Thursday, 10 May 2007

the audio clip process

Firstly when collecting the audio equipment I had a quick brief in how to use the recorder Marantz Professional Recorder. Using a hard disk I managed to record the interviews in the office at the public house and then come straight to the editing room at uni, load up the work onto Audocity software.

Once the work was loaded it was a basic job of cutting and pasting - not the most professional, but very effective method - all of the tracks into a flowing sequence that created the interview.

After positioning all tracks I saved the work and then exported it as a Wav file, once as a Wav file i then converted it to MP3, did some level checks and general inspection of the piece to see whether it really worked! Then I burnt it onto a disc as an audio mp3 file which is therefore playable in both a CD player and a computer.

This wasn't the smoothest or coolest way of doing the interview and organising all of the tracks, but like I said before very effective, so take a listen and tell me what you think.


the audio clip process

Firstly when collecting the audio equipment I had a quick brief in how to use the recorder Marantz Professional Recorder. Using a hard disk I managed to record the interviews in the office at the public house and then come straight to the editing room at uni, load up the work onto Audocity software.

Once the work was loaded it was a basic job of cutting and pasting - not the most professional, but very effective method - all of the tracks into a flowing sequence that created the interview.

After positioning all tracks I saved the work and then exported it as a Wav file, once as a Wav file i then converted it to MP3, did some level checks and general inspection of the piece to see whether it really worked! Then I burnt it onto a disc as an audio mp3 file which is therefore playable in both a CD player and a computer.

This wasn't the smoothest or coolest way of doing the interview and organising all of the tracks, but like I said before very effective, so take a listen and tell me what you think.


Audio Clip - Smoking Ban

Here is the audio clip with the short interview with Michael Greaney an insider from the ale industry in Birmingham.


Smoking Ban Audio Clip

I have decided not to create a vox pop style audio clip, but have instead had a quick interview with a bar supervisor in Birmingham on his views on the effects that the smoking ban will have on the industry.

I visited him in the office at the pub and he was really informative and clear with his views, that I decided that this was good enough for a short audio interview. He has formerly worked in a smoking bar in the town but now supervises at a non-smoking bar, which gave him a great insight into the what the implications of the smoking ban may be.

I'll post it shortly, once it is edited, and hope you have the time to have a listen.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The result of the national local elections

The Conservative Party were overall winners of the local elections in the year of 2007.

The results of this form the end of the Blair era...and the Cameron conservative crusade going from strength to strength with labour losing 9 local councils and the conservative winning 38, including an 18 year old councillor, in comparison to last years results.

Locally the conservatives have gained an overall majority in Birmingham city council, which is the first time this has been done in over 20 years!

lets see whether this theme continues onto the national elections...and how the nation reacts to Gordon Brown!

Not to be...

I had recently been in contact with Birmingham Universities conservative party union. My aim was to film and edit a video blog about a questions and answer session from visiting local conservative party member, Andrew Mitchell.

Unfortunately the chairman of the union was slack in response and couldn't confirm whether it was alright for me to film the session, therefore I didn't attend.

Obviously this is disappointing especially considering the recent success the conservative party have had nationally in the local elections and this would have followed up nicely with a feature on the reaction from within the party.

but it was not to be...

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Keep your eyes peeled!

For my coursework I have been struggling to come up with an idea for a audio clip to put on the news site, but with a quick bus journey and some well placed advertising thanks to West Midland buses I have now come up with the following.

I am going to create an audio interview with bar staff and customers questioning them on how they will be effected by the up and coming smoking ban in bars, enforced on the 1st of July.

This will also allow for a feature on the same topic but including opinions from those already affected by the ban in Wales, which was enforced on the 1st of April, and whether the ban has had a negative effect on businesses or is a deterent from people to not go to the pub?

So keep your eyes peeled and you never know what might inspire you!

Follow this link for a full overview of the whole ban campaign in the UK.

Research Idea

My research idea for my final year dissertation is to look the following aspects of the music print industry.

I decided to look at both the institutional aspect of magazines but including what the magazines do for the readers.

Within this topic the areas to analyse include:

  1. Whether readers use the magazines as a source of knowing what music is good?
  2. What is the relationship between the magazines and the readers?
  3. What this does for the magazine?
  4. Why do the readers buy the magazine?
I believe the areas listed above allow for the following research methods:

The topic areas listed allow for a few alternative research methods including focus groups, which would analyse how the audience respond to my questions, giving results for uses and gratifications study.

