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Manners still matter

November 16, 2011

Shocking: Manners are so infrequently used that we often find ourselves surprised when faced with a polite gesture

For many Londoners and commuters, the sweaty, over-crowded chaos of the tube during rush hour is a source of much frustration, claustrophobia and badly disguised annoyance at their fellow human beings.

Whether you are a fan of the often unreliable underground or avoid the beast at all costs, we’ve all had days when being pushed, pulled and squashed into the potentially unwashed body parts of a total stranger is enough to drive us completely round the bend.

I have to count myself as one of the lucky ones when it comes to my daily commute. Certainly the first part of my journey through the capital is relatively easy and upon first boarding the tube, I usually find myself faced with nothing more harrowing than spacious carriages, numerous free seats and the occasional sobbing baby.

However, as the train continues on its arduous journey towards the bustling city centre, this seemingly pleasant scene evolves into one of utter horror. Sweaty bodies collide with  rude, foul-mouthed people desperate to snag themselves a seat, while impatient businessmen and women frantically push past some slow-moving, headphone-wearing youths desperate to shave even the smallest of seconds off their journey time.

A small part of me is surprised that the country’s commuters haven’t skipped out of their jobs, set up tents in one of the city’s tourist hotspots, decked themselves out in the latest tie-dyed burlap clothing and begun a hippy-style protest against TFL‘s undeniable cruelty against commuters.

Needless to say, the tube is not one of my favourite methods of transport.

Despite my sometimes overly bitter feelings towards the tube however, yesterday’s commute served as a much-needed reminder that among the masses of self-serving, forcefully shoving tube-users remains a small number of respectful, polite people willing to take the extra second to make your journey that bit less painful.

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Journalists jump the gun in race to report Amanda Knox appeal verdict

October 4, 2011

Confusion: the verdict of Amanda Knox's appeal was wrongly reported numerous times

With breaking news coverage becoming ever-more fast-paced, news organisations across the world are going to desperately extreme lengths in order to remain at the forefront of the international media.

This evening marked one such media frenzy as journalists across the world waited with baited breath for the much-anticipated verdict of the Amanda Knox appeal in Perugia, Italy.

Between the language barrier and the confusing delivery of the judge’s verdict, media coverage of the appeal was thrown into utter chaos, particularly when a number of reputable news organisations – in their haste to be the very first to report the story – jumped the gun and reported the wrong verdict.

The Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Sun and Sky News – to name just a few – were all caught out when their hasty attempt to beat the masses lead to some embarrassing online slip-ups and sparked a wave of criticism from readers and journalists alike who expressed outrage and (at times) pure glee at the glaring mistakes.

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Burberry puts tweeters in the front row at London Fashion Week #LFW

September 19, 2011

Photo courtesy of @Burberry

For many, it is the dream seat of a lifetime – a front row spot at one of this season’s must-see designer shows and, with it, the knowledge that you have finally achieved what many can only hope to one day attain: fashionable status.

For the past few days, London - and indeed the fashion world at large – has been set alight by the delights and delicacies parading down the catwalk at London Fashion Week. Carefully manicured claws have been out for months in order to procure tickets to the hottest shows in town and there have been tears, tantrums and fits of frenzied fashion hysteria by those not lucky enough to have been blessed with a spot at the front row of fashion’s must-attend event.

Surely, you ask, it is enough to attend such an event? The answer – most definitely not. As the most discerning of the fashion pack will tell you, while raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow at your ignorance, the front row is the be all and end all at LFW. Sit anywhere else and you might as well be perched outside on the curb, just hoping to catch a glimpse of your favourite celebrity as they effortlessly glide from one front row seat to the next. 

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Graduates left out in the cold

September 14, 2011

Having now graduated from two institutions of higher education, each time with an ok degree by most people’s standards, I feel that I now have a sufficient enough understanding of graduate recruitment to throw my two cents into the debate that currently surrounds the future of the UK’s young people.

While I myself am trying to break into a notoriously tricky industry – the world of media can be so cruel – it seems that nearly every graduate across the country is experiencing the same soul-destroying search for employment that so frequently ends in bitter disappointment and frustration.

“Hiring graduates is a risky business you see… All that training that we have to put them through. It’s really more of an investment than a recruitment,” is what one company recently told my friend – who by the way left an incredibly good university with a first – after putting her through an intense round of interviews, psychometric tests and online verbal reasoning exams. Read more…

London town is burning down #ukriots

August 9, 2011

The media has been full of images showing the extent of the violence and destruction taking place in London

London is in a state of utter mayhem this evening after a series of violent riots ripped through the capital leaving a trail of chaos, devastation and fear across the capital.

There are currently 16,000 police men and women deployed throughout the city in an attempt to quel the violent mob that has ravaged this city – and others – for the past four days. Looters, protesters, petty thieves, vandals and criminals have come together to form a mob of utter mayhem as they tear throughout the UK’s cities leaving behind a trail of total devastation and destruction wherever they go.

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper, watched the television or (if you’re a resident in London, Manchester or Birmingham) looked out of the window will have seen the chaos and horror that has flared up throughout the UK’s biggest cities in the past three days. The media has provided coverage of the story from every angle – from live blogs to infographics showing the worst-affected areas of London.

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Tindle journalists strike against churnalism

April 18, 2011

Staff at NLH News will protest against severe cuts

As a journalism student desperately seeking a career at any reputable publication, my determination and confidence in my own abilities have taken numerous knocks throughout the course of my journo quest.

We are told on a daily basis that each of us has chosen to pursue a career in an area of journalism that is currently flailing on its last legs. Many believe that churnalism has ruined what is left of the dependable regionals and many of the nationals have begun to follow suit.

I have, however, been lucky enough during my short career as a journalism intern, to work at a number of publications striving to maintain a sense of quality and originality that have made newspapers the valued media source that they (hopefully) still are today.

One such paper was the Enfield Advertiser, part of NLH News, a group of north London-based newspapers owned by Sir Ray Tindle. Sadly, severe budget cuts and staff redundancies have left the papers in a state of desperation, with just three reporters attempting to generate enough content to fill nine publications.

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Kate Middleton’s former school made to feel shame

April 5, 2011

Kate Middleton's former school has been the subject of much media attention

Since the announcement of the royal engagement, the media has been flooded with information and intrigue about the future Mrs. Prince William. Who is the designer deemed royal enough to design her wedding dress? What did she get up to on her not-so-naughty hen night? And so on and so forth.

More recently, however, the press has picked up on a number of stories about Ms. Middleton’s past – from her slightly awkward appearance as a young prep school pupil, to her starring stint in a St. Andrews fashion show. Unsurprisingly, many newspapers have eagerly lept upon rumours that the future Queen of England was once bullied out of her well-to-do Berkshire-based boarding school, Downe House.

Tales of cliquey girls smearing excrement in Kate’s bed – proven to be a ludicrous lie after it was revealed that Kate, a day girl at the school, never actually used a bed – and bitchy back-stabbing have dominated a number of publications over the past week.

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