The principles of public service broadcasting underpinning the BBC.

Outline and evaluate the principles of public service broadcasting underpinning the BBC. Focus on one or more historical examples relevant to journalism, consider to what extent these values have been realized in the face of national crisis and/or commercial pressures.

In the present-day society, the power of media has became more and more strong. At any various backgrounds, public service broadcasting is a voice that launching information and news to all over the world. This essay will mainly attempt to evaluate the principles of public service broadcasting underpinning the BBC, focus on some historical examples mostly happened within the past 20 years relevant to journalism, consider to what extent these values have been realized in the face of national crisis and/or commercial pressures.

The BBC was established in 1922, which stand for “British Broadcasting Corporation”, is a public broadcasting company funded by government but operating independently. After 92 years, nowadays it has became one of the biggest and reliable media organization in world. BBC has 8 television channels, 10 radio channels, and uses 43 different languages for the worldwide broadcasting.

Telling the truth is always the purpose for journalism instead of creating propaganda, BBC has done it all the time. At the beginning of the BBC’s establishment, it was on time for the Second World War. In the book An Introductory History of British Broadcasting, BBC is shown as a successful example for the British broadcasting, especially in the wartime. “Perhaps the BBC’s greatest wartime success was to honor its original wise decision to tell the truth as far as it could, rather than create propaganda.” (p. 60, 1997) “The war years are of significance to our history partly because they were the occasion of particular achievements by the BBC and partly because they demonstrated the nature and capabilities of broadcasting in general.”

The book Media and Society in the Twentieth Century refers to the function of media and mass communication for propaganda. “The development of media of mass communication from the end of the nineteenth century provided new and vastly expanded channels for propagandists. World War I showed how modern media could be used on a large scale for propagandist purposes. Governments in the belligerent countries used the media to bolster patriotic and nationalist sentiment, to sustain morale at home, and to wage psychological warfare against the enemy.”(P.77, 2003) However, “…it was perhaps more important that the BBC could be believed at home, because by telling the truth it matched the nation’s concept of itself as fighting a just war, waging a moral crusade against evil and tyranny.”(p.61. 1997)

As time goes by,one of the principles of BBC is using valid languages when doing reports in modern time. People will never forget 7th July 2005 – the London bombings, which is often referred to as 7/7. This paragraph will discuss the incident in a journalism way. BBC reported “Four suicide bombers struck in central London on Thursday 7 July, killing 52 people and injuring more than 770” as the headline. BBC told their staff to be careful in using word “terrorists” when reporting those people. Not using the word”terrorists” is not showing our fear and weakness to the terrorism because there is no doubt that people will condemn them, but as a news organization, when talk about the people involved, news should be reported as neutral as possible. So firstly we should describe the accident accurately – those suicide bombers ignited the bombs, that is the truth. People will get more information from this description. But if news describe them as “terrorists”, they have already out of the truth and state the truth in a prejudiced way. “We should leave the judgment to public people, instead of helping them to judge it.” Mark Thompson, the former director-general of the BBC said in an interview.

However, Some media express emotionally because then attracts more people, they want through this kind of emotional news type to get attention. But Mark Thompson thinks the biggest value of BBC is “provide light instead of heat”. He said, “we tried our best to tell public what exactly happened, but we don’t implant the emotion in the audience.”

“We would rather be right than first.” In 2000 United State President Campaign, George W. Bush versus Albert Gore, Jr. Many of media organizations include CNN, in order to attract people or release information in the first time, they speculated the final result, but the consequence was that they kept changing their news for three times within six hours, reprinted papers and kept correcting the reports. BBC waited until the last minute when the result officially released.

