Joining Twitter

I have been using my personal twitter account for years and love posting pictures and anything that comes to mind. I am excited to incorporate social media in my journalism as it is a secret obsession of mine.

I found it quite straight forward to create a new professional account. I have chosen an appropriate display picture of myself and a brief professional bio.

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Once my account was set up I was able to begin searching for relevant topics that interest me. This has shown me how quick and easy is it to follow news using twitter.

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I have been aware of the use of third party tools on twitter but have not used any before now. I signed up for ‘Tweepi’, a free tool that helps you to find people to follow. I found this interesting and a helpful way to find people related to my journalism interests. 

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I have not used twitter lists before to organise my timeline. I have therefore been interested in using this feature on my new account. I have been able to search for and sort categories of people depending on their topic.

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I have also recently discovered Twitter Deck’, a website I would recommend to any users wanting to browse easily and multi-task. I think I will benefit from it in the future for quick browsing as it displays a lot of information at once.

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I have set up my professional account using the app on my phone alongside my personal one. This will allow me to tweet on-the-go and access it at all times. I will be able to access and post news at any time or place.

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I have chosen to follow my fellow classmates, module leaders and any relevant news sources/ professionals. I am excited to get started and begin using social media in my journalistic work.

 

Street Names: How To Rule The Road

By Catherine Skelton

Ever wanted to have a street named after you? Just think of the streets you walk down every day, named after historical figures and local dignitaries. That street could be named after you.

In decades and centuries to come, could the descendants of your town be strolling down roads and into cul-de-sacs named after you?

The answer is yes. Yes they could. But it won’t be easy. We investigated the laws and loop holes that might help you get a street named after you.

It’s Not As Easy As You Think

Street naming regulations are enshrined in UK law. Your local borough or district council is responsible for assigning street names (and house numbers). The pertinent legislation can be found in the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847 and the Public Health Act of 1925.

Naming streets is a big responsibility for council planning departments. They have to consider the character of the area, the sensitivities of residents and the needs of local organizations. There are two circumstances streets are given new names: The street is new. The street is renamed.

When new streets are developed, the Builders submit an application to the local council with suggestions for street names. They’ll usually be asked to give a number of options. The council’s planning committee will then make a final decision.

Getting streets renamed is more difficult. In most areas, residents can complain about a street name and get it changed. Most councils will have a form to submit such a complaint. A council will sometimes step in to change a street name if it’s bothering residents or local services. Say, for example, there are two streets with similar sounding names in the same town. Local councils sometimes take it upon themselves to rename a street without consulting residents.

How Do They Do It Then?

Let’s take a look at how this can work in your favor. Here are some ways you can get a street named after you. Walk through any town and you’ll see streets named after the great. There are Shakespeare Streets and Coleridge Closes, Churchill Roads and Brunel Ways. But it’s not just ancient giants of literature, politics and science that get streets named after them. Local heroes can get the same treatment.

70’s hit-maker Gerry Rafferty had a street named after him; “Paisley”, Glasgow, after his death in 2009. Though, in his case it may have been smarter to name a road after his big hit “Baker Street”.

Sometimes, fame and achievement isn’t enough. Barnett council asked its residents for volunteers willing to have there street renamed after former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. To date, no one has come forward.

Councils will consider renaming a street if enough local residents petition them. So, here’s the route to take…

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Aerial view of Meadow Close and Common Lane, Thundersley (Creative commons to Edward Clack) 

Simple steps to get a street named after you

Stage One: Get yourself so well liked down your road, that asking your neighbors to rename the street after you doesn’t seem like a ridiculous idea. We suggest a campaign of voluntary community service to butter people up. Mow lawns, paint fences, shop for groceries, cat sit, arrange a street party for everyone. Basically, become a local hero.

Stage Two: Ask your fellow residents to sign a petition to change the street name and present it to the local council. Again, this approach has the disadvantage of requiring a significant amount of effort.All it will take is one grumpy hold-out down your road to destroy your well-laid plans.

