“From our own correspondent: The Kony 2012 campaign and the effect of Social Media”

In this feature, I will be talking about the affect of social media on the Kony 2012 campaign, exploring the benefits and disadvantages of using this medium.
Kony 2012 went viral on March 7th 2012. I know exactly when I heard about it, exactly what I was doing and it stuck with me forever. Surely this describes how compelling the documentary is?
Kony 2012 is a half-hour documentary that is supported by Invisible Children, a charity that was co-founded by Jason Russell, in 2005, to fight African war atrocities. The video is based on Joseph Kony, with the specific aim to make him famous, not in celebration but to make the world aware of his crimes and to fight for his arrest…
Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has been said to have abducted around 60,000 children; forced the boys to kill their parents and turned the girls into sex slaves. Kony is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s ‘Most Wanted List’.
Over the years many of those individuals on the ICC’s list of wanted people have been “brought to justice” as it were…
We saw the death of Osama Bin Laden last year, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists, killed at a hideout in Pakistan. Then it was onto Libya and the uprising of people there, eventually resulting in the regime of Colonel Gadaffi being toppled and the former Libyan leader killed, after months of conflict across the country…So why has Joseph Kony not met the same fate? It’s simple…because there is no political or financial reason in doing so. Kony represents no political party or financial interests; he is simply responsible for a number of humanitarian atrocities…
The Lord’s Resistance Army, Kony’s enterprise, was formed in Uganda 25 years ago and is now based in Congo. The boy soldiers are encouraged to murder their parents and families, mutilating them in ways too horrific to describe. Survivors will be as badly scarred on the outside as the inside…
On April 20th 2012, when the sun goes down the world will cover the night. Posters, t-shirts, banners will be displayed throughout the western cultures in a massive attempt to make Kony famous. In the 5 days running up to April 20th, people are urged to sign the Pledge and to create more media coverage. Sample tweets have been emailed world-wide to encourage people to appeal to world leaders to arrest Kony and put an end to his tyranny…
The film has been an almost instant viral success, dominating Twitter worldwide and having one of the fastest ever take-offs on You Tube. The hash tag #stopkony has had hundreds of thousands of tweets, and millions of people now know something about Uganda and what is happening to children there…
It’s safe to say that this campaign has benefited on a huge scale from social networking sites, like Twitter. The Invisible Children organisation has been able to reach millions of people, in different countries, cultures and societies with just a push of a button. And what’s wrong with rallying together for a good cause? The Kony 2012 project was a hugely successful exploitation of social media and a testament to the power of an integrated social media network…
Social media was the mechanism that enabled Barack Obama to be elected. During the Virginia Tech massacres of April 2007, students were texting and ‘facebooking’ such messages as ‘Facebook saved my life’, giving it an agency of its own. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg should be sanctified. Jamal Albarghouti, who was a graduate student at Virginia Tech, recorded an onsite video during the shootings’ For all of that, he has become, on a Facebook description, a ‘citizen journalist’.

Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr have allowed wider access for charitable organisations such as Invisible Children and campaigns like Kony 2012. They can reach a worldwide audience and spread their beliefs quickly…It is useful for raising awareness and increasing public engagement.
However, the problem with social media is that it spreads like wild-fire. This only becomes an issue if the story is untrue. Rumours have been circulating that have led to criticisms for Kony 2012.
Michael Wilkerson discussed the criticisms, he said:
 It would be great to get rid of Kony.  He and his forces have left abductions and mass murder in their wake for over 20 years.
But let’s get two things straight:
Joseph Kony is not in Uganda and hasn’t been for six years;
The LRA now numbers at most in the hundreds, and while it is still causing immense suffering, it is unclear how millions of well-meaning but misinformed people are going to help deal with the more complicated reality.”…
And so, if Kony 2012 has over exaggerated the severity of Kony’s crimes, a lot of the people who have watched the video have been misled. This is a huge disadvantage when using social media. You cannot be sure whether the document you are reading, video you are watching or campaign you are joining is trustworthy…
The documentary has been criticised for not sticking to the BBC’s impartiality rule of journalism. No, it isn’t impartial. But impartiality is not going to motivate anyone into action.
Journalists have described it as partisan, tactless and very bold. Well, that it may be. But it has fulfilled its objectives in that its exponential popularity growth on the web has grabbed attention and now the world is aware of Joseph Kony…
Personally, from looking at Kony 2012 I’m suddenly aware of the power that social networking represents in our modern day society. It has taken such an incredibly influential role to the point that logging onto Facebook has become as normal and regular as eating and sleeping. What do I do when I wake up first thing in the morning? I check my phone, check Twitter, check Facebook… etc. All of that before anything else, it has become the “modern day” start of the day…
Social media has helped raise awareness for this campaign, but will it actually stop Kony? Probably not, but the hope is that that it motivates change. Not just in this situation but in all others… The LRA has damaged families, hurt quality of life and is affecting traditions. Exaggerated or not, it needs to end.
Yes, Joseph Kony is just one person and there are other criminals out there, but if social networking, can make such an impact and raise so much awareness then think what else can be achieved. What else is out there? So rather than thinking of Kony 2012 as a campaign based solely on the capture of one man, rather see it as an example of the change that can be achieved in a modern day world…with a little help from the internet.
A xo

