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

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

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Scottish Independence- the infuriating campaigns

The Scottish referendum is set for the 18th September 2014, or as both campaign websites plaster all over there page- 233 days,13 hours and a couple of minutes because everyone is just dying to know that kind of information… Anyway it’s coming up and us Scot’s aged from 16 upwards are going to have to decide whether we want to be free from the apparently obvious English oppression or stay in the warm and positively “cuddly” United Kingdom. Either way its almost guaranteed that no matter the outcome, as soon as things start to go bad everyone will claim that they are free from blame as they “wurney even near wan ae they votin hings” and the problems facing the country are all ………………’s fault (insert A. Alex Salmond or B. David Cameron and the other one).

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No matter which way you’re leaning towards voting for in the referendum one thing is certain- the campaigns are infuriating. Every day we are bombarded by propaganda from both parties, either slagging the other off or inundating us with facts and statistics that are completely at ends with their rivals daily dose of useless numbers and “facts”. What’s possibly the most annoying thing is not just the lies and hate mongering told by both sides, but their frankly childish excuses for disagreeing with the opposition. To be fair I’m slightly pulled towards favouring the yes campaign at this point as they regularly detail how Scotland will be so much better without the English “oppression”, whereas the “better together” campaigns website only details three things that Scotland need from the United Kingdom- security, prosperity and interdependence. so basically without Britain we are hooped, to put it politely- and the blatant fear mongering for votes is something that I despise.

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The Yes campaign is no better in this regard however, with many of their campaigners claiming that England is the source of all our problems and if we don’t get rid of them immediately then our country shall become a totalitarian oppressive government such as the one seen in “V for Vendetta”.

Personally I think that no vote is a wrong vote, both sides have a valid point but the thing that many people don’t realise is that nothing is going to drastically change! it’s almost certain that the wealth disparity will get bigger, the Government will still continue to make cuts no matter how much money they save, and politicians will always be class A wankers.

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But a question still needs to be asked, where do the majority stand on independence? is it a good idea or will it doom us all to become a impoverished third world country begging Britain to be friends again? comment your opinions!

The Scottish Referendum from an Outsider’s Perspective

I have lived in Scotland for 5 months as part of my American study abroad program, and the one topic that is always inescapable, is the issue of Scottish independence. It is my understanding that Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, and I can see why a nation would want to be free of a greater rule. However, when I talk to most people here, I get two answers; either they are vehemently for independence or they do not really know what is going to happen.

I can already foresee a few problems if Scotland attains their independence. First, taxes will immediately rise, and no one will be happy about that, considering taxes are already very high in the United Kingdom as a whole. Secondly, the issue of which currency to use will be hotly debated. Will they use the Pound or will they revert to Euros? Lastly, the benefits of free healthcare and free university might not be so free anymore. These two things are extremely valuable and speaking as an American, I wish these came free for me as well. Yet, these problems may never exist because no one can tell the future, and we will just have to see what happens when the time comes.

 

In the Land of Lads and Lassies

Traveling to a unknown and new place is always nerve-wracking, especially when that country is 1,000+ miles away from home. Coming to a new country has my emotions working overtime: trying to adjust to the time zone, finding my way around a foreign city and not get lost, make new friends, and getting use to the whole driving on the opposite side of the road thing. I’ve almost gotten hit more times than I’d like to admit.

Traveling is stressful in itself, but when you’re alone and only 20 years old, let’s just say the stress levels are through the roof. At least people in the UK speak English, even though some accents are insanely challenging to understand and I find myself just nodding and agreeing with whatever the speaker is saying. Half the time I bet my answers don’t even make sense.

On top of getting used to the city and different culture, I also have class that I have to attend. Classes are different here than the US. Here you go to a lecture and a practical/tutorial once a week for 1-5 hours, instead of having a Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday schedule.

As much as I am loving Scotland, there are a few things that I miss from the US and they are: driving, my family, having unlimited hot water, my comfortable full size bed, my phone, all the clothes that I wasn’t able to bring, and my friends.

I’d like to think that I am starting to blend and not look like I have no idea what I’m doing. I just hope I don’t scream “AMERICAN.” 

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TEST IAIN

Napier

Bye Bye Craighouse

Alice Murray, Finlay Matheson, Lauren McKinney.

