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Archive for On the Web

Cyberbullies to be targeted by schools

The UK Minister for Schools has called on teachers to tackle the growing problem of ‘cyber bullying’ by young people.

Ed Balls commented that as technology has become more prevalent in society through websites such as myspace and facebook, so too has the reported cases of online abuse. Examples include threats of violence, intimidation, cyber-stalking, harassment via email and even threats to kill.

The government are also taking the issue seriously and they have launched a new website for anyone who needs help or more information with regards to hi-tech bullying.

Login to shape Conservative policy…

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At a time when the UK Conservative party continues to face a policy identity crisis, they are using the web forums to fight back.

The Tories have already been quick to jump on the technology bandwagon with ‘webcameron‘ and a dedicated YouTube channel however this new initiative promises to offer something quite different.

Visitors to the website are encouraged to register and login to the forums and take part in shaping policy by leaving comments and making suggestions on the website.

At the moment, there’s also a competition for people who register and take part. Five people will ‘win’ the opportunity to meet the Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron.


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A day in the life… Via a blog

The morning editor of BBC News 24, Simon Waldman has given us a glimpse ito ‘Waldman’s world’ via posting on his blog.

He’s basically blogged his way through his morning shift, presumably to be read by those who were surreptitiously keeping up to date via a browser hidden behind the spreadsheet.

The blog gives a good insight into the challenges that face a rolling TV news channel. Some stories can be planned for, they’re already in the diary but lots are reported on by cool, calm and collected newsreaders reading out a script written by a frantic, overworked script writers and news Editors. As the blog shows too, sometimes as the nature of events unfold, the news team have to change things quickly.

You can read all about Simon’s shift here.


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10.2 million UK users now use Myspace

The worlds most popular social networking software has crossed the 10m user mark in the UK, making it more popular than a pint of bitter.

Myspace is owned by US giant ‘Fox Interactive Media’ and any UK user is now automatically redirected to a localised Myspace UK server.

According to Media Guardian, the most popular UK profile on the network is that of Project (red) which was launched by U2’s lead singer, Bono.

Myspace has previously come in for sharp criticism from child protection groups who believe that social networking software should be aimed at adults rather than teens.


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What happens when bloggers get together?

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20-or-so bloggers got together in central Manchester to learn from each other but also to talk with blogging ‘professionals’ from the BBC. Far too much beer and food was consumed however the session was primarily arranged to encourage more local bloggers to write about their community and what’s going on in it.

The BBC’s Richard Fair commented “there are some great things that go on in our city and we really want to encourage the bloggers to go out and write about them. It’s working too” Its for this purpose that the meet-up was organised to coincide with the Manchester International Festival which features scores of local musicians and 25 specially comisioned acts.

The BBC Manchester blog team are frequently covering local events such as these and unlike most other BBC blogs which concentrate on one person or topic, the Manchester blog stands on its own as one which carries no set agenda other than a geographic area.


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The Safety of Journalists

With the safe release of Alan Johnstone, the collective relief of the media was felt the world over. Everyone accepts that the dangers facing journalists are ever increasing but what cost should individuals be prepared to pay for a ‘free press’?

 Jon Williams, the BBC world news editor has written extensively about Alan’s captivity and the corporations response. His writing helps to highlight the fine line which news providers must tread when trying to balance individual safety with the ubiquitous task of the free press to get the word out.

 Shortly before Alan Johnstone was kidnapped, Richard Sambrook (director of the BBC’s Global News division) also wrote about the dangers facing journalists. Richard’s post considered many of the cases which unfortunately do not end in freedom for the individuals concerned.

 Readers of this blog should just take a moment, amidst the relief for Alan and his family, to highlight this ongoing, wider issue.

Want to be on Newsnight?

The BBC Newsnight team are taking a fresh approach to newsgathering.  In a break with tradition, the Newsnight team will be using a social networking site to find new stories for the programme.

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Paul Mason, one of the programmes correspondents has set up a special group on the Facebook website called ‘Get yourself on Newsnight!’ where the 244 (current) members are able to post and comment on featured topics.

Citizen Journalism is on the increase on the global media stage and this principle is carried forward with this group.  The BBC now regularly features video content from websites such as YouTube, however this idea takes the principle of user generated content one step further. Here it may be described as user ‘inspired content’.