Tuesday, 30 November 2010



The documentary about the tuition fee protests was on the front page, but had been replaced with our latest bulletin, so I took the YouTube embed code and put it on the sidebar of features.

The video was joined by Stu's feature interview with Chris Huhne. We're starting to get big names on the site, which is really encouraging.

Also, I generally updated the content, including news and sport articles submitted over the weekend.

Picture problems: Jase had copyrighted his (excellent) pictures, so the embed code for one of Stu's articles was not available.


I have been putting a lot of video content up this week. Catherine's behind the scenes video at the Echo is very good, so I put that on the front page. Veronica/Maddie etc's fee demo documentary is now on the features page as it had to be taken off the front page for the latest bulletin.

Hobbs has been securing some big names in the comment department, including Steve Brine and the Bishop of Winchester. The bishop piece had two parts to it, so me and Chris decided to keep one half back for next week. We also jazzed up his picture to more of a close up, feature style image.

Me and Jon decided it is best all-round for the site to have one column. Two columns cause far too many Joomla problems whilst one column looks good anyway. There are still drawbacks with one column, including the need to write long headlines to fill the excess space. So we went through and sorted that problem.


Sportsweek was getting a bit old on the front page and there wasn't a new one this week due to postponements.

Somehow the sidebars on the site started to look bare, especially on the news and sport pages. Grant put Mikey's new feature 'Hit the WINOL woodwork' onto YouTube so I could put that on sport along with links to popular and latest articles. Andy's bible bashers VT was looking old on the news sidebar, so I replaced that with two of Stu's latest pieces on the tuition fees and council housing.

Latest: Chris has been busy over the weekend to make the site look better, check it out at WINOL.

Sunday, 28 November 2010


This week's lecture was on codes of practice.

The main point about following the codes - as they are not actual laws like defamation - is that it helps to maintain a level of trust between you and the audience.

Three main bodies

1. PCC (Press Complaints Commission)

2. Ofcom: statutory body, covers broadcasting as a whole

3. BBC: has a code of its own (mainly because it is funded by the license fee)

EXAMPLE: Queengate row - led to Peter Fincham's resignation.

Why do codes matter?

1. guides us through ethical issues

2. how far to go on a story

3. guides us to do legitimate practices

4. makes us aware that circumstances can make a difference (i.e. - is it in the public interest?)

Key areas

1. ethical behaviour

2. fair treatment (e.g. - respect for privacy)

3. accuracy and impartiality (e.g. - your political affiliations should not be explicit, especially in broadcasting)

4. protecting vulnerable groups (e.g. making sure children aren't identified via jigsaw identification etc)

CODE ONE: Press Complaints Commission (PCC)

Often seen as the weakest code as it ultimately promotes self-regulation. In effect, this gives publications the license to 'make their own rules'

- Deals with 1000s of complaints per year
- Can force publications to publish apologies off the back of complaints. Always something journalists want to avoid
- A public interest defence can often override the need for a printed/broadcasted apology
- The code is still fairly effective, despite its apparent weakness


Seen as a lot stronger than the PCC as it actually has statutory powers. Ofcom can fine an organisation up to £5.6m

EXAMPLE: BBC Radio scandal involving Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand

Ofcom can...

- order companies not to repeat programmes
- order a correction or apology to be broadcast
- impose fines of up to 5% of revenue
- take away broadcasting licenses

Ofcom is hot on 'undue prominence' (politics). Coverage of parties has to be proportional to seats won or who has a majority. For example, WINOL covers a constituency held by the tories, so we feature that MP (Steve Brine) more than anybody. If WINOL starts to include UKIP or the Greens etc weekly on the bulletin, this would not be tolerated by Ofcom.

Impartiality is also an interesting area. It is strongly required for all broadcasters, but newspapers are allowed to subtly show their affiliation. The idea is that buying a paper is a choice, where as the tv bulletins are often there whether you like it or not.

CODE THREE: BBC Editorial Guidelines

The BBC Editorial Guidelines serve a dual purpose: to act as a manual working document to judge complaints to it and as a general guide for journalists.

