‘Hundreds of ‘legal highs’ face ban’

Recently I read an article in The Guardian by Alan Travis titled ‘Hundreds of ‘legal highs’ face ban- but not laughing gas’. Travis gives an insight into the harm that legal highs are doing to younger generations with symptoms such as “unconsciousness, numbness in legs causing collapse, paranoia, aggression and self harm” all being related to ‘legal highs’.

While I agree that teenagers should perhaps be discouraged from inducing substances such as ‘herbal incense’, the term ‘nanny state’ springs to mind when there is talk of them being banned altogether.

Surely if a young person is old enough to go to a music festival, out clubbing or on holiday abroad (situations where these ‘drugs’can often be associated with) they are old enough to make their own decision as to whether they want to experience these substances or not.

I feel that part of growing up is deciding for yourself the difference between right and wrong. If a youngster decides that they want to try a material which alters their behaviour and thoughts for a period of time, they are likely to get their hands on it- whether it is legal in the UK or not.

Alcohol has been related with the same effects on young people as ‘legal highs’ have. However, in comparison to the consumption of these substances, there is a far higher percentage of instances where adolescents have been badly affected or worse, ended up in hospital due to misuse of alcohol, which is entirely legal.

Next week, the government’s chief drugs adviser, Les Iversen, and his colleagues will advise on which legal highs they think should be banned in the UK. Maybe they should consider allowing teenagers to have the freedom to make their own decisions.

Top Ten Blogs For Journalists.

By Amy Louise Grant, Chris Martin and Michael Millar.


TMZ. Often is the first to break the news and although is not always correct, sparks more attributed journalists to begin to research the topic of discussion. For example on the day that Michael Jackson died, TMZ was first to report it which was then covered on BBC News. Many news channels will often report on breaking news from TMZ before the news has been confirmed from another source, this is risky for the channel but with TMZ becoming a more credible source, it is a worthy risk to take if it will increase their viewer numbers.

The Huffington Post. For any journalist this blog proves to be a useful reminder of the importance of appeal. The rating system of this blog shows how people are reacting to your work. Post something that is untrue, uninteresting or saturated in bias will result in your reputation being tainted. So this drives home the point that journalists are writing for an audience.

The BBC. Very useful for journalists. The many bloggers of the BBC Blog site show how journalists can walk the line between blogging and journalism. It demonstrates how a Journalist can maintain their reputation and integrity whilst still creating an interesting read that they may not otherwise be able to showcase.

Bad Science. Shows the importance of getting your facts straight. It takes down the hyperbole of tabloid journalism and shows how your work is always under the microscope. It also allows the population to better critique the press and question what they have been given as fact.

Guido Fawkes . Shows how small leads and rumour can lead to bigger stories. Blogging exists as a great platform to publish rumour. And whether true or false rumours are often revealing.

The Hype Machine . Shows how blogging proves to be a diverse method of integrating media. It shows how blogging is moving with the digital age to create a more immersive experience of reading opinion pieces. For example a music review within The Guardian would not allow you to hear the reviewed piece of music. Through The Hype Machine, bloggers can embed audio to give you a better understanding of their opinion.

Popbitch. Shows the wide scale of writing that can exist in blogs. For everybody who is interested in high brow opinionated economics blogs there are blogs like Popbitch to give gossip stories. Blogging is for everyone.

Al Jazeera  With it being more critical of western media this blog shows how blogging comes from a wide range of perspective based on location.

Stockerblog This blog offers an insight into economic news, without too much complex jargon. This makes the often complicated financial news much easier for everyone to understand.

The Guardian Blog This blog is fantastic for journalists as its objective and not too subjective.

A Scary New Development In Scamming

By Amy Louise Grant

Telephone and email scams are becoming more and more common as I’m sure most people reading this article will have, at some point or another, received an email or phone call, supposedly from their bank asking to verify their details, when in fact it is a fraudster looking to gain access to your account. However, there is a new scam that is more dangerous than any other.

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BBC Scotland Cuts

By Amy Louise Grant

With an annual running cost of £2.4 billion, the BBC has decided to introduce spending cuts throughout the country with BBC Scotland being faced with a £16 million decrease in budget. With a cut this large it comes as no surprise that up to 150 redundancies are to be expected in Scotland alone.

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Review on Twitter

By Amy Louise Grant


Twitter is a social media website designed to allow users from around the world to express their views on different topics in short statements of 140 characters or less. It was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey who had the idea of using a type of text messaging that allowed people to communicate with a small group of others. Over the past few years, Twitter has gained rapidly in popularity with everyone from celebrities to politicians noticing the potential it has to communicate their opinions to the mass market or encourage them to purchase products that they endorse. Continue reading

Flickr Review

by Christopher Martin

Flickr is an image and video sharing website used by many millions of web users around the world. In fact the site has over 50 million registered users, who have uploaded 6 billion images, this speaks volumes about the popularity of the site. So why is it such a popular tool used by so many across the globe? Well to begin with the site is completely free and very simple to use. Navigating and browsing the site seems almost second nature to new users. It’s site seems very straightforward, the interface the site uses is quick and easy to negotiate, and that makes the tagging and organizing of photos very easy. For casual users the site is a fantastic tool for sharing images and videos to friends and family, but for people in a professional capacity, such as journalists, the site can be a great asset. It can mean journalists are able to upload content in a matter of seconds and distribute to their audience a link which they are then able to access. Therefore visual information can be spread and shared very quickly. Continue reading