Saturday, 30 October 2010

You call me G-Man, They call me Captain

Big news coming from Kent the past week. Belnor Cricket Club's AGM (Annual General Meeting) was held this Monday gone, and we have a new Sunday captain. It's Winchester's very own Gareth Messenger making me the youngest captain to ever be in charge of a team in the club's history.
To say I'm honoured is an understatement. I am proud, very proud. After joining the club in 2007, to go from a 16-year-old 'newbie' to a 19-year-old mature cricketer in charge of an organised side can only make me a better player and a more responsible human being for sure. The role of captaincy is to deliver good performances both as an on-field player and as an off-field player. Tactics on the pitch require thought, experience and understanding of the game - I still have a lot to learn - but having played cricket since the age of just five, and men's cricket since the age of 11 I feel I have a fair knowledge of the game and how I can change a game.

I have always wanted to captain and a couple of years ago I thought I wanted it, however was forced out of it based on pure inexperience. Now I'm a better player, a more clever player and one who has a great relationship with my team-mates.

I did find it surprising winning the votes. 7-2 I believe the score was against the club's former captain who has been in charge the past 2 years. I believe in success and enjoying the game. I will go full throttle next year wanting to win every match we play - I am very competitive. I will go to every match with the intention of becoming
the club's most successful captain.
What also surprised me was the congratulations I received from my team-mates as well, despite not even being at the meeting.

The most succesful Sunday captain of our club's history was way back in 1994, winning 11 of his 19 matches in charge which was 57.89% of his games. To say I will better that in my first year would be silly. That's a great achievement for our club, but nobody has done better than that. My target for first year is to win 50% of my matches. I myself want to contribute more to the side with my own performances especially with the bat. If anything, my main attribute-bowling was my disappointment last year and I excelled in the batting arena.

I will demand improvement from every player who contributed to the Sunday team last year. I will work them harder than before, but I will guarentee they will enjoy it. Nobody likes to lose a game of cricket, but everybody likes to enjoy a game. The only way to enjoy a game is to play well. If we lose, then we lose, but I want to see us play well. As long as we play well, results will come, if we do not play well then we're the makers of our own downfall.

If anybody is curious and would like to read my stats as a Belnor Cricket Club player then here they are:

When the season gets closer I will be blogging more, and I aim to do a match report both on my blog and as a leaflet so my players can read at the end of every match. I will keep my readers updated on the club's preparation and my side's plans for the upcoming 2011 season. For now though, over and out Roger Wilko!

Gareth's only gone and Bale'd himself out of trouble

Talk about your ultimate turnarounds. Just a year and a half ago Gareth Bale couldn't get a win for Tottenham when he started, probably starting more times than Wayne Rooney scoring for Manchester United. Now the 21-year-old has become one of the Premier League's most dangerous left-sided players, and more importantly, Tottenham Hotspur's most prized asset.

Bale's displays in the past year have made in somewhate of a hit in England and across Europe. He's become so popular that a long list of clubs have been eyeing the Welshman as a transfer target in January. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan, Chelsea, Manchester United, Napoli, Bayern Munich are all just a number of clubs who have been vying for his signature.

Just at the start of last season, Tottenham couldn't buy a win whenever Bale was in the starting line-up. He went a record 24 matches without a competitive win for Spurs when he started. You'd expect that from a side who play a different team, but everytime Bale played, they just could not win. That record was finally ended in late September 2009 when Spurs beat Burnley, this being two years after Bale signed for the North London side from Southampton. Bale missed the first few weeks of this season because of injury and endured a torrid time of "bench warming" when Benoit Assou Ekotto was enjoying a fantastic spell as Tottenham's first choice left-back.

In April this year, Bale starred in Tottenham's biggest clashes of the year, beating Arsenal, a game in which he scored, then just three days later scoring again to earn his side victory over my beloved Chelsea in a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane. His performance against the Blues earned him Man of the Match and impressive displays against Fulham in both the league and cup earned him Barclay's Premier League Player of the Month award.

This domestic season has seen Bale start where he left off. Two goals away to Stoke, including a cracking volley gave his side 3 points in a 2-1 win, and then 4 days later he created all four of Tottenham's goals in their 4-0 Champions League Qualifying Round match against Youngs Boys to put them through to the competition group stages.

Bale scored his first Champions' League goal in their 4-1 home win to FC Twente and in the same week he was named Welsh Footballer of the Year. However, what was to happen next would never be seen at all. Regardless of how well he's been playing, Bale, in my opinion thrives as an attacking left-sided player rather than a defender. He's good at left-back but is on numerous times caught out of position, and I feel having someone like assou-Ekotto behind him gives Bale the freedom to run forward then track back to help his defence when under pressure. Having the knowledge of two different positions gives the 21-year-old a maturity, a reponsibility and a knowledge of how to play the game.

This month is probably Bale's most recognisable. Julio Cesar is a superb keeper. He was officially named European goalkeeper of the Year thanks to his heroics in Inter's Champions' League winning season last year under the charismatic José Mourinho. It is very rare Cesar concedes 3 goals in one match, and when it does happen it is usually something special. So imagine this. Inter Milan are 4-0 up at half-time, at home, to a 10-man Tottenham Hotspur after keeper Heurelho Gomes was sent off after just 8 minutes of play.

