More shorthand success


Congratulations to John Saunders, Kelsey Willilams, Lucy Ross-Millar, Laura Hartmann, Rebekah Floyd, Alan McGuinness who passed their NCTJ shortand exams at various speeds at the end of last term. I've updated the Shorthand Hall of Fame - with John joining Becci Hughes at the top at 110wpm.

If your name is not appearing on the Hall of Fame - and you think it should be - let me know.

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The truth about hacktivism



Headlines in last week's news and media pages might have given you the impression that major companies were seriously threatened by cyber warfare launched by the Anonymous group.  Those headlines started after companies including Visa and Paypal withdrew their support for WikiLeaks and became the target of cyber attacks. A report by Ben Cohen of Channel 4 News has revealed that the situation was not as serious as the headlines suggested. Ben's evidence indicates that fewer than one per cent of cyber attacks were caused by "hacktivist" groups and that few individuals are actively involved with the Anonymous group. Channel 4 invited me to contribute to the piece. It cost me most of a day's holiday, so I'll be intrigued to know what you make of the story. 


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Down and Out in Paris and London - a Christmas snow chaos special


I had imagined Friday night as the perfect homecoming: seeing my parents and friends and having the first Munich beer in three months (no offence).

So you can all guess that didn’t work out as planned. Finding out that my flight had been cancelled because of extreme snow closing the Munich airport (I know we normally tend to boast about Germany being amazing when it comes to coping with the snow) and the Lufthansa helpline unhelpfully hopeless, I left for Heathrow in a hurry (sorry about those dirty breakfast plates in the kitchen, flatmates) to find out if any other flights were heading towards Munich at all.

Then the first snowflakes started to fall on Gillingham just as I got on the train. A bad sign? Most definitely.

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Congratulations to the third years who acheived a 100 per cent pass rate for their NCTJ portfolios!


Well done to our third years, our first cohort of students, who have just received their National Council for the training of Journalists (NCTJ) portfolio marks. All passed, with John Saunders and Alan McGuinness both scooping A-grades. Everyone did well, however, so well done, I know how much work you put into them. Onwards and Upwards.

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So you want to be a journalist?


Here's a humorous take on aspiring journalists. It's brilliant, albeit depressing. Enjoy.


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Contribution to Independent on Sunday



Congratulations to Alan McGuinness (Third Year) who helped the Independent on Sunday to cover Ed Milliband's crucial relaunch speech in Gillingham yesterday.  Alan is credited it at the foot of this story by Matt Chorley, the IoS's Political Correspondent.  Well done also to every CforJ student who took the initiative and went to the speech with their notebook. 

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All in a day's work...


Gas bombs and public hangings are not two things you would associate with the deputy prime minister in this day and age, but both are in a days' work for Nick Clegg. The Hugo Young Lecture, unwittingly attended by the Centre for Journalism's own Clare Rose Freeman and Nick Duffy, was the victim in the latest in the spate of student protests, which follow Clegg like the plague.

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"Listen and learn before you shout".


As i walked along York Way towards Kings Place Gallery, i was confronted with smoke bombs and Nick Clegg hanging from homemade gallows.

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NUJ Students' Conference tips for journalists


I spent Saturday with a couple of other CfJers at the NUJ Students' Conference in London.

During the day we heard from some inspirational speakers and they offered us some great tips for our future careers.

I have blogged about each session, which I've linked to below in case you missed the day and want to know what was covered.

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Same-day Surveys, Different results


The postgrads recently conducted an on-campus survey, to discover whether students think their courses are good value for money. Their findings clearly have huge implications for University course providers in the light of proposed rises in tuition fees. They came back with fascinating findings, and a useful lesson in reporting: statistics and surveys don't necesarily paint the full picture and can be highly subjective depending on who you ask.

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