How has social media influenced the Kony 2012 campaign?

Kony 2012 went viral on March 7th2012.
Kony 2012 is a half-hour documentary that is supported by Invisible Children, a charity that was co-founded by Jason Russell, in 2005, to fight African war atrocities. The video is based on Joseph Kony, with the specific aim to make him famous, not in celebration but to make the world aware of his crimes and to fight for his arrest.
Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has abducted children and forced the boys to kill their parents and turned the girls into sex slaves, is at the top of the International Criminal Court’s ‘Most Wanted List’.
The Lord’s Resistance Army, Kony’s enterprise, has been moving through the countries of Africa and is now based in Uganda. The boy soldiers are encouraged to murder their parents and families, mutilating them in ways too horrific to describe. Survivors will be as badly scarred on the outside as the inside.
On April 20th 2012, when the sun goes down the world will Cover The Night. Posters, t-shirts, banners will be displayed throughout the western cultures in a massive attempt to make Kony famous. In the 5 days running up to April 20th, People are urged to sign the Pledge and to create more media coverage. Sample tweets have been emailed world-wide to encourage people to appeal to world leaders to arrest Kony and put an end to his tyranny.
These appeals are made through Twitter and Facebook and other social media. This campaign has benefited on a huge scale from social networking sites, like Twitter. The Invisible Children organisation has been able to reach millions of people, in different countries, cultures and societies with just a push of a button.

Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr have allowed wider access for charitable organisations such as Invisible Children and campaigns like Kony 2012. They can reach a worldwide audience and spread their beliefs quickly.
Answer to my question? YES. 

Guest Speaker Report: David Hayward, Peter Kingston, Jeremy Seabrook

David Hayward
When I think of the BBC, I think of the professional corporation that captures the attention of the nation for hours at a time. As a representative for the BBC, David Hayward did not fail to impress. Mr Hayward began his presentation by discussing his love of debates and what he believes the future will hold for journalism in the BBC. He definitely captured the attention of the room like someone who is used to speaking in front of people, he looked comfortable and assured of his abilities. His PowerPoint presentation was professional and full of facts, charts and interesting information, but this would have been nothing without his funny, laidback approach to presenting it.
David talked about the BBC College of Journalism with particular enthusiasm and described the exciting new operation at Salford and the big opportunities it presented for the up and coming journalist. He beguiled his audience on the glamorous side of broadcasting and what is yet to come with regards to the BBC. David’s presentation was very much about entertaining us and motivating us to be the best journalist we could be.
David engaged us with his account of the changing face of journalism and how the heart of journalism has got to be breaking those key stories and holding power to account. Informing us of all the mediums we need to be aware of to help us, as journalists, to tell a story. He stressed importance of social media; how blogging, Twitter, Facebook can all influence the news, allowing viewers to engage and how it makes the life of a journalist easier and connecting to world news more efficient.  
David was able to show the difference between generations and the correlation of news consumption with the help of a line graph. These visual aids helped his presentation along and ensured the understanding of the information he was presenting.
Mr Hayward was able to, indirectly, illuminate aspiring journalists of how important contacts are. His presentation mentioned accounts of high ranking journalists and their experiences. Each account held a different angle that would inspire different types of students.

