Social Media: Dating and Entertainment in the United States
Social media has taken on multiple forms in the United States. Not only is it a means to stay connected with friends and family and stay informed with world events, but it’s also entertainment. In fact, there are entire shows dedicated to finding, analyzing, and making fun of social media or things they have found on the internet. Tosh.0 and Chelsea Lately are perfect examples of this. Tosh.0 is based on showing shocking, funny, and embarrassing videos to audiences. He will also throw in the occasional ridiculous tweet or Facebook post. On Chelsea Handler’s website she writes, “It seems that people are using Facebook to ‘scope out’ potential dates, and that more and more men are asking women out via text or Facebook messaging.” Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only mediums to start relationships. With the creation of eHarmony and match.com, people are taking to cyperspace to find a connection.
The United States has been the world leader in the social media movement. It has the biggest presence on both Facebook and Twitter. It seems that Americans have mastered the communication aspect of Facebook and Twitter and are now using social media as a means to laugh and have something to talk about. It’s amazing to me that there are shows like Tosh.0 that are completely dependent on videos that are sent in by users, videos they find floating around the web, and funny things that people say on Twitter.
After studying social media in Italy, France, England, and knowing what I know about American social media, I realize how diverse social media is and how much it has to offer. Not only is it an invaluable networking tool, it’s an entertainment source. Not only is a means to stay connection, it’s a means to make connections.
British Tabloids: Free Reign
As many of the British media professionals explained to us: when it comes to the tabloid newspapers, almost anything goes.
Here’s an example I found the day after the Trooping the Colour celebration at Buckingham Palace.
Often times the headlines aren’t direct quotes, or even paraphrases of quotes–they’re just snippets of the author’s commentary. Quite a contrast to the strict ethical guidelines of American newspapers.
- Rachael McBride
London Media Coverage of the Royal Wedding:
I’m not going to lie; I have recently become a little obsessed with the royal wedding. How could a girl not be? Growing up in America during the 1990’s I watched countless Disney Princess movies with excitement and envy, hoping for the day that I would finally have my very own fairytale ending. Well, now that I’ve grown up a bit I’ve finally realized that my chances of fulfilling dream of becoming an actual princess are sadly slim-to-none. With an unfortunate bittersweet reality kick, I have given up on my childhood dreams to focus more on my career with slightly lowered and realistic expectation of my life ahead.
Then, like a breath of fresh air, in the midst of my transition into adulthood, a real life fairytale appears before my very eyes. The beautiful commoner Catherine Middleton has finally found her Prince Charming, literally and figuratively. Witnessing the time-honored tradition of a Royal Wedding in our current generation is much different now then it ever was in the past. Even in America, thousands of miles away from the event itself, magazines, newspapers, and television programs prepare for months in advance with speculation about the wedding and all of it’s participants.
The wedding occurred over a month ago, and still the new happy couple has graced the front page of the magazines on a regular basis. Specifically, the British popular culture magazine “Hello.” Fascinatingly enough, the Magazine even has a website dedicated to both Will and Kate, which you will find here.
In modern times its so wonderful to see that fairytales really do exist, and I wish the royal couple all the best of luck towards their happy ending.
Fire in London
As morning broke on the Strand in London, it seemed somewhat different from every other morning. A faint smell of smoke tainted the air, but we thought nothing of it. After the morning’s chores were complete, we went downstairs to start another day in London. Upon stepping foot outside, we realized that the whole street was taped off, and that policemen could be seen on every street corner. So, Scott suggested we see what all the commotion was about. We walked no less than a few meters from our hotel before laying eyes upon a huge building caged in scaffolding with smoke billowing from its higher stories. Within minutes, police and firefighters were on the scene. But along with them came news anchors, journalists, and TV cameramen. The fire raged in the building all day, but the reporting did not cease until the evening. By the end of the day, hundreds of people had flocked to the scene to watch the firemen attempt to quell the flames. I saw people everywhere taking pictures on their iPhones, texted their friends, and even on Twitter updating their friends about what was going on.
This video, posted to Youtube the day of the fire, shows a small part of how viciously the fire raged within the building.
Strand Fire – video courtesy of youtube.com
Meeting Jon Snow
As I was sorting through pictures and video from London, I came across some videos from our visit to ITN. I found this clip from our conversation with Jon Snow. This is the piece when he comments on social media and how he uses Twitter.
What great sense of humor! Ey?
June 2011 – Brittny Goodsell’s journal
At the request of Dr. Bill Silcock, this is an excerpt from my journal about an experience in London that I had. But before that, let me follow Jacqueline’s lead and share with the audience the three words I used to describe each place I went to.
