‘i’ Newspaper

The Independent has launched a new daily newspaper which is aimed at people who don’t  have the time to read print news. (Does anyone think they may fall into that category?!)

The i newspaper is the first daily paper to be launched in Britain since 1986. It is in the style of a quality newspaper, shares the same journalists and editorial staff as The Independent and is designed to provide a more compressed and brief account of the daily news.

The purpose of i seems to be to make print journalism more accessible to people who enjoy reading quality papers but don’t have the time to consume the hoards of information that a daily quality offers. The Independent also hopes that i will act as a teaser for their readership and that it may increase their circulation by tempting readers to buy the full version when they have more time.

I bought the first edition of i today and it’s a great little paper. It’s definitely aimed at the younger generation. It’s cool, colourful and it’s 56 pages contain unmissable selects of news, views, sports and business. There is also a features section called IQ.

The cherry on top of this little-sister paper is the 20p cover price which is great for students and offers an affordable alternative to the Metro.

Lisa Toner

Twitter Triumphed Over Trafigura To Ensure Freedom Of Speech.

I have been thinking about the many ways in which Social Media can inter-twine with modern journalism and I remembered a news story from last year which is a perfect example of the benefits that social media provides.

In 2009, The Guardian found itself subject to a gagging order. The super-injunction was obtained from the courts by Carter Ruck, a legal firm specialising in libel cases. Carter Ruck was representing Trafigura, a major oil-trading company facing allegations that they had dumped toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, allegedly resulting in many deaths.

On 12th October 2009, under the terms of the injunction, The Guardian was banned from reporting a parliamentary question asked by MP Paul Farrelly to Justice Secretary Jack Straw. Mr Farrelly asked Mr. Straw what was being done to protect press freedom after legal firm Carter Ruck had obtained a super-injunction banning the publication of a report into the allegations surrounding Trafigura.

Reporting of parliamentary proceedings is usually subject to Qualified Privilige which means that journalists should be protected from legal action. However, Carter Ruck maintained the injunction would stay in place claiming that The Guardian would be in contempt of court if it reported on Paul Farrelly’s question.  

This is where Twitter came in. Alan Rushbridger, Editor of the Guardian, kick-started an online campaign sparking public outcry about the threat to parliamentary privilege.

Rushbridger knew that while The Guardian could be gagged, twitter couldn’t. He tweeted that his publication had been served a gagging order and banned from reporting an MP’s question.

Within minutes fellow tweeters began trying to crack the code in Rushbridger’s post to uncover who was behind the injunction and why. They searched online for the parliamentary questions and quickly uncovered that the order related to Trafigura. A barrage of tweets referencing The Guardian, Carter Ruck and the super-injunction then followed.

Within hours the most popular search term on Twitter was “Trafigura” and the oil-company was receiving exactly the kind of publicity it was trying to avoid.

By noon the following day Carter Ruck emailed The Guardian agreeing to lift the injunction on the reporting of parliament and the battle for freedom of speech had been won by the internet.

I think this is a fantastic example of how social media affects and empowers modern journalists.

Here are some articles on the issue:





Lisa Toner

New Labour Leader Announced

Ed Milliband has defeated his brother David in the battle for Labour party leadership.


Saltire Controversy

I wrote this article for The Journal newspaper this week. It reports a parliamentary motion put forward by the SNP to have the Saltire flown above the Union flag at Edinburgh Castle. It should be published next Wednesday so I’ll post a link up then.

Note Historic Scotland’s rather ‘sitting on the fencey’ quote! 

I’d really like to hear everyone’s opinions on this issue. Please comment.


               SNP calls for Saltire to be flown above Union flag at Edinburgh Castle.


The Scottish Nationalist Party has put forward a parliamentary motion calling for the Union flag to be removed from Edinburgh Castle and replaced with the Saltire.

MSPs are considering the call after a petition was lodged by campaign group Saltire Scotland.