Peter Kingston
Even though Mr Kingston stopped being a journalist in 2009, he still holds a lot of insight into the ferocious industry that is journalism. He has worked for local and regional newspapers and has written for well-known papers like The Daily Mirror, The Times and The Telegraph. Like little children at story time, we waited eagerly for his account.
A softly spoken man, he spoke of his retirement and how he wanted to do something else in his career and apologised that his presentation wasn’t as polished as he’d like.
Peter then went on to describe his experiences at the beginning of his career in journalism. In 1979 it was such a struggle to get even a foot in the door in the world of media. Becoming a journalist was no easy feat. He spoke about one of his most unpleasant weeks of his life, an amusing tale of his time in Guildford. Peter was given the task of writing about the Guildford Four trial, a very prolific story at that time.
Sitting at the front of the room, he fervently described the classic scene of a 1980’s newsroom, smiling at this. Cigarette smoke, shouting, typewriter tapping, a hive of activity. Peter told us of frustrated mornings spent standing in a phone box, trying relentlessly, to relay a story back to the copytaker. The phone boxes often smelled funny and were surrounded by other competing journalists. He confessed to us the unglamorous, grotty locations, the endless piles of carbon copy paper and of having the exquisite skill to dictate a story straight from the notebook.
Although not as prepared as he should’ve been, Peter still presented an inspiring, eye-opening account of journalism. Peter’s talk gave us an exciting insight into the life of a journalist and gave us a glimpse of what we could expect. And I can guarantee we weren’t expecting some of the things he told us about!
Jeremy Seabrook
Jeremy Seabrook, originally from Northampton, has written more books than you can shake a stick at. He is an articulate, well dressed, older man who shared his memories and experiences of being a writer and being part of the Northampton community. Jeremy was able to give the audience a totally different aspect of their degree. It made us realise there’s a lot more than just reporting and radio, being able to write well is vital also.
He reminisced about the old Northampton, back when it was still known as a shoe and boot town where the people were stingy, grudging and suspicious, but also honest and dependable. He spoke of how Northampton has always been an inspiration for his writing.
Mr Seabrook mentioned that he had written his first few books based on his own life and relationship with his mother. While talking, he was looking away from the audience, smiling, almost as though he was thinking of a secret but not wanting to share it with the audience. This definitely gave Jeremy’s talk a mystical element that helped him capture his audience.
He spoke of a more ethical way of writing. Jeremy is persistent and has continued to commit to the downtrodden and poorer side of society, through to the wider society in the UK and the rest of the world. Stuttering he confesses he tries to always write from the heart.
Jeremy’s highlight in his career was meeting with Prince Charles and Kensington Palace to talk about his article on unemployment in Scunthorpe. His imitation of Prince Charles was charming! He spoke of how rewarding his writing is, both on a personal level and in a professional aspect.
Jeremy Seabrook stood nonchalantly, his hand in his pockets, fully relaxed as he read a snippet from his book. Akin to that of a storyteller, he enchanted the audience with his rendition.
A xo

