Multimedia Reporting Experience

It’s been an interesting experience thus far in the Multimedia Reporting class, interlinked with Intro to Reporting 2 and Social Media, there have been a number of overlaps and similarities within the course.

The main trends that I’ve picked up from all the courses and in particular Multimedia reporting, because it emphasises all the aspects, is that to be a journalist in this climate it requires for you to be skilled as a writer. On top of that there has to be some sort of knowledge of all sorts of media outlets be it print, internet or broadcast (radio and TV).

On top of that it’s a case of being as pro-active as posible, this was drilled from day one with the introduction to Edinburgh’s wordpress site and an insistence that we write. Now. This has been a valuable expereience actually, because although I already had a blog at http://musingsbyseangordon.blogspot.co.uk/ it was an invitation to explore the blogosphere fro ma more professional point of view, and it was really emphasised that the use of blogs is in effect the creation of an online CV and a major selling point for ourselves. 

So with that from this course so far we have been left with a major tool, to sell ourselves, at our disposal for our own professional development in an industry where prostitution of our skills  are not only encouraged, but they are the life-blood.

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Scottish Independence Debate Podcast

Stuart Johnston presents an independence debate with Ashtin Loughry and Cameron Bark. Will independence be a good thing for Scotland or not?

Podcast: 1st Year Napier Journalism on the Entertainment News of the Weekend

Featuring: Douglas James Greenwood, Siobhan Brown, Rachel Henderson and Kaitlyn Heiskell

Why the Oscars Don’t Mean a Thang

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Academy Awards nominations have been announced and everybody cares, for some reason. It’s all “It’s a disgrace that…” and “Why the hell did she/he get nominated?” Everybody’s up in arms about Jennifer Lawrence getting nominated again as the backlash begins – another year, another actress being thrown out of The Best Likeable Actress category for existing all the time (remember the Dissolution of Anne Hathaway last year? She was a good actress, but she was too grateful for her Oscar apparently, the silly over-excited pair of earlobes). Meanwhile in the Best Actor category, Matthew McConaughey has risen from the cheesy rose petal-strewn ashes of How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days and The Wedding Planner with The Dallas Buyers Club, a movie which, from what I can glean from the trailer, is inspired by a true story about AIDS. Only it’s totally funny. And Jared Leto dresses up as a woman. A funny AIDS movie with Jared Leto doing what he always does on Saturday nights anyway. Academy Awards gold.

Then there’s Leonardo DiCaprio. Poor Leo. He’s like the kid in your class who gets really good marks and sits behind in the library after school to revise and answers all the questions in class – but the teacher always forgets his name. Yet 2013 was a pretty banner year for him, as he teamed up once again with the maestro of entertaining (read: bloody and mafia and sex) films, Martin Scorsese. It’s no great wonder that Wolf of Wall Street is up for an Oscar, because it’s got a lot of swearing in it so that means it’s serious and stuff (I haven’t seen the movie, to be fair, I’m just wisecrackin’). Personally, I thought he should have been nominated way back in 2006 for Catch Me If You Can, a fantastic con-man flick that remains one of my favourite films to date, or even way back in 1993 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? – a groundbreaking performance at the tender age of eighteen. Though he’s considered one of the best actors of his generation by many, year after year the Oscar gods fail to smile upon him. Could this be his year? Maybe. Who cares? He’s a great actor and the fact he doesn’t have an Academy Award says more about the awards themselves than his acting skills.

So why is such importance placed on what a bunch of white men, most of whom are over the age of 60, think a good film is? Surely judging a film is such a subjective thing that an award for it would seem a rather unspectacular accolade? Good for you, some people liked your movie. I hated Gladiator. i thought it was so, so dumb – but it won an Oscar. Does that mean I simply cannot appreciate fine cinematic art? No. Does it mean that the Oscars are wrong? Well, to me it does. But that’s the sheer beauty of opinion! It’s what divides us and it’s also what brings us together like a weirdly close-knit family.

After recently seeing Inside Llewyn Davis, it only solidified for me what I knew to be true: the Oscars aren’t called the Underdog Awards for a good reason. They don’t gun for the underdog. They gun for the blockbusters, the showstoppers and the overly trite. Sure, there were a couple of times where they went against the grain (Slumdog Millionaire was one of those magical moments of true triumph against the odds). But a low-budget underdog movie about an underdog? With folk music and depression? Even the casting of a furry friend doesn’t seal the Oscar deal anymore (looking at you and your overrated Weinstein production, The Artist). But when a movie strokes deep inside your soul in the first five minutes, you don’t need a golden statue to tell you it’s a great movie. You just know (*cue schmatlzy music score with shots of longing looks outside bus windows*)

So try not to get too pissed off if Jennifer Lawrence wins again, or if you lose a bet you made to someone that she’d trip again, because this is Hollywood, baby, and everything’s a game. Those who don’t play get locked out in the cold. Nothing’s real except the bank notes and the diamonds, and god bless you if you’re Hilary Swank and everyone’s forgotten about you and that Million Dollar Baby. That’s the Chicago way. Badda-bing, badda-bye.