The students and staff are leaving Craighouse campus in the new year. We found out their thoughts about moving.

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Should great power equal great responsibility?

Over the past week it has been reported by several news outlets that musicians Rihanna and Chris Brown are apparently ‘weeks away’ from confirming that they have reconciled romantically. Ordinarily such news could quite easily be dismissed as trivial gossip but to anyone readily aware of the couple’s turbulent history this news in fact presents a complex moral dilemma.

As many will be aware in 2009 Brown was sentenced to five years’ probation and six months community labour for a brutal assault carried out on then-girlfriend Rihanna. The attack left Rihanna with visible facial injuries and Brown with what many at the time considered an unsalvageable reputation. Their relationship abruptly ended with Rihanna – in one of the few interviews she gave following the attack – citing one of the main reasons behind her decision to leave Brown as an inability to continue the relationship in the knowledge that young fans of hers suffering in violent relationships might see her decision to go back to her abusive lover as a sign that they should also be willing to do the same. She was applauded by many for this choice. However, in the three years that have passed since his sentencing not only has Brown’s career made a near-complete recovery with his amassing two US number one albums and a Grammy award (a controversial topic in itself) but it would also appear now that he could be on the brink of fully rekindling his romance with the woman he once savagely beat. These rumours alone have ignited a ferocious response with many branding Rihanna a terrible role model to the young people who look up to her. This story obviously sheds further light on the ever-divisive issue of whether or not it can ever be appropriate to forgive and forget in scenarios of domestic violence but what particularly interests me is that it raises the question of just how much do we/should we rely on celebrities to communicate sound moral messages to the youth of today?

Whilst I take the view that the responsibility for shaping the moral values of a child should always lie ultimately with the parental figure(s) in their life it would be naïve of me to ignore the fact that influence from the media on a child’s overall world view is completely unavoidable. Every day children are bombarded, certainly not unwillingly, with images and messages that constantly mold their attitudes regarding how they should perceive specific people (themselves included) and specific issues. Many would argue that individuals in the music industry have one of, if not the most, powerful platforms for widespread influence in the world. Taking Rihanna herself as an example: here we have a woman who is currently followed by over 26 million people on Twitter, liked by over 60 million on Facebook and was this year named as one of the most influential people in the world by Times Magazine. Social networking plays an increasingly prominent role in the lives of young people with each passing day and her position within that world allows her to communicate literally any fleeting thought that pops into her head to what would in 2006 have equated to more than the entire population of the United Kingdom. Has this hugely influential position at all affected the content of the material she posts? Not at all. This year alone Rihanna has been criticised on several occasions for sharing photographs and messages that contain everything from profane language to drug use to what many would consider soft-core pornography i.e. hardly the kind of thing any parent would want their children exposed to. Though I agree that such content is completely inappropriate for children and that it has become perhaps far too easy for them to access it I would also argue that realistically celebrities such as Rihanna should not be expected to act as beacons of morality to our children purely because they are celebrities.

Celebrities are to my mind made up simplistically of two types of people: People who pursue a craft in which a by-product of success is public recognition and people who crave fame and will do more or less anything to get it. The point I’m making here is that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in either group who walked up to the career advisor and said ‘when I grow up I want to be a role model’.  There appears to be an unspoken clause in the hypothetical contract of celebrity that anyone in the public eye should be willing to conduct themselves in a manner befitting with the moral standards of society. I stress that this unofficial rule is exactly that – unofficial. Once again using Rihanna as an example; it seems illogical that people would expect a young, childless woman whose profession thrives on controversy and uninhibited self expression to tone it down for fear of upsetting people she doesn’t know. The same goes for her various social networking exploits. Twitter and Facebook are designed for sharing details of your personal life so if her personal life happens to involve things that society vilifies but she deems appropriate to display then why should she hold back? After all is it her fault that millions of people care at all about what she says or does? Returning to the original news story, perhaps people are right to criticise the decision to reunite with an abusive ex but at the end of the day our decisions, and indeed our mistakes, are ultimately our own to make – so why should this courtesy not be extended to those under the spotlight?

Though the actions of celebrities that fall on the darker side of morally grey undoubtedly pose a threat to the moral integrity of today’s youth it’s arguable that so too, perhaps more so, does the naivety of parents who expect that people in the public eye are automatically going to behave in a saintly manner.