Rome: delicious. (In every way)
London: tumble (a tumble of everything makes for a rich culture)
Now, here is my journal entry:
I feel like the 1980s landed on the majority of London women and decided to live forever in their neon leggings, gray socks and mismatched tops. The gentlemen, however, look like employees from a massive bank of law office with their sharp pinstripe suits and crisp ties. I feel a bit in between.
To be part of London, you must find a hub pub and hope a tight circle of friends allow you safe passage into their group despite not dressing like Madonna or your father. Imagine how hard I would have to work to penetrate a group with my normal outfit of rainbow skirts and brightly-colored tank tops. Perhaps I should take up drinking and say, “Drinks on me!” instead.
But I did find a pub friend last night despite my ice water and despite leaving early to sleep. I sat down with a female employee from the BBC at the Chesire Cheese.
There we were: two people in the business of asking questions, probing each other for similarities even though we live halfway across the world from each other.
Journalists come with built-in friend skills, though, because we know how to ask the right questions.
We introduced ourselves with weather, got to know each other with traveling, then bore our souls with our most courageous decisions in life. In a pub, across the ocean, I sat with a girl almost 10 years my senior that I met mere hours before and we found our similarities.
We are a global people. We connect despite lands. Life happens in these places I visit and I forget life in my own land as I join a new one. We should all be travelers to keep this global perspective. Then, we’ll be the best people to come home to.
- Brittny Goodsell
Journalists Unite at London School of Economics
My journalism mind blew up last week as I hob-knobbed with various journalists from some of the most influential media centers in the world. I felt like a little girl at a party thrown by my parents – people look at you and tell you how smart you are and how big you’re getting, but they might just be being nice to the poor graduate student who got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience journalism as it should be. At any rate, the conference was invigorating.
I’ve spoken to journalists and editors from The Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde, Channel 4, ITN, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal during my stay in Europe. Today, I heard from people such as Charlie Beckett of London School of Economics, Professor George Brock from City University London and a panel speaking about how the revolutions in Egypt and Syria are accelerated by social media.
I also got to ask a Wikileaks panel a question of Julian Assange’s role in all the Wikileaks mayhem during the past year. I asked if they considered him a journalist, a source, or a citizen journalist. We discussed this idea in my class this past semester with Len Downie Jr. and we decided he was a source but that he may think he is a journalist. An audience member answered the question well when he said he saw Assange as a “publisher.” I think that’s fitting.
The panel discussed that Assange and his Wikileak counterparts were “baffled when governments didn’t fall” after letting out all his documentation. It’s because of context – the information needed the eyes of a trained journalist to filter what documentation wasn’t important and which documentation was important f or the information to truly have an impact.
Favorite quotes from this part of the conference:
“Putting stuff online doesn’t mean people have access to it or understand it … so journalists need to get a grip with figures and understand data.”
“Journalists need to tool up” (in terms of technology)
“While we’re chasing secrets, we’re not taking care of ourselves” (by reporting on the daily happenings of our citizens)
What a fabulous experience for someone so inexperienced. I would love to attend a conference such as this at least once a year. I’m lucky I went.
(You can see the tweets from the conference by searching #polis11 hashtag on Twitter)
- Brittny Goodsell
The airplane rides back home were foggy. Between watching Chocolat, falling asleep, eating airplane food, and attempting to do homework, I could hardly remember where I was headed. I spent the first night in Phoenix unpacking and organizing photos from the trip. The next morning, to fight jet lag, I went to work. Throughout the day I began experiencing withdrawals from the things I missed from Rome, Paris and London. It could have been that I was tired and needed more sleep. I came home early from work, unable to sleep and reasoned that I sincerely missed pieces from the cities we visited.
In my mind, I’ve been slowly reliving the past three weeks of our adventure- the ups and downs and all the delicious food we ate.
During one of our last meals as a group, over a round table of Chinese food at a restaurant in London’s Chinatown, we each shared one word for the three cities we visited- how we would describe them in one word.
Here are my three words:
London: At dinner I said Love but I’m going to change it to Blend
I have yet to read Eat, Pray, Love but Lauren mentioned that in the book the narrator says there’s a word that each city lives and breathes. Here’s a clip from the movie:
I hope everyone will post their words
Queen’s Birthday – Trooping the Colour
Each year the event that dates back to the 18th century, is held in the summer (usually June) for better weather. That morning the weather was good and bad- a mix of sunshine and clouds but overall cold. Despite the drizzle, the Queen rode in an open carriage down Buckingham Palace, along The Mall. The best view is along side St. James’s Park.
I captured moments of the parade but I apologize for the shakiness and not following the carriages throughout.
A small glimpse of Kate…
I apologize for the such large videos, when I size them down the quality of video gets grainy. If it’s too distracting I can remove the video and just post links to YouTube.
Attending the parade was one of my favorite moments in London. I hope to attend again someday.