Another story, happened in 1988, an airplane exploded on the ground in Scotland, in a small town called Lockerbie, 270 people were killed. The incident was known as Lockerbie bombings. After the airline is crashed, everyone thought that was a vital news, many journalists pressed it in a hurry, but BBC decided to wait for 30 more minutes when they got the news. Mark said: “I thought it was wrong to go on air and saying an airline is crashed without saying which airline, because the panic you caused people, means if you got a family member on any airline, anywhere, you might be afraid they were in this tragedy. So that’s the example, is accepted that we will going to break the news a few minutes after our rivals, but we will do it be absolutely certain what happened, which airline was involved.” So those two historical examples show one of the vital principles: “We would rather be right than first.”–“Speed is very important, but we should put speed second to be right.” Said by Mark.

Everyone makes mistakes including BBC. In 2008, there was an very serious called Sachagate. It was a prank telephone calls row followed a series of voice messages left by comedian Russell Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs on BBC Radio 2–The Russell Brand Show. On the episode, Brand and Ross called Sachs as a guest to interview on-air; when Sachs failed to answer the telephone, they are heard leaving a series of lewd messages on his answering machine, including comments about Brand’s relationship with Sachs’s granddaughter. After that the BBC was complain by over 18,000 people and even the general-director came out and apologized. The two presenters including BBC were criticised by a number of members of Parliament, including the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The BBC was fined £150,000 by Ofcom(Office of Communications).

When Mark Thompson talked about this event, he mentioned “There are lines which you should not cross.” When people watching a TV program, even a quite strong joke might be acceptable, but there is a line which the public will expect this organization not to go beyond. To some extent, that line is a matter of judgement, no one can defined the line absolutely. The distinguish between strong, edge, satire or humor, may offense some people but still acceptable, but a line beyond which is something BBC or all the media organizations should not broadcast–There are certain things around intrusion, infringe privacy and also a matter of taste beyond which shouldn’t go.

BBC was born with monopoly, the only monopoly company–because of this BBC had 100% audience; but nowadays public people has extensive choices. Take a example of television, people has hundreds of different choices, if you don’t try to win your audience, then you will be a irrelevant organization and finally you will be out and disappear. So update facilities, think, find new ways, then the relationship between audience and media will stay the same. Keep changing and cater to new media, that is what BBC doing now.

In conclusion, some people may think BBC can not do every principle, I understand this for everyone makes mistakes, that is why people need to examine ourselves constantly. New media cannot change the basic principles of journalism, telling the truth instead of creating propaganda, using valid languages, providing light instead of heat, putting speed second to be right… As the pioneer of public broadcasting system, BBC significantly affects the whole media and mass communication field.

Reference:
・Andrew Crisell (1997) An Introductory History of British Broadcasting. Great Britain: Routledge

・Lyn Gorman & David McLean (2003) Media and Society in the Twentieth Century. UK: Blackwell

・Jin Chai (2012) The Contemplation of UK. (Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H13yzAh2yco)

Multimedia Portfolio

* This portfolio will keep updating.

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Student Name: Liping Luo

Student Number: LUO13401194

Unit Title: Editorial Practice 3 – Multimedia Journalism (Workshop)

Unit Leader: Mr. Russell Merryman

Unit Tutors: Ms. Laura-Jane Filotrani; Mr. Rob Sharp; Ms. Rebecca Pearce

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This portfolio includes:

Term-1:

• Impacts of Internet on Journalism (09/10/2014_WEEK 1)

• A Trend Topic on Twitter (16/10/2014_WEEK 2)

• Main Buildings in Elephant & Castle (23/10/2014_WEEK 3)

• (Class Exercise) Photoshop Practice (30/10/2014_WEEK 4)

• Halloween Audio Interview (30/10/2014_WEEK 4)

• Use Excel and Infogram to Analyse Data (06/11/2014_WEEK 5)

• 3-minute Documentary of Winter Wonderland (20/11/2014 ~ 04/12/2014_WEEK 7~9) 

Term-2:

New Year’s Resolution: Why not do something for others?                                                           (15/01/2015 ~ 29/01/2015_WEEK 1~2)

What is Love?  (29/01/2015 ~ 12/02/2015_WEEK 3~4)

**NB**:  ALL THE CONTENTS ABOVE ARE AVAILABLE HERE:

Editorial Practice (Workshop) Section

New Year’s Resolution: Why not do something for others?

