Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Vox pop: Saving the planet...

Vox Popping…

For an assignment on the Writing the Message Online module I have been asked to complete a second vox pop. This one is based upon the question:

Sheffield’s climate is changing, wetter winters and summers and higher temperatures all year round – what are you doing to help save the planet?

Heading out onto the streets of Sheffield I have my pen and paper ready to hear the public’s response to this question. Not everyone agreed to having their picture taken, but i managed to get a couple.

With the topic of global warming and the ever growing concerns for the environment forever in the headlines, will the emphasis on the subject have affected the views of the everyday people?

Matthew Turton, Age 22, Teacher, Sheffield City Centre:

“I commute to my school in Nottingham on the train each day. Saving the co2 produced by my car and supporting public transport, I like to think that this will help to save the environment.”

Michael Patel, Age 35, Call centre worker, Beighton:

“I don’t think we’ve seen higher temperatures here in Britain, there’s not been a hot summer for years, but I do think helping the environment is important.”

Jayne Walker, Age 52, Care assistant, Woodseats:

“I recently bought a new fridge and made sure my old one was disposed of in an environmentally friendly way, I took it to the household waste place and they made sure it was all done safely.”

Puja Verma, Age 21, Post Graduate studying medicine, City Centre:

“We have recycling bags in our house so we can sort the rubbish, I also make sure I turn off lights and don’t leave stuff on standby so it saves energy and money in the long run.”

Steven Roberts, Age 27, Self employed, Dore:

“Saving the planet is at the back of my mind at the moment. I think in the current economic crisis we should concentrate on giving money to small businesses struggling to survive, like mine.”

Thomas Barnett, Age 18, Sheffield University Student, Studying Law, City Centre:

“I do my bit by sorting my flat’s waste into the different bins we are given, blue for cardboard and green for glass, this reduces the amount of rubbish going to landfill sites.”

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Quick Web Quiz - Week 10

1. What is an RSS link?

RSS Stands for ‘Rich Sites Summary’ this feature enables the audience to share information of common interest.

2. Name three BBC journalists whose blog sites cover economics, arts and sport.

Robert Peston writes about economics.
Derek (Robbo) Robson write his blog about sports.
Pauline McLean writes about art.

3. Which social networking sites have recently signed up to an EU code of practice on child safety?

They include Facebook, Bebo and Myspace. There are 17 signed up in total.

4. Which campaign’s successful use of social networking has won it PR Week’s campaign of the year award?


5. What is a podcast?

A pre-recorded file available to download from the internet. Usually a snippet of a radio show previously broadcast.

6. Define ‘Twitter’ in no more than 140 characters.

‘A short online messaging service enabling people to share what they are up to’.

7. What four letter word could you use to describe how most web users read copy online?

‘Scan’ Readers are said to scan the page in an ‘S’ shaped curve.

8. What is social bookmarking?

It is using or sharing online web content online, for specific issues.

9. Name five of the most popular sites.

Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, Digg and Myspace.

10. What is Plain English? Describe in no more than 50 words.

A campaign to stop overcomplicating sentences and terms in documents. To make the language used in publications as simple to understand as possible. No gobbledygook!

11. Find an original example of a sentence in gobbledygook. Then transform using the principles of Plain English.

Before: High-quality learning environments are a necessary precondition for facilitation and enhancement of the ongoing learning process.

After: Children need good schools if they are to learn properly.

12. Name recent international news stories ‘broken’ by twitter users.

Skipal air crash,
Hudson river plane crash.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Week 9 - Campaign homepages

This week we have been asked to review campaign websites homepage's and how effective they are:

Image from THT website:

Terence Higgins Trust:

The 'THT' Website home page is packed full of information for the audience to delve into. The bright pink top menu bar and links grab your attention as soon as you log on to the site.

The home page has a good variation of pictures and text enabling the audience to be able to find what they are looking for relatively quickly and with ease.
Their aims are clearly prioritised on the website with a large box titled 'Donate Now', this is so an instant online donation can be made without even navigating away from the homepage.

One important thing the website has remembered to use is 'white space' this is very simple but effective, grabbing the audience's attention with a clear layout. Another feature on the website is the use of RSS feeds, enabling the viewer to add their news to their feeds.

Fathers for Justice:

The homepage of this website is very eye catching indeed, the brightly coloured right hand link menu grabs your attention straight away.