Trooping the Colour is also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Trooping
American Music Overseas
During the past few months I have become somewhat addicted to the new music blogs that have become increasingly popular in the states. Websites such as Pigeons and Planes, and Colt On are both perfect examples of these sites and some of my favorite blogs to read. As result, while studying abroad I was interested in the music culture of the European countries. Artists like Yelle (France) Adele and Taio Cruz (London) are famous in America, so I often wondered if any of our artists we’re as popular abroad as they are in the States.
It turns out, many of them are. I was so surprised to hear some of my favorite American radio-hits walking down the streets of Paris, and in small boutiques in London. What was even more surprising was the fact that these songs were recently released, so both London and Paris were incredibly caught up on the American music scene.
I was recently informed that the Itunes store showcases the top 10 most popular songs from each country on their website. On both the France and United Kingdom charts there are five American songs in the top-ten downloads, but Italy only had three. Some of the most popular American artists overseas include LMFAO, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, The Black Eyed Peas, and Bruno Mars. I find it especially interesting that in Italy and France where a language barrier exists these songs have become so well liked. Moreover, the American Influence seen overseas was very comforting for an American traveler. It’s nice to see that many of us still have common interests, even when it feels like we’re completely from different worlds.
Polis Conference: Holding Power to Account
“It is a journalist’s job to hold power to account and to shine light in dark places.”
- Helen Boaden, Director of the BBC
On Friday we got the chance to go to the POLIS conference at the London School of Economics. The conference was hosted by the BBC College of Journalism. There were several keynote speakers, but I thought Helen Boaden’s speech was particularly interesting. Boaden spoke about, “holding power to account.” She said that the key is confidence, not arrogance, in presenting the news and dealing with complaints. She relayed a few statistics, one saying that 91% of people feel that it is important or very important for news to be impartial. Due to this, it is a journalist’s responsibility to uphold honesty and fair-dealing. This is even truer now that audiences have a faster and more direct route of complaining than they ever had in the past. Therefore, it is essential for journalists to present the news with utmost impartiality. Unfortunately, complaints of bias will never go away. Boaden said that when people complain of a, “lack of impartiality,” they are often just trying to push forth their own beliefs. This is why it is important to be confident in dispelling certain complaints, especially when the complaints are not impartial. According to Boaden, “media was seen by the public as the institution that has the most effect on people’s lives.” Again, this stresses the responsibilities that fall on jouranlists’ shoulders in terms of maintaining a devotion to the facts and repelling any urges to let opinionated and slanted material seep into the mix.
While touring one of the many British Broadcasting Corporation buildings in London, we passed this flyer hanging in the newsroom. The company set up a designated hour to tweet each week. Just a short and sweet reminder encouraging the staff to keep their professional social media profiles updated. I like this idea because it’s helpful without being too pushy, and I think more news organizations could benefit by adopting a similar habit.
- Rachael McBride
The Guardian: Is It Coming to Terms with Social Media?
Jason Deans, editor of the Guardian website, says that, “The Guardian has historically defined media as broadcasting and print.” But can they afford to continue their traditional and increasingly outdated version of news with no integration with online media? Of course not. The Guardian launched its website almost 11 years ago. However, until 2008, print and online, “were two quite separate operations.” After coming to grips with the social media platforms that are re-shaping the news industry, The Guardian has also invested resources into a Facebook and Twitter account. They have recently hired two people for a previously unheard of position, Community Coordinator. Laura Oliver and James Walsh are pioneering the new responsibility of creating a bridge between readers, users, and the general audience and editorial. They focus on maintaining a liaison with users in a variety of ways, including culture, comments and user feedback, and development. They also run 3 or 4 live blogs each day. I think live blogging is particularly important because it’s more interactive and often more stimulating to be able to see a face and the emotions written on it than it is to try to interpret them from a screen. However, when asked if they are more focused on strengthening the relationship between devote Guardian readers or building a new relationship with non-Guardian readers, Walsh said that the people that they’ve worked with and found most useful are passionate Guardian readers. While traditional Guardian users might frequent the website most often, there are a lot of people that, “wouldn’t give a single £ to the Guardian,” that comment on their posts.
It seems to me that there are still gaps in the Guardian’s engagement with the community, specifically the communities that don’t typically read the news. It is an iconic newspaper, but it could benefit from loosening its grips on tradition and grabbing a tighter hold on what is going to propel them into the future.
A British pub may well be one of the greatest networking tools ever created. Though not originally constructed for that purpose,
of course, it has since become a comfortable, homey location perfect of chatting with work colleagues and, hopefully, future employers. We were lucky enough to sit down with a BBC journalist, a Guardian investigative reporter, and the creator of a news website at the Cheshire Cheese, a traditional English pub in London. Rather fittingly, the pub is located on Fleet Street, a location internationally renown for its once significant role in news media.