It’s the start of a new year and undoubtedly people will be making changes to their lives by thinking of a New Year’s resolution. Most of us will make a New Year Resolution, maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less alcohol. New year’s resolution is a common tradition around the world in which an individual decides to give something up or make a change in their life, more so for the better.

According to the Mirror, some popular resolutions include: exercising more, eating better, cutting down on alcohol, and giving to charity. Some of these resolutions; for instance, exercising more, could involve spending more money such as on a gym membership or a diet subscription.

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New Year’s Resolutions Statistics.

Giving to charity or doing a good deed for the New Year is not a new idea, we can see these traditions quite a lot from the past. The Roman’s would begin every year by making promises to the God, Janus, while the Ancient Babylonians made promises to their God’s they would return borrowed objects and pay back any debts they had.

According to the BBC, ‘ in 2012, the average weekly turnover per charity shop from January to March was £2,087, compared with £2,038 for the same charities in the same quarter a year earlier.’ This here shows how even though by not much, there are more people buying stock from charity shops around the beginning of the year, and this all helps.

Oxfam, one of the biggest charities in the world, helps fight poverty and injustice in over 94 countries worldwide. For 2015, they added a new feature on their website called ‘New Year’s resolution with a difference’. This idea is to get children involved with making a selfless resolution, they write ‘Get your children making resolutions that not only affect them, but also those around them, locally and globally.’

This feature on the Oxfam website is mostly used by teachers and has presentations attached so the teachers can show their pupils. This is a great cause for young children as it teaches them to be selfless, and whether it is actually giving to charity, or even deciding to help people more, it can mean the world to someone else.

Reporters, Hani Ritcher and Liping Luo spoke with the manager of the Islington Oxfam store about New Year’s and how business has been like for them, for more information about the interview, view the video below.

Interview the manager of Oxfam, Islington branch.

A staggering £37m a year is spent on wasted gym memberships, says a report in the Daily Mail. This could be down to people wanting to exercise more for New Year, but never get round to doing it.

Money plays a big role in the New Year, whether it is due to new resolutions, or even down to the January sales.

January sales may be one of the reasons why people spend more money around New Year’s. Many, if not every, retailers cut their prices in order to get rid of old stock, and to be ready for their new seasonal stock. Despite the prices being cut, people actually end up spending more because of all the bargains. According to Business Insider, ‘a big, bold “SALE” sign helps get people in the store’.

However, spending more money due to resolutions doesn’t always have to be selfish. As The Mirror described, one of the most popular New Year resolution’s was to give to charity more. Whether it is actually donating clothes, or deciding to support a charity shop by buying things there, it all helps the cause they are raising money for.

Below, reporter Natalia Carcame and Hani Ritcher have interviewed people around the University of the Arts London’s LCC campus about their New Year’s resolutions and what they thought about them.

Interview the LCC students about their views of New Year’s Resolutions.

From the interviews from both audio and video, we can see that giving rather than making a selfish resolution actually has more effect on people. So this year, do a good deed, be less selfish, and have a good one.

(Total words: 686)

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Video: Hani Richter & Liping Luo

Audio: Natalia Carcame & Hani Richter

Article: Rachel Fineman

Infographic: Liping Luo

Post-colonialism (WEEK 7)

Essay Question:

Critically assess the contribution of postcolonial theorists to our understanding of the way the media report cultural difference. Refer to specific journalistic examples.

Postcolonialism is an era left over by history. This essay attempts to assess the contribution of postcolonial theorists and relevant philosophers (Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall) to our understanding of the way the media report cultural difference, specifically focus on the language and marriage issues in Hong Kong and Africa.

