10 years in prison for vaping, are e-cigarettes beneficial to our society?

10 years in prison for vaping, are e-cigarettes beneficial to our society?

Thailand have recently approved a legislation which outlaws the import of e-cigarettes into the country

Experts have warned that tourists could even face a hefty 10 years in prison for vaping in the popular travel destination.

Continue reading “10 years in prison for vaping, are e-cigarettes beneficial to our society?”


Can citizen journalism be considered as professional journalism?

As explained in my previous post citizen journalism is becoming more and more familiar with the general public, with opening up Facebook or Twitter before they even get started with their day, they could know the breaking news of the morning before even switching on the television. However there have been many of doubts about the amount of time, and research gone into these makeshift news products, which leads to a question about accuracy and even, authenticity. As these type of journalists are not paid, or qualified in the profession, there is a huge risk of not just inaccuracy but also legal issues if pursuing these leads further.

Objectivity is a main issue with citizen journalism, this is because although journalists naturally write to the objective of their audience and their paper they still keep a respectable fairly balanced view. Public individuals could be very biased about issues of politics, racism or sexism – this leads their views to being unbalanced and could raise risk of offending many people.

Quality is the second big issue with citizen journalism. Compared with professionals, who have more money invested in their company or business, citizen journalists are not paid and The Digital Journalist states: “an amateur, will always be on the outside of those lines. Imagine the White House throwing open its gates to admit everybody with a camera phone to a presidential event. You will not see many citizen journalists wandering around the battlefields of Afghanistan. It takes a lot of money to pay for travel, the gear, the armour vests, translators and so on.”

Legal repercussions are definitely a main problem with this type of journalism. With no controls over what is said, and no company lawyer to oversee a libel, or contempt issue before it is published, this could spark a law suit. A quote from Edward Greenburg, a New York City litigator is: “There are many cases at both the state and federal levels where judges determine just who is/is not a journalist. Cases involving libel often hinge on whether the actor was or was not a member of the “press””.

Can citizen journalism be considered as professional journalism? How is it changing newsrooms’ production practices?

What is citizen journalism?

The idea of citizen journalism is the active role of the general public collecting, reporting and publishing news and information themselves. This role has been brought into society in around the past decade with the growth of technology and the internet. The public now have the ability to witness news and share it globally on online platforms in a matter of seconds. This has given us a new field of journalism, which has had both negative and positive outcomes on the journalism profession. Citizen journalism has allowed more extraneous information like reports from war zones to be easily collected and shared with the world, giving people the chance to have media revealed instantaneously that would not have been available. An example of citizen reporting is the footage from the attack at Woolwich in 2013 where a man was beheaded in the street as an act of terrorism. Professional news reporters would not have been there instantly as the attack happened to gain this important interaction with the man who committed the crime, however a member of the public who was at the location managed to get this video of the explanation of the murder, this is live information of the event as it took place, all a reporter could do was speak to witnesses after the event occurred.


This concept of the public being journalists is ultimately inevitable due to the development of smartphones and social media for example Facebook, it is an easy way to broadcast an event. Especially now with Facebook’s inclusion of a live video broadcasting ability, you can upload and get your post viral within an hour. However there are unfavourable factors to this new citizen journalism, one of these being that it is unregulated, which means it may not be accurate, and there may be an issue with the quality of the information or coverage.


What’s on in Suffolk: Bank holiday weekend

Saturday 30th April:


Ever thought about what is unearthed underneath us in Suffolk? An Open Day in Bury St Edmunds gives you both adults and children a chance to learn about the recent archaeological discoveries. This gives local residents opportunity to tour the current excavations and  see the beginnings of what’s to come on the next part. Very exciting for people with a keen interest in the area’s history. Take a look: http://bit.ly/1VEtCBL

Racing at the Guineas


Enjoy the bank holiday weekend at the Guineas Festival in Newmarket, with the town celebrating 350 years of Making History. The event starts the flat racing season with two Classic races, the QIPCO 2000 and 1000 Guineas. The event includes a Spitfire Flypast, opening of the 350 Time Capsule, and the reading of a specially commissioned poem. Children under 18 go free, there is face painting and bouncy castles for them as well, alongside the racing. The event opens at 11:30am, and first race is at 2pm.

 Sunday 1st May:

This year marks the 46th Ipswich to Felixstowe historic vehicle run, with over 500 vehicles from cars to lorries gathering at 11:30 in Christchurch Park and then congregating at Felixstowe Promenade.  The event is free to attend at any point in the journey.

48 hour junior doctor protest begins at Colchester General


By Molly Garlick and Joeann Murphy

Today we saw the start of a 48 hour junior doctor protest across the country, including Colchester General Hospital.  Around 30 protesters stood outside the hospital on the picket line in support of the strike organised by the British Medical Association.

