CATS Reflection – 6/5 – The New Day

Earlier in the semester, we discussed whether or not The New Day would herald a new age in print journalism.  In light of the news that The New Day will produce it’s final edition today, I would give the answer, possibly not.

Today sees it’s 50th and final edition, and will disappear from newsstands for good, having tried to compete in a declining market for the last 2 months.

New Day Final Edition

New Day Final Edition

Many things have been written about The New Day, and there are a few that I didn’t realise.  It had a very early print deadline, as it had to be printed before the Daily Mirror went to press as they were using the same printing facilities.  This meant that any news that broke late, be that news or sport, was missed.

The circulation had to achieve sales of around 200,000 copies per day to break even, but towards the end, only 40,000 copies were sold per day, and Trinity Mirror decided to pull the plug before too much money was lost.

I’m sorry to see The New Day go from the shelves, but given the evidence it was only a matter of time.  In my opinion, it may be the last national newspaper to be launched, with the Independent having disappeared earlier this year due to falling sales.


Reflection on Semester 1

I have handed everything in for Semester 1, which has come as a huge relief.

The feeling of getting the 3 green slips for the assignments is very satisfying, but I also realise that this signals the half way point of my degree, and the work will only increase as the months progress.

I’m able to look back on the work I have done, recognising the positives and the negatives, and using those to go forward to the next semester.

Having a period of illness half way through the semester didn’t help, but I feel that during my recovery, I probably did more than I should have in that time, but only by doing that, that I am able to hand in early for the deadlines.

Im looking towards semester 2 with many positives, and by keeping on top of the work load, taking on extra work experience, and holding down a busy job, I can aim high as always over the next few months.

Reflection – Documentary Pitch and Magazine Spread

At the end of the assignment brief, part of the criteria is to write a review of the whole project, and reflect on what was good and bad about the process.

I feel that by being completely honest about the journey is imperative, so that I can take forward the positives and negatives to future assignments.

By asking a cross-section of people about the potential subject of the piece, I felt that I gained a number of potential subjects, so that not only was it useful for this assignment, but I also gained views about other people who could be used throughout the rest of Year 2, Year 3 and beyond.

Taking this step increased awareness of what I’m doing within the degree, and gave me a greater audience for the final output of both video and magazine.

I will look at the plus and minus points of the two elements of the assignment separately.

Documentary Pitch

In creating the Pitch, I felt very comfortable in selecting suitable locations to film, and also the content within.  By using skills gained in Year 1, I was happy that I was able to film, and be comfortable in front of the camera.  A point to note for future reference is not to rely on the internal microphone of my video camera, because although it gave, in some cases, acceptable audio quality, I wanted to ensure that the sound was of a superior level, as has been discussed within the course, as was highlighted by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council on their inspectione.

As I will be looking towards television journalism during Year 3 and after graduation, I feel that my level of work needs to be of the highest standard, so that potential employers can see the quality of the work that I can bring their organisations.

Having external microphones, either owned personally, or hired from the stores, is a necessity for me when creating other products going forward.

Something which caused problems through the process was the weather.  There were times when my availability to film was curtailed by the elements, be that rain or wind, but I recognise that as something that is out of my control, so I allowed  extra filming time.  I have not, and will not, allow the weather to prevent me from filming the pieces that I want to.  It is simply a case of having to change the location, or timing of filming, even if that means grabbing a couple of hours when the conditions allow.

In terms of planning, I found the mind map and gantt charting processes invaluable, so that I got everything into the overall submission.  By having these two charts on my wall at home, allowed me to look at what needed to be done, and that the video package was completed before Christmas, so that the festive period could be used for checking that everything was complete.

Something that I mentioned in a reflection back last year is the availability of software packages at home.  I am very fortunate to have some software at home, so that I can experiment with ideas away from the news studio.  This means that the time spend at HSAD is more constructive, and I can utilise precious classroom time to further the project, knowing that I have looked into all possible options and put those forward into the project.

Another positive through this assignment, is the availability of a professional mixer desk and microphone at home, in order to create high quality voice over audio files.  By using this, it makes the exported video have a rich tone of voice, and one that would be suitable for pitching, and ultimately, creating the final documentary.

Magazine Spread

In creating the magazine spread in InDesign, I utilised the skills gained through the taught lessons, and additional research from Year 1.  Taking that knowledge forward, refreshing my skills, and learning further ones through this assignment, I felt that the overall process went very well.  As with the Pitch, I felt that the planning of the spread was a very important phase, and not just going in all guns blazing, and going down the wrong route.