Colonialism means the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country or region, occupying it with settlers and exploiting it economically. After the end of colonial rule, intellectual discourses the analysis, explanation and response on the cultural legacies of colonialism. Postcolonialism discusses the relationship between suzerain and colony, it’s definition varied according to different historical eras and geographical areas rather than a rigid theory. Another name of postcolonialism is called ‘postcolonial criticism’. In fact, this is a aggregation of theoretical criticism, in which all the discourse are based on historical facts including the phenomenon of European colonialism and all sorts of consequences it caused.

* Language

Frantz Fanon as a vital postcolonial theorist, was a Martinque-born Afro-French who be treated by his French comrades with prejudiced like other Afro-French people confronted. His encounter with racism embittered him throughout his life. The book Black Skin, White Masks (1952) is an autobiographical account of his encounter.

Language issue is a key point that Fanon argues in the chapter one ‘The Negro and Language’. He ascribes a basic importance to the phenomenon of language:

In France one says, ‘He talks like a book.’ In Martinque, ‘He talks like a white man.’ The Negro arriving in France will react against the myth of the R-eating man from Martinique. He will become aware of it, and he will really go to war against it. He will practise not only rolling his R but embroidering it. … Recently an acquaintance told me a story. A Martinque Negro landed at Le Havre and went into a bar. With the utmost self-confidence he called, “Waiterrr! Bing me a beeya.” Here is a genuine intoxication. Resolved not to fit the myth of the nigger-who-eats-his- Rs, he had acquired a fine supply of them but allocated it badly. (Fanon, p.21)

Martinique people dislike other non-French Negro from Africa. However, as coloured people, they feel self-contemptuous when face to white people. For them, speaking French is a symbol of becoming white, or closer to the white. Colonial people admit the superiority of white people from subconscious. The value concepts of white are also be applied and embedded to themselves.

Also, the relationship between language and ethnicity would not only stay in speaking proper French or not, it is also reflected in the specific context when the white talk to their colonized black people. Euphemistically, kindly, politely speak to the them — in fact, that behavior is a sort of discrimination, as in stark contrast to the conversation between two white people talk unceremoniously and directly. The reason why black and white are treated as different ways is that white people think the unequal status between white and black, and in the eyes of white, black people like children who need cares, who need to be talked euphemistically, kindly and politely.

In Fanon’s point of view, speaking a different language is to consciously accept a different world and a different culture. According to him, accepting French language is the acceptance of western culture for black people, it is also means the acceptance of colonial structure. This is why black people would express admiration and envy to those black compatriot who can speak French properly.

Those ideas above of language colonialism may apply to the situation in Hong Kong. As a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839-1842), Hong Kong had experienced more than 150 years of colonial era until 1997 when it was handed over to China. The combination of British and Chinese culture during the colonial epoch shaped the current culture of Hong Kong. Despite that period had been finished, however, the affects are still lasting till today. Two main phenomenons about languages directly show the colonial influences in Hong Kong:

– Popular Oxford English accent;
– Official languages of Hong Kong.

Language is a tool of communication, accent only shows mother tongue habits rather than a way of showing the height of social status. However, Oxford English accent is regarded as an elegant English accent in Hong Kong. People imitate Oxford accent, and Hong Kong media are keen on reporting it.

Apple Daily, a famed newspaper in Hong Kong, has reported a piece of news about criticizing people have Cantonese accent in speaking English which is not professional. Retired justice Sir T L Yang, artist Josephine and many other celebrities will join a nine-month “Speak Better English” Campaign, which is held by Oxford University Press, to encourage Hong Kong people to get rid of Cantonese accent and speak English well. (Apple Daily, 04/11/2003)

Another piece of news from Apple Daily published in 2010 has showed the Hong Kong media, subconsciously, considers Oxford accent as the perfectest English accent. Here I translate a part as one of examples:

Chinglish, means Chinese English, is the way of putting Chinese language habits into using English. For example, if you ask someone: Have you eaten your rice? Even though each word pronunciation is Oxford accent, even though there is no grammar mistake at all, ‘Have you eaten your rice’ is still a sentence of non-proper English. (Apple Daily, 06/08/2010)

These sort of news are not alone. Both these two journalistic examples above shows how Hong Kong media reacts to cultural difference, and the way they report affects the attitudes, understandings and opinions of the audiences/readers — us.