I was at the university when this match was taking place. I was now expecting a drubbing and constantly texting my best mate Liam (a Spurs fan) about the potential thrashing his side were about to endure. Just 45 minutes later, Inter had failed to score and Gareth Bale had taken the game by the scruff of the neck and scored his first ever competitive hat-trick, two of these goals coming in the final minutes of the match.

The result was still a disappointment for Spurs, but even as a Chelsea supporter, I was full of admiration for the Welsh youngster. His recent performances in a Spurs shirt have given him well-deserved praise and respect. Even as a neutral though, and as much as I'd like to have a player of his potential at a club like Chelsea, the best thing for Gareth Bale is to resist temptation of a huge club and stay put with Spurs.

The fans love him, and he loves the club. He is only 21, and has years ahead of him to improve his game, score more goals and become known as the world's best left winger. In my opinion, a move now may well damage his career, and destroy all the work he has put in into becoming the player we all know him to be.

WINOL Week 4

What a hectic week this turned out to be! Dear me, this week was filled with drama, panic, lack of communication and a tense newsroom. But we got through it, and some superb hard work from Stuart Appleby, Joey Lipscombe and Andrew Giddings should go highly remembered for the news team.
I'm not going to say "There was no news" because there was, but it came in very short supply and even Chris admitted on Tuesday afternoon that "News is very slow this week."

As far as this bulletin goes I thought Andy produced his best display so far. His story was about a GBH which happened last year, and his commitment over the last 3 weeks finally paid off when he managed to get an interview with the victim along with CCTV footage of the events after the attack. Superb work. I get on well with Andy and know he's been disappointed and frustrated with himself over the past weeks so I am pleased that he managed to get something worth watching and producing a well constructed package.

My own work however was disappointing. Sat in front of a computer the Friday and Saturday before, making calls, and researching produced nothing for me. Whether my brain was just on standby or I just was not getting any luck I do not know, but for the first time, I went into the news meeting without a story and if I'm going to be honest, this frustrated me.

I despise not having options, or even something to work on. It annoys me, simply because people either think I get lazy or simply don't try. This would be lies. I always put the effort in, but whether it pays off or not is another issue. I was given a story in the news meeting and looked set to not waste any time.

I set to work quickly and contacted numerous councillors in the hope I could get some major development on the story, however strong or not it was, with the intentions to produce a package. Nothing. Nobody knew anything about the story I was working on and in the space of a few hours I was back to square one. Unbelievable.

Monday was a slow day for me. Tuesday I came in very early and set myself a task of finding a story. All day I worked and called people, and not a lot came to pass, however in the closing stages of the afternoonI foudn something and started making the trek to Bar End to meet a councillor for an interview regarding King Alfred's resting place.
A glass panel symbolising his place of rest had been vandalised in July, and was set to be replaced after a Winchester charity had voted for it to be re-structured.

The interview was done, and I had contacted Kayleigh late on Tuesday to let her know the update of my situation. I was up extremely early Wednesday. I made the 45 minute walk at 7am from Stanmore to River Park Leisure centre to take GVs of Hyde Abbey Gardens (the resting place of King Alfred) and returned to the MMC with the intention of producing something toward the bulletin, whether it be an OOV or a NIB or a package.

Enter the "disco-wheel" macs. Wow these things have ben rather frustrating the last few weeks. It's not an excuse, I was unprepared this week but trying to produce a package in a short amount of time when the network is being used by every journalism, media, and film student in the university does hit a nerve.

What made it worse was news was struggling for stories. Michael's had folded, Jack had nothing, and Julie had nothing because of a recent house move. We had Andy's, Stu's and Aimee's piece about former England captain David Gower, after he received an honorary doctorate at the cathedral from the University of Winchester.

If anything, I had enough done for it to be put in as an OOV if anything did fail to succumb. However, the news team grafted and with support of fellow reporters, Stu and Andy were done. The bulletin was filmed at 3 and went live at 4. Kayleigh bless her. I'd never seen her so stressed before, and there was a sense of relief by the time 5pm came.

I don't want to say we let her down because the news team all worked hard. But we should have worked harder. Brian was right though in the de-brief - There was a lot of panic in the newsroom, and the morale was really low throughout the first half of the week. However, he admitted this is good because it is going to happen in the future, either at WINOl or in future jobs. There is always pressure, but the ability to overcome it as individuals and as a team shows your true potential.

Friday, 29 October 2010

WINOL Weeks 1, 2 and 3

WINOL or Winchester News Online is a weekly news bulletin produced by students at the University of Winchester. They're task is to produce the ongoing bulletin, which is a 10-minute program. It is put together the same way as a TV news program is created because everybody involved has a job to do. If reporters do their jobs in getting the stories and producing packages in time, then the production team are able to get the news together in time for our live broadcast every Wednesday afternoon.

My role for WINOL is Local Government/Regional reporter as part of the news team. At first I was a little sceptical as government has never been my strongest point. However, I've never been one to back away from a challenge, and I do see this as a challenge. It never has been my strongest topic, but journalism is all about trying new things, meeting different types of people and attaining new heights so the chance to learn this is something I am not going to back away from.
I have an impressive advantage finding news related to the role I have been assigned. Winchester is home of Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, so news will always been around, and my job is to find it and work my very best to ensure it is presented the way I want it, as well as my editors and more importantly the audience.

My first piece for Winol was far from what kind of impact I had expected to make. I had a story. It was about job cuts within Winchester City Council because of the government's plans to reduce funding to national and local services. I managed to get an interview with city council leader Kelsie Learney, however it was not until Wednesday morning, so my ability to do that and get a package done in time was a tall order, especially as my editing skills were far from good. I made the 7am journey to meet Cllr Learney outside Winchester city Guildhall and after the interview I returned to the newsroom to make an attempt at editing within a timescale along with the many GVs I had taken the previous days.