Flatplanning the magazine was a new concept to me, but it’s one that will be added to the plans for future magazines.  By using the visual prompts, it allowed me to ensure the magazine is easy to read, with the right balance of text and graphics.

After the formative feedback, I was advised to change the font size and line spacing to ensure an easier read.  When I printed out the two documents, and showed them side by side, I saw what differences it made to the spread, and how it much of a difference it makes.

By making those changes, and uploading the final product to online magazine sites, it gives the product a wider audience, and more credability to a potential worldwide audience.

Final Reflection

Throughout the weeks of creating the two products, I found that asking for feedback before the end of the term was invaluable, both from my friends and peers, and also my lecturer.  Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can assist greatly, and an example of this is that in my first voice over piece, I featured a lot about the city of Hull, rather than on the subject of the pitch.  Of the 180 seconds of the outputted video, only 40 seconds actually discussed David Whitfield.

Once it had been mentioned, I immediately set about making the changes, and ensuring that both sides were covered, Hull to give a little background to the story, but that the main focus was on David Whitfield.

Again, with the magazine spread, the feedback was a small amount of things to change, such as the line spacing, and allowing a small amount of the background photo to show around the text boxes and photos.  After making them, I feel that it made the overall product much superior.

Investigating alternative outputs for the two products has shown me the ways in which a flat product can be accessed by other people.  By utilising technology such as subtitling, audiobooks and mobile applications to showcase my talents, I am able to reach other areas where the standard product may not work, or not work as well.

Taking stock of what I have achieved in this assignment, I feel able to go forward and create more products in the future.  Constantly striving for excellence within a field of video and print based journalists, so what I can offer makes me stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Democratic Unionist Party

DUP Logo

DUP Logo

The Democratic Unionist Party was formed in 1971 by Desmond Boal, and the man who led the party for much of its history, Reverend Dr Ian Paisley, and is currently the largest of all political parties in Northern Ireland with 8 seats.

It initially found success within the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1973, where it had 8 representatives, and also gained 1 seat in the 2 General Elections held in 1974, the sole representative being Dr Paisley, who gained a majority of 27,631 votes in the February vote and 34,497 in the election held in October.

During the next 4 elections, the DUP held 3 seats within the 17 that were available within Northern Ireland, Dr Paisley and Peter Robinson retaining their seats in all 4, with John McQuade winning in 1979, before losing in 1983, and William McCrea winning in 1983, 1987, and 1992.

The DUP lost another of it’s seat in the 1997 General Election, with Paisley and Robinson, the Westminster representatives of the DUP, and this election saw major changes in Northern Ireland after the many years of “The Troubles”.

After the election, the DUP were involved in the negotiations to try to reunite Northern Ireland, but withdrew as Sinn Féin were invited to the discussions, while the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with whom Sinn Féin had links, had failed to surrender all of their weapons.

In the 2001 General Election, the DUP increased their seats to 5, and then to 9 in 2005, the highest number of seats in their history, and representing 50 per cent of the seats available in Northern Ireland.

Subsequently, the number of seats has been reduced to 8, in the 2010, and 2015 General Elections.

Dr Paisley led the party until 2008, when he stepped down, before leaving Parliament in 2010.  His long time deputy, Peter Robinson took over as leader until 2015, when he also stepped down, and Arlene Foster was elected as leader, taking the role from 17 December 2015.

CATS Reflection – Injunctions and Super Injunctions

In the timetable for CATS, the final session discusses injunctions and super injunctions.

An injunction is a legal order for someone or an organisation to either do something or not to do something.  Usually when in relation to journalism, it is to prevent a story, potential story, or a person for who a story is connected to, to be named.

A super-injunction is a legal order that is the same as an injunction, but even the fact that it exists, cannot be reported.

In a journalistic context, and in the wider world, these legal orders must be adhered to, and anyone who breaks them, can be liable to the full force of the law and be convicted of Contempt of Court.

Super-injunctions can only be revealed in certain circumstances, one of these is where the super-injunction is reported out of the jurisdiction of where it is held.  For example, a court in England grants a super-injunction, and a newspaper in Scotland is able to report on the person/story involved, as it is a different legal system.


From a personal point of view, I will exercise great caution in a journalistic context, and also in my life away from the media.  I will continue to go by my own mantra in being careful in what I post or retweet, because once it’s done, it’s recorded forever.

Filming – David Whitfield

Throughout the last week, I have filmed at a number of locations in and around Hull City Centre for my David Whitfield documentary pitch.

I have created a first edit of the video, using the footage, and have noted a few observations regarding the initial cut.

