Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Trainee Journalist Writes ...

OK - as yet I am not sure how many of you are reading this but it makes me feel better and solves the loneliness issue ... at least I can pretend I have friends to talk to!! As yet, no more flatmates. Went shopping ALONE for the first time in two years yesterday. No Bro/ Kathryn or Tom/Zoe which was a little odd. I had to rely on my own shopping list rather than pinching theirs!!

I am in a break between two law lectures (there are 5 a week!!) and I can now tell you what I can or cannot report in court. It all depends on if it is an indictable, either-way or summary offence ... it really is that technical. I know that the law is not there to protect the journalist, it is there for the benefit of each individual but it is a minefield for me. For example, under the 1980 Magistrates Act, if a person claims that they did not do a crime then they are sent to trial by jury if it is a serious offence. However, technically journalists are not allowed to say that the defendant has claimed he is innocent but can say he is going for trial by jury, even though the reason that a trial by jury is taking place is because they claim they are innocent. Confused? So am I but it all has to make sense soon.

Have finished the recording for my first report (a vox pop on which season people prefer). It was a little odd at first but it should turn into something interesting ... real people eh? Far more interesting than student radio. I also get a kick out of being able to call myself a trainee journalist!!

It has been a funny few hours in the news world. The news of the IRA's decommissioning has come a little sooner than I was predicting but I hope wonderful news. I would be interested to see what the Unionists' reactions will be. My argument that the Unionist 'army-like' organisations are going to have to make a similar move soon seems to be becoming reality now. Sinn Fein now realises that the war is now for votes and not for land. Whilst hard core unionists are never going to be persuaded to change their minds, I do wonder if the Gerry Adams et al. now hope that by being seen to give up violent ways, in contrast to the Ulster Paramilitaries, they will win votes and power. People, on the whole, are tired of violence, depite little erruptions of riots like those we have seen over the last few weeks. By claiming peace, votes will be won and the Republican movement will grow not due to a desire for a united Ireland so much as a desire for safety and prosperity. After centuries of conflict, the argument is once again shifting but in a way that is less predictable.

Now allow me to change subject completely, though the link will become clearer. Today I was on the fair streets of Sheffield asking people what their favourite season was. 'Summer' and 'Spring' dominated but one of the answers that struck me the most was the fact that people saw spring as a time of hope and regeneration. Several preferred spring as it symbolised what was coming as opposed to the disappointments of the present. The Summer may be all rainy but we dream of long, hot days. Perhaps we can use this as a metaphore for what we see in Northern Ireland and enjoy this spring moment. The Summer is going to be tricky in Northern Ireland as issues of trust need to be resolved but maybe an Indian Summer is not too far away. The future is not immeditely bright but there is a glimpse of hope.

So, off I now go on this rather sunny, autumn day in Sheffield. OK, at the moment I feel a bit down and a bit damp but the summer is coming.

My Love, as always,


Blogger Sue2121 said...

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4:14 PM  

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