The main mistake I made was my failure to obtain some kind of balance. I do not want to say it slipped my mind because it didn't, but where I was so focused on getting an interview with a councillor, I forgot about the workers themselves and what they'd think about their jobs being cut. I was impressed to get the interview I did on my first try, however my application and preparation could and should have been better.

My second week was a little more productive. I found a story about affordable housing and managed to get my general views and interview done by the Monday night. This gave me a day's worth of editing on the Tuesday as well as Wednesday morning to produce something constructive toward our bulletin. My piece was put in the bulletin as an OOV, not what I had hoped for but it was better than nothing. I felt pleased to have contributed something to the team regardless of the length or depth of the content.

My third week has probably been my most productive to date. I was following a story on the Winchester town forum. Due to a freeze on its budget, the forum is struggling, and one key issue between councillors is its lack of running in public debates. Some councillors believe the forum has run its course, yet others feel it has a future in the city. Again I made the long trek from Stanmore to the city centre where I met a councillor and asked some - what I thought at the time - pressing questions. I had the majority of my general views and the interview done and all edited by Tuesday night. I felt confident I would be able to produce some noteworthy and I slept well that night with the knowledge I was ahead of schedule.

However, I made the terrible mistake of failing to get a balance. Fortunately, my news editor Kayleigh informed me of my error sooner rather than later and after a few frantic calls on Wednesday morning I was able to get a balance from a member of the town forum, and henceforth I was on the road to producing something toward this week's bulletin other than an OOV. However, as we all know journalism is a game. It's a game of quality, and a game of who simply has the better stories. To say my story was not good would seem disappointing to me. However I am not going to question the people who know more than me.

Just 45 minutes before the bulletin was to be filmed my story was dropped because our news stories had overrun on its time allocation. This week was competitive. People wanted to get in the bulletin and there was a relatively high morale among the news reporters. I wanted to be in there, but this week I was not. To say I was a little gutted would be an understatement, however it has taught me that, like football, competition for places is fierce. This week inspired me to make my own youtube channel. With this I will put any packages that have not been chosen for the bulletin as a kind of portfolio for my own works.

The first few weeks as a news reporter have taught me many things. Journalism is a lot more to just sitting behind a desk writing. It's all good looking for the news, but trying to make news into something you want it to be is a challenge. I feel more confident with the camera and editing work than what I did in the first week. My decision to film my housemates in our very own "House Video" has strengthened my camera skills, and the editing can always be improved on. I feel confident in my ability to edit, but one downfall is my speed in the editing, I guess over time I will get better, but I should learn sooner rather than later, not only to better myself, but to compete with my fellow journalists.

To say I put myself under pressure would be correct. Everybody puts themselves unde pressure. Some people thrive on pressure some struggle to deal with the pressures of a work place. I've never really struggled under pressure, but it hasn't been my biggest asset performing at a high level under it.
Having this pressure, I see it as a great opportunity to prove the ability I know I have. To be the best, you have to work like the best.

HCJ - Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who was the founder of psychoanalytic school of psychiatry. He was seen as a sexual renegade and was known to have a reputation for "damaging our idea of noble creatures" due to the thoughts and ideas of a sexual nature. Ideas were a challenge toward enlightenment and it offered an alternative option to rationality. John Locke strongly believed that nothing is innate and that we our minds were simply blank slates on which we would learn and experience things, and henceforth expand our minds and understanding. Freud was born on the 6th May 1856 and died on the 23rd September 1939.

Freud argued that the central factor of motivation for our actions was sex. He believed that sexual symbols were all around us and that even buildings were being designed and built by architects who had sex on their minds whilst designing, or even with noticing it. Freud claimed that women suffered from penis envy and that the love for their fathers was as a result of their love for penis.

Freud believed the mind was divided into three separate parts: The id, the ego, and the superego. The theory of an unconscious mind is his legacy. 'The id' is the part of the brain that controls your animalistic desires like the urge to constantly have sex and perform horrific acts such as murder or rape. 'The id' sees objects and immediately links them to sex. 'The ego' is the origin of consciousness and the reality of principle. It is simply the part of the brain which has morals. 'The superego' is the part of the mind that controls and calms down 'the id'. It accepts the law of right and wrong and offers a degree of rational thought.

Freud stated that the 5 stages of life development were oral, anal, phallic phase, latency and genitals. He thought that putting things in your mouth and obsession with your mouth in later life came from the oral stage and premature weaning as a baby when being breast-fed.

He argued that the anal stage was if not properly toilet trained when a child, then your life could lead into a path of obsession and complusive lifestyle, and the phallic stage was the stage in your life when as a young child you wanted to have sex with your own mother and wanted to kill your father but knowing he was too strong for you. He said that if you had the ability to kill your father, you would have done out of jealousy and married your mother.

A battle of all three parts of the mind can lead to a repression. A way of repressing these feelings is sublimation which is another means of focus, or even a distraction from sexual feelings. There was "Projection" which is turning your shameful sexual thought onto somebody else. "Displacement" which is taking your thoughts and turning them into someone else. "Rationalisation" is the more socially accepted explanation, and finally "regression" itself which is regressing back to a different stage.