It is a useful reference tool, set up lie an encyclopaedia, covering everything fincluding:
- violence in the news
- publish taste
- electoral law
- reporting of war/terrorism

Thursday, 25 November 2010



Me and Chris only really had time to talk about the fancy slideshow we want for the site. Besides, Jon has taken over the visual side of things to leave me to the boring legal, spelling, grammar stuff etc.

A large chunk of this day was taken up by news meetings. News conference then features conference then editorial conference. They seem to get longer every week, which isn't good.


Tuesday was a lot more productive. Features was looking a bit bare, so I added a sidebar on the right to improve it visually. This had a knock-on effect on the stories, which had to be sorted ('read mores' etc)

Veronica worked on a picture slideshow for the features page. Flickr wouldn't host it on an external site (ours), so she had to re-do it on Final Cut Pro for YouTube.

Me and Jon decided to change the layout of news, sport and features. Joomla was too problematic with two columns, so we changed it to one column. The stories being under each other one after the other looks pretty good anyway.


HEADLINE: I may have saved next week's bulletin. No one spotted that 'league' was spelt wrong on the results graphic AGAIN, until I casually walked by and told them! Surely Horrie would have pulled the plug on next week if we made that mistake again!

More features work in the morning. I worked on filling up the new features sidebar. It now includes: behind the scenes video, two landscape photoessays, mine and Veronica's fly-on-the-wall election docs and the winter fashion thing, which apparently will be replaced soon.

There was a lot of football over last weekend and early in the week, so I put all of that up on the site with video. The code to wrap it around text is so difficult.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Millbank (Tory HQ) became a 'hostile environment' when we were covering it. Here's some tips for anybody who may be in this type of environment in the future...

1. Make sure you have an exit route.

2. Communication: Make sure the newsroom knows your location at all times.

3. Have a clear plan: Where will you be at certain times

4. Have a 'fixer' - somebody who can guide you around the dangerous area in question. For example, NUS were our fixers at Millbank.

5. If you do get in a sticky situation: immediately give in and give up your camera.

6. Don't try and fight back.

7. Don't resist if police go to arrest you.

Friday, 19 November 2010


More notes on Freedom of Information. This time we had the pleasure of Brian's expertise.

The essence of FOI: The public have a legal right of access to any piece of of information held by public authorities because they pay their taxes.

100,000 FOI requests are submitted every year. It costs around £34m to answer that number.

Anybody can send an FOI request. In fact, only 12% are sent by journalists.

EXAMPLE: Kingsnorth Climate Protest (August 2008)
- Initial statement: 70 police injured
- After FOI request: 12 police injured, only 4 seriously

Journalists believe this is the 'golden era' of FOI.

When can they say 'no'?

If it costs more than £600 to find out the information.
(£450 for smaller organisations)

Other exemptions

ABSOLUTE: Security, intelligence, court records etc

QUALIFIED: e.g. - ministerial communication, commercial confidentiality etc.
There are 23 reasons for exemption in total.

Responding time

Body in question must acknowledge request within 20 days.

They are allowed a further 40 days to deal with the information.


Keep questions simple and to the point.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010



- Need to be careful of opinion.

- Sport too cliched.

- Believable bulletin.

- Production shaky.


- Talkback in newsroom with Lucy very useful.

- Presenters: Seb got over nervousness. Also, very good from Stu.

Hopefully production lessons learned.

Need talkback for Floor Manager and Prod Ed.

Moving to another program so that VTs run smoother...


Didn't do much on Monday because I was ill!

On Tuesday, we worked on putting a slideshow module on the front page to replace the bulletin that gets old over the weekend. Picture Editor Jason Curtis took some brilliant pictures of the Millbank riots, which would look really good on the front page.

I also added 'Sportsweek' to the side of the front page to flag up our sports page.

The ticker is very hard to monitor and keep up-to-date, so we unpublished that from the front page until Wednesday when we trail the bulletin.

Wednesday was used to iron out production issues such as handovers, vision mixing and scripting.

A lot of us had the chance to present. I read the sport in one of the run-throughs when Catherine read the news. We worked on making the handover more natural, which was fairly successful.

