Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Blast From the Past

When I spoke to a family friend over coffee earlier this morning, I uncovered an untold secret she had been keeping.

Peggy has been one of my auntie's closest friends for as long as I can remember, and we got chatting when I told her I was studying a degree in journalism.

Canadian born Peggy grew up in Vancouver, and aged fifteen left school during World War II to work in a busy newsroom in the city.

"Of course it was all done on typewriters then" she recalls, "The tapping of the keys is something that will always remain synonymous with that newsroom in my mind."  

A far cry from today's papers, hers was churning out five a day, one in the morning, several throughout the day and a final edition in the evening.

As a copy writer her job involved supplying the reporters with paper when they needed it, taking copy to the editor, and generally running around.

"I was a slim size 8 back then!" she jokes.

After working her way up and learning the ropes Peggy became a reporter for the paper. She still remembers her first headline story.

"There was an armed robbery at a local jewelers that was down the road from the newsroom. I managed to get the phone number of one of the customers caught up in the incident meaning I could do a phone interview and get some great quotes before the police even got to the scene!" she tells me.

Peggy tells me about her favorite parts of the job which surprisingly happen to be surrounding the celebrity interest of the industry.

"There was the same obsessive celebrity culture then that there is now. I remember always being incredibly excited to see where all the heart throbs of the era had been on their yachts."

"It was an exciting job and fast paced." She says.

Shame I wasn't training to be a reporter back then!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Animal Cruelty

My Dog, Poppy 
After reading on Sky News online this morning that a dog had been found in Sheffield tortured, burned and tied to a tree, I felt sick.

What heartless people find this animal cruelty entertaining and furthermore, socially acceptable?

Police are appealing for witnesses after the male Staffordshire bull terrier was found on a path off a main road in Sheffield. It is believed that after being severely beaten the dog was tied to a tree and set alight.

A dog owner myself this story disgusted me.

This brutal, barbarous and bloodthirsty attack on an innocent animal makes you wonder what goes through people's minds to drive them to commit such an offence. Revenge? What could an innocent dog have done to deserve this treatment.

I only hope that whoever is responsible for what can only be described as a savage offence is brought to justice and given what they deserve for taking a defenseless life in such a sickening way.

For me the conscience of what has been done would be enough to drive me to insanity although, for the killer who has committed this offence it is merely more than a gruesome joke. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

GSMA predictions- data will have overtaken voice by 2018

Kevin Bacon, EE advert
What’s wrong with good old fashioned face-to-face conversation? This was my reaction this morning when I read predictions that mobile data will have overtaken voice by 2018.

Mobile data is the transmission of  information between devices and includes texting, and a surge in this has created a recent new demand: it seems people just don’t want to indulge, or more likely, simply don’t have time for a man-to-man chat anymore.

The articles regarding this new prediction boast the benefits of mobile data connection including that of the developing world. Last time I checked their main concerns were clean water and cholera not texting and accessing the internet.

The unveiling of 4G in the UK late last year has supposedly left the world feeling more connected. Although with Kevin Bacon playing a one man game of word association on their adverts to prove this, I can’t help feeling an unfillable void where conversation used to be.

Quick and effortless, texting is undoubtedly a convenience the human race have become both reliant and dependent on. In fact, many have argued they would rather starve than go without their beloved mobile phone. Sad really.

In a world where this form of “communication” is branded as acceptable as a heart-to-heart chat, I ask whether we really understand what monster we are creating. A heartless generation who find it socially acceptable to spend a night in sharing their feelings with Facebook rather than with their friends… God help us.