This can connect to interviews in a ‘vox pop’ style and work place ethnography within magazines with interviews with editors and writers and participation observation looking at both of their opinions, views and decisions towards the content. As well as this a comparison with past and present issues of selected magazines looking at qualitative differences.

This is just a quick look, in fact incredibly brief snippet, at what I want to look at and how I plan on doing so.

The Process

It has been said that I don't record how I research into my blogs, or the general process of making them...This is no lie!

Therefore this post is to give a quick brief of the most recent posts and how they were made.

With the local elections scandal I discovered whilst mulling my way around Birmingham city centre, when I glided past a news counter selling the local newspaper 'The Birmingham Mail', I had a quick glance over the story, whilst avoiding to pay for the paper (the pennies count!) I then ventured back home to access the phenomenon known as the Internet on a mission to find out the history of the story.

After visiting many local blog sites and glancing around local official news sites and it became apparent that this occurred at last years election, which is why the story being repeated had cast so much doubt over the reliability of the local elections in Birmingham. From here i gathered the basic information from the Internet and leaflets that could be considered junk mail,but apparently when reporting on the local government who seem to be the main culprit of junk mail, became very useful in finding a general overview of the current election campaigns and the candidates.

This then allowed me to link to the election results, which I collected off of the Birmingham government website, which I have visited on numerous occasions to keep an eye on what those in power are up to and how they are spending the public's money.

The Jay Jay Pistolet review came about when Justin Hayward-Young, Jay Jay himself, a friend of mine from home, who has started to have interest in his career from the music industry bigwigs told me he was playing and invited me along to the show...but by chance i bumped into him in town earlier that day after finishing a shift selling my soul at GAP.

In my brief meeting we discussed the show and I was introduced to the other artists performing later that evening. From there it was pretty straight forward in attending the 'gig' and speaking to the artists.

I hope this little insight helps in looking at how my little mind works. All the best! Paul

Monday, 7 May 2007

Muslim Oppression Protest

This is the sign that is being posted around area's of the Perry-Aston region, including outside my house.

There is to be a protest outside 10 downing street from the Muslim community. Their motives include occupation of Muslim Countries, raids on Muslim homes and attacks on the veil through the media and their propaganda.

I want to post this here just to see what people's reactions are. please leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Local Election Results

Listed by Ward and winning candidate:

Acocks Green: Penny Anne Wagg - Lib Dem
Aston: Muhammed Afzal - Lab.
Bartley Green: John Lines - Cons.
Billesley: Colin John Hughes - Cons.
Bordesley Green: Shafique Hussain Shah - Lab.
Bournville: Tim Huxtable - Cons.
Brandwood: Mark Hill - Cons.
Edgbaston: James Hutchings - Cons.
Erdington: Gareth Francis Thomas Compton - Cons.
Hall Green: Jacqueline Anne Hawthorn - Lib Dem.
Handsworth Wood: Paulette Adassa Hamilton - Lab.
Harborne: Peter Hollingworth - Cons.
Hodge Hill: Gwyn Neilly - Lib Dem.
Kings Norton: Barbara Iris Wood - Cons.
Kingstanding: Peter Kane - Lab.
Ladywood: Albert Bore - Lab.
Longbridge: Keith Henry Barton - Cons.
Lozells and East Handsworth: Mahmood Hussain - Lab.
Moseley and Kings Heath: Emily Rohaise Cox - Lib Dem.
Nechells: Yvonne Mosquito - Lab.
Northfield: Reg Corns - Cons.
Oscott: Keith William Linnecor - Lab.
Perry Barr: Jon Hunt - Lib Dem.
Quinton: Len Clark - Cons.
Selly Oak: Robert Ian Wright - Lib Dem.
Shard End: Ian Antony Ward - Lab.
Sheldon: Paul Calvin Tilsley - Lib Dem.
Soho: Sybil Eurlena Spence - Lab.
South Yardley: David Osbourne - Lib Dem.
Sparkbrook: Mohammed Ishtiaq - Respect
Springfield: Tanveer Choudry - Lib Dem.
Stechford and Yardley North: Barbara Ann Jackson - Lib Dem.
Stockland Green: Mick Finnegan - Lab.
Sutton Four Oaks: Maureen Cornish - Cons.
Sutton New Hall: John Beadman - Cons.
Sutton Trinity: David Christopher Pears - Cons.
Sutton Vesey: Stuart James Macgregor Clarkson - Cons.
Tyburn: Mike Sharpe - Lab.
Washwood Heath: Ansar Ali Khan - Lab.
Weoley: Adrian Joseph Delaney - Cons.