Although the Saltire currently flies at Edinburgh Castle below the Union flag, petitioners want to see it erected in its “rightful premier position.”

Christine Graham, SNP MSP for Scotland South, said: 

“I am sure the majority of Scots and tourists would like to see the Scottish flag flown from the top of the castle.

“It would boost tourism and promote Scotland’s distinct national identity.”

The SNP’s Anne McLaughlin, MSP for Glasgow, makes the Union flag’s inclusion on their preferred arrangement clear:

“The petitioner has put forward a compromise suggestion that would allow the Union flag to continue to be flown, whilst we are still part of Britain, but ensures that Scotland’s flag is flown from the highest point on the castle.

“I would support the petition.”

Holyrood Petitions Committee has suggested a compromise to fly the Saltire from a 90 foot flagpole in Crown Square and leave the Union flag in place at David’s Tower.

Mark Hirst, who lodged the petition on behalf of Saltire Scotland said: “The UK military use the Saltire for recruitment. If it’s good enough to recruit young Scots it’s good enough to be flown in the prime position above Scotland’s most iconic building.”

Neil Griffiths of the Royal British Legion Scotland disagrees. He said: It is childish to say our flag is going to be higher than your flag. Most people are proud of the Union Jack, it’s a wonderful symbol.”

Historic Scotland, which manages Edinburgh Castle, did not comment on removing the Union flag, but a spokeswoman said:

“We are proud to fly the Saltire at our properties. That’s why it already flies from our own flagpole at Edinburgh Castle and our other properties.”

The petitions committee have agreed to write to Historic Scotland and the Scottish Government, which owns the castle.

They will also seek the views of the Ministry of Defence.

How do people feel about the possibility that prisoners will be allowed to vote?

Prisoners are set to be given the chance to vote in next year’s Holyrood election after a highly controversial human rights ruling. In my opinion I feel that the idea will cause a great deal of controversy; critics have already expressed their anger saying people who had broken the law should not be granted the privilege of participating.
To an extent I agree. People who have broken the law have gone against what is socially acceptable and therefore taken themselves out of the community and should not be granted to a say on what goes on locally or nationally.
On the other hand as the European human rights ruling has outlined, banning people from voting is actually illegal as it breaches the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as pointed out by axe murderer John Hirst who was jailed for brutally killing his landlady.

What are people’s views on the change in the Holyrood election?

How social media can bite you on the behind.

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Lindsey Lohan confessed that she was still doing drugs after she tweeted:
‘Regrettably I did in fact fail my most recent drug test.’
Such a confession has landed Lindsey in a spot of bother and an added 30 days behind bars for breaking a mandatory bail term.
The 24 year old Mean Girls star has caused a stir over the past year due to her unruly behaviour and constant partying. She admitted that substance abuse is a disease and one she is trying to overcome. She stated ‘I am responsible for my actions and I’m prepared to face the consequences.’

Britian goes Halal.

It was revealed last week that many institutions were using Halal meat without advertising it on the menu. Living in an age of immensely detailed food labelling, of concern about animal welfare and of wanting to know where the food on your plate came from, outrage was raised when revealed that even Britain’s biggest group, Whitbread, which owns the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains were among such using the type of meat.

Animal welfares have campaigned to call for a ban on the Islamic rituals, which involves killing animals by drawing a knife across their throat without first electrically stunning the animal. Many say that such methods are cruel and unnecessary and cause the animal more pain than needed.
Animal rights group Viva! whose supporters include Heather Mills said in a statement:
‘Other practices which may be undertaken for religious reasons, such as polygamy or the stoning of adulterers are not permitted in the UK.’
An RSPCA spokesman said that ‘the public have a right to know where their meat is produced. Many people are concerned about animal welfare.’

Although British laws allow the Muslim community to be exempt from regulations required to stun the animal before death, it is unfortunately allowing meat that isn’t free range, organic or ethically fair to make its way into daily British life.