Freud argued that civilisation was there to control the desires of humankind, although through the mode of hypnosis and dreams he believes he could control 'the id'. He also claimed that aggression would never be eliminated from the mind or body. However, from a science point of view, Freud's theories could not be tested on because they were so vague. Yet, science has proved that the brain has three separate parts: the reptilian brain, the limbic system, and the neo cortex. The "Reptilian Brain" is the motor movement or the attack. The "limbic system" are emotions and the "neo cortex" is language or communication.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

WINOL News Package

Here's my package for this week's WINOL. Unfortunately was dropped just before the broadcast but even so I thought I would put it on my blog to show you guys my work. Do enjoy!

HCJ - Modernism

Modernism is a campaign against Romanticism and the Enlightenment. Modernists believe in the famous term "God is Dead", and music is the everything to them. Nietzsche claims Zarathustra is the overman and he believes highly in the philosophy of individualism where you make your own rules, obey your own rules to live by and more importantly, think for yourself. Nietzsche is completely against democracy. There is no racialism in any of Nietzsche's works as he is against the heard morality.

Women in modernism play a massive role, and modernists believe highly in particle of physics where they believe everything is made of nothing. Modernists believes the centre of modernism has shifted from Europe to America, and now to Asia. This backs Thomas Koone's idea of the Paradime which is a change in culture.

The term 'modernism' is also used to refer to the art of the modern period. More specifically, modernism can be thought of as a reference to modern art philosophies. The birth of modernism lies in history, further back than the first believed origins of the 19th century. Historians believe the modern period actually begins in the 16th century, starting what is called the Early Modern Period, which goes all the way until the 18th century. Modernism emerges during the Reanissance period when through the study of art and music, humanists revived the belief that man, rather than God, is the centre of all things that exist.

In the 18th century, the Enlightenment saw the intellectual maturation of the human belief in reason as the major form of guidance for humans. Through reason, the mind achieved enlightenment, and for someone with an enlightened mind, a whole new, exciting world opened. Enlightenment thinking saw the human race striving towards universal, moral and intellectual self-realisation. It was believed that access to truth came through reason, and the knowledge of truth would effectively better mankind. It is in the ideals of the Enlightenment that the roots of modernism, and the new role of art can be found. If we are clean of the corruptions of religion and politics by reason, then education brings us the truth or at least shows us how to make it to the truth. Education enlightens us and makes us into better people and therefore educated people will form the foundations of a new society, a society created through own efforts.

As a young man, Nietzsche embraced music and classics a lot. Wagner embraced atheism and immoralism. Wagner had been an exile for twenty years and was the author of many musical pieces. When Nietzsche found Wagner, it became a revolution of profound social and sexual kinds for him as he became obsessive with Cosima, an attractive woman. If Wagner gave life to Nietzsche's sexual understanding, he failed to convince Nietzsche of his own sense that man is "redeemed" through love of women.
While Nietzsche understood the sexual 'energy', he sees relationship as war. The theme of modernism is everywhere. "Wagner is the modern artist par excellence" but "Wagner's art is sick". Does Nietzsche talk about Wagner himself or modernism as a whole subject?

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Big Carsenger Debate: Cara Laithwaite vs Gareth Messenger

