachings in Christianity "preaches of death," and thinks Christians reject the natural course of life and look forward to dying.

Christians embrace death as they say you will go to a 'better place' and be with God. God is seen as their leader and the driving force behind decisions of those who believe. Nietzsche despises and rejects anybody who act in this way and sees them as'sheep' - weak individuals.

Instead, the German philosopher asserts that one should either determine others into being or others will enforce this upon yourself. He famously said: "to my goal I will go my own way."

In the same way, he praises the individual who strives to be and do their best - the 'shepherds.' Therefore, people who are teachers, priests or artists, for example, are seen as superior in the eyes of Nietzsche. He refers to them as the Übermensch.

Conversely, fellow German philosopher Immanuel Kant believes that all human beings are equal and share the same morality. He asserts that we all, in equal measure, have an in-built idea of what is wrong and what is right - this is our moral compass.

Nietzsche contests this by saying: "the best of us will make our own rules" - the 'will to power'

Personally, I can relate more with Nietzsche's point of view than Kant's. There is no way that we all have the same morals. For instance, if two people committed separate fraud and BOTH cheated the Inland Revenue to £1 million, one would most certainly have a clearer/more troubled conscience than the other.

Additionally, Nietzsche rejected Kant's idea that all humans are equal and instead advocated the 'will to power,' in that an individual will always find his/her level. He said there will always be natural-born leaders and the 'superhuman' will emerge from that ilk. This is very Darwinian - "the survival of the fittest."

I strongly agree with this theory and, if played out in the correct manner, think it is a healthy quality to have. I have been accused of having Fascist views as a result as the Nazi's believed in Darwinism, but there is a huge difference between striving to be the best you can and killing people because you think you are better than them!

I like this short and sweet blog post about Nietzsche...


In my busiest and hardest week at WINOL, I have ended up very disappointed.

I volunteered to be presenter for the Wednesday bulletin but it was very frustrating when it came to transmission.

Poor script (including the same story written twice), too many takes, black holes. Not fun.

I was praised for my presenting, but was still disappointed about the final product.

I was happier with my progress earlier in the week...

On Monday I had plenty of potential stories ready for the news team, at least if anything fell through. I had signed up to mailing lists from many local press releases from local councils, governments, charities etc.

On Tuesday I continued with forward planning before going out to film with Claire and Tom. We had a certain degree of success on Claire’s pothole story. We managed to find a team at work filling in potholes through our lines of enquiry (news is about people doing things).

I helped out with two more packages on Wednesday with
Stu. One of which included getting vox pops on a housing story. The other involved thefts in the library and we interviewed the PCSO who was patrolling the campus; although it was filmed hours before the bulletin, it really should have been included in it.

Needless to say, the feedback was less than positive in the debrief, which was disheartening after I worked hard for WINOL this week.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


In my role as Deputy News Editor of WINOL, forward planning is extremely important when it comes to getting stories.

I have already subscribed to the mailing lists of Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council and Test Valley Borough Council. The press releases that come from them will open up more avenues for potential stories and follow-ups.

I will focus on contacting specific departments tomorrow by using the (ridiculously useful) white book that lives in TAB 9. This will help me to assign certain beats to members of the news team.

I will also work on ENPS with Brian, which will hopefully help us to save time and be even more organised!

Monday, 1 February 2010


[Bad sound quality - turn it up!]

My examples of newspeak in today's society are the energy drink Powerade and the PlayStation/XBox game Pro Evolution Soccer.

Orwell explained the premise of "if you control language, you control thought" in the film '1984'. The lexical choice in the names of both products appears to follow this in the way that they give a false sense of empowerment, as if you can perform above and beyond your peak with the help of them.


- Clever word play using the words 'power' and 'raid' although it gives no implication as to what the product actually is/does.

- Creates what is known lexically as a 'blend' with a non-standard spelling of 'raid' to create extra confusion to somebody who has never heard of the drink.

- So misleading that I started thinking that the drink may cause you to create football's version of the Russian Revolution! As a result, I bought Lucozade instead...just to be on the safe side!

Pro Evolution Soccer

- In the way that Powerade suggests you will physically play sport above your capabilities, the title of this game suggests you will achieve the equivalent in virtual terms.

- The confusing use of the word 'evolution' suggests you will morph into a superhuman foootballer (in the virtual world).

Just like the NewSpeak dictionary in '1984', these words and phrases are not closely associated to what they actually are/do.

Language has definitly been corrupted/manipulated in some shape or form.