Hong Kong people learn Oxford accent to pursue ‘standard English’ pronunciation, is similar to the phenomenon that Fanon describes in his book that Martique people try hard to learn ‘proper French’.

Another direct impact in language is that English and Chinese languages are both declared to be the official languages of Hong Kong. To language extent, Hong Kong is a standard bilingual region. The popularizing rate of English is very high that Chinese and English are mainly accompanied by each other at the same time.

One of the main characteristics of postcolonialism is also related to the language colonialism issue: language and power.

Postcolonialism relies heavily upon a thesis of the relationship between discourse and power, said by French philosopher Michel Foucault. According to Foucault, any ‘knowledge’ in the world is a contest of discourse and power. One of the expressions of power is that knowledge could be said though a mouth, because this means you have the ‘power’ to show how or why this knowledge is thought as knowledge. In other words, to some extent, knowledge is equal to truth, whoever hold the authority has the power to claim truth. Foucault believes that ‘truth’ (actually is things be used as ‘truth’ in a certain historical environment) is the consequence of using power.

This is similar to Stuart Hall’s theory about Media Representation. One of Hall’s arguments is that ideology and power fix meaning, or attempt to lock meaning down, to impose one meaning on an event or an image. However, not all the meanings are equal. Hall believes that putting meanings into circulation and letting them become familiar to everyone is depends on who hold the power in society – whoever is in authority controls the meaning that actually begin to circulate.

Language is a basic but vital medium of communication, it relates to Foucault and Hall’s thesis. Back to centuries ago, reviewing all the different sort of colonialism, the most direct impact is language colonialism. Languages and power are inseparable, this is how it influents the colonies.

* Marriage

When Portuguese started to export the slaves from western Africa in 1441, the Atlantic slave trade had been began. In 1913, the only two independent countries in Africa were Republic of Liberia and Ethiopian Empire. Apart from these two countries, all others were controlled and colonized by western European countries.

Marriage seems a good way to change the fate of the colonial context and one’s own social status, in Fanon’s point of view. When a black woman married to a white man, it means this black woman is no longer a ‘black’ but ‘white’, as through the relationship of marriage, she actually links to the whites, and becomes relatively to the social status that white people have. If there is such a fate owned by a black woman, she will get many envy and jealousy from black females. Furthermore, this phenomenon would become an enduring news in their community, according to Fanon, in 1952.

Even if not marry to a white man, it is better and luckier to be married a half-breed man than a completely black man. The brown skin color of the half-breed is between blacks and whites, and it is closer to whites compare to blacks. Therefore, mestizo means closer to whites, higher social status and more superiority than the blacks.

So my mother, then, was a mixture? I should have guessed it when I looked at her light color. I found her prettier than ever, and cleverer, and more refined. If she had married a white man, do you suppose I should have been completely white? … And life might not have been so hard for me?


In a word, the race must be whitened; every woman in Martinique knows this, says it, repeats it. Whiten the race, save the race. (Fanon, p.47)

If a black woman got lucky with her white husband, then an expression of love to a black woman by a white man seems more incredible. There is a significance to that black woman. Because after then, she will get into a closed group and be recognized by this group of people. The psychological inferiority has completely disappeared. She is no longer the person who wanted to

be a white, she is white and she has entered the white world.

However, this is only what Fanon or other black woman thinks. But what is the reality? Sadly, 60 years after Fanon published the book, one of the famous Africa’s news websites Mail & Guardian (http://mg.co.za) has reported a news article in 2012 as the headline is “Colour bar still exists in relationships”:

When the National Party rose to power in 1948, one of the first pieces of apartheid legislation it passed was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (No 55) of 1949, which outlawed marriages between white people and people of other races.

