Excuse the pun. Watching Monday’s recording of Four Thought gave me a lot to ponder.
In the vaults of the beautiful RSA, a very sophisticated crowd gathered to hear four speakers: Robin Gorna (on the political problem of AIDS), Rob Hopkins (on sustainable communities), Gordon Bridger (on the potential harm done by badly spent international aid) and Bali Rai (on what would happen if we removed ‘race’ from our lexicon). To top it all off, the show was presented by the truly epic mega-journalist Ben Hammersley.
All four speeches were mind-opening. Robin Gorna had proved her key point about AIDS falling off the political and cultural radar before she even spoke. Can you remember the last time a politician discussed the disease? She told us of the stigma and hardship that people in developing countries face to get treatment through the story of her late friend.
Rob Hopkins spelt out his vision for the future: transition networks of self-sustained communities that break away from the global production chain to be ethical, independent societies impervious to the oncoming doom of shrinking resources and climate change. Gordon Bridger taught us the lessons he learnt from a lifetime’s work in aid organisations. They don’t work. But it was Bali Rai who blew the room away.
He suggested the best way to get rid of racism is to remove the concept of ‘race’ from our vocabulary. He hypothesised that children would be able to grow up without discriminating against people of a different colour and society would evolve into a better place. Audience members argued that to remove race would be to remove a part of our nature and a key way we interact. I’m still thinking about it.
The talks will be aired separately over the coming weeks. Check here for times.
Today was my third Friday on placement at The Surrey Comet. It’s based at the Newsquest headquarters in Twickenham so I also technically write for The Elmbridge Guardian and a few other titles. It’s going really well so far, a lot of phone interviews in the office but I’ve been given a lot of articles to write (see the ‘Surrey Comet’ section in the catalogue for links to published ones).
Last Friday I was let loose on my own for the first time to report on a charity fashion show in Weybridge. Of course, being in Weybridge, it was no ordinary charity event. All the second-hand clothes donated were designer, mostly coming from celebrities from Louise Redknapp to Amanda Holden. The fashion show was put together by a celebrity stylist and London Fashion Week models were on the catwalk.
The evening was compared by Nick Ede from Project Catwalk and England captain John Terry and his wife, presenter Lizzy Cundy, Big Brother 2010 winner Josie Gibson and international model Katya Elizarova were there to support the cause. Imagine my delight when I was the only journalist allowed in the VIP suite to interview them! Happy days.
The article was picked as the leisure lead for The Elmbridge Guardian this week, feast your eyes here. More updates soon!
If you don’t know what on earth that means, read my newest contribution to the ‘Unpublished articles’ page. If you know exactly what that means, definitely read it. Because it’s aimed at you. ‘Man up and get a bromance you lad’ is a feature I wrote for The F Word that (probably) isn’t going to be published.
It discusses current slang trends, how they evolved and what they actually mean. Because it seems that a lot of young people who use phrases like ‘man up’ and ‘lad’ only think about what they mean and don’t realise what they’re actually saying. It’s a mistake we often make with language, so feast your eyes and have a think.
Last week, The Zahir published my latest feature. ‘Climate of suspicion’ looks at the surveillance operations at work within environmental protest groups and the treatment of green activists by the UK police force.
After a two year hiatus, I have decided to return to news reporting. I will still be writing features, comment and satire but a few news reports will be creeping in as well. I’ve got my ear to the ground so if you have any news from York (preferably student related) let me know!
As of last night, I am now Deputy Arts Editor of The Lemon Press. Unfortunately it’s only for one term because it’s my last at university but I’ll be working with the Arts Editor to select, format, edit and maybe even write satirical poetry, stories and reviews for the section. Should be fun!
I’ve just added my most decently published article to the catalogue. It’s called ‘Rights deficit’ and discusses ways in which the government’s proposed cuts may contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was published in University of York magazine ‘The Zahir’, which publishes ‘London Review of Books’ style essay-length articles on a single topic per issue. The topic for that issue was human rights. The rest of the issue is well-worth reading, enjoy!