Having looked at the footage, I feel that the locations are suitable, but the use of the on-board microphone doesn’t give enough volume or quality of audio, so I will be looking to go out over the next few days to re-shoot the video, but with external microphones to ensure that the audio is of a higher quality.

CATS Reflection – Emergency Services and NHS

When discussing the emergency services, including the Fire Brigade, the NHS, and Coastguard, it is, along with other media relationships, to nurture these ties, because the media need their co-operation, and vice versa.

Looking first at reporting at incidents and major events, I would consider that although the stories are important, my first and foremost concern would be to not get in the way of the emergency service in doing their job, by trying to do mine, and also to not put myself in a position where my actions could either make the situation worse for people involved, and also myself.

The job of a journalist is to tell the story, accurately and fairly, and in this case, help where possible, and get out of the way if required.

When reporting on statistics or stories that don’t directly involve the immediate health of a person, then the rules of reporting still apply.  Looking at the facts, and using figures to emphasise a story is good start, but as with anything, checking, checking and checking again is vitally important.

As a journalist, I would always work with the relevant authority, as helping them, hopefully helps me in my career, the organisation I represent, and ultimately the nation as a whole.

CATS Reflection – Police and Crime Reporting

As part of the CATS sessions, journalists covering Crime and the Police was discussed.  A crime correspondent is held as one of the highly regarded positions within local and national newspapers.

Covering news from Police authorities is something that has to be dealt with delicately, and can be fraught with difficulties, both in terms of level of content, and a careful eye kept on the legalities of reporting.

Structure of the Police

The Police are now accountable to a local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), who are directly elected as part of elections every 4 years, using the Supplementary Vote system.

Locally, Hull is covered by the Humberside Police force, and in the 2012 Police and Crime Commissioner Elections, Matthew Grove was elected with a majority of 2,231, over John Prescott.  During the vote, Grove gained 3,842 votes than Prescott, but as part of the voting system, Grove gained the position.  It has to be noted that the turnout for the vote was 19.15 per cent of the total electorate within the Humberside Police force area.

The next round of PCC elections will take place on 5 May 2016, the same day as Local Council elections in England and Wales.

The Police have a variety of roles, from full-time uniformed and plain clothed officers, special constables, and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO).  I am looking at the different roles within the Police Forces across England and Wales, and the rules for other parts of the United Kingdom can vary by area.


PCSO’s were introduced in 2002, initially by the Metropolitan Police, and are classed as uniformed civilian police support staff.  They serve within Safer Neighbourhood or Neighbourhood Policing Teams, and have a specific remit to provide high visibility policing, dealing with anti-social behaviour, minor offences and intelligence gathering.

They do not have the same powers as other police officers, for example, they are unable to make a police arrest, only a citizen’s arrest, under section 24A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

According to Government Statistics published in July 2015, there were equivalent to 12,331 full-time PCSO’s across the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Special Constables

Special Constables are members of a Police Constabulary, and in most cases, do not receive remuneration for their services.  Some constabularies are experimenting with paying their Special Constables.  The commitment as a “Special” is for a minimum of 16 hours service over a 4 week period.

They have full police powers, and can be promoted within the ranks, starting at Constable level, and can work their way up to the rank of Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary.

According to Government Statistics published in July 2015, there were equivalent to 16,101 full time members of the Special Constabulary across the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Police Officers

Police Officers are employed by individual constabularies.  These constabularies are all governed by and accountable to Her Majesty’s Inspectorates of Constabulary.

Officers are organised by rank, and are uniform across England and Wales, except for the 2 forces that cover London, City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.  The ranks are Constable, Sergeant, Inspector, Chief Inspector, Superintendent, and Chief Superintendent.  The highest rank across the 41 forces outside London is Chief Constable, and within the Capital, it is Commissioner.

According to Government Statistics published in July 2015, there were equivalent to 126,818 full time Police Officers across the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Covering Stories involving the Police

When working as a journalist, I feel it is good practice to have a positive working relationship with the Police, without it being too overbearing.  The Police have their own press office for releasing information that will assist with the day-to-day running of the Police Force, and will need to work with journalists, in TV, Radio, Print and Online media.

I have discussed with my peers about the relationship between the Media and the Police, and it is very much a two way street.  We need the Police, but they also need the media to assist with accurate reporting of events, appeals for assistance in catching criminals, or, in the event of a major incident, getting the information out to the members of the public.

At the end of the day, we all have a job to do, so both sides must conduct themselves professionally, even if that causes a little friction.  The Police may withhold information from the Media about an ongoing investigation, but will have a very good reason for doing so.