Kate Nash Vs Example

Well after weeks of highly intense discussions and revelations, it has come to this. I have been resorted to blogging to help enhance my own point, but in the spirit of the game we call ‘fair play’, I will be sporting and highlighting the pros and even the cons of one my opponent’s current musical idols. I’ve called it the “The Big Carsenger Debate” in what 2nd year Journalism students would class as ‘The Clash of the Titans’. Now when it comes to music I am quite renowned for being a lover of some big hits. Whether it be dance hits, electro-pop or even a mixture of soul mo-town rap, I have a varied taste and henceforth an interesting and unusually unbiased view on other people’s musical interests.
My very close friend Cara Laithwaite has decided to choose Kate Nash in our debate, claiming she is “awesome”. I, myself have chosen to go for something a little closer to my hometown. I have chosen the highly rated, and the always improving Eliot Gleave, more famously known as Example.
Now it’s very hard to distinguish an obvious comparison between the two as they are both very different artists, however both bring something fresh and unique about their music which is loved by their fans nationwide. People may look at my previous blogs and see Example has been mentioned and often praised. Yes my bias in this debate may become questionable however I feel I have the necessary information and tools to back up my argument. Miss Laithwaite believes Kate Nash is “very good to sing along to, and that her songs are simple yet effective”. Straight away I take an early lead in this debate. Example’s songs are a mixture of electro-pop, rap and dance which highlights his potential as an extremely talented musician, whereas Nash sticks to the simplistic route of quite repetitive and basic lyrics however performing it in a talented way using backing tracks to represent her mood.
Nash’s most significant release which effectively introduced her into the world of mainstream music was “Foundations”. Released in June 2007 and reaching the number 2 spot in the UK Singles Chart. It was a huge hit and to be honest I was a fan of the song. I often played it on the music channels and on my computer, but after this Nash never produced anything that really ever matched the impact “Foundations” had and I believe my interest in Kate Nash quickly became obvious but even more quickly dissolved into just another ‘one-hit wonder’. Example released his original album “What We Made” in 2007 but however never really made it mainstream as he was a virtual unknown struggling to make a name in the industry. Yet, his more recent release of his second album “Won’t Go Quietly” this year has hit the charts with intense fashion, an album produced by big names such as Chase & Status, Sub Focus and even the self-proclaimed ‘King of Electro-Pop’, Calvin Harris. Example’s first single release from his new album was “Watch the Sun Come Up” never quite created the impact Gleave expected and only reached 19th in the UK Singles Chart, however made a huge impression upon the world of dance tracks, reaching 3rd in the UK Dance Chart.
The 23-year-old Nash, born in London released her first album in the same year as Example, in 2007. It was called “Made of Bricks”. It was released five weeks prematurely due to the popularity of her number 2 hit, and it became a commercial success reaching the top of the UK Album Chart. Nash was not far from a number 1 spot with “Foundations”, missing out by less than 200 copies, beaten by Rihanna’s huge hit “Umbrella”. The next single she released from her album was performed at T4 on the Beach, and received mixed reviews. It reached 23 in the charts and was called “Mouthwash” however became a practical unknown just weeks later, and was just a shadow of her previous single. Back to Example, now in 2010 he has gone from good to brilliant in the space of 12 months. His next single release this year was the single “Won’t Go Quietly”. Yes, it has the same name as the album but there is a message between both. Example revealed after the album’s release that the song is a message to an ex-girlfriend who would not leave him alone, where the album was aimed at his comeback as a musician after a 3-year gap between albums. The single is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite song from his album and it constantly played on my iPod and always requested everywhere I go. It reached his highest chart position, number 3 in the singles chart and was number 1 on the UK Dance Chart. The song was an instant success.
Nash on the other hand had released “Pumpkin Soup” in October 2007 however again was a fail in her eyes, reaching only 23rd in the charts and even worse, 40th in Ireland. However, the first single from her new album “My Best Friend Is You”, released this year, is called “Do-Wah-Doo” was an improvement on the late releases of her last album. “Do-Wah-Doo” made number 15 in the charts and Nash on her blog claimed that filming the video was “so so much fun!”
Example on the other hand had just got even better. He released what was his most successful single to date. Released on June 13 2010, “Kickstarts” had become one of the tracks of the year already. It reached number 3 in the singles chart, and mirrored that of “Won’t Go Quietly” in the dance charts, hitting top spot yet again. With help in producing from dubstep genius artist Sub Focus, “Kickstarts” became a hugely popular chart anthem and really signaled Example’s burst onto the music scene. Ironically, this song was played at my mum’s wedding (at my own request of course). A wedding where I believe my opponent in this case, a certain Cara Laithwaite, was attending and dancing along to and enjoying his track. The tune really did ‘Kickstart’ his album into full flow.
Nash released two more songs in 2010. “Kiss That Grrrl” was next up and received very mixed reviews from fans, and critics were very negative toward her video. This song really was a disappointment. It followed the 60s girl band theme her previous singles had, and reached what can be said as a dire chart position outside the top 200. Her third single to be released just 3 days ago, “Later On” is actually pretty good. Cara’s played it to me on several occasions already, and after going to see Kate Nash live in Shepherds Bush on Monday, she returned home with a “Later On” t-shirt as a souvenir of her time in the capital. The single is yet to receive a chart position although one is expected this Sunday coming.
Example has two more songs as well. One has been recently released and one is due to come out with the aim of obtaining the Christmas Number One, however with the release date of November 15th, even as a huge fan of the man, it looks very unlikely he would be able to withstand pressure from the X-Factor contestants plus other mainstream performers for other a month in order to gain the prestigious annual title. His fourth single from his album, “Last Ones Standing” really hit me like a brick wall. I thought it was stunning. It was just amazing, and the action-packed video just convinced me even more at how good Example can be. However in recent weeks it has died down, within myself and across the nation and surprisingly only reached 27 in the singles chart but did gain another top 10 finish in the dance charts, peaking at number 7. Now even Cara cannot disagree with this. She has said (and I quote!), “You know I don’t like Example, but I do like Last Ones Standing. I think it’s very very good”. I rest my case. His fifth single to be released in just under a month’s time will be “Two Lives”. Compared to his previous track releases, this song is very different. He slows down the pace a lot in his next release and I do worry for its chart position. Do not get me wrong the song is very good, however I’m sure if it has the strength to put himself where his previous big-hitters did, however who knows? Maybe a change in the song may make him a big-seller. In my honest opinion, it’s a gamble, but I do like the song. If I had to choose a song to replace “Two Lives” for his next release then I would have probably chosen “Time Machine” (produced by Calvin Harris) or “Sick Note” (produced by Chase & Status) simply because they offer a similar kind of momentum as the other four released singles from this album. Let’s hope his ‘gamble’ will pay off for him.
As I previously mentioned, Cara went to see Kate Nash in London on Monday and said she had a brilliant time. I’m glad she had a good time, because just two weeks ago I was in Bournemouth at the O2 Academy raving to Example, a set of 1 hour 30 minutes in which the crowd were buzzing and creating an atmosphere I had ever only experienced after Gillingham beat Shrewsbury Town 1-0 after a 90th minute winner in the League Two play-off final at Wembley just two years ago. Example was superb. Kate Nash started really well, but her latest form sees her getting worse and worse performance wise in the charts. By all means she’s a talented performer, but her time in the top 10 may be well and truly over, probably heading back to just her third release on her 2007 album. Example however has gone from a virtual nobody in his 2007 album “What We Made” to a chart topping, single competing lyrical genius. His game is getting better and better. Kate Nash is just getting worse and worse.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Chelsea's number one waiting in the wings...

