Category Archives: News

“Students cannot speak over the phone” – BJTC Conference

The Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) held a conference yesterday after major concerns that current journalism students can “no longer use a phone” at London Southbank University.

Of the 54 courses which collaborate with the BJTC, the Chief Executive of the BJTC, Jon Godel, claimed that many of them approached him about their concerns.

“I visit all our courses, all our 54 credited courses that we credit, and most, of course, leaders and lecturers were saying “look, its a real problem at the moment to get people to speak on the phone.’”


The conference was recorded and transmitted live.

In a major shift from traditional methods such as cold-calling and “foot-in-the-door” approach, many journalism students are relying on interactive methods to contact interviewees such as email and social media, avoiding first-person contact. 

This has raised concerns in the industry, with fears that accurate stories may not be told without face to face contact between journalists and contacts, with fear this may lead to an increase in unreliable stories or even fake news.

Georgina Prodromou from Bauer Media Radio even went to demonstrate the simplicity of journalism, pulling a tripod, portable charger, lighting equipment and microphone from her handbag to illustrate the simple tools a journalist needs to be ready for a story at any time.


Some of the members in attendance at the conference. In the background, the panel members can be seen.

“Sometimes things will happen and you won’t have your camera on you. Phones are great, I wouldn’t say you needed a really nice camera to do your job.”

Prodromou drew from her own experience, recalling the London Bridge attacks of May 2017. Prodromou arrived on the scene to speak with witnesses minutes after the attack with merely her phone and expertise. She reiterated the importance to have confidence as a journalist and the need to approach strangers to find key stories.

Panel members also discussed various exercises which young journalists overlook or seem to daunted from participating such as neighbourhood journalism and simply talking to strangers. 

Other activities discussed to prompt young journalists were visits to unfamiliar cities to discover stories, networking with local businesses and holding meetings at civic facilities such as libraries and community halls, all described as “dying art” by some attendees. 


Jon Godel speaking to a panel member. Press Gazette interviewed Godel about the subject, which he described as the “gradual erosion of real-life social skills”.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was another topic discussed at the conference, in addition to talks of fewer journalists using phones. 

Staff from the BBC and GrayMeta were in attendance to discuss how AI could be used further by journalists as a time-saving device to allow journalists to dedicate resources to more stories. 

The next BJTC conference shall be held at City University on 3rd July 2019. 

– Zubair Karmalkar

Glossy, Photoshopped and lighthearted cancer adverts – The True Cancer Bodies campaign is showing the truth

The reality of life is that cancer is, unfortunately, a part of it. In the UK one in two men or women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. But why are the campaigns and adverts not a true reflection of this?

We are more likely to see pictures of celebrities and picture perfect models in branded T-shirts, rather than the faces and bodies of the individuals who are actually living and fighting everyday with this illness.

Being a cancer victim herself, Vicky Saynor, 43 from Hertfordshire was extremely irritated by the campaign from the Breast Cancer Now Charity. It was based around the hashtags #Bosombuddies and #TwoIsBetterThanOne, which were used to promote support and community. This particular campaign was blasted for being insensitive and not an accurate representation of the experience and reality of cancer. The specific hashtag #TwoIsBetterThanOne was criticised for being thoughtless to women who have had one or both their breasts removed.

Vicky is standing up to this particular issue with a series of photos called True Cancer Bodies. This particular campaign is to show the world the truth behind this disease. It’s not all smiles or anything like the fabricated version that is portrayed all over our social media channels. Vicky told the Metro in 2019 ‘the majority of campaigns are money centric, targeting the ‘healthy’ population to donate money. So, “the campaigns are glossy, inoffensive, even playful. But when you’re going through cancer treatment, that’s the last thing you want to see”.

The participants in the series of photos ranged from 26 to 57 year olds and they all represented all the different types of cancer. The photos capture people gleaming, posing and being empowered by their scars and imperfections.

View this post on Instagram

WE ARE THE TRUE CANCER BODIES COMMUNITY Just two weeks ago, our fearless founder – Vicky (aka @gammy_tit) started a collective called True Cancer Bodies. Since then our message has reached thousands of people across social media, in the press & in our own communities. We have been overwhelmed by the love & support we have received. We are also incredibly proud that our closed Facebook group is providing the much needed comfort, advice, support & virtual hugs to hundreds of people affected by cancer. All of this provides the motivation for us to keep going, keep striving & keep trying to do everything we can to keep this new community thriving. Please keep liking, commenting & sharing! #truecancerbodies #cancerawareness

A post shared by TRUE CANCER BODIES (@truecancerbodies) on


Breast Cancer Now has since apologised for their campaign and any offence it may have caused. They have also removed the video from its social media accounts. Despite this, Vicky believes more still need to be done to show the reality of living with cancer.