Finally: One simple solution, is to build the street yourself. Under current legislation, when you create a new street in an area, you’re responsible for coming up with suggested names and presenting them to the council. As long as they fit with local guidelines on street naming, this is by far your best chance of getting a street named after you.

So, there you have it. It is possible to get a street named after you, but it’s not easy. Perhaps you should take the path of resistance and accept you can’t rule the roads. If people name a street after you when you’ve gone, then that’ll be just a bonus.

Pitch Two – Northern Ireland abortion act

I am interested in writing a short feature in curation format that I think will interest you. I will write about the current issues surrounding Northern Island’s abortion grounds.

//Headline: NI abortion law: “stuck in the dark ages”//

This is a topic that has recently sparked media attention after new guidelines have announced fatal foetal abnormality is not grounds for lawful termination. This is obviously a contravention topic which is why I feel curation will be an affective way to gather sources.

The slant of the article will be whether the grounds are outdated and unreasonable and how both professional and public opinions agree and disagree with this.

I will use sources such as social media sites and blogs to include in the article. I will also quote online sources and relating articles to give alternative opinions.  I intend on creating an online social media poll using twitter and will present the results in my article.

Using this format of article will allow me to see how the public are responding to this piece of news and see what is being shared and posted.

I propose the article will be around 800 words, around 100 word introduction and 700 word body of text.

Best,
Catherine

Pitch 1 – Charges on recycling in West Lancs

I am Catherine Skelton, a first year journalism student at Leeds Beckett University. I am writing a short feature that I think will interest you.

 

More and more areas of the county, especially in the south, have began to introduce a charge for the collection of green compostable material, which is currently a free service. I am going to write on how various counties have began to charge for the disposal of green waste, in particular West Lancashire, Commenting on how this will affect residents as well as council costs.

Within the article I will look at how these charges compare to others in the county, why councils have enforced charges and how this will affect residents behaviour to recycling. I will be interviewing people at West Lancashire Borough Council to find out why they are charging for green waste disposal as well as other councils that already charge to find out how it has affected the council and residents.

I will include a small table containing the charges on waste disposal for various areas of the country. This information will be taken from reliable sources on the internet (mainly council websites).

I will also speak to the residents of the West Lancashire area to get their views on the upcoming costs.  I will look at the environmental impacts and funding of the council. I will include my own basic photographs related to the top of green bins or compost disposal. I propose the article will be approximately 800 words; 100 words of introduction and 700 words of body of text.

Best,

Catherine Skelton

 

Sub-edit Task – Leeds Students Find Finances More Stressful Than Academic Work

University is the best three years of your life; making friends, drinking and partying, with the occasional lecture. However, many students feel stressed over how they can financially fund the university lifestyle, often causing isolation and depression.

Fourth year student at Leeds Beckett Emily, works in Wetherspoons part time and feels this is necessary to fund life at university. “If I didn’t have the support of my parents, I would worry about money and it would stop me doing things I would normally do”.

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HSBC highstreet Shaftesbury, Creative Commons – Elliot Brown

 

Despite this, some students want to be independent and feel reluctant to ask parents for support. Luke, a student at Leeds Trinity, says he “feels cheeky asking for money from parents all the time”.

However, most students are unaware of the financial help that universities offer to struggling students.
Alexander Sheckleton at Leeds Beckett student hub provides information on hardship funds and emergency loans. “Loans and grants can be given to students in emergencies depending on their circumstances. The university don’t want to see anyone struggle or unable to support themselves”.
These awards  can be applied for through most university support teams.

Mixing with people from different backgrounds at university puts struggling students under pressure, often feeling left out and inadequate.

Amy, studying sports therapy at Leeds Beckett, missed out on the ‘fresher experience’ after not receiving her student loan. ‘I struggled to mix with other students and make friends as everything involved spending money. I stayed in my flat instead of going out, feeling lonely and depressed. Since receiving my loan and getting a job I’ve felt happier as I can eat better and socialise with friends”.

However not all students have time in their hectic schedule to think about their bank balance. Isaac Nelson, 19, first year student at Leeds Beckett, thinks life is too short to think about money. “Socially, I have done whatever I want since being in Leeds and I am not going to let money stop me. If I come to struggle, I will face that at the time”.

