Saj Hoffman-Hussain – About Me

Welcome to my corner of the internet. If you are looking for a professional with eight years of experience chasing the news, writing the news, producing feature and in depth commentary for a variety of media outlets, I am your man.

I have worked for BBC News, the Democrat & Chronicle and most recently, Post Magazine in Rochester, New York. My interests lie in uncovering earthy stories about the human condition, lifestyle articles, and investigative pieces. I also work with corporations and organizations, providing compelling and engaging copy.

Is there a story I should be covering, or do you require copy writing, voice coaching or SEO consultancy? Contact me – my rates are negotiable, depending on the project requirements.






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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 – TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY OR BEING OPPORTUNISTIC WITH ADVERTISING PAYDAY LOANS?

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, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kerry-katona/kerry-katona-pay-day-loans_b_2457204.html)

NEWS@HOFF: OPINION?

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

SOURCES: Guardian, This is Money, Green Nobles.

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)

 

SPLASH! EWWW!

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 ….

NEWS@HOFF: WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Daley_(diver)

Source: ITV

Well, hello there!

Great Minds Think Alike. But Fools Seldom Differ.

Okay, I’ve already paraphrased one of the most overused sayings ever. Guess I should stop blogging now.

……. Ok, ok, that really would be a most untimely end. Blog death by quotation. If that happened as a matter of course, there would be no blogs. That would be a shame, if not only for the dozens of people who wish to proffer up an opinion on last night’s Big Brother (I can see I’m starting to make enemies already).

So, who am I? I’m an aspiring international reporter. I have a background in broadcast journalism, and have reported for the BBC, and for other commercial radio groups on a freelance basis. I intend to use this blog as a platform to showcase my ongoing commitment to journalism, provide insightful commentary on the issues I think people need to hear about, and a place where basically I type what I think.

If there are any media-boss types who happen to chance upon my blog please do contact me for any work-related opportunities you may need my involvement in. Every little helps!

For those of you who read my blog, please do let me know what you think of my posts. Feedback is extremely welcome. Ok, I will stop babbling now.