Monday, 15 November 2010


Sorry, nothing to tell! I was ill!

Friday, 12 November 2010


Week 7's lecture was on copyright.

Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988

Copyright laws are in place because they protect an individual's intellectual property.

You are infringing copyright law if you make beneficial use or exploit material that belongs to somebody else - without their permission.

Any initial ideas you bring to the floor aren't protected. Copyright laws only come into force when they start to be put into practice.

Why should we respect the laws?

- Without this protection, journalism may never have flourished.

- Maintains the material's exclusivity and therefore its value.

- Works both ways: you can't steal intellectual property anymore than anybody can steal yours.

- Ignoring the laws will cost you money and a whole lot of stress...and perhaps your career!

Copyright Law In Practise

Ian's Aston Martin VT, in which he used...

1. Archive footage of an Aston Martin factory
2. James Bond film clips
3. James Bond theme music

On the surface, all three potentially infringe copyright laws but none actually do. Here's why...

i. Number 1 already belonged to the BBC as part of their library.
ii. Numbers 2 and 3 were covered as the VT coincided with the release of a Bond movie. During the promotion of movies, news corporations have a window of three weeks when they can legally use clips/music from the new release. Luckily the sale of Aston Martin came within this window.

It would usually cost up to £2,000 to use this sort of film clip.

BUT we should be aware that material is often lifted, though only to a point.

Rivals regularly 'steal' stories from one another. This is known as 'fair dealing'.


1. Must be attributed (i.e. - 'x' told News of the World...)
2. Must be in the public interest to a degree
3. Must be fair and mustn't go 'bigger' than the original story. For example, don't give any more detail than what the original publication did. You can only go bigger by doing your own unique follow-up.

You are also exempt from copyright law when you use material for purposes of comment and review. For example, it is fine to run clips in obits involving the individual that has recently passed.

BUT photos are never eligible for fair dealing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


First thing on Monday, I updated the ticker with breaking news as well as saturday's football results/mid-week fixtures.

We also changed the layout of the site to a degree, adding modules to make the content more dense.

There was a Basingstoke game that evening, so I had to go back on the ticker at around half 9 to change it from a fixture to a score. I want to make the ticker as fresh as possible as it's a lot quicker than subbing stories.

On Tuesday, I cleaned up the news page to try and make headlines/stories line up. The only snag is: making these changes is to the detriment of the front page. As a result, we will unfortunately have to compromise the look of news to make the front page look clean.

No such problems with features as none crossover with the front page. I asked Dom and Cara to line everything up on features. All running orders got sorted too.

On Wednesday, the newsroom was pretty stressed out, so I temporarily took over as Managing Editor to pull everything together. Headline clips, VT clips and reporter presence were needed.

During the bulletin, I stayed in the newsroom to update the ticker and preview the bulletin. At this point, the Millbank riots were in full flow so there were plenty of breaking lines to keep me busy. We were also had an exclusive line from the riots thanks to Maddie who found out protestors had got onto roofs before anyone else.

On Thursday and Friday I updated the ticker again - putting up latest news from the tuition fee protests and taking off older news that had since developed. I also put up text stories from this week's bulletin - or at least all those without potential issues. One of the problems is pictures: COULD REPORTERS PLEASE PUT A FLICKR LINK TO THEIR PICTURE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE THEY SUBMIT!

Monday, 8 November 2010


Notes on the debrief of our bulletin, which was probably our best to date.

Most hits: Win with WINOL and James Knight profile
Reminiscent of the industry - competitions and 'celebs' most popular

We had a comment on the bible story, which shows that people are starting to listen to and recognise us. As a result, we need to keep a relationship with our contacts and portray them in a good as well as bad light.

Still not using our best pictures in headlines.

Too many establishing shots - looks stupid to have 4/5 in a bullletin, becomes a bit of a cliche.

Blurred out reg plates - very professional

OB presenting was fairly slick

Huge success with Chesney Hawkes interview. Proper celebrity.

Background image on green screen much improved.

Talking over talking heads in headlines. Shows the need for rehearsals.