Leeds Students Find Finances More Stressful Than Academic Work

University is the best three years of your life; making friends, drinking and partying, with the occasional lecture. However, many students feel stressed over how they can financially fund the university lifestyle, often causing isolation and depression.

Fourth year student at Leeds Beckett Emily, works in Wetherspoons part time and feels this is necessary to fund life at university. “If I didn’t have the support of my parents, I would worry about money and it would stop me doing things I would normally do”.

However, some students want to be independent and feel reluctant to ask parents for support. Luke, a student at Leeds Trinity, says he “feels cheeky asking for money from parents all the time”.

However most students are unaware of the financial help that universities offer to struggling students. Alexander Sheckleton at Leeds Beckett student hub provides information on hardship funds and emergency loans. ‘Loans and grants can be given to students in emergencies depending on their circumstances. The university don’t want to see anyone struggle or unable to support themselves”. These awards  can be applied for through most university support teams.

Mixing with people from different backgrounds at university puts struggling students under pressure, often feeling left out and inadequate.

Amy, studying sports therapy at Leeds Beckett, missed out on the ‘fresher experience’ after not receiving her student loan. ‘I struggled to mix with other students and make friends as everything involved spending money. I stayed in my flat instead of going out and felt lonely and depressed. Since receiving my loan and getting a job i’ve felt happier as I can eat better and socialise with friends”.   

However not all students have time in their hectic schedule to think about their bank balance. Isaac Nelson, 19, first year student at Leeds Beckett thinks life is too short to think about money. “Socially, I have done whatever I want since being in Leeds and i’m not going to let money stop me. If I come to struggle, I will face that at the time, or just not eat ”.

What Kind of Journalist Am I?

Travel, Fitness and Fashion
I have always been interested in fashion especially journalism relating to fashion and beauty. I have followed amateur and celebrity bloggers since a young age, looking for tips and inspiration. I currently work for ‘Zara’, a high fashion retailer, which encourages and enables me to follow current trends. Having travelled Europe over the past year, I have also found a love for documenting trips and studying photography at A Level has encouraged me to incorporate images in my work, helping support my writing. Photography is a massive love of mine and is an area of journalism that I deem vital, after all  ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.

I am a lover of both healthy eating and fitness and I am always keen to read up on related topics that interest me. I find reading blogs related to fitness inspiring and motivating and I would love to have this affect on others through my writing. Having recently moved away from home for the first time, I am enjoying exploring food, nutrition and the health benefits of eating well. This is also an area that enthuses me and would love to write about.

I feel keeping up to date with current affairs is a major aspect of journalism, despite the content. I therefore follow online apps for news updates and read both local and national papers when possible.

Despite online and print journalism, my main area of interest is tv/radio and PR. Despite having no practical experience in these areas as of yet, I am excited to explore and develop new skills during the course of the next three years.          

Blogs, news sites and forums that interest me
I am always researching and reading new blogs and websites by various writers. However, I love to follow certain sites and have become a fan of particular blogs. I regularly follow celebrity blogger Tanya Burr:  http://www.tanyaburr.co.uk/?blog=. I feel her social media presence provides a platform for her work to be seen, however I appreciate that she claimed her fame through her journalistic work. I love fitness blog ‘Eat Lift And Be Happy’: http://www.negharfonooni.com/blog/ . I feel it is an easy and enjoyable read, relatable to the reader. It uses interesting ways other than simple articles such as lists and photography to engage the reader. For current affair new I regularly follow both the BBC website and mobile app, whilst on the go; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news.

My Interests and Hobbies
Outside my studies, I am an avid member of the gym. I love being motivated with fitness, both on my own and attending classes with friends. I have always had a strong work ethic, working since I was 16. I currently work for ‘Zara’, a high fashion retailer, which encourages and enables me to follow current trends and love the fast pace and busy atmosphere of the job. Whilst in my first year of university, I want to challenge myself to learn a new language. This is something that I have always been interested in and now that opportunity has arose, I am excited to learn this new skill.