In her findings Mojapelo-Batka reported that the six mixed-race couples she investigated in her study “initially experienced negative family and social reactions or disapproval, which resulted in the loss of valuable relationships and other disadvantages or challenges”. This was more than 30 years after the repeal of the Mixed Marriages Act.

The news article has reported an example about a black woman named Williams-Pretorius who has married to her white husband for nine years, but she is still not welcomed by her husband’s mother. Even the church counsellor told her that black and white people do not belong together and everyone thinks so.

“My husband is white and I am coloured,” she said. “It was extremely difficult for his mom, in particular, to come to terms with her son’s choice. She has done a lot to break up the relationship. My husband has been very supportive. It couldn’t have been easy for him, being in a position where he has no contact with his mom. It really is sad, but that is how it is. We have been together for 15 years and in March we will have been married for nine years. We have a five-year-old son who does not know that he has a grandmother.”

Desperate for support, Williams-Pretorius initially turned to a church counsellor. “When I started to tell my story, she said: ‘Yes, but black and white people do not belong together and everybody thinks so.’ I was dumbstruck. I left the counselling room that day in more pain than I was in when I arrived.”

Fanon, represents most of black people, believes that a good marriage would end the unequal relationships between black and white, but the media tells us that the reality seems very hard to make it come true. This journalistic example is entirely opposite to the contribution that Fanon made.

In conclusion, The main postcolonial theorist Frantz Fanon has given us two various angles in this essay — language and marriage. Through some journalistic examples of Hong Kong and Africa to understand the media report cultural difference. Post-colonialism is not a time point; in contrast, it will last for a very long time. However, for my perspective, it will disappear as time goes by. Future generations may not have the same experience or feeling their colonized ancestor had. So, prejudice or discrimination, don’t worry, time would help.

(Total words: 2273)

Reference:

• Fanon, F. (1967) Black Skin, White Masks (Trans. Charles Lam Markmann) New York: Grove Press.

• Hall, S. (1997) Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices.

• Foucault, M. Power/Knowledge New York: Pantheon Books.

http://uwf.edu/dearle/foucault.pdf

Mail & Guardian — Colour bar still exists in relationship

http://mg.co.za/article/2012-02-17-colour-bar-still-exists-in-relationships

Apple Daily

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/supplement/columnist/art/20100806/14315309

http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/news/art/20031114/3663162

3-Minute Documentary About An Event: Winter Wonderland 2014 (WEEK 7 ~ WEEK 9)

WINTER WONDERLAND IS READY!!!

(Video of Winter Wonderland 2014)

The biggest festive event Winter Wonderland is back at Hyde Park for 2014! The annual fair returns to London’s Hyde Park to mark its 8th year. It’s that time of the year again to take out the fur coats and boots!

This year there are dozens of rides and hundreds of market stalls, food vendors and carnival games view for the public to enjoy, sprawling across a hefty chunk of one of London’s largest parks.

Add this to the fact that as one of the capital’s most fabulous festive events. Winter Wonderland attracts crowds of thousands on a regular basis, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and miss some of the best attractions.

The event has fairground rides, child friendly Santa’s grotto and through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you’re ready to hear all those songs as you ponder.

Other attractions at Hyde Park’s annual Christmassy addition is the Giant Observation Wheel and the ‘Christmas Circus’ and ‘Cirque Berserk’ – from the family friendly Zippos Circus. Winter Wonderland’s ice rink, the biggest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. The video below highlights some of the key events; make sure to check it out!

The festival also includes The Magical Ice Kingdom. It’s a chance to get up close to some real ice and snow, meeting some mythical frozen beasts by the chilly forest. The 60-metre observation wheel, rollercoaster’s and fairground rides do the job in making the public happy. A good alternative for those who prefer to stay on the ground are the selection of themed bars with real fires, except for the Ice Bar (for structural reasons) where even the glasses you drink from are made of ice.