So the overall verdict of elections concludes that the Conservative party won the overall majority, which was a common theme on a national scale, with the Liberal Democrats almost matching the Labour Parties figures in the West Midlands.

Birmingham Bar Academy (6/5/07): Frank Turner, Captain Black, Jay Jay Pistolet.

Last night saw Birmingham's introduction to the acoustic delights of Jay Jay Pistolet.

The New Forest originated performer, now living in London has been touring all of this month with Ex-Million Dead front man Frank Turner, a cult hero in his own right.

Jay Jay performed a mellow, but very intense acoustic act, grabbing the audiences attention with his catchy hooks and personal lyrics that give an insight to the past couple of years of his musical career in both a band and as a solo performer.

Songs such as 'This Place Is Like A Maze' and 'Holly' were immediate attention grabbing sing alongs. "Birmingham's alright innit, I was surprised to see so many people watching me" were the words from the modest Jay Jay following his performance.

Jay Jay definitely held his own well in a night full of great acts including Captain Black, another former Hampshire based, now London based, act who have gained much industry attention for their catchy country/pop rock which sounds a bit like The Levellers - but cooler!

Not forgetting the phenomenal Frank Turner, who had a massive cult following and has been drawing enormous crowds since his Million Dead days. With his punk rock roots combined with the more traditional acoustic influence Frank definitely knows how to write a catchy tune - even political ones like 'Thatcher Fucked The Kids', and does moan about Blair, like a certain Mr Ashcroft loves to do!

All 3 acts are performing nationwide throughout the next couple of months, check the links for tour dates.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Cheating Politicians... who'd have guessed?

Labour activists in Birmingham have been accused of 'dirty tricks', following the recent arrests of 2 Lib Democrats in the latest postal vote fraud inquiry with the elections polls taking place later today.

Labour have dismissed the claims as 'outrageous' and have claimed to surprised by the arrests. But the ugly problem has reared its head once again just as the voting polls are being prepared for the elections later today.

In addition to this, the tightening of regulations towards the voting in the 6 wards of Birmingham has seen 20,000 people eliminated from voting, increasing speculation that the voting scandals were further widespread than previously predicted.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Work Placement

I have just completed a week long placement working with the delightful team at Rhythm drum magazine, part of the Future Media family.

I went to the placement expecting to be tea boy for the 'real writers', but the amazing team editing team helped me greatly and got me as involved as possible, with interviews, writing articles, meetings and basically all areas a magazine could cover including a session in the Future Media photography studio.

This is just a big thanks to the Rhythm team and a quick plug for their new blog site..check my contributions!


Up and coming local elections

Just a quick note to say that the local political elections in Birmingham will be featured on both this blog site and the UCE news online site, including a brief overview of the persons running for the positions.

keep posted!

Aston.. not so proud

In recent news from the Aston Pride community scheme it has been unveiled that the 10 year scheme to better the residential area has been neglected by Birmingham council.

Councillor Abdul Aziz states that the £54 million investment is being wasted by the council and that the Aston Pride constitution is being altered to benefit some of the current board members, against previous agreements of a democratic approach to the running of the scheme.

Councilor Aziz want more people from Aston to be employed by the scheme, people who can relate to the people they represent, such as himself.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Aston Pride

The latest news from Aston concerning the council's 10-year development plan, Aston Pride, has just been completed.

The brand-new all weather sports pitch on Trinity Rd has just opened for bookings, with artificial grass, flood lighting and fencing surrounding the perimeter of the pitch, all of which contribute to creating a safer recreational environment.

The sports pitch cost a total of £715,000 of which £164,000 was funded by the Aston Pride development plan, but the majority of the investment came from Barclays (sports development programme) and Aston Villa Football Club, both of whom have contributed greatly to the recent improvements being made in the Aston region.

In addition to footing the majority of the bill, Barclays has also agreed to donate £45,000 towards the maintenance of the pitch and £5,000 for equipment.

To hire the pitch rates start from £20 per hour. Call: 0121 4644154

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Brawls in the streets of Birmingham.

With the ever-growing popularity of gun crime in London, Birmingham seems to be rapidly follwing suit.

Living in the city for 2 years now, I have constantly been aware of the crime in the area but never have seen violence taken to the heart of the city centre.

Within 2 hours of being in the corporation street/new street region I became witness to a street brawl outside the GAP, which over-flowed into the store itself, with members of the oublic taking refuge, then an hour later by the Bullring Shopping centre, I witnessed the continuation of the brawl.

