An excellent article by Jacqui Moore on the ethics that we as journalists need to consider before publishing.

JACQUI MOORE making things happen

It’s been a bad week for the media industry. A man dies as he’s pushed onto a subway track and the only help he gets is to have his last moment’s photographed. A prank call by a radio station to a hospital results in a nurse taking her own life.

As members of the media we need to recognize that we have a responsibility – our actions can have serious consequences. Something I realized starting out in documentary film-making and investigative journalism.


The subway station incident is disturbing to me in more ways than one. Nobody, not the photographer or other strap-handlers, intervened to help the victim – a decision that will probably haunt these bystanders for the rest of their lives. The photographer (who claims he used his flash to alert the train driver that there was someone on the track) said it would be morbid of him to sell…

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Only mums use payday loans – Is Kerry Katona being irresponsible endorsing the use of these high interest forms of finance?


Kerry Katona photocall

“It’s like going to a hotel for a weekend break and asking the receptionist what it would cost to have the room for 12 months.” (Kerry Katona, article – Huffington Post)

I was listening to an interesting package on the radio about Celebs like Kerry Katona endorsing Payday loans.

I am in two minds about this. One the one hand, in this economy, some may argue that it would be churlish for us to deny Ms. Katona an opportunity to earn some ‘dollars’ and pay down some of her own debt. Kerry’s debt-problems have been well documented in the mainstream media, as she went bankrupt in order to write off some of her debt back in 2008. Unlike the majority of people, she has managed to keep up a fairly luxurious lifestyle since then. It is much like big corporations, who go bust to avoid paying a tax or whatever and then come back re-formed and reborn. Hallelujah!

On the other hand …. Kerry Katona is a public figure. That entails a certain level of responsibility, and she is looked up to by many mums and families as an archetypal single mother who won out despite a challenging life and problems.  So, really, should she be endorsing one of the most vexatious and problematic types of loans?

According to a study by Stepchange Debt Counselling formerly CCCS (see link to Guardian article) the amount of people using these types of loans has risen, from 7,841 in 2010 to 17,414 in 2011 and 25,476 in the first three quarters of 2012. The purpose of these loans is to cover short-term difficulties, but there is evidence that many people are using them for day-day expenses, simply rolling them over, and hence trapping themselves in a cycle of debt. There is also an argument that they aren’t open with you from the start, often quoting an annual APR (annual percentage rate). How can you judge the competitiveness of a monthly short-term loan when it gives you an annual rate? I must admit the image of nitting grannies for one well-known firm (I refuse to name them because I don’t want to give Payday companies the time of day, let alone free advertising) inspires warm images of a friend giving you a hand. However, the reality is that often consumers are trapped in a cycle of ever-increasing debt.

So, back to the original question – is Kerry Katona irresponsible in her actions? I guess the answer is if you were offered a big wad of cash to promote a product that could potentially harm many people would you? I think you would have to search your conscience. And I think that is where the answer lies – with Kerry’s conscience.

Here is Kerry’s response to the criticism (courtesy of the Huffington Post,


But what do you think? Comment on this post – don’t be shy!

SOURCES: Guardian, This is Money, Green Nobles.

Splash – the Follow-up.

I am going to be really brief here (pardon the swimming shorts related pun). I thought I may have been a bit harsh in my assessment of Splash on ITV1.

But nope …. my initial assumptions were confirmed when I attempted again to watch it. I caught about 5 minutes of it before I had to turn over. I am sure that Tom Daley is a really nice bloke and yes the exposure will be good for his public profile or whatever, but the programme itself is total codswallop and needs to take a dive off a short pier (see what I did there?)

Splash (Tom Daley) on ITV …. Rhymes with Gash/Trash …

Tom Daley

“Because the Olympics wasn’t enough of an opportunity to bore people with diving ….” (made-up quote)



Oh my goodness.

I nearly spat my tea out on the computer when I heard about this one. The point of this ‘reality’ show is to take a bunch of self-obsessed celebrities (cue too tight speedos – eww!!) and for Olympian Tom Daley to train them how to dive, they get ‘judged’ by Jo Brand (really?) and one of them gets voted off (aww). Even the name conjures up rather dodgy connotations of poorly maintained urinals. Splash, indeed. Drip, more like.

Firstly, it is a shame there isn’t a ducking stool for whichever ‘bright’ mind this awful idea for a show came from. If you rate success in terms of market share for the first episode, yes, Splash was a success. On all other counts, terrible concept that makes me want to tear my eyes out with a spork. And I doubt it will be a continuing hit. Who really wants to see a bunch of wannabee/has-beens (includes the judges) week after week in front of a massive swimming pool? The chlorinated (sic) factor is enough to make me lose my lunch ….


What do you think though? Did you watch it for the celebrities? Or are you strangely obsessed with Tom Daley? And are you hitting menopause right now? I’m betting the latter ….


Source: ITV

Interesting article from Iram Ramzan on the new Stalking Legislation …. what do you guys think?


Originally published for The Backbencher on 02/12/2012


ALICE (not her real name) was stalked for five years. Her stalker sent her husband poison pen letters, type- written in order to conceal their identity.  Everything was noticed and mentioned in detail: the car she drove, her clothes, the friends she had, the parties she attended, where she went, who she saw. Everything.

The letters proceeded with alarming regularity, often two in one month. Someone was out there, watching. The language was crude, offensive, personal and hateful.  It affected Alice greatly.  She’d walk through the town centre wondering, “Is it you…is it you? Are you doing this?”

Eventually, three years ago, she called the police, who she says were sympathetic. Although they made the right noises, the investigation was closed as they couldn’t find the culprit. Fingerprints were evident, but as the person wasn’t on their database the case was closed…

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Coalition of Conservative-Liberal Democrats does ‘Igsactly’ what it says on the Tin …. or does it?



We are like Ronseal. We do exactly what it says on the tin

Oh no he didn’t (or din’t). Yes, David Cameron quoted the Ronseal ad when referring to the stability of the Coalition today. I wonder if this will mark a trend for politicians? Will we get the likes of UKIP and BNP saying “Go compare, we are both right-wing, but go compare!” or will we get the Green party going “Look how shiny we get this new green policy” (Barry Scott fans, never fear, I got the pun in).

Let’s face it, the coalition has never been the easiest of political marriages; on the one hand you have touchy-feely, hey I’m one of you guys, but hey I’m sorry I don’t follow-through on my promises Lib-Dems, and then you have we are all in it together, except when we aren’t, you plebby lot Conservatives. To ‘marry’ (sic) these two types of viewpoints there has been much wrangling behind the scenes, so that in front of the cameras it simply looks like an equanimous front (most of the time). Add to this cocktail the dithering of Ed Milliband and the Labour Party …. well, you get my point. It is a mess.

When political leaders start using well-known advertisements to reassure punters/voters that all is well, you have to start to worry for the nation. Where is the concrete proof that the coaltion isn’t for show, and that there really is a plan to get us out of this awful financial mess?

What happened to substance over style?


SOURCE: Ronseal Pic –