“Real living wage” rises as week long campaign starts

By: Alice Nordevik

Monday 5th of November marked the start for the annual Living Wage Week, a campaign to draw attention to the gap between the Government’s minimum wage and the “real living wage”.

The week long campaign, run by Living Wage foundation, focuses on getting the attention of people and top politicians to spread their message about what they call “the real living wage”. The real living wage is independently calculated every year, based on how much money people actually need in their day to day life.

With the slogan “a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work”, the campaign aims to draw attention to the fact that the current national minimum wage is not enough. Employers can therefore voluntarily sign up to pay the living wage instead, guaranteeing their employees and any sub-contractors higher salaries.

The new living wage rates announced on Monday is £9 an hour. Those living and working in London will receive 3.4 per cent extra, with an hourly minimum wage of £10.55.

About 4700 employers across the country has signed up to Living Wage. During the week, employers as well as employees and politicians turned to social media to express their opinions about the campaign.

 

 

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Assignment 1 Research

What are some ideas you might use for your assignment pitch?

My idea is to write an article about Small Business Saturday, a non-commercial campaign which aims to promote and highlight the UKs 5.7 million small businesses. They visited Leeds the 5th of November as a part of their 25 day long bus tour to promote the campaign.

Come up with a list of primary source contacts for your piece. Find their contact details.

Primary sources: Tom Flynn, director of operations of Small Business Saturday. Contact details: tom@smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com

Joe Smelder, business owner who is participating in the day in Leeds. Contact details: games@red-herring-games.co.uk, +44 (0) 1472 348909

I met both of them at the event in Leeds, where did the interviews and took photos of them.

Research their backgrounds and the background of the story with secondary sources.

My secondary sources include facts about the campaign from their website: https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com, as well as facts, numbers and figures from a press release that Tom sent me on email.

I will also use a quote from an article published on Leeds Council News as a secondary source, to get another viewpoint in the article:

https://news.leeds.gov.uk/the-small-business-saturday-bus-tour-is-coming-to-leeds/

Interview questions for each source.

Tom Flynn: What is the purpose of the tour? Why is it important? How many small businesses in Leeds will engage in the day? Last year was the most successful year ever for the campaign with £748 million spent, what are your expectations for this year?

Jo Smelder: Tell me about your business. How many years have you been involved in Small Business Saturday? What does the campaign mean to you? Why is it important?

Reflection four

The main difference between primary and secondary sources is how you collect it. Primary sources is material you gather yourself, for example quotes from interviews that you conducted in person or quotes you have gotten directly via social media or email. Secondary sources on the other hand is something you have not gathered yourself, for example quotes from other articles, background information from social media or reports.

Primary sources are important because they are the essence of journalism. Without primary sources, no one would ever write something new but only copy each other. When you use primary sources in your articles, you introduce new points of view to the reader. Also, primary sources is more reliable than secondary sources. When using secondary sources, it is harder to check the facts and verify the information, and the risk of spreading false information is higher.

The best practice is to use a mix of both primary and secondary sources, but to try and keep secondary sources to a minimum. You should mostly use them as background information, and always make sure to get your own quotes and check the information before publishing.

More young people are choosing to stay sober, study finds

Three people drinking beer and toasting
An increased amount of young people in the UK chooses to avoid alcohol.

More and more young people in the UK are choosing not to drink, new research shows. Rebecca Haselhoff is one of them.

By Alice Nordevik

A recent study from University College London shows that an increased amount of young people in the UK are giving up alcohol. 22-year old Rebecca Haselhoff made the decision to stay sober early.

“I realised quickly that I did not feel good after drinking, psychically or mentally. So I did not want to force it on myself”, she said.

The study, based on the annual Health Survey for England, involved nearly 10.000 people aged 16-24 in England. The results showed that non-drinking increased from 18 per cent in 2005 to 29 per cent in 2015.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said that it is becoming more accepted not to drink.

“Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups,” she said to The Telegraph.

“A culture shift”

Aaron Whittaker has worked as a bartender for the past two years and he recognises the trend.

“On Tuesday nights we have cheap drinks, but we are seeing a big decline in the amount of people coming here. However that might just be a shift in business here, not in general”, he said.

“I think there is a culture shift. People go more towards nightclubs than pubs and bars, and towards doing drugs than drinking”.

Reflection three

The main difference I’ve noticed between printed content and online content is that online articles are so much shorter. This actually surprised me. I always figured that you would use the same article you had for print and just adapt it to online, for example by adding multimedia content and more cross headings to break up the text. Something else that surprised me is that you treat the language differently as well; when writing for online you use shorter sentences and simpler words. However it does make sense when I think about it, since people are more easily distracted when reading online.

Web users simply scan content, more than actually read it. Instead of reading the page from top to bottom, they use it as they use social media: scroll quickly and look for something to catch their interest. That is why we need to adapt our content to online: we need to add pictures, break up paragraphs and try to add as many elements as possible that will catch the readers interest while scanning and make them stay and read.

It does leave me with a question: if more and more people get their news from online sources, and journalists adapting their writing to online publishing – will the “traditional” way of writing completely cease to exist?

 

More young people are choosing to stay sober, study finds

More and more young people in the UK are choosing not to drink, new research shows. Rebecca Haselhoff is one of them.

By Alice Nordevik

A recent study from University College London shows that an increased amount of young people in the UK are giving up alcohol. 22-year old Rebecca Haselhoff made the decision to stay sober early.

“I realised quickly that I did not feel good after drinking, psychically or mentally. So I did not want to force it on myself”, she said.

The study, based on the annual Health Survey for England, involved nearly 10.000 people aged 16-24 in England. The results showed that non-drinking increased from 18 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2015.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said that it is becoming more accepted not to drink.

“Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups,” she said to The Telegraph.

“A culture shift”

Aaron Whittaker has worked as a bartender for the past two years and he recognises the trend.

“On Tuesday nights we have cheap drinks, but we are seeing a big decline in the amount of people coming here. However that might just be a shift in business here, not in general”, he said.

“I think there is a culture shift. People go more towards nightclubs than pubs and bars, and towards doing drugs than drinking”, he continued.

But even thought not drinking is becoming mainstream, Rebecca Haselhoff said it can still be hard sometimes.

“I have definitely felt pressured a lot of times. People often ask me if I do not like having fun, but I can have fun without alcohol.”

Reflection two

I did not have any major difficulties setting up my site. Probably because I have worked both with WordPress and other blog sites before, so I am used to it. However I found it tricky to add my introduction page to the navigation bar at first, but with a bit of googling and help from Karls handy guide I managed to solve it. Other than that I think that WordPress is fairly easy to work with once you have gotten used to it, it is clearly structured and logically organised.

Regarding the appearance of my site, I will admit it could be better. It would be more fun if I would add a picture for example, but after working at a few bigger newspapers and getting a lot of less friendly emails I am very careful about what i post online. I realised how easy it is for people to track you down and therefore I don’t want to post any pictures or too personal information. So my site is pretty anonymous, but since that is what I want I am happy with it. To improve it I have changed the theme, the colour of the background and the font.