Social Media Infographics






First Person Copy Clinic

I submitted the following first draft of my 1st person piece:

‘Crazy Steve’ thought he’d never walk again but now he surfs every day

Steve Outram

At 63, you might not expect to be surfing let alone two to three times a day. That is exactly what North Devon surfer, Steve Outram, does even though just a few years ago he thought he might never walk again.

“Surfing is my passion, my driving force. It’s been in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s what I live for and can’t live without. To wake up every morning and to be inspired by the ocean. I’m 63 years old and I’m still surfing.

I learnt to surf when I was nine on holiday with my parents in Cornwall and I just loved being in the sea, the thrill of riding a wave. I was immediately hooked. Fifty years later, every day, I am still searching for the perfect wave. Whether it be here, in Saunton, North Devon, or in warmer climes, I still get that same feeling of excitement when I surf today.

Four years ago, my life took a dramatic turn when I suffered a prolapsed disc in my lower back. I couldn’t understand why this had happened to me. I was fit and healthy and I hadn’t done anything unusual to cause it.  Apparently, it’s a small bulge in the disc and can happen to anyone. It effected my right leg and I couldn’t walk. I was in so much pain I thought I’d never walk again.

I was fortunate though and had surgery to remove the disc bulge. It was successful, but it took me two years to get over that. Two years without surfing was like a life sentence to me. I could barely walk let alone stand on a surfboard. What ’s more, the painkillers made me groggy and irritable.

Surfing is not just a sport, it is a lifestyle. My whole life has become subconsciously shaped around surfing.  My mood is influenced by surfing. The only way to recover from this was to keep my passion alive. I decided to start by making my own boards. This meant that I could make exactly what I wanted, the right length and thickness. I had my own personalised board made to measure.

Making that first board gave me the drive and determination to get back out there. I can’t describe the thrill of catching my first wave on the board I had designed and built.

My foot is still partially paralysed, but my injury has made me appreciate life. Now I’ll surf sometimes two or three times a day, even during the winter months when I wear a 5mm wetsuit. I start going out in April without a wetsuit when the sea is quite cold, between 8-10 °c.  I like the freedom you get when not wearing one, I like to feel the water.

I have collected some funny nicknames from fellow surfers and friends over the years. “The Court Jester”, “Wildman Steve” but in Saunton I am known as ‘Crazy Steve’. I guess that comes from the fact that I am still so passionate about surfing at the age of 63 and that I prefer to surf without a wetsuit.

Surfing’s addictive, it just makes you feel good, it gets rid of all the tension. You paddle out and you forget everything because you’re so centred on what you are doing. You can see the sets of waves breaking towards you and your heart starts racing. The adrenaline beginning to pump through your body. I get out of the water feeling like “yes, I’m still doing something!”

People think that when you’re over fifty you haven’t got a life anymore, that’s not true. When you’re younger you just think I will do something later and put it off and put it off. As you get older you think ‘right I’m going to go and do that.’

I would say that surfing is for anyone because as a beginner you can go out in small waves and use a bigger board. It’s not that expensive and it makes you feel good. Surfing definitely keeps you young. Life’s sweet don’t waste a minute!”

Through the feedback from the group discussion the article needs some attention. The story needs to focus more on the circumstances and consequenses of Steve’s accident. The reader needs to know what happened and how exactly this effected Steve. There could be some anecdotes or recollections of scary moments. I tend to focus on Steve’s passion for surfing which is not really the essence of the story.

The article would also benefit from a stronger ending. Although these were his words it sounds a bit lame/ clichéd. I will contact Steve again and try not to get carried away with his surfing enthusiasm focusing more on the details around the accident.


The UK Court System


In United Kingdom legal system hierarchy, the Supreme Court is the uppermost court of appeal (and the final one too) in all cases in England and Wales.

Senior Courts of the England and Wales

These courts were formed by the Act of judicature as Supreme Court of the Judicature. This comprises as follows:

  • Court of Appeal – Court of Appeal includes two divisions such as Civil Division which hears issues from High Court, County Court along with other superior tribunals whereas Criminal Division only hears appeals from Crown Court related to a trial of a serious crime.
  • High Court – High Court functions as the civil court of first request and a civil and criminal appellate court for the cases from subordinate courts.
  • Crown Court – Crown Court hears criminal cases for both appellate and original jurisdiction.

Subordinate Courts

In United Kingdom legal system hierarchy, the Subordinate Court comprises of:

  • Magistrates’ Courts – In Magistrates’ courts issues are supervised by a lay magistrate’s bench or a district judge sitting in every area of local justice. No juries are there in these courts.

A magistrates’ court works in one of two ways. You’ll find there are either:

Three magistrates sitting together – these are volunteers (known as ‘lay magistrates’) trained for the role who don’t have legal qualifications, or A district judge – someone who is legally trained and usually deals with more complicated cases. There’s also a court legal adviser.

The maximum custodial sentence that can be given in the magistrates’ court is 12 months imprisonment for each offence up to max of 65 weeks. Generally speaking, the maximum fine is £5,000 for each offence.