Talking to a journalist who works at a top news organization may be daunting in any other circumstance, but at a pub, the atmosphere and lighthearted feel put the nerves at ease, making it the ideal place to sit and really get to know someone. The perfect social networking tool, if you ask me.
After multiple rounds of lager and hours of chatting, I became fairly well acquainted with the journalists we met at the pub. After taking their business cards, complete with Twitter links, we left, with three new media contacts. And all it took was a trip to the pub.
The Economist and Their Unique Business Model
Excitement would be a dramatic understatement in describing my feelings toward our visit to “The Economist.” Being a double major in economics and journalism, it would seem that “The Economist” is the very epitome of my career goals. While I do have different things in mind for my post-graduate life, I would be lying if I said that I was not absolutely enraptured by the institution. Upon arrival we were led by Tom Standage, digital editor, to a 14th-floor conference room. We had a panoramic view of the London Skyline. Monuments such as the infamous Gherkin, Big Ben, and the London Eye were all easily visible.
After coming back to Earth, we sat down with Tom and his colleague Mark Johnson, the community editor. We spoke to them about the magazine’s unique business model and how they are employing new community engagement techniques in a dramatically changing media landscape. They both had extremely insightful opinions and views on the two topics. For example, Standage thinks that the print edition of “The Economist” will be around for at least another 10 years. He attributes this to two things. First, “The Economist” is an extremely finishable publication, meaning that, “you can curl up with it for an hour and a half and you feel informed.” Second, the magazine has an extremely affluent audience, who still read the traditional print version but also fit into the iPad demographic quite well. “The Economist” is also staying up with their increasingly technological audience through blogging and a presence on twitter and facebook. Standage thinks that blogging perfect for news consumers who don’t necessarily want impartiality all the time because it is witty, snappy, and opinionated.
Mark Johnson deals with encouraging community involvement in the issues that “The Economist” addresses. As the social media phenomenon is tightening its grips on traditional news outlets, it makes sense for even the most renowned organizations like “The Economist” to morph to fit the new world. He says it’s a constant trial-and-error process in staying up with the developing technology. I think that, in the early stages of incorporating social media into business models, a trial-and-error process is the easiest and most effective way to see what works and what doesn’t.
The Economist has been my favorite visit of the trip. While Tom Standage often talked faster than I can think, I extracted as much of his intelligence as I could to further my own. Both he and Mark were extremely interesting and inspiring individuals.
Now, time to enjoy a typical London downpour.
A Cultural Addiction: Paris and Cigarette Use
In America, we are constantly reminded of the dangers of cigarette use. Billboards prompting the country to refrain from the addictively dangerous behavior are seen across the nation, and high-budget advertising campaigns such as TRUTH are broadcasting commercials on a regular basis attempting to stray younger generations away from tobacco usage. Advertisements for tobacco products themselves are even highly regulated, and rarely seen because of this.
However, the media in France do not seem to be following a similar trend. Smoking is considered a part of their culture, as restaurants often place a heavy emphasis on outdoor seating for smokers, and multiple generation from pre-teens to the elderly are seen partaking in this social activity. It’s amazing to witness as an outsider, how much their culture adapted and conformed to Parisian cigarette usage.
More recently, a campaign similar to truth was released in Paris called “Droits des Non-fumeurs.” (This is translated to Non-smoker’s rights.) According to The New York Times, the new need for smoking awareness was caused be a recent incline in young cigarette smokers in the year of 2009. I’ve included a copy of their latest advertisement campaign that uses the slogan “to smoke, is to be a slave to tobacco.” As this is just the beginning, it is obvious that the advertisement is much less interactive then American TRUTH campaigns. Moreover, this advertisement has actually caused a lot of uproar among young Parisians as they are not used to backlash in regards to their tobacco usage. Hopefully, with time this shall change.
The French call it “Twee – terrrr”
I’ve got to be honest here – I hated Twitter in 2010. Once my grad professor, Leslie-Jean Thornton told me I HAD to start a Twitter account I got all sorts of pissy and mad. Twitter didn’t make sense to me, I don’t have Internet on my phone so I wouldn’t be a regular Tweeter, and I thought it would waste my time.
Even a few weeks ago, I felt “blargh” about Twitter. Although I’m on the social media site more than I was in 2010 (especially since being a TA for a social media class), I have to remind myself to Tweet or it won’t happen. Besides that, I get nervous about misrepresenting myself to the world as a journalist because social media comments follow you FOR ALL TIME. Seriously, FOR ALL TIME. Journalists have to be so careful about what they tweet, comment and post about. The pressure was almost too much for my poor little head to keep watch over.
Then I met journalists in Europe.