Famous stars shows in there sometimes as well! American actress Lindsay Lohan was seen in London on 30th November on a few rides at Winter Wonderland.

23AB50AE00000578-0-image-143_1417565461602Satisfying her need for speed: Lindsay joined friends on an Ice-inspired ride.

Rose Smith, 24 was interviewed at the festival she says:

“Going to Winter Wonderland was a really fun experience. I went there with a friend to have a fun day out and that is what we got. There were rides for the people that enjoy thrills. There were also food stalls there to enjoy which we did buy from. We went ice skating too and that was a fun experience – even though I held on to the side rails as it was my first time ice skating but my friend was more confident and that also meant she fell down in the sludgy ice rink. We also had the chance to watch a circus performance too, which was fun too.

Traveling there was easy and we both used the Underground which is simple enough to use if you know what you are doing. There were also signs once at the station to guide where the Winter Wonderland was happening. I would recommend Winter Wonderland to everyone as there is something for everyone (families, couples, friends etc) to do and it is a nice chance to come to London to have fun. It only happens once a year so what is the harm in trying. I would give my experience of going to Winter Wonderland a 7.5/10.”

If you’re skating, be aware there’s no minimum age for skaters, under-12s must be accompanied by someone 16 or over and the smallest skates for hire are children’s size 9 (adult skates go up to size 13).  Anyone can use their own skates as long as they’re not speed skates. Wheelchair users are welcome on the ice. There are also ice guides on who can look after groups of up to 15 skaters at a time (for an additional charge).

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(Total words: 620)

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Team Members:

Article Author: Kholla Khan; 

Video Filming & Editor: Liping Luo.

(2 students from BA Journalism Year-2, London College of Communication)

Use Excel and Infogram to Analyse Data (WEEK 5)

On week-5, LJ and Rob have taught us the methods of using Excel and Infogram (infogr.am) to analyse data. This article will mainly focus on how to use infogram to create infographic after finishing the data calculation in Excel.

The data below is one of the practices we have done. It shows a record of the total amount of money that politicians have got during the 2005 election(6-month before/ 6-month after).

Six-month to the run-up:

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 15.38.03

Six-month after:

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 15.37.38

(Apparently before the election a lot politicians were making great effort to get donations.)

Infogram is an easy-used website, make sure getting an account first.

Just click ‘Create’ and choose ‘Charts’.

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Select ‘Add Chart’ and ‘Double-click to edit'(see below).

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Now all we need to do is choose a square(avoid the first column and row), then copy 5AB-16AB(Excel Sheet8) or 5AB-8AB(Excel Sheet7) to the blank square chosen area. The reason for avoiding first column and row is because they are the space for titles.

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Tada! Here we are! The final infographics!

One of advantages of Infogram is that it makes all the data clear, also data are distinguished by their colours.

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屏幕快照 2014-12-04 下午10.45.15

(Total words: 186)

Halloween Audio Interview (WEEK 4)

2014 - 1

A hallowed out of pumpkin with face cut is one of  the traditions of Halloween.

Halloween is a  famous festival in western countries on October 31st, which is one night of the year when ghosts, witches, and fairies are especially active. Modern Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. Recent years it’s been getting popular in many oriental countries such as China, Japan and Thailand. However, we do have a completely different ‘ghost festival’ in China, which is more serious compare to western Halloween.

One of my classmates — Hani Richter, who is studying second year Journalism course  in the London College of Communication, has interviewed me about the differences of ghost festival between western countries and China.

The Chinese ghost festival is called the Hungry Ghost Festival, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. The exact date is normally between July and August each year depends on traditional Chinese calendar. It is believed that the Gates of Hell are opened once a year during the Hungry Ghost Festival and all the lost and hungry ghosts of hell are free to roam the living world. Children has many restrictions in Hungry Ghost Festival; for instance, parents would keep them at home after sunset and they are not allowed to go out. The reason for this is because there is a superstition that all the ghosts would come to the human world at that night, and children would easily get scared by the ghost. Even adults rarely go out at that evening.