  • Family Proceedings Courts – Family Proceedings Courts hears Family lawsuits which include care cases. They also have the authority to give adoption orders. It is not open for the general public.
  • Youth Courts – The Youth Courts deals with the offenders which are aged between 10 to 17 years. These courts are supervised by a group of specially trained adult magistrates.
  • County Courts – These courts are local courts which are there in 92 cities and towns of England and Wales. These are supervised by a circuit or district judge.

Special Courts

There are some other special courts which are as follows:

  • Coroner’s Court – Coroner’s Court deals with the cases of death in suspicious conditions. The coroner is a doctor or lawyer who is responsible for investigating deaths that are sudden, violent, or unexplained. He doesn’t determine innocence or guilt as it is not a trial although it is held in public. Coroner may require witnesses, and relatives can also attend to ask questions. A coroner can choose to record a ‘narrative verdict’- that’s a summing up of the circumstances surrounding a verdict.
  • Ecclesiastical courts – This is also a special court which deals with the matters of the properties of the Church of England.

Other Courts

The other courts comprises as follows:

  • Military Courts – Supervised by military personnel in matters related to court martial.
  • Election Courts – Hears petitions against the results of election.
  • Patents County Court – Deals with certain simple intellectual properties.


Civil vs Criminal Law

Criminal law is defined as an offence against society and so is in the public interest to pursue justice. The standard of proof for criminal cases is beyond reasonable doubt.

Civil law is to arbitrate disputes amongst private individuals.

Social Media

Social Media has transformed court reporting which had remained largely unchanged since the 17th century.

Stephen Lawrence trial

The overwhelming public interest in the Stephen Lawrence murder trial confirmed the power of live social media reporting.

The trial opened with an application by the prosecution to ban the use of social media out of fear of prejudicial commentary. The following morning, after a BBC challenge, the judge accepted that Twitter was not a means for journalists to comment but a means to report court cases as they happen, informing both the public and their colleagues in the newsroom.

When it came to the verdicts and sentencing of Stephen Lawrence’s murderers, the interest on Twitter was phenomenal.

Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas scandal

Injunctions and super-injunctions.

A Premiership footballer asks the High Court to stop a kiss-and-tell story from appearing in next weekend’s papers, saying that he is a victim of wrongdoing and blackmail by the other party.

If the judge agrees to a super-injunction, the newspaper cannot report the allegations – and it is also prevented from saying that the footballer went to court to gag the paper. If the newspaper breaks the injunction, the editor could be prosecuted for contempt of court.


News Production Day-27/10/2017

Catherine Lea, former business editor at the Hull Daily Mail, was guest editor for today’s news day. Unfortunately there was a poor turn-out and talks on the future of Hull College were taking place throughout the day.

I covered a story on Hamleys toy store opening in Prince’s Quay shopping centre. I heard that it was due to open on the radio so went along Thursday afternoon to take a look. They were still busy stocking shelves but the opening looked imminent. I went to the management office and asked for permission to film on Friday. Sarah Smith, Marketing and Customer Services Manager, said it would be okay.

On Friday, having signed in at the security desk, I went to try to talk to the store manager, Paula Patrick. Unfortunately, she was reluctant to be interviewed and would not give any comment regards Hamleys, the reasons for them choosing Hull or specific details about the store. She did not want me to question the staff but agreed to my taking photos and asking shoppers for feedback.

Placing myself just outside the entrance I questioned shoppers as they arrived and left the shop. People were not always willing to stop and talk. It was virtually impossible to get anybody to agree to be filmed. However, after some perseverance, I managed to get sufficient material.

Short interviews were conducted using the voice recorder on my phone. The quality was not very good and I should have checked this before I started. Photos taken on a Canon EOS 750D were of good quality.

The problems started when I returned to college and had to start editing the sound clips and photos. I am still not familiar with Macs and wasted a lot of time trying to figure things out. Danielle helped out by going through my audio and selecting the relevant clips. The technical details, difficulties embedding Soundcloud and re-sizing photographs delayed the publication of an article. I found it stressful and difficult to concentrate on the actual writing. Next time I will make sure I get the written article finished before adding the multi-media.

The finished article needs some tweaking!

Images in social media

Research published by Twitter show you are 27% more likely to be retweeted if you include an image in your post. Similarly, Facebook showed you are 53% more likely to get likes with images included, and 104% more likely to receive comments.

It is really imortant to include visuals in posts through:


Charts, graphs




Image and text

Quotes and digits are more effective than even video for retweets. Look for key quotes in your story – does it grab your audience? Buzzfeed are good …

Remember Twitter is a horizontal platform so all photos should be landscape.

A useful tool to produce images is Canva, a free graphic-design website. It has an easy to use drag-and-drop interface and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts.

Although I am unsure as to wether to continue the blog I started in the first year I created this simple logo which follows the colour scheme:

The Mature Student-3

Does Britain have a free press?

free press discussion

Here is a summary of the group discussion on wether or not Britain has a free press. The overwhelming decision at the end of the session was ‘no’.

5 reasons why we don’t have a free press:

1) The billionaires that own the press set the agenda

2) Corporate advertising revenue censors the content

3) Privately educated white men dominate the media

4) The political use of supposedly neutral sources

5) The intelligence services manipulate the press