Seriously, why would I NOT want to follow these people on Twitter? People such as Abi Sawyer from BBC or Anna Doble from Channel 4, an independent news station should now be part of my daily media diet. There’s Samuel (“Samwell” to his Spanish followers) Burke from CNN – a fabulous anchor – and Professor George Brock at City University London. I’ve met some great minds in journalism over the past few weeks and feel plugged into a whole new intellectual world in my field that I didn’t know existed – it’s like I just got invited to the party of the year and I’m definitely not missing out on my invitation.
People like this change the world with their words. I might turn into a groupie if I’m not careful.
- Brittny Goodsell
Networking in the UK: Contacts on Twitter
Twitter and Facebook are the new phone book, we were recently told. Having contacts in one centralized location makes the first step of communication that much more possible. I’ve been connecting with the individuals we’ve met on this trip via Twitter and so far it’s proving to be fast and effective.
Based on the media and news outlets we’ve visited this past week in London, I came up with a contact list in honor of Twitter’s Follow Friday (#FF).
There are many more so feel free to add anyone I missed.
Virtual Broadcasting Sets
During our visit to ITV, we got to go behind the scenes of their broadcast set. Except there was no set.
A giant green screen covers the walls and floor, with nothing but a plain presenting desk in the center. But standing in front of the camera and looking at the television monitor, it looked like we were in a professional room lined with lit-up panels.
One of the benefits is that producers can completely change the theme of the set just by pressing a few buttons. However, on camera it did appear slightly digital. I wonder if the audience can tell that it’s not real–and if they would care. I’m assuming it saves the company money in the long run. Only time will tell if more news studios will make the switch to virtual sets.
- Rachael McBride
I have never felt more excited about my choice to pursue a career in journalism than when we attended the Polis journalist conference at the London School of Economics. Having hundreds of dedicated journalists come together to discuss the issues of the day aroused such passion for one’s field that I couldn’t help but feel as if I were part of a movement to move the world into the future.
We attended three lectures throughout the day, the first of which was by far the most engaging. The discussion, entitled the BBC and Democracy, was a dialogue about the way the BBC was handling its power and its promise to be a completely unbiased source of news for the British public. The panel of speakers included Helen Boaden from the BBC and, a personal favorite of mine, Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy. To my surprise, the tone of the discussion was quite accusatory toward Boaden. Guru-Murthy made blatant remarks against the practices of the BBC and asked questions just shy of overstepping the line. I sat in awe of his unmitigated bravura when sparring with someone who had the might of the BBC behind her. The power of journalists like Guru-Murthy creates an overwhelming feeling of pride that I simply can’t ignore. Journalism used to be a profession steeped in formalities and etiquette, whereas today’s journalists are breaking boundaries to create a whole new form of reporting, and I, for one, am all for it.
The Contradicting British /Journalism Styles
As we sat in a filled auditorium of journalist from across the world we were talking about ethical debates with user generated content. Since starting our English media tour I have seen their our two ways of doing things in this country. The first way is the proper way where by a formula and strong ethics are followed. The second way is much like the British sub culture of new age and edgy.
A debate at this journalism conference sparked after a correspondent of Al Jezeera news network discussed how they used flip cameras to get the story in Egypt, and Libya. This form of gathering information in media terms it is called User Generated content or UGC. The Old style of journalism would say this is against what journalism is because the base of truth may be tapered. However, the new journalist are saying if the videos or content is fare, truthful and balanced what would be the difference of who reported it.
UGC brings up an interesting question. Where is new media going and is a journalist needed any more? The answer for right now is yes! With the reasoning being journalists and the brands they are associated with is a sense of accountability and gate keeping . This is a major shift of paradox from the old journalism to the new age journalism. Journalism is not a news gathering source any more it is a news syndicater. This means journalist do not push the news rather they pull it toward audiences. The ideas of fare and accurate news still applies just in a different manner. News Is still happening whether a correspondent is their or not.
Please feel free to comment on this post give me what you think about User Generated content
follow me on twitter: @fozbot
Thank you for reading our post
Les Mis – 25 Years Running
I saw Les Mis last night for the first time ever. Let me explain how my childhood worked in terms of going to events: we went to see the Utah Symphony play because it was free (my grandpa was in the symphony for 49 years so we got free tickets), we drove to Disneyland once when I was in sixth grade, and we drove to Idaho each Memorial Day to visit graves of my grandparents. This is the extent of our participation in events. We even left parade and firework shows early because my parents wanted to avoid the crowds.
So, when Dr. Bill told us we were going to West End (London’s Broadway) to see Les Miserables, I was pumped. We sat in the balcony section and I heard the live music that I’ve only heard on a tape deck through my yellow boom box during the early 90s. Now, the songs make sense to me and I got goosebumps when I heard the familiar tunes.