To appease these lost souls and to prevent them from causing the living harm, people put food out for the ghosts to enjoy. Elaborate ceremonies and rituals are also performed to please the ghosts. Burning joss stick is also one of our custom, too, which is very usual and common in Chinese fiestas.

A hallowed out of pumpkin with face cut must be one of  the traditions of Halloween. The tradition of dressing in custom for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghost came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghost if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghost would mistake them for fellow spirits.

As we can see here, from the phenomenon of staying at home and going outside, there is a huge difference between these two cultures.

Last year was the first Halloween I have celebrated as I went abroad to Britain. Two things I have noticed most in the Halloween. Firstly, I’ve seen many people did the make-up of scared faces, such like putting blood on their faces. The second thing is there are plenty of children knocked my door in Halloween and asked me ‘Trick or treat!?’ For me western is more funny compare to China.

Want to find out more? Check the audio!

If you have any problem in listening the interview, click here! Halloween Audio Interview

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Term-1 Final Assignment (1): 750-word Feature

How do I define my country in the new century? The antiquity of China is fading away with the economy, like a new born baby, is developing at a world-shocking pace; however, its one-party leadership, blockages on the Internet and the press… are still not be understood by western countries. As a Chinese student abroad I am given the freedom to feel something that I would not be allowed to learn in my homeland.

Chinese government puts blockage on multiple western websites such as Facebook, Gmail/Google Search and BBC. To some extent, the websites of Social Networking Services and News from western countries are mostly banned in China. The Chinese government wishes to restrict the information which would seems to be not conductive to Chinese economic development and political stability. For instance, this article I am writing could probably be scanned and banned from the internet world of mainland China because of its political sensitivity. When I arrived to this new western country, the first freedom I felt is the freedom of the Internet — I can search a lot of things that I couldn’t find in China; for example, the ‘Tiananmen Square Protest’, which were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing bur forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law. As a journalism student, it is helpful for me to learn the real history of my country with critical thinking.

Homosexual marriage has been legalized in the UK, but there is still a long way to go in China. In my perspective, every human beings have the right to pursuit happiness, even though heterosexual people. We should respect different people’s choices. As J. S. Mill’s opinion on the book On Liberty that individual does not need to be responsible for as long as their own behavior does not affect others; once this personal action harms or hurts other’ benefits, individuals need to take responsibility. Chinese law does not accept homosexuality at the moment. It does not mean we don’t have gay or lesbians in China, but the freedom I can feel in here is much bigger compare to China.

Academic freedom in teenage ages is one of the freedom to be felt in the UK. IGCSE and GCE A-Level as the secondary education system in here, the students are allowed to have more freedom in choosing the courses what they are more interested in or want to learn compare to Chinese secondary education system. The variety in combination of courses benefits the students to focus on their further plans. Chinese high school students (equivalent with GCE A-Level) have to study Chinese, Mathematics, English, and the combination of either Science (Chemistry+Physics+Biology) or Liberal Arts (Geography+Politics+History). They are not given the opportunity and space to choose whatever courses they like. That is why many Chinese high school graduate students have no idea which course they should learn in the future university or what sort of career they are prefer, which is a common phenomenon in China.

Gambling is restricted in mainland China, too. Only national public welfare lottery is legal. Gambling freedom in the UK is embedded in the legality of casinos. However, probably someone would ask me there is a weird phenomenon that although Hong Kong and Macau are belong to China, but some of the freedom above could be found in these two regions; for example, Macau is very famous for gambling, and there is no internet restriction at all in Hong Kong. This is because Chinese government has set ‘One country, two systems’ to apply to two regions.

In conclusion, the main reason for all these kind of banned freedom above I can not feel in mainland China, for my perspective, is because of the level of actual development of the country. I believe one day in the future that I can feel the same freedom in my own country sooner or later. I truly love my homeland, and I hope that day is coming soon.

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