Image from
The website also uses features such as:

  • Online videos,
  • Large Images,
  • Powerful Quotations,
  • External Links,
The video in the centre of the homepage does its job well, if you have come to this website interested in what the campaign is all about here is the perfect place to start.
One downside to the homepage would be the long news stories towards the bottom of the page, I think it would have been more effective to put bold headlines on the homepage as links to the full story.

Breast Cancer Campaign:

The homepage for this website is themed very appropriately, using their signature colour of pink the page displays a running slide show of images in the centre and a menu of links down the left hand side.

Image from

Another effective feature of the homepage is the events calendar on the right hand side. This allows the audience to see the upcoming fundraising opportunities.The website seems effective in what it does for the campaign, on the top menu bar it has a link for a donation to be made to the organisation.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Week 8 - Jade Goody PR

Week 8 - Jade Goody

Jade has always expressed her wishes to share her last moments of life openly with the public.

It has been her personal choice in order to raise the awareness of cervical cancer around the UK.

She feels that raising money for her young family is all that she can do now she knows that she can't be there in the future.

Highlighting these issues is very important to her and she is keen to open up her personal story for everyone to share.

Fans have been visiting her house in Upshire to show their support for Jade, this is proof of their strong connection with her.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Vox Popping...

Whats best thing about being a student in Sheffield...?

This week I wanted to find out what the students of Sheffield think about where they live and study. Armed with my pen and paper I set out to hear their thoughts...

Emily Gilmore, Age 18, Studying Nutrition & Health.

"Having everything so close together in the city is great, the shops, uni and night clubs are all within a short walk."

Katy Brayford, Age 19, Studying Media Studies.

"The best thing has to be the nightlife. There are so many bars and clubs, because of the two uni's there is always student prices!"

Robert Hannah, Age 19, Studying Film and Media.

"The freedom is great, I get to go in when I want and stay at home when I want, no one forces me to go anywhere or do anything!"

Jonathan Clarke, Age 20, Studying Business.

"I get on with everyone, the lecturers and teachers are cool and friendly, we all talk together as adults."

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Screening Row

One of the biggest topics in the news currently is the issue of cervical cancer. I have decided to base my blog on current issues in the news.

Campaigners are fighting for the age limit for a screening test to be brought back down to 20. The system was changed in 2004 when the government raised the age to 25 for women in England, this was after a study completed by cancer research UK found that cases of cervical cancer in teenagers is very rare. Does this mean women in England are less at risk than those who live in Scotland or Wales? This is clearly a very risky view on the whole situation.

The issue has recently been brought to light by Jade Goody. She was told just weeks ago that her cervical cancer is terminal. Jade developed early symptoms at the age of 23, 2 years short of the current age restriction for the NHS screening test. Time is everything when it comes to treatment and sadly the cancer was discovered too late for it to be beaten. Meaning that if Jade was in fact from Scotland or Wales the cancer could of been discovered three years earlier, this could even have saved the young mother's life.

Under pressure from the whole situation ministers have now promised to review the evidence again and consider lowering the age limit for the tests. Health minister Ann Keen said: "If we in the house of commons mean anything, it's our duty to look at the evidence again." After all how can women's health in different countries controlled by the same government be of different value?

Following the devastating news of Jade's condition her long term boyfriend Jack Tweed proposed and the couple married a fortnight later on Sunday 22nd February. Jade has two sons five year old Bobby and four year old Freddie. Unsure of how much time she may have left, Jade said: "I will be watching my boys from heaven. I've told my family I will be the brightest star."

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Writing the Message Online:

This blog has been created for a module concentrating on the influence of online media as part of my first year studying a Media studies degree. I have never written a blog before, I think that it will be a new and interesting way to express my thoughts and feelings on different topical issues. Within this module I have been learning about the different aspects of the Internet and how it is used by businesses and corporations around the globe.

Writing a personal blog online is something many people now do to convey their personal opinions to the world wide audiences. Whether they are ordinary people or professional journalists, the blogs they write can become very influential and reach hundreds of people worldwide. They can use a blog to:

  • Note down personal experiences
  • Write about national issues
  • Convey their opinions on politics
  • Comment on worldwide issues
  • Take part in reporting news, (Citizen Journalism)