Lead, fortune cookies and red underwear


On my way to town to buy some lead, fortune cookies and red underwear for New Year’s Eve, I was wondering whether people in other countries are as superstitious and random as the Germans and Italians.

In Germany we watch Dinner for One, open fortune cookies and melt lead. We predict the New Year by casting the molten lead into a bowl of water and interpreting the shadow of the form it then takes, by holding it behind a candle. It might look like a bottle which means good friendship or like a face which means glory and old age.

However, as my best friend is Italian, he insisted that everyone needs to wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve which ensures to be lucky in love in the New Year. But do not rummage through your drawers now- it has to be new and must be bought by yourself.

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BBC College of Journalism


In a move towards greater transparency and sharing, the BBC has recently allowed open access to its College of Journalism site.  Its offers a number of  resources  which might be useful to emerging journalists;  tips, advice, training and even jobs.

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Televised leaders' debates in Election 2010


Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will debate with each other in three live television debates during Election 2010. After years of pressure from broadcasters, Britain's party leaders have agreed to participate in a process that is common in most other developed democracies. So, how significant is their agreement? Will the debates, to be hosted on Sky, BBC and ITV, enhance democracy, promote engagement and increase voter turnout? The Guardian asked for my thoughts. Here they are.   


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As hundreds of Eurostar passengers languish, Eurostar ignores Twitter


I'm  following the Eurostar debacle  because I'm trying to get on one. Interesting to see Twitter and Facebook emerging in this breaking story as a strong complement to traditional media. TV and radio bulletins break news performed well but as this article explains,  for passengers arriving at St Pancras over the weekend looking for detail and minute by minute updates,  social media were the way to go. With GCSE French, you could even follow the progress of a mob of passengers who forced themselves onto a train in real time. This article looks at why Eurostar was so slow to use their existing social media outlets.

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Snow in Kent Video on the Guardian news blog - The distinctions between broadcasting and printing are disappearing


When the mighty snows came to Kent (18th December 2009) I posted a couple of videos to YouTube showing what it looked like at Chart Sutton near Maidstone. One of them was spotted by the Guardian newspaper's Adam Gabbatt who linked to it on the newspaper's live snow blog. I think he liked the way an 11 year old measured 23cm of snowfall while eating a snowball! After the Guardian linked to the video, we had more than a thousand views within a couple of hours! It constantly amazes me how different media are converging.

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Happy Christmas


Merry Christmas and a happy and rewarding 2010 to all students in the Centre. I'm very sorry I didn't have the chance to see you today. It is a privilege to teach you and I look forward to seeing you in January. Until then have a tremendous festive season and come back to Kent refreshed and raring to learn.   

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Newsday cancelled


Due to the weather conditions in Kent - police are advising no travel in the county - we've reluctantly taken the decision to cancel today's news day. We'll be reorganising for early next year. Good luck getting back home for those that are travelling today.

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Christmas Competition Winners Announcement


The winner and runners up of the Christmas story competition will be announced in the newsroom at 11.30 on Thursday.

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Print news day teams


The teams for next Friday's print news day are listed below. Each team will be producing a newspaper of at least 16 pages by 5pm, containing local, national and international news, business coverage, sport, opinion and debate. The editors have been briefed, and will no doubt be contacting their teams individually with words of encouragement and motivation. Remember that this represents an excellent opportunity to produce material for your portfolios, which carry a significant number of marks for the course. May the gods of journalism smile upon you.

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Ann Mroz, Editor THE


Ann Mroz, editor of Times Higher Education, the weekly newspaper for universities and all who work in them, will visit the Centre tomorrow, Friday. In addition to being the editor of a highly successful and relevant title, Ann is a fascinating and entertaining journalist. Please come, listen, ask questions and take advantage of her experience. 

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