P.S. If you still think the Oscars are hot shit, chew on this. A classmate reminded me today that Mark Wahlberg has an Oscar. Mark Wahlberg has an Oscar. Marky Mark can call himself an Academy Award winner. This guy.

Scottish Referendum

THE COUNTDOWN TO THE SCOTTISH REFERENDUM: 233 DAYS -GOOD OR BAD ?

 no blog                                                                                  yescampaign
Extract from “The week” :
When did Scotland become part of the UK?
  • The acts of union between Scotland and England were passed in 1706, taking effect on 1 May, 1707. On that day, the Parliament of Great Britain was formed and set up shop in the Palace of Westminster.
Why did each side agree to the Union?
  • The English were keen to make sure Scotland didn’t choose a different monarch to the one sitting on the English throne. Meanwhile, the Scots were seriously “cash-strapped” after an “economically disastrous scheme to attempt to colonise the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s”, says the Daily Telegraph.
What question will voters be asked at the referendum?
  • This bit is simple. There will be one question with a ‘yes or no’ answer: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

We were asked by our lecturer today to blog about the upcoming Scottish Referendum so that we could create a podcast next week featuring our views and opinions on the event. If you’re like me and can’t even keep up with the ever changing facts, figures and promises made by the SNP (who came up with the idea and are now fighting for their vote), and the opinions of the other parties present. And in all fairness some of the terms you are confronted with in the papers like “constitutional something or other” sounds more like something you would want to go and see a doctor about!

I think a huge factor played in the referendum, is fear. I think people are scared of the unknown, and becoming independent would be a huge step for a lot of people, because they are unable to come to terms with the changes that would take place in society or in their private homes. Politicians are able to come up with worthwhile theories of what would happen and how, but ultimately they cannot guarantee for anything and I think instead of basing our vote on what politicians say they will or will not promise to do, but rather on our gut feeling and what we truly do believe in. Also I reckon we should think about it individually,even if just for a moment and base our decisions on various factors that we as individuals consider most important.

In all fairness I do not really know a lot about the referendum, as in pros and cons and I also in some ways I don’t think I have the right to vote as I am not really part of this country( I am Austrian) and I would feel bad if I voted yes or no and then actual Scottish people were unhappy as to the decision made. However, on the other hand I reckon that anyone who considers different factors and situations, should feel he/she has the right to vote as we are one societal body and we can only properly function if everyone pulls their weight, which means that whether or not we vote yes or no, the economy can falter disregarding the fact of whether we are united with the rest of the UK or not. According to “The week” who asked: Who is eligible to vote?, said: The simple answer is everyone over the age of 16 who lives in Scotland. That means the 800,000 Scots who live in other parts of the UK won’t be able to vote, and the 400,000 people from elsewhere in Britain who live in Scotland will. All the main players agree this is “the fairest way” to do things, the BBC says.

I asked a scottish friend and mine and he said: “I think the underlying issue with independence is the economy and the fact that politicians need to start giving definite answers to the questions the public asks before we can make a well thought out decision”. And that makes sense, how can we make a decision with half hearted facts and no idea as to the extent our decision will have on the situation. What I also think is that if there is nothing more wrong with the economy and situation in scotland than in any other country, so why are we trying to fix something thats not broken?

I then asked my friend again as to what would make his decision on the independence referendum easier, and he said: “I would want more positive info on the outcomes but mainly the currency we would be using and if we would be part of the EU”. I think the question about the euro as such is a difficult but not unsolvable one. The desire for the “independent” Scotland to join the EU, however opting out of the Euro currency just complicates matters even further. Salmond says:” There’s “no prospect” of Scotland joining the Euro, but experts believe it may be forced to use the European currency”. Professor Jo Murkens, an expert on Scottish independence and European constitutional law, told the Scottish Express: “Every new applicant state has to commit themselves in law to adopting the euro. There have been no opt-outs. It is a condition of membership.”

I think another important factor to consider is the fact that the legal age at which teenagers are now allowed to vote has been reduced to 16. When I found out I was really shocked as to why they would change it to such a young age as many kids nowadays are either really patriotic and would simply vote “yes” because of their love of the wish to see Scotland being independent, however some vote “no” simply out of hatred for England, which in all fairness is not a good decision platform. At the age of 16, literally 2 years after adolescents hit puberty, the decisions made may not always be the best and frankly I think it was a stupid thing to do.

Chanel Linlithgow

Linlithgow is getting ready to host Chanel’s annual  Metier d’Arts fashion show. An event which aims to showcase the art of small  suppliers who create specialist pieces for the fashion house. Continue reading

Christmas, By Finlay and Nicola

Napier’s view on when christmas decorations should be put up.