Making contacts within the Police Force is a very important way of building a relationship, be that with serving or retired officers.  Working with serving officers may enable a journalist to get a tip off on a story that is going to break in the near future, and nurturing the relationship, will put you ahead of other media outlets that may just use the Police Press Releases.

In addition to the Press Office, there are many other outlets that the Police have to get information out into the “real world”.  For example, many police officers have their own official Twitter accounts, and there are websites for Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams.  The website for my local Neighbourhood Policing Team, Myton, has it’s own page on the Humberside Police website, that lists news and information about the area, together with a list of all Police Officers and PCSO’s.

Another key piece of advice I have learnt from the course, is to know what you can and cannot do legally, at crime scenes, and report on in the various media outlets.  If in doubt, check with senior journalists, lawyers, and refer to your handy copy of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.


CATS Reflection – Current Cabinet Members (November 2015)

Cabinet of the United Kingdom - 2015

Cabinet of the United Kingdom – 2015

The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is formed by the Prime Minster of the current Government.  It consists of 21 Members Of Parliament with senior roles within Government and together with the Prime Minster, they collectively make decisions about Government policy, that the Government then take to the House of Commons for the chamber to debate.

In addition to the 22 cabinet ministers, there are another 8 people who attend cabinet meetings, but are not members of the cabinet.

In the session, we discussed about the role that the cabinet have in decision making, and how many of the names that the group could identify.  There weren’t many we could name from memory, but the names are recognisable, and will become more so as this parliament continues through to 2020 and the next General Election.

As part of the reflection, I was asked to research a cabinet minister, and reflect on it here.  However, in my thirst for knowledge about the subject, I decided to research all 22 current members (November 2015), and the additional 8 people who attend cabinet meetings as part of their current roles.

Members of the Cabinet

Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service Rt Hon David Cameron MP (Con)
Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State Rt Hon George Osborne MP (Con)
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal The Rt Hon. the Baroness Stowell of Beeston MBE (Con)
Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP (Con)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Defence Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Health Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Rt Hon Greg Clark MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP (Con)
Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Justine Greening MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Transport Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Scotland Rt Hon David Mundell MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Wales Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP (Con)
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP (Con)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP (Con)
Minister for Government Policy and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP (Con)

Politicians who attend Cabinet Meetings

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP (Con)
Minister of State for Universities and Science Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP (Con)
Chief Whip in the House of Commons and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Rt Hon Mark Harper MP (Con)
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rt Hon Greg Hands MP (Con)
Minister without Portfolio Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP (Con)
Attorney General for England and Wales and Advocate General for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP (Con)
Minister of State for Employment Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Con)
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Rt Hon The Baroness Anelay of St John’s DBE PC (Con)

Members of the Cabinet – Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP – Profile

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond is the incumbent Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge, and holds the position of Foreign Secretary having being appointed in July 2014.

Born in Epping, Essex in 1955, he was educated at state schools in Brentwood, before reading for a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at University College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first class honours degree.

On leaving Oxford, Hammond worked for Speywood Laboratories, eventually becoming a director in Speywood Medical.  After leaving Speywood, he was a director at Castlemead, a healthcare and nursing company.  He also worked for CMA Consultants, as a consultant to various organisations including the World Bank, and to the Government of Malawi, a role he held until entering Parliament in 1997.

His polticial career started as chairman of the Lewisham East Conservative Association in 1989, and also ran for Parliament in the Newham North East by-election in 1994.  He was selected as the parliamentary candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge, a new constituency created from the former seats of Chertsey and Walton and North West Surrey.

At the 1997 General Election, he won by a majority of 9,875 from the Labour candidate Ian Peacock.  Hammond has retained the seat ever since, with the 4 elections of 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2015.

On entering Parliament, he served on the Environment, Transport and the Regions Select Committee, before roles as Spokesman for Health, and then Trade and Industry followed, before working in the Shadow Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.  After the 2005 General Election, Hammond was given the role of Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Michael Howard, but was moved to Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by David Cameron upon his election to the leader of the Conservative Party.  In the July 2007 reshuffle, he was moved back to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Following the 2010 General Election, he was appointed as Secretary of State for Transport, replacing Lord Adonis, a role he held until October 2011, when he was moved to be Secretary of State for Defence, after the resignation of Liam Fox over allegations about allowing a close friend access to the Ministry of Defence.

In the July 2014 reshuffle, David Cameron moved Hammond from Defence to the role of Foreign Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The role of Foreign Secretary has overall responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  Their remit includes British nationals overseas, The Commonwealth, and UK Overseas Territories.