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What is Meningitis and why is it dangerous?



After a peak of 2295 cases of meningitis in 1999 in UK the meningitis type C cases dropped of the 90% in the vaccinated groups, and consequently of the 66% in the non vaccinated ones, thanks to the introduction of the MenC vaccine.

But recently, due to a decrease in the vaccination coverage, the cases of meningitis in UK are rising again with two cofirmed cases of meningitis B at University of Bristol, the past November. Because of this (and in the light of the recent measles epidemic in universities) the debate shifted recently in questioning if non- vaccinated students should be allowed in universities.

So what is meningitis? Why is it sparking a debate?

Meningitis is an illness, and it defines the inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect our brain and our spinal cord (called Meninges). It’s usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection, and it’s very quick in its development – capable to kill a patient in a span from less than 2 to more than 20 hours.

Generally, it first manifests “slyly” like a bad temperature, with symptoms such as severe fever, headaches, and diarrhoea; maintaining an apparently “stable” condition in the victim.

Symptoms change with the development of the illness, including symptoms such as difficulty in staying awake, irritability, dislike of bright lights, stiff neck, pale/blotchy skin, vomit, severe muscular pain, convulsions and, the most significant, severe fever with cold feet and hands.

Normally, not all symptoms necessarily manifest, or manifest in a specific order; and they tend to escalate in a terrifyingly rapid time. For this reason, many patients die of meningitis worldwide. Diagnosis of this disease is sometimes too late because it’s difficult distinguishing meningitis from a severe flu.

What usually kills a patient affected by meningitis it’s septicaemia, which is the poisoning of blood induced by an infection. It usually leads to organ failures, severe nerve and brain permanent damage.

Meningitis is usually caused by a virus or a bacteria, and there are different types of meningitis, with different symptoms depending on its causes. Viral meningitis is considered less dangerous than bacterial, even though more common. But bacterial meningitis is most commonly caused by the bacterias Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, TB, Group B Streptococcal and Escherichia Coli. Bacterial meningitis is a rarer condition but much more dangerous if not treated.

What sparked the debate about vaccines in universities, is the virality of meningitis, and its most common target age. There is a current debate about whether universities should make vaccines compulsory, and many people disagree with the concept.

The misleading idea that meningitis is an illness which only infects and kills infants or very young children, is a common misconception held by many people today.

Meningitis, in fact, can also occur in adults with immunodeficiency but manifests in young adults between 15 and 23 years old with similar ease to children cases.

It spreads through cough, sneezes, kisses, or through sharing utensils, cutlery or toothbrushes; and more commonly spread by healthy carriers.

Although there are many different, effective vaccines and remedies available to treat meningitis; it is also true that these remedies offer some defences against certain kind of meningitis, but not all the different causes of meningitis.

National Palestinian demonstrations planned in London on Saturday

A national demonstration for Palestinians will be taking place in London tomorrow afternoon. Assembling at 12 noon in Portland Place, demonstrators will march to Whitehall carrying signs and banners in support of Palestinians.

Organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the demonstration is calling for global protests to protect Palestinian’s collective rights. They say they hope to ‘hold Israel to account and push for an end to the oppression of the Palestinian people.’


Previous rallies by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Source: PSCupdates

The demonstrations are in partnership with Stop the War Coalition, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al- Aqsa, and Muslim Association of Britain.

The demonstration comes at the beginning of ‘Nakba week’ where the Palestine Solidarity Campaign organises a week of events to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, which was when 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes during the Palestine War.

Their most recent London rally occurred on 31st March 2019 when hundreds gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in Central London. The protesters demanded that Palestinian refugees return to their homes, “from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.” The rally was met with a counter-protest of a small group holding Israeli flags.

Nottingham students weigh in on mumps outbreak

In March, news of a mumps outbreak in two Nottingham universities broke. Public Health England confirmed 40 cases of mumps, along with over 220 suspected cases in the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

What is mumps? 

Mumps is a contagious viral infection that can cause swelling of the parotid glands in the face and under the ears. The infection used to be common in children before the introduction of the MMR vaccine and is spread in the same way as colds and flu – through infected drops of saliva which can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.

What are the symptoms?

Aside from swelling, symptoms of mumps also include headaches, joint pain, high temperature, feeling sick, loss of appetite and tiredness.

According to the NHS, a person is most contagious a few days before the symptoms develop, and for a few days after.

How did the universities handle the situation?

It’s understood that students received emails from their respective university detailing the situation and offering advice if they suspected they were experiencing any symptoms of the infection.

WNOL has seen a copy of the email received by students at Nottingham Trent University. The email provides information on mumps, the symptoms, how it spreads, when to see a GP and how the infection is diagnosed. Students were also urged to ensure that they were vaccinated against the infection, with the MMR jab. There is a current debate about whether universities should make vaccinations compulsory, however, some disagree with the idea. 