WINOL Radio...great - another string to our bow

Sunday, 7 November 2010


This week's lecture was on Freedom of Information.

'Freedom of Information' was introduced by Tony Blair in the form of the Freedom of Information Act (2000), which came into effect in 2005.

"Unnecessary secrecy in government leads to arrogance in government and defective policy decisions"
- Tony Blair 1995
(Hmm, looks like FOI did little to stop this!)

Any publicly funded body must publish their internal documents on request. This means they must...
- Keep a schedule and backlog this information
- Give it to you at no cost (unless the task takes over four hours)
- Give it to you in 'reasonable' time

Exempt are issues surrounding national security and intelligence etc (common sense really!)

The man with the plan when it comes to FOI is Matthew Davies who visited our studio a while back.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


ALSO: How to use the ticker

On Monday, I got News Editor Claire to ask for text stories straight after her news reporters finish their packages on Wednesday. Unfortunately, still only a few have done this. Apart from that, I looked over any outstanding stories that had been subbed.

On Tuedsday, me and Chris tidied/sexed up the site by writing some sharper tabloid headlines and top lines. I also gave Becky a mini-tutorial on writing summary style sport stories.

On Wednesday, me and Chris cleaned up the front page so that everything lined up and headlines didn't bust (i.e. - stayed on one line). We did the same for the sport front page.

Some of this involved changing the running order of stories, which is made very difficult by Joomla! If an article is at the top (number 1 on Joomla), it doesn't appear to give you the option to drop it down.

Then it was all about the bulletin from around 2.30! Just like last week, we replaced last week's streaming bulletin with a graphic promoting the new one.

Along with this, I updated the ticker previewing the top stories of the week. The ticker was previewing what was in the previous week's bulletin - equivalent to the day before in the industry.

The sport needed updating, so I spent two hours of thursday morning on their front page. It was very frustrating as it ignored the running order the changed it to, so it was very difficult not to mangle the whole page.

But on Friday, I finally beat Joomla! I thought there must have been a reason why Joomla kept ignoring the order I changed the articles to. In the menu item manager, it was set to custom or 'order' on news but 'default' on sport. All I had to was change the sport to 'order' on the drop down menu and this enabled me to move articles around to my heart's content.

Monday, 1 November 2010


Mixed reaction from last week's bulletin...

ITV Senior Political Correspondent Chris Ship

- We did well to pull it together at the last minute

- looked after guests: good habit to get into

- headlines should have been recorded
- should have used GBH victim in them as well

- Andrew Giddings' GBH story was very good. Chris said it wouldn't have been out of place on a local bulletin. Even the pauses in his voiceover were timed well.

- The job losses story was a typical example of making news out of other output on a slow news day. Joey's OB was very well done, but we did see too much of the newsroom ceiling while he was on.

- Stu's story about stress in the council was picture challenged, so he did very well to bash out a VT on it. Good pay off too.

- Aimee did well with her David Gower piece. He was framed nice and tightly and she included good actuality and a classic graduate hat shot.

- Handovers were smooth, but guest could have stayed just to the side to avoid WINOL musical chairs.

- In sport, the questions to Winchester City manager Guy Butters were good. For rehearsals, get production staff to act it out.

- Black holes in news and sport: need to leave packages long.

- And finally, Chris thought the halloween teaser was a bit short if anything.

General WINOL Expert(!) Brian Thornton

- In the gallery, we were too nervy and panicy. But it looked good in the end, so it was worth the stress.

- presenters should be praised on their calmness and general performance.

- good OB from Jake and Joey.

- fashion feature: was great for adding colour to the bulletin.

WINOL Founder(!) Chris Horrie

Safe to say he was disappointed...

- Andy's story was the only piece of real journalism

- we need more options in news, to raise the bar in terms of content

- lack of direction in features

- political discussion: unbalanced, shouldn't have been edited down
- got a complaint for it: good as it shows we have an audience but bad...because it's a complaint!

- 'How to live on £20'
- good idea, but needs re-editing

- it would be good to for Hobbs to commission comment pieces from MPs, SU people etc

- sport is pretty good as always

- audience is down, need to put that right