the Irish Show.. analysis & evaluation

The ‘Irish Show’ is broadcasted on Tuesday evenings 6pm until 8pm on Inspiration FM (107.8). Its main audience is the Irish community in the Northampton area but it also provides entertainment for those interested in rock, folk and country music genres. The presenters on this show are called John Connor and Joe Strong.
The radio station has been running since 18th November 1996 and the Irish Show
A large section of the listeners are from the Irish community based in Northampton, however due to the presentation of the show it draws a large audience from other segments of the population. An interesting factor of the show is that the presenters are not actually Irish, even though the show is called the ‘Irish Show’. This could have been set up purposefully so that other communities wouldn’t feel disconnected and will tune in.
Idents were played between the introduction to the show and adverts. It was also played between songs. This is an effective way to remind listeners of which show/radio station they are tuned into. The presenters played a trailer of the ‘Drive Time’ show and spoke about what happened on the show, which informs listeners of other shows they might like, widening their audience numbers. By talking about their new Facebook page, the presenters try to involve the audience.
The links in the show are not scripted. This can be seen in the overlap between links and the audio (song). For example, there is a section when John makes a comment that he thought appropriate whilst the introduction to the song was being played. This wouldn’t happen if the link was scripted. This ensures that different segments of the show link together successfully.
Due to it being an Irish show, and that’s the way it is advertised, it has a policy to play music that hold Irish roots. However, this can be in the form of rock, folk, country and live tracks. The show plays a mixture of live and pre-recorded tracks, most of which are from the folk/country genre. This gives the audience a variety of qualities to listen to. The presenters continue to introduce the song/talk about it while the song is starting to play. Otherwise, there is no music bed while the presenters are speaking.
After each song (or songs) is played, the presenters have a short discussion about it or the artist, including a short story. This provides the audience with a small amount of background which allows them to find out more if they want to.
The music that is played on the Irish Show is mainly from previous years, it is not a show to play new music or upcoming bands. This could restrict the number of listeners as they may have heard all the music previously. “The unique blend of cultures and music and interviews & information will give listeners a new choice of station to listen too.” Inspiration FM holds a 70% music 30% speech policy during daytime shows. I think this is definitely represented accurately during the Irish Show.
The Irish Show seemed to have unstructured scripting. It was evident that the presenters were given set items to include, like advertisements and the ‘100 hits & legends’ section. The presenters introduce the show and then begin with talking about the weather. This something the audience can relate to.
The sections of the show which were spoken seemed unrehearsed and were relaxed. This allowed for easy listening, which would be appealing to audiences at that time of day. They speak of personal experiences and what is happening in their lives (colds, “man-flu”, and wife’s kitchen).
The way in which the radio show is delivered has a conversational tone, it’s very relaxed and flows nicely from one piece of music to the next with regular speech interludes. The show is humorous and relaxed and shows that the presenters have a good working relationship, which encourages the audience to listen.
Ways to contact the show was mentioned in detail, this is a good way to involve listeners and get them to participate in the show.
The presenters continually talk about Irish artists, those that are playing locally or that they’ve seen live. This involves the audience and makes them want to know more.
They mention local establishments such as O’Neill’s or the Swan & Helmet in Northampton. By mentioning these and talking about the previous Saturday night in a positive light, it is good advertising for the companies and encourages the audience to get involved and visit these places. It is a good marketing scheme for Northampton communities. The presenters also mentioned a teaser about an event (11th February), which would be explained later. This urges the audience to keep listening in order to find out more about this event.
In the last 12 minutes, the presenters discuss the statistics of last week’s show. This positive reference to the growing number of listeners encourages the audience to continue to listen and tune in again next week.
As the presenters are local to Northampton they offer an in depth and personal perspective on the town. They appear keen to promote the town and its features. 
It is very unusual for a radio show not to include any news included. For the first hour of this show no news or bulletins were broadcasted. However, there was a short news package before the show started which included all the main headlines. This was also repeated after the first hour of the show, but was not introduced.
The news bulletin that was played before and after the first hour of the show contained news headlines and stories from all over the nation, even though it is a community radio station. The news bulletin lasted for only 01m: 30s which is short enough that listeners do not get distracted or miss any of the Irish Show, but long enough to include the important news headlines.
Overall, Inspiration FM offers listeners hourly news features of 3-5 minutes long, interviews with councillors representing different topics and interviews with a variety of voluntary and community organisations. 
Inspiration FM is a community radio station Broadcasting 24/7 with a mix of music to suit all tastes. It provides interviews, phone-ins, news, traffic reports, and discussions of topics that really matter to the people of Northampton town and county. The slogan for the station is “Putting unity back in the community”. This is a positive motto that invites listeners and gives them a sense of involvement, just by tuning in.
Another of the station’s aims is to promote the views and opinions of others and to involve as many cultures and age groups within the audience as possible in the planning, sound and style of broadcasting. I think this is accomplished by Inspiration FM as it has established an excellent report with its audience and continues to introduce new shows aimed at a variety of the population.
At the start of show, it is obvious that the volume levels of the presenter’s microphones are different. The difference between them is huge and affects the quality of the sound. The quality of the music played in the broadcast was excellent as they were pre-recorded tracks and pre-recorded “live” tracks. However, the speech audio was of less quality as there seemed to be a problem with the microphones and their settings.
The show sounds fairly professional. However, it is difficult to put across how professional the show is as it is delivered in a relaxed, conversational manner. Many of the people involved in community radio shows are volunteers, this could mean that they have little or no experience in presenting/producing a successful show. In my opinion, I believe that the ‘Irish Show’ is delivered in a similar manner to many of the shows on Radio 1 and therefore it can be considered very professional, as they have a reputation to be so.