The fighting only came to a stand-still once the authoroties arrived, on foot and bike. When you consider the fitness of half of the crime commiting community who constantly run from the law, it didn't seem very comforting to see PC-Blob turn up.

The dawning of a new week was then greeted with a stabbing of a youth outside the Matthew Boulton College, which caused traffic delays and struck fear into the public again We are not safe in our home town.

It is beleived that passers-by on buses passing the Matthew Boulton College may be key witnesses inidentifying the attacker.

Please let us know your thoughts on street crime in the area in comment form. Thankyou

Thursday, 1 March 2007

New St. Station still on track!

The plans for New Street train station are still on track.

All pervious plans to develop the dingy, dated station have fallen through by this period, but due to ongoing campaigns from Birmingham government and recent developments in the city, the station may finally get its much needed renovation.

The £500 million plan to develop a station worthy of a major city has received positive backing from local businesses and government. The cost of such a spectacle of a station is not major when you consider the other recent developments in Birmingham:

The Mailbox Shopping Centre £150 million
Martineau Place complex £300 million
TheBullring Shopping Centre £500million

The station will be the beginning of a major development scheme in the Digbeth area of the city, which needs a much needed, but considerate renovation. The Digbeth area has some tremendous architecture, which Birmingham government has acknowledged and has stated that “any renovation/redevelopment will be done-so with the up-most care to make use of the current architecture”.

The only negative response to the developments ahs been towards the time period it has taken to receive backing from the Whitehall, so much so that Birmingham council officers has stated to say that Birmingham should be able to fund the development through local taxes. The proposed completion of the redevelopment is to be 2010.

Council's Press-Release

Power-Cut Back-UP

A power cable in Birmingham city centre has blown earlier today.

The blown cable has caused enormous delays in traffic in the city centre, especially in the Great Charles St and Broad St area.

Cars and Buses are said to be queuing up to 50 minutes to get into the city.

Workmen from Central Networks are currently still repairing the damaged cable, on the Newhall Junction.

The Damage to the cable was apparently discovered yesterday early in the afternoon. Local Businesses had to run their power off of a back-up source.

The bus services are requesting for people to be patient and allocate time for the delays in your journey.


Thursday, 15 February 2007

Rant # 3

UCE Online Journalism class of '07 has created a online news site where all of the students will contribute their specified news areas.

My role is as acting correspondant for council news.

The ambition of the team is to compete for the 3 main awards for online student sites.

Visit the UCE online news-site, and see what the future of online journalism has to offer, here.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Rant #2 Chilly Issues...

With Birmingham becoming bloody cold over the past few days from wonderful snow, and frolicking in the frosty paradise by all. The city came to a dirty stand-still.

This led me to think about Global Warming, which is inevitably happening, and our pollution obviously isn't doing the situation any good. But is it purely pollutions fault, because think when they say phrases on the weather, or comments released by the MET office, such as "We haven't had a January this warm sine 1916", so how come it was so warm in 1916 hey. They didn't have people driving around in Hummers and Bentleys like you see today..

..from people like Arnold Swarzenegger, the most ironic politician! Come on, he bans smoking for people's health in California, yet he rags it around in a car bigger than his biceps! hmmmm little silly don't you think?

Well thats my little rant, but feel free to moan about how I'm wrong or maybe on the off-chance right!


Thursday, 8 February 2007

Rant #1: A student studying a 'dino'-profession

So I'm sat here in a seminar about 'Online Journalism' and asked "what are my views?"

So here we go...

Online Journalism has, in my view, become the commodity that Print media has to accommodate for in order to with-stand the 24-hour generation of news available through TV and Radio.

If the newspapers don't work with the Internet, there will no doubt be, and there are, purely online-newspapers that would steal the advertising revenue and readers.

The online newspaper also has almost unlimited space for the newspaper to store their published articles, therefore allowing people to reference to previous stories. As well as this news outlets such as Google News allow for the readers to search through archives and choose their preferred article, which puts all newspapers on a level playing field.

In its current state online news is not a thriving commodity, but in time, and with the right investment, it will become a key area of the media industry, and potentially could over-ride all other media outlets....When you consider that the BBC website has newspaper style stories, public input areas, sound clips, and can stream videos!

This kind of multi-media website allows for the public to have as much intake of quality news, as quick as possible. But also gives some print 'dino'-journalists the kick-up the arse they've been needing, and opens their eyes to the fact that the Internet is the future - not garlic bread! - and an upgraded model of journalist is needed to accommodate for these changes!