What do students now think about the situation?

One Nottingham Trent University student said ‘Basically there was a rumour about it at first and then people started not coming to [netball] training sessions because they were ill. Then a girl had a mask over her face and she told us she had mumps and it was super contagious and then, the following day, we had an email from uni telling us it was going around and symptoms and to wash our hands but they didn’t tell us that it was a new strain of it that the vaccine didn’t stop so basically everyone was at risk and it was quite serious. Everyone took it as a joke really but loads of people I knew got it’.

Another student said ‘I remember receiving a letter about mumps being spotted and reminding students to be up to date with vaccinations when I was living in student accommodation in third year. This time I heard about it through word of mouth. I don’t think the uni handled it very well – I know mumps can cause a lot more trouble to adults compared to children, kind of like chicken pox so I feel as though there should be more raising awareness campaigns for further learning grounds especially since it’s a gathering of adults’.

Oxbridge set to increase bursaries for low-income students by 2020

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge are both currently on the track to expand inclusivity by increasing bursaries given to students from low-income backgrounds.

Starting in 2020, Oxbridge students from low-income backgrounds will be receiving up to £5,000 per year in scholarship funding. In an effort to attract students who would typically write off the university due to their high tuition fees, both leading British universities are looking to bring in students from “under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Following last years accusations of being socially exclusive and failing to recruit eligible students from public colleges, the University of Oxford claimed that they were “very aware” that they “must work harder.”

Currently, the University of Oxford provides 25 percent of its students with £8,000,000 of financial support. Students whose guardians earn less than £27,500 are currently receiving between £3,700 and £1,700. In 2020, this figure will increase to between £5,000 and £4,200.

According to research performed by the Sutton Trust charity, between 2015 and 2017, Oxbridge enrolled more students from the eight top British schools than nearly 3,000 other English state schools put together.

Advocating for a “fair chance”, Sutton Trust’s founder Sir Peter Lampl found that students from the top eight schools in Britain filled 1,310 places at Oxford and Cambridge while 2,900 state schools filled 1,200 places between 2015 and 2017.

In 2018, Labour MP David Lammy criticized the University of Oxford following a report that found that a mere 11 percent of undergraduate students at the university were from “disadvantaged backgrounds.” This report also found that white British applicants were twice as likely to be accepted than black applicants.

In response, director of undergraduate admissions, Samina Khan claimed that that was, “not getting the right number of black people with the talent to apply to us.”

Oxford’s Student Union stepped in and claimed, “there are large and unacceptable attainment gaps in schools, which greatly disadvantage black pupils and those from low-income backgrounds, among other under-represented groups.”

In a poll taken by 336 students, 94% said that they agreed with Oxbridge accepting more applicants from low-income environments.

“I think that giving low-income and disadvantaged students a financial boost is an effort that will greatly excel the university’s diversity and reputation.”- Morgan Howk, 20

“I really appreciate what Oxford and Cambridge are doing and I wish more university’s would follow in suit.”- Katie Trent, 21

“While I admire their efforts, I think that they are not tackling the most present issue here. Their announcement is just a coverup for the fact that they don’t really want to diversify the University in terms of race. Only [17.9%] of Oxford students are BAME and I personally think that, that should be improved upon before they focus on other flaws in their admissions system.”- Shawn Waynick, 19

Overall, Dr. Jane Gover, the university’s director of student finances, said that, “there’s been really strong feedback,” from Oxford currently enrolled undergraduate students.

Gover believes that, “this is a really huge part of the university work to attract and support undergraduates from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds. We don’t want to see students being put off because they’re worried about the cost of living or their ability to engage with university life.”

Featured Image VIA


Detective Pikachu released in cinemas to positive reviews

Attention all Poke-fans! Warner Bros’ Detective Pikachu comes out in cinemas across the UK today.

What is the film about?
‘In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.’ – IMDb

Who is in it?
Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds both voices and provides facial motion capture for the titular character, while Justice Smith plays his partner and former Pokemon trainer, Tim Goodman.

Watch the first trailer below:

The film has received 68% approval in early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film’s official trailer was released on 12th November 2018 and was quickly trending on YouTube and Twitter. Within 24 hours the trailer had over 100 million views across multiple online and social media platforms.

In true Ryan Reynolds fashion, on the 7th of May, he tweeted that the movie had been “leaked” but the video linked was, in fact, a one hour and 42-minute video of Detective Pikachu dancing to an upbeat 80s song.

Video game movies have been notoriously low-rated in the past, with 2009’s Tekken rating 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Detective Pikachu may be the one to change the game.

video game infographic

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