What an experience! Loved it, loved it, loved it. I’m so glad I could go. For those of you who missed out or who have never been, make sure to make this musical a priority because it’s a powerful story. Going to the theatre, in general, is an acitivity I think people should grow up with and take part in. Being part of the arts community is rewarding. What else can you do that gives you goosebumps because of the experience? I’ve only ever felt thatgoosebumpy at really, really good music concerts or looking at a beautiful view.
Go. You’ll love it.
Thanks again to the program for allowing Les Mis to happen.
- Brittny Goodsell
My group and I caught the play as it played in front of a sold out crowd. Not one seat was left in the beautiful gold plated seated theater. the ceiling look liked something in an art history museum with sculptures and intricate design. Our seats sat in the balcony but it wasn’t far as one might think. It was actually quite intament with the actors and actress.
The musical played songs like “I had a dream” which almost made me want to close my eyes and hear the melody play to my soul. But then I realized a spectacle is going on for my sight as well and one would be foolish to close their eyes. First intermission came at around an hour and a half, and Time felt like it rushed on by with no dole minutes to look at the clock and wonder when it would be over. The ending of the play was magnificent which earned the cast a standing ovation.
This musical is a must-see whether it be on a date or just to enjoy the arts. Les Miserables was a captivating story from start to finish and should be seen. The love of culture and of the arts will help our species survive.
Without the arts culture will die.
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Scott M Fausneaucht
E. coli Media Coverage in the UK
Traveling and eating healthy is almost impossible. Especially when we’re visiting places like Rome, where gelato is found around every corner. Or in France, where decadent desserts like croissants and crepes are offered at every meal. As a nutritionist, I believe that indulgence should always be aloud, but it’s best in moderation. I also believe that when indulgence is necessary, fruits and vegetables should be consumed in excess to balance out the meal.
You might imagine that the E. coli breakout has really created a damper on our trip. All of a sudden the media was warning us to avoid all cucumbers, and next we we’re cautioned to stay away from bean sprouts. But, considering that we’ve been immersed in European media during the past month, I’d like to believe that we’ve been informed of the updates on the E. coli outbreak more then most.
Earlier this week, no vegetable seemed safe. Every media outlet we visited published multiple headline stories on this issue. And this isn’t anything new. According University of Lincoln Journalism Professor Deborah Wilson, “the Brits are fascinated most by the foods could supposedly kill them.” The British media are more concerned with the disease aspect of health while American’s are most focused on diet and nutrition.
This is a huge contrast then that of the United States, where national trends in obesity have promoted an increased desire for weight-loss information in the media. Be sure to look out for my London article that will follow the Ecoli coverage in Europe even more closely!
The Guardian is one of the UK’s top newspapers. Whilst visiting their London offices today, they were kind enough to let us sit in on their morning story meeting.
Watching the journalists and editors discuss the issues and features that will be researched, investigated, and printed for mass
consumption was fascinating. Everyone there seemed very interested
in the other stories, and very eager to hear more.
The atmosphere was friendly and professional, but a lot more laid-back than I had originally imagined. It sounded more like a chat about the issues, but with facts and ideas thrown in.
Overall, the experience was an eye-opening one. It showed us how a newspaper actually functions from the inside.
One of the best ways to feel confident in your skills as a human being is to man the London tube all by yourself. Well, take a map if you feel like a wuss (ahem, I sure did) but make sure you take the time to notice the landmarks around you as your travel so you can make sure to get home.
Traveling on different roads and bus routes can mess up your internal compass. I walked down London’s Fleet Street the other day and just about crapped my pants when I realized the sunset was on the wrong side of the city. Blargh. That’s what happens when you travel.
But if you pay attention, you can get around.
I left Brick Lane today, after a fabulous dinner at an Indian restaurant, and took the tube home back to my flat – by myself – at Crawford Passage. It’s true that I asked twice to verify my location but I managed to find my way back home in a country that is not my own. Once you accomplish directions in a foreign place, you feel like you can conquer the world.
Best piece of advice from a Londoner herself (a woman who introduced us to our flats): If you’re lost, don’t look lost – Look confident.
My UK Medical Experience
Well they call me my family Grizwalt for a reason. When I got to Paris I started to feel itchy, thinking it was bug bites I continued on my way touring the very beautiful sights. These red dots would get worse and worse the through the course. I kept telling people I keep getting bit by these bugs,and was wondering why no one else was being bit. It continued and got severely worse. I did ‘nt want to go to the hospital because I have gone to enough in my life. they take forever and usually don’t do anything. I went with an open mind in hopes maybe I can learn about a public health care system. My self and Dr. Bill went it was nice to talk to him for the waiting period. the taxis drivers were odd they had no idea how to get to the hospital , and once they did they would drop us off in these weird spots in the pouring rain. We found out I picked up Bed Bugs when in Rome. So I guess the saying “when in Rome applies here”. They gave me medication to get rid of the bed bugs. Some times although things happen being optimistic is the best cure.