Yeah it's okay we've got Petr Cech, he's the best keeper in the world. Look at our backups as well, Ross Turnbull who's English and young, and Hilario who has vast experience. Well not exactly who I was thinking of. As much as I appreciate the quality Cech beholds and the quality of the man as one of the best in the world, he has never been the same since that horrific injury away to Reading when Stephen Hunt hit his head and in turn, Cech fractured his skull leaving him just a shadow of his former self. Turnbull's a great keeper. Always been an admirer of the man but I do not really see him as a suitable replacement for Cech and have never really seen him as Chelsea Football Club's number one. Hilario has proved he can perform at this level but sadly his age will prove a factor and I greatly expect him to leave within the next two years.

Well if you haven't guessed it by now then please let me fill you in. He's Croatian. He is 18 years old. He is on Chelsea's books. Yeah you guessed it, he's Matej Delac. If no-one reading this has heard of this young man then boy, have you missed out! He should and will be Chelsea's number one within the next three years. I won't bore you with my usual stats and facts about the boy, but I will fill you in on why he is the name to watch in the goalkeeping world.

He begun his career at Croatian side Inter Zapresic where he made his debut as a 16-year-old in 2009, saving a penalty in the 85th minute giving Zapresic a 1-0 win. A game where Delac earned man of the match. Delac continued as the club's number one goalkeeper making 15 appearances during the 2008-2009 season. Just a year before this Delac had a trial at Portuguese giants Benfica and made a huge impression however terms between the clubs failed and Delac remained in his native country.

Between 2007 and 2008 Delac received caps for Croatia U-17 and U-19 setups and made 8 appearances altogether. After this he was mysteriously called into Slaven Bilic's senior squad to play against Belarus and England in 2009. Despite not playing, he broke a record for being the youngest ever Croatian to be called up for international duty at the age of just 17.

Two days after playing England, Croatia returned home but Delac remained in London to have a medical and sign pre-contract terms with Chelsea. It was believed Chelsea had made a huge effort to follow Delac's performances in the Croatian First Division and on 17 September 2009, Inter Zapresic released a press conference confirming that Delac had signed a five-year contract for Chelsea for a fee of just three million euros which would come into effect in the summer of 2010. Until then, Delac continued at Zapresic where he remained as their number one while Chelsea paid his wages.

In the summer of 2010, Delac left Croatia and moved to London where he was introduced to the Chelsea squad, yet just days later was loaned out to Dutch side Vitesse along with other Chelsea yougsters Nemanja Matic and Slobodan Rajkovic to gain vital experience. Delac has yet to make an appearance for the Holland-based outfit, yet it will not be long before he has the gloves on there, and then making his charge to claim the very prestigious Chelsea number one jersey.

Anybody want to see or read more about Matej Delac? Here's a couple of links for you from youtube and the official Chelsea website. - Check out the young boy in action,,10268~2009298,00.html - Delac on his big move to the English Champions

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Payne-stakingly Good

People reading this will think "Well he's spelt painstakingly wrong", my response is that you keep reading and enjoy the pun, rather than criticise it. Yes in all my wisdom I have decided upon doing yet another football blog. Over recent times we've had well known players like Alan Dzagoev, Romelu Lukaku, Balazs Dszudszak and England starlet Adam Johnson enter and retain their places in the Gareth Messenger blog archive; however times are changing and I now invite you to something fresh, something younger and something with the potential to be big. We are plummeting down the leagues, to Coca-Cola League Two and the young starlet of Kent-based Gillingham Football Club.

At the young age of just 18, Jack Payne has gone from a virtual unknown in Medway to the centrepiece of Gillingham's midfield. In 2008, the youngster made his debut for the Gills, aged just 16, and since then has been the creative mastermind the side have craved for some years. Played usually in a defensive midfield role, this season has seen Payne play with more confidence, a level of maturity particularly seen in vastly experienced performers, and now an attacking threat which many defenders fear to be at times devastating. After making his debut against Chester two years ago, Payne signed an 18-month contract and in the same season received the club's Young Player of the Year award, a title which many Gillingham legends have in their trophy cabinets, including current Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Matthew Jarvis.

Along with his technical skill, and his impressive defensive duties, Payne is also a throw-in specialist. Referred to by many as the 'Rory Delap of League Two', Payne's threat with the ball in his hands provides Gillingham with a superb advantage over their rivals.
Gillingham before the season were second favourites to be promoted however have struggled for form and their record of no away win has been stretched to over a year-and-a-half. Recent away defeats to Bury and Accrington saw them score four goals in each game, yet conceding a, to be honest rather dire, five and seven respectively.

The return of fans favourite Danny Spiller and the ability to keep midfield maestro Curtis Weston at the club has seen more competition for places, however Payne has managed to play every minute for the Gills this season, staking his claim to compete with the very best in the league. Being a former season ticket holder, when I first saw Payne I was far from impressed. I thought he was weak, technically good but nothing special, and I thought he lacked that cutting edge needed to be a big player and in all honesty, I was highly critical of the Gravesend-born player. He has proved me wrong though, and now I firmly believe he is the key to Gillingham's success in England's lowest tier of league football. He scored his first goal for the club this weekend in a 2-1 home victory against Stockport County, lashing in after 37 minutes.