The Future of Radio
Competition from other technologies is growing as people are now listening to radio through other devices. These devices include mobile phones, laptops, games consoles, social networking etc. These other types of medium allow radio to be easily accessed. I believe that this is widening the audience towards the younger generations. Even though competition is high, it is evident that listeners still value information provided through local and commercial radio. Additionally, social media and the rapid growth of new technology have resulted in non-professional individuals shaping the content being created for broadcast media.
“Traditionally radio reaches a higher proportion of young adults than the population as a whole, but this difference is beginning to disappear.16-24 year olds listen to less radio per week than the population as a whole. The future of listening by this key group as they get older is difficult to predict.” (Ofcom, November 2006) By working with the new types of media available, it will be easy to target younger generations to try and increase this declining audience.
In the future, with the increasing technology, it may be possible to convert analogue radio to digital radio. This will make the spectrum more flexible and free-up some of that spectrum to establish a higher number of radio stations/shows; thus increasing audience numbers. This ‘digital change-over’ will create easily accessible, widely varied radio.
In regards to community radio, I believe that there will be an increase in community radio stations across the UK, as the public are becoming more aware of how they can have a positive effect in their community. However, as many community radio stations rely on funds from advertisements it may prove difficult to find the money to run the station as now businesses are more likely to advertise online as it is cheaper. Due to this increase in community radio stations and the idea that radio stations are easily set up, it is likely that an increase in college/university radio stations across the UK could also occur.
Satellite radio and its market have already grown enormously. Sirius XM provides a satellite radio service and claims over 20 million subscribers. It has had great success in in-car receivers and it is likely that car manufacturers will start to include this feature in their designs. Therefore, satellite radio could affect the market of analogue and digital radio in the future.
Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was put into effect, the consolidation of the industry has created a homogeneous and in my opinion, a far less creative industry.  Innovation and new talent simply are not being drawn to the industry. This could be due to radio not being represented enough in media forums and being presented in a negative way. If radio was to support new topics and have a more varied disposition, this would reflect in the increase of listeners and more people would want to get involved.
In regards to my chosen radio station and show, Inspiration FM will look to produce a 24 hours broadcasting service seven days per week in the future.

A xo

"Krokodil: The drug that eats Junkies."

Desomorphine.. street name – Krokodil. Morphine’s ugly cousin. It became known widely in Russia in 2010.
“It’s much like injecting poisen directly into the skin.”
The drug is made from codeine, iodine and red phosphorus. It is used as a cheaper alternative to Heroin, but the effect is euphoric. It is called Krokodil due to the scale-like appearance of its users. The drug became notorious for producing tissue damage akin to gangrene, rotting the flesh. The damage can be so extreme that the life expectancy for users is as low as 2 to 3 years.
I am writing about this drug as I have recently researched its impact on the Soviet in 2002 and in Russia 8 years later. There are graphic images available all over the web, that show exactly what this drug does to its users.
They describe a euphoric feeling like no other, better than heroin, better than cocaine. But these ‘victims’ also describe the harrowing pain that coincides the pleasure, as the drug eats away at the flesh (figuratively). So it seems right to ask “is the pleasure worth the pain?”
People argue that users brought this plague onto themselves, that it is their own doing. However, others believe that further economical and social factors should account for it as well (poverty, poor education, low background etc).
Maybe the russian government should plaster the effects of this drug around society in hope that fear sparks avoidance of this toxic habit.
(I’d put the images into this blog entry, but i fear they’re too graphic. They are available on www.google.co.uk/images)
I was so shocked by this and thought to spread the word about this disgusting drug people are pumping into russian society.
A xo