Twitter Advice from Jon Snow
During today’s visit with ITN, one of UK’s top leading broadcasts for both multimedia, online, and television content, we met members from itv news channel. One of ITN’s brands includes Channel 4 where the fashionable journalist Jon Snow delivers the news.
His success is far fetched from his infamous quirky ties and socks, Snow held the position of main presenter for Channel 4 News in 1989, was Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University from 2001 to 2008, and has several years experience as a radio broadcaster.
He seemed rather excited that we were student from the Cronkite School as we approached him from behind one of the news desks (I’m not sure if that was his desk). We asked Snow what his take was on the use of social media: Does he use it?
One small piece of advice that stuck with me from the many great things Snow shared with us was how to best use Twitter. He said it’s all about Who you follow. While that may seem like common information that anyone who is remotely familiar with social media, specifically Twitter, would know, the basic concept of filtering can be confusing- when it comes to online content.
When I first created a Twitter account my senior year of high school in 2008, I mainly followed celebrities or anyone who had an ID at the time. Now I’ve managed to get the basic gist of networking and what it means to receive real-time news. Snow’s advice makes sense to both journalist and anyone using social media.
Filtering even on Twitter is the tunnel to getting the information you want and need.
Follow Jon Snow: @jonsnowC4
Dinner at the Little Bay
Half-price menu and a surprise opera singer? That was Brittny and mine’s experience while dining at the Little Bay, just a walk down from our flat in Farrington.
After experiencing the delicious food of France during our short days in Paris, it was hard to accept anything less than ah-mazing. The food was not superb and I would not recommend going back. However, I wanted to share with you the entertainment we enjoyed while scarfing down our “bearable” dinner.
Would you visit the Little Bay to be serenaded by this man?
I don’t mean to sound bratty about our food situation because we were certainly thankful for something to fill our stomachs.
The Mecca Church For Journalists
In the heart of central London – and right off of the infamous journalist road called Fleet Street – is a church called St. Bride’s. Although a local baker was inspired to make tiered wedding cakes just by looking at the church’s steeple, that’s not the reason I like the church so much.
I like the church because it’s a church for journalists. Literally.
There is a table with names and pictures of journalists, such as Daniel Pearl, who were killed while doing their jobs to report the truth. Next to the large table covered with pictures is a candleholder so that fellow journalists (or whomever) can light a candle in remembrance of a slain journalist, or light a candle to “pray” for a kidnapped journalist. At one point, a vigil was held 24/7 over a time span of five years for a kidnapped journalist who spent much of the time chained to a radiator in solitary confinement.
There must be something important in this London culture to have a church just for journalists. A reporter’s job can be just as dangerous as a police officer’s job or a fireman’s job – it’s just not as widely known. But knowing there is a place to recognize the sacrifices and courage of fellow reporters gives me hope that people care about the news and care about our work.
St. Bride’s is now my mother ship of journalist worship.
- Brittny Goodsell
Nothing is Slowed Down by Typical London Showers
Today we woke up to a light, yet unrelenting shower of rain and temperatures in the low 50s. It was beautiful to see for someone who has lived in Phoenix, Arizona their entire life. That is, it was beautiful to see from behind a window pane. Unfortunately, we were not behind a window pane. In fact, we did a walking tour of London for four hours. Being typical Arizonans and not suspecting weather other than sunny skies and warm weather, we packed accordingly. In our jeans, tennis shoes, and insufficient sweaters, we had “tourist” written all over us. Even so, we completed the walking tour with little to no fuss. We saw Green Park (named so because it’s the only park in London that doesn’t have flower beds) and St. James’ Park. We stopped briefly in front of Buckingham Palace and got a glimpse of the balcony that the royal kiss took place on. From there we went to Westminister Abbey and saw where the royal wedding was held. The church looks much bigger on screen than it does in person. I don’t think it’s the grandeur of the church that is so alluring but all of the history behind it. More than 300 people are buried there, including Queen Elizabeth I. We then saw the houses of Parliament that burned down in more recent medieval times. However, there is one hall that remained in-tact and it is the oldest hall in Europe, dating as far back as the 1000s. We slowly made our way over to the famous Fleet Street. Fleet Street is where the old newspaper houses were located until Reuters was the last of the major organization to move. Today, Fleet Street houses many law firms. After our quick history of Fleet Street, it was off to ITN for a tutorial on news production and social media.
The Park Keeper’s picturesque cottage in St. James Park.
Buckingham Palace from behind well-guarded gates.