This is the first strike of it’s kind as the junior doctors have not only removed themselves from general care, but also from the emergency wards. This hasn’t been done in the whole of National Health Services’ 68-year history.

Everyone on the picket line was clear about their message.  Rob Derrick, 32, who has been a junior doctor for five years said: “I would like to ask him, (Mr Jeremy Hunt) if he came in and needed an operation, would he want it done by me – when I’m absolutely knackered and have been working 70 hours a week and at 3 o’clock on a Saturday morning, or would he rather have me a little bit more fresh and able to actually give him the right drugs in the right order.”

This is the third of the three 48 hour organised strikes.

Stephanie Riding, 24, a foundation year one junior doctor, joined the picket line at 9am this morning. She believes that NHS staff are being spread thinly already and the length of shifts are unbelievably tiring. “Sometimes on a 9am until 9pm shift you won’t get a break until 5 in the evening and even then you only get half an hour.” she says.

“Very often, I have seen colleagues, and I have done it myself, where you’ll have written in the wrong notes or discharged somebody under the wrong patient’s name, thankfully I have been able to rectify these mistakes but it’s worrying how tired you actually get,”

“We are just human; yes we know we made the sacrifice and yes we did sign up for this but we did not sign up to have our contracts changed like this, you can’t just implement these changes like a dictator and expect us to be okay with it.”

The protester held up many signs with comments like, ‘Lets be blunt, do u trust Hunt?’ and ‘NHS not Hunts to sell’ are just a few of many.

Charlie Mukherjee, 31, Medical and Geriatric Registrar has been in the profession for 7 years and has been particularly affected by the Government’s changes throughout the years. He says: “Recruitment is bad and it’s getting worse, year on year there are more gaps in rotas and less staff to fill them,”

“I have had friends in this profession who have upped and left to Australia, who have gone to the city to pursue other avenues of in command, other friends who, on the way back from a night shift, not made it home.” Mr Mukherjee continues.

There was much public support shown at the picket line throughout the day, with many drivers pressing their horns as they pass. Many of which stopped with gifts of food for the protesters.

Long awaited cycle trail opens

Uni Cycle Path Opens 20.04.16_0046 [149768]

The official opening of a Wivenhoe Cyclist and Pedestrian path went ahead last Wednesday, with many supporters present to witness the event, including the Mayor of Colchester. The project, which cost ÂŁ1.88 million, took a number of months before completion. Taking longer than planned, the road caused issues for Wivenhoe residents, students and university staff members.

The beginning of the cycle path, located next to the University campus, filled up with local residents and Colchester council representatives. Theresa Higgins, Mayor of Colchester, was also at the ceremony to open the road with her husband with their bicycles. Being cyclists themselves they are positive about the outcome for the town. “Although there was controversy on how long the road was closed for, ultimately it’s an asset to the area”, says the Mayor.

The University has played a major role in the funding for the new path, providing ÂŁ250,000 towards the cost of the works. Bryn Morris, university registrar also attended the event. “It really is the result of lots of long hard work by the University, working collaboratively with the county council, the borough council and the town council actually to see this come to fruition.”, he says. Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation Rodney Bass gave a speech at the ceremony. “I’m sure it will bring a cycling dimension, which I know the university wanted, and we certainly want. I was accused of being anti-cyclist,” Bass said.

The road links with the Wivenhoe Trail, which connects the University of Essex and the town along Colchester Road, providing a scenic route for cyclists and pedestrians to travel around the area. Lola, a local resident and also a member of staff at the university explained how dangerous it was before the cycle path to commute around. “I love cycling through the countryside, but the primary thing for me is safety, I’m not really comfortable cycling on the roads so to have this cycle path put in place is very positive,” she says.

Queen’s 90th Colchester Celebrations

The Mayoress of Colchester lighting the beacon in Castle Park

Celebrations for the Queen’s 90th went underway in Colchester’s Castle Park last Thursday, with the Mayor lighting the beacon.
With similar events going on all over the country, Colchester’s beacon was lit at 7:30pm; fifteen minutes after the Queen lit the first beacon in Windsor.
The Mayor of Colchester, Theresa Higgins, led the ceremony with the British National Anthem, and then went on to give a speech from the Prince.
Sheila Boxshall, 64, traveled from Stanway to see the event, “The Queen is such a historic character, and long reigning. It’s good for the children to be able to say they were here to celebrate her 90th, it’s really good for the community.”
The Mayor explained how she felt honoured to be able to represent the Royal Family by being such a big part of the event,
“This is the first time I’ve lit the beacon, all the Mayors who have lit it on previous have got a plaque on it,” says the Mayor, “it commemorates all the occasions – it adds to the history of it.” said Mrs Higgins.
The ceremony ended at about 7:50pm and then Mrs Higgins walked around to talk to the public and meet the people from her town, “There’s lots of people here that probably haven’t been to one of my functions before, it’s nice I get to see people in the community.” says the Mayoress.