Cut the cuts

I have recently found out that the University of Northampton have cut their Philosophy course. This is a damn shame!!
First of all, the university is well known for it’s social sciences and philosophy departments, what has it got to gain from cutting the course? Money. It has left staff that are involved in this course out of work, the current students frustrated by this solution and future students; left with no other option than to apply to a different university.Have we been told why higher authorities have come to this decision? I think not.
This blogger has heard that there may be further cuts through out the uni, including in the social sciences department.
It has been known that the Media course has been flitted out, only after investing on tons of new facilities that will now be useless (facilities including the brand new 3-D room!) Why??
There is now a new society at the university of Northampton. It’s sole aim?? To get the Philosophy courses back in the prospectus!

Sign the petition today & get involved.

A xo

Who is Ray?

It is a rare occasion that both of my preferred fields (Psychology & Journalism) coincide. However, it has.
“An English-speaking teenager, thought to be 17, has been found living rough in the woods in Germany. He walked into Berlin’s City Hall and his first words were: “I’m all alone in the world”. Police are still trying to identify the young man. In good health, he calls himself Ray and can speak English fluently. He said he had walked from the forest, where he had been living with his father for the last five years.According to his story, his father was killed in a fall some two weeks ago.He has claimed he buried the body in a shallow grave and covered it with stones before walking to civilisation.” The youth remains in the care of Social Services.
'I'm All Alone': Forest Boy's First Words
Now, could this be a feral child? There have been some, albeit rare, cases around the world where children have shown feral characteristics.
Genie Wiley from LA, was locked in her bedroom for the first 13years of her life. In 1970, the police had taken her into custody. She never learned language, still wore diapers and spoke in infantile grunts and whines. This was a severe case of neglect.
However, from hearing the beginning of his story it is apparent that this youth is NOT feral. He was simply raised in a natural environment. He only started living rough in the past 5 years which means he would’ve learned language and behavioural skills from his parents and possibly, school. As he knows little German it is likely he is not originally from Germany.
It seems that Ray has no idea who he is (Interpol are investigating his background, trying to identify him) this could be due to a trauma from his past, possibly after the event of his mother’s death. He has withdrawn into a smaller, less educated version of himself. This is called Repression. It describes the most powerful and evasive method of defence, according to Freud. It allows the individual (Ray) to push unacceptable impulses out of awareness, back into the unconscious mind.
Due to this, the investigation must be carried out with caution as Ray will be fragile and, as no one is aware of his past, there is no telling how he could perceive the help Berlin’s police & social services are trying to provide.
The Foreign Office in London are also involved in trying to solve this riddle.
Until, his past is recovered Ray will remain unknown.
Prayers for Ray
A xo

Well..if you weren’t dressed like a slut

There was a march to fight against the belief that some people are raped or sexually assaulted & it’s due to their clothing! Err….no i don’t think so!
It all started whena police officer, in Canada, told women they should stop dressing like ‘sluts’ to avoid being raped. Thousands joined the SlutWalk London to show their disapproval.

I believe women should have the right to wear whatever they like, without being threatened by mistreatment. Organiser of the London ‘SlutWalk’, Anastasia Richardson (17) felt compelled to bring this march to the UK after seeing women from all over the globe uniting.
Using just a Facebook page, she spread the word across the UK and had thousands of people joining, after just 10 days & every UK newspaper was covering the story! Organisations like RapeCrisis were quick to get involved in the event.

Alot of the women who took part in the protest, were angry because of the idea that women who were raped could be blamed for their attire, it is a gross misconception. The protesters were carrying signs and wearing outfits to emphasize their cause. Signs read: “My clothes are not louder than my voice” and “No is NOT a yes, no matter how short my dress!” Over 5,000 women on the SlutWalk were there to show that conservative attitudes (“If you wear low-cut tops and short skirts, accept the consequences”) will not be tolerated.
Do you agree? Can a woman’s “slutty outfit” be a just reason for rape? NO. Clothing cannot be blamed for the comments or actions of others and it is ludicrous to think so. Let’s hope the SLUTWALK event has made an impact and will change the attitudes about sexual assault. I hope so..

I’ll be following the SlutWalk campaign..& I’ll be wearing whatever the hell I like too!!

A xo