The oldest hall in Europe. Only four people have been allowed to make speeches in this hall: The Queen, Nelson Mandela, The Pope, and President Barrack Obama.
Listening to Angie, our tour guide, give us a background of Fleet Street.
Shops and restaurants on Fleet Street. The ones here used to house the Knights Templar Temple, which protected the holy-road to Jerusalem, right behind them.
Cheers from London!
Anarchy in the UK
There really is no place like London. Being in the city I have dreamed of living in since I was a child feels more comforting than Arizona ever will. The horribly uneven cobble streets, the grey clouds hanging overhead that never let up; even the things that most people would be disenchanted by just make me love it more.
As I knew we would be arriving in London on Saturday, I was already completely aware of how I would be spending my first few days in the city. Camden Market, which is only complete on Sundays, when the full extent of vendors arrives to sell their mostly handmade or stolen goods, was first on my London to-do list.
Everything from Japanese gothic Lolita dresses to cyber clubwear to Hindu shrines can be discovered somewhere within the labyrinth of cramped stalls.
Camden Market also plays host to a vast array of patrons ranging from the classy west-end types to the hardcore underground punks, complete with dyed Mohawks and studded leather jackets.
In the United Kingdom, Camden Town is widely accepted as the birthplace of the British punk movement, which began in the mid-1970s, and it still remains a holy ground for punks today. Some of the first punk legends such as the Clash, the Sex Pistols and the Smiths gave performances in Camden’s music clubs.
Camden Town, with crowds of London regulars and somewhat-disturbed tourists congesting every corner of the vast market, has remained elegantly true to its punk roots, which gives it the retro charm of London’s 20th century rebel youth.
Amidst a forest of office buildings and newly installed shopping centres housing Apple stores and cell phone shops, the people of Camden remain happy with their vintage typewriters and rotary-dial phones. It’s the anti-mainstream media culture and it’s here to stay, in London at least.
Video courtesy of youtube.com.
Four Square Use in London:
Yesterday we departed from Paris and made our way to London. We were all so excited for this part of the trip, as London was the city that a lot of us had anticipated most. Paris and Rome were both amazing cities, however it was nice to finally feel a sense of comfort in a Country that was more similar to our own.
Today we visited the Camden Market in London. The market was unbelievable. I had never seen a place quite like it. It was so big with something unusual around every corner. Anyone who plans to visit London should definitely make there way to Camden.
I had my first bubble tea experience in Camden as well. Bubble tea is a drink that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s. The tea is mixed with fruit syrup and milk as a handful of unusual, small, and chewy tapioca beads. The tea has a very unique taste that I personally was not a fan of, but all of the other girls loved it.
Bubble tea cafes can be found all across London. The café we found was named “Chaboba.” On the outside of the door there was a sign that read “check in here on foursquare,” for specials. I found it really fascinating to see that all the way in the United Kingdom they use foursquare for promotional use just as we do in the United States. This was the first European country we came across that used foursquare, so it was exciting to finally see the application in use again.
I’ve posted a photograph of the foursquare sticker below, as well as a link to the Chaboba facebook page. There you will see how Chaboba also uses facebook to socially market their product as well. Chaboba has been rated one of the best bubble tea cafes in London. If ever in Camden I would highly recommend that you should check out, or better yet “check – in” to this trendy spot.
I spent my first day in London at the Camden Market, one of the largest markets in central London. We walked around for hours in and out of makeshift stores smashed into small streets next to brick walls. It’s like the markets in Paris on crack, and without the fresh produce or homemade goods.
To enter the London world at the market, I ate fish ‘n chips for lunch then decided to venture out and have seconds. I settled on a vendor serving Pakastani food. The name was “Food in the Middle” and the two vendors spoke English extremely well (I’m assuming that they grew up speaking Urdu, which is Pakistan’s official language so I was very impressed, probably because I don’t even speak a second language myself).
I asked one of the vendors about his business, and when he started to cook for the market. He said it’s been about a year. Today, the business is lucrative, he says, much to his family’s pleasing since he quit a steady job as an accountant to start this idea. (He said his family just about “had a heart attack” when they heard of his food idea but now they want to invest in his business because of its success).
The vendors recycle on site (they showed me the bins) and their meat comes from free-range chickens. They said they make “home food” and not “street food” because home food is a more natural way of cooking without the grease or the fat. If the success of the business continues, they want to start a restaurant.
I was impressed with the risk of these two young men. Quitting a steady, good-paying job to follow a dream doesn’t always end in success. And my personal “American Dream” theory for myself continues to change in order to survive; I shave off small pieces of how well I want to live when I look at others and think of how I can live with a bit less and still be happy.
What fabulous Londoners to meet on a first visit to England! Oh, and the food was delightful.
By Brittny Goodsell