All I can say, keep an eye on this boy. He may not seem like much now, but to all you football fans, sign him on your Football manager games. You don't have to play him, but I can assure you, if he keeps his head down and works hard, he will be plying his trade in the Premier League a lot sooner than anticipated.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

HCJ - Tabloid Nation Chris Horrie Seminar Paper

Alfred Harmsworth, also known as Lord Northcliffe was born in 1865 near Dublin. His mother, Geraldine, was his idol, and his father, who liked drinking, was a successful barrister. Northcliffe was their eldest child. Creator of the original Daily Mirror, named his editorial offices “Geraldine House” after his mother, and an image of her was ever so evident in Carmelite House. Harmsworth studied in London and was keen on cycling and lawn tennis as academically he did far from excel. He left school early and started working on magazines for boys. Not long after this he became a reporter for a picture magazine the Illustrated London News and in 1886 at the young age of 21 was appointed editor of Bicycling News. However his breakthrough came when a piece of stolen paper and the presses from Bicycling News were the formula to his first magazine, Answers. The magazine’s circulation increased and was enhanced by Harmsworth’s greatest skill, competitions for cash and free giveaways.His first national daily newspaper was the Daily Mail, launched in May 1896. One rule Northcliffe installed was that no report in the newspaper was to be more than 250 words, writing to all his staff, he claimed that State-funded Board schools were now producing boys and girls who can read and his aim was to attract them as a major audience. He made himself editor-in-chief of the Mail. However day to day editing was done by Kennedy Jones who was feared by most of the staff at Carmelite House. Jones plied his trade in New York working for William Randolph Hearst’s ‘Journal’ and was therefore experienced in the yellow press wars. Northcliffe introduced a women’s section into the Daily Mail which included fashion, cooking and decorating features. This became so successful that Northcliffe later created a newspaper aimed solely at women, a paper named The Daily Mirror. Its first edition came off the press on Sunday, November 2, 1903. The new Daily Mirror had all hallmarks associated with Harmsworth. It was filled with competitions and giveaways, and its front page mirrored that of The Times, filled with adverts. The first editions lead article was written by Northcliffe himself and he promised a combination of female interests with political news. However, not all went smoothly as the quality of the paper was criticised, despite excitement surrounding its launch. Northcliffe criticised his writers for using foreign and unusual words. After eight weeks, the paper was selling less than 25,000 copies, losing £3000 a week and using up the profits from Northcliffe’s first newspaper The Mail. 1903: Alfred Harmsworth was the richest and most powerful man within the whole of British Journalism. He was in Carmelite House, headquarters for the Daily Mail, the London Evening News along with other specialist magazines. During this time at Carmelite House, Harmsworth was sat opposite Hamilton Fyfe who is the editor of the Morning Advertiser. After some small talk about Fyfe’s paper, Harmsworth offers him a job on the Daily Mirror, a paper recently launched and aimed at women. This idea was not successful, as Harmsworth claims that “women can’t write and don’t want to read” and so the Mirror had become “the laughing stock of Fleet Street”. Fyfe accepted this job without hesitation, and became the editor. His first job in this role was to dispose of the female journalists who had come from either the women’s page in the Daily Mail or from fashion magazines. The cousin of Lord Northcliffe, Geoffrey Harmsworth said that the change had been prompt over the space of one weekend. Fyfe had no issue in this but was not keen in sacking Mary Howarth, the first female editor of a daily newspaper in modern times. Yet, the Daily Mail, which Northcliffe also owned was another place of work for Howarth where she had been a fashion writer whereas the other women writers missed out. Fyfe hired Hannen Swaffer in 1904 to turn the fortunes of The Daily Mirror, at the same time Fyfe had changed the image of the newspaper, from ‘woman central’ to a picture paper. Swaffer was a violent drunk who was a huge supporter of the Labour party. He was a composer of racist music-hall songs. The first edition titled the Illustrated Mirror was a success for Fyfe and Swaffer as circulation rose dramatically to 71,000. After a month it doubled to 140,000 and then on its first anniversary it rose to 290,000, by now the newspaper was back to its original name, the Daily Mirror. In 1907 the paper joined again after Fyfe was replaced by Alexander Kenealy, another recruit from William Randolph Hearst’s ‘Journal’. Swaffer was intensely keen on photographic images within the paper. Fyfe’s campaigns of social conditions were rapidly erased and Swaffer replaced it with more photogenic ones. Swaffer encouraged dangerous situations for the photographers, demanding action shots, and despite the insanity of his demands, it paid off as the Mirror’s photographers got shots from Mount Vesuvius as well as images from a Zeppelin airship.
Swaffer and Kenealy were similar in initiative. Kenealy encouraged the ‘make your own news’ approach including stunts, something he learnt from Hearst in New York. These approaches varied from silly to severe, for example his idea to put a beehive on top of Carmelite House to prove that honey can be made in Central London. Yet there were others, like when he sent a reporter to experience and write about travelling with immigrants from Liverpool to New York. The paper’s greatest heist was the printing of deathbed photos of King Edward VII after Swaffer and Kenealy overheard Daily Express reporters talking about images taken the moment he died. The newspaper sold out the moment it turned up on news stands, and even extra editions released were not enough to please the craving public. This edition of The Mirror sold a then world record 2,013,000 copies. Some thought Swaffer and Kenealy would be put forward for treason; however they loved the idea of going to the tower as it would boost circulation of the newspaper with news and pictures. Despite their extreme transformation of the newspaper, Lord Northcliffe started disliking it referring to it as “a ghastly mess”. The Mail went to press earlier than The Mirror and Northcliffe ordered Swaffer to offer pictures first to The Mail. Swaffer hated this, and worked hard to make sure the Mail did not get their best pictures. Like Swaffer, Kenealy had a temper when drunk and he often referred to Swaffer as insane, to which point the pair began arguing. Swaffer heard about the sinking of The Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. However the only pictures of the liner were for publicity, so Swaffer ran round buying every picture possible of the ship, before anyone else heard of the disaster. He wanted to use every page to display his pictures but Northcliffe over-ruled him because he felt that such an important story should be credited with a well-written piece. Swaffer threatened to hit Northcliffe, so there were no pictures of the Titanic on the back page of the Mirror, yet the next day the paper had lots more images than all other papers, and the paper’s sales rocketed. Northcliffe and Swaffer’s relationship soon hit the rocks when a row broke out over boxing and race riots. Shortly after this, Swaffer demanded that the paper’s photographers should be earning more money, and this annoyed Northcliffe. Fearing his job was on the line; Swaffer sacked himself and joined rival paper Daily Sketch. His career there only lasted a year and became a freelance writer, and this move changed his personal life as he gave up drink and became a spiritualist, interviewing famous dead people “on the other side”. Swaffer finally got revenge on Northcliffe after the chief-in-editor died in 1922. Swaffer claimed he had contacted Northcliffe through a spiritual meeting in which Northcliffe admitted he was wrong and that everything Swaffer did for the Mirror was correct. He published it as a book, ‘Northcliffe’s Return’ and is to this day a best seller among psychics. The 1930s came and Swaffer now called himself the most famous and successful journalist in the world. His articles became extremely left wing, he criticised fascism, stopped his early day racial slurs and become known as the Pope of Fleet Street and the creator of photojournalism. In 1905, Harmsworth donated money and gave political support to the Liberal Party and was given the title of Baron Northcliffe in the House of Lords. When he turned forty, Northcliffe decided that politics and not newspapers was his desire, however when he became Lord Northcliffe he had no ambition to become Prime Minister and this endangered his position in the House. Instead he saw himself as a seller of newspapers and to use his powers within them to ‘pull strings’. Lord Salisbury’s attack on Northcliffe made the Mail and the Mirror even more embarrassing, Salisbury referring to him as a man who created newspapers “written by office boys to be read by office boys”. Northcliffe believed the Mirror had a large amount of female readers – and they couldn’t even vote. The paper’s pictures and sensationalism attracted working-class readers who really did not have a political party to support. Northcliffe began disposing himself away from the Mirror after Swaffer published the pictures of King Edward VII and on the eve of the First World War in 1914, sold the majority of his shares in the paper to his younger brother Harold Harmsworth. Under Harold Harmsworth, also known as Lord Rothermere, the paper became victim to bad budget cuts and interference in the editorials. The First World War meant that Rothermere was too busy dealing with his job as the first Minister for Aircraft rather than the editing his newspaper. After Swaffer left the paper, his assistant Harry Guy Bartholomew had taken over as picture editor and continued what Swaffer had left on-success. The start of the war was a blessing to Bartholomew and to a paper like the Mirror. Northcliffe started going mad in 1922. He had completely changed, and had a short fuse. People knew something was wrong with him when he effectively appointed a “chief censor of advertising” and banned the advertisements from the Daily Mail, ones which he constantly encouraged in his early days. In mid 1922, he reached a stage of paranoia worrying that German or Russian spies had plans to shoot or poison him. It got to a point where he held a loaded gun during the night and one time fired a shot at his dressing gown after he thought it casted the shadow of an intruder. He died on August 14, 1922 at the age of 57. His cause of death was a heart disease that came from a rare infection which also caused brain damage. In 1922, after he died his brother took charge of the papers and this was to have a whole new change to the Mirror and the national press. In 1925 Rother mere used the money to set up an Anglo-Canadian Pulp and Paper Mill Company in Quebec. Along with this, Rothermere believed that keeping the Mail in check was the best plan to save his ‘empire’ and therefore, every bit of money available went straight to the Mail, whereas the Mirror received nothing. Rothermere became a huge supporter of fascism, after his plan to set up his own right wing party had been unsuccessful. His first campaign to the right wing began after the First World War involving Hungary. Then, Rothermere joined with Lord Beaverbrook launched the United Empire Party in 1929. However it wasn’t really until 1931 that he started moving toward extreme fascism. In 1934, the first fascist movement came to rise and the Mail and the Mirror supported and advertised it highly, and after six months of supporting the Blackshirts, both papers fell silent on the matter. Rothermere was an admirer of Hitler. He supported his movements and called him “a simple and unaffected man who was obviously sincere in his desire for peace in Europe” as well as referring to him as “a perfect gentleman”. In 1940, Rothermere died of cirrhosis in the liver after being forced into exile to the Bahamas. His last words were “there is nothing more I can do to help my country now”. Harry Guy Bartholomew, former apprentice of Hannen Swaffer took control of the Daily Mirror in 1934 and changed the paper. His greatest technical accomplishment was the “Bart-McFarlane System” which was used to transmit photos by radio. This meant the Mirror could obtain pictures from America within hours. It was rumoured that Bartholomew was one of Northcliffe’s illegitimate sons. When Bartholomew took over the Mirror, circulation was dropping and it would hit 0 by the time Rothermere died in 1940. Cecil Harmsworth King, nephew of Northcliffe and Rothermere led the demands for change. King and Bartholomew formed an allegiance soon to become the new lords of Fleet Street. Within a small amount of time, they created the biggest selling newspaper in the world and set up the grounding for Tabloid Britain.