My Online Journalism Experience

Just another weblog

It’s been a while April 13, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 11:01 am

Havn’t blooged for a while, sorry. Have been enjoying my Easter Eggs too much!

Just completed another story, which is an original one about an NHS Dentist Surgery.  See at – I got this story as I am a patient at the surgery so recieved a letter about what is going to be happening and managed to speak to a member of staff about it.

Although it is not something that is going to affect everyone locally, it is going to have an affect on the hundreds of patients that go there.

It is something that adds to what is going on alot around the area as it is very hard to find an NHS dentist now, well where I live anyway, so this helps to show the continuation of the NHS’ problem.

The majority of dental surgeries have now gone private, there are about 8 that I have found that still offer NHS treatment and are still taking on NHS patients, with the nearest one being in Selly Oak. With being in Solihull, that is abit of a treck just to go for a check up.

Was good to do this story as it effects me directly and the majority of my family, and also it is something that is constantly going on and that the majority of us will come across at some point and highlights the problems around us.


Football to help health service! March 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 5:52 pm

My last story was great to write as it combined two areas I am very interested in, Sport and Health.

For those who have not read it, it is about how Premiership footballers are being encouraged to give up a days wages and donate to a fund for Nurses. See at

This story is an interesting one, and although there has been something in the media already about it, I have managed to re produce it with a local slant to it.

I researched into what footballers have signed up to it and found that an Aston Villa player had, so I was able to use this to localise the story., Also, there is a quote from the founder, Noreena on her site that states about workmen in Birmingham getting paid more than nurses, so that helped to localise it as well.

This was a great story to produce and hopefully, if more local players sign up to help this fund, then there will be room to report on the progress of the campaign.

Did not really have any problems with producing this, as when I began my research I found how I could put a local slant on it immediately which helped.

It will good to see how this campaign progresses and if the localised article helps. Anyone out there, who can encourage people to get involved then please do, it will make a difference.

I will keep you up to date on here with how the campaign goes, any major goings on though, I will report on the news site.


The NHS Blog Doctor March 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 11:34 am

Have you read yesterdays article on the news site? I really feel that this is my best article yet. I found a brilliant blog from a doctor :

This links to the section I used to get my article from, but there are lots of other blog entries to look at as well.

The article I produced is original and something from the background of health, rather then something already splashed all over the news. It is also a very informativ article and goes into alot of detail about the situation to do with the training scheme.

Once I had found this blog and picked this as my idea, I decided to do some futher research into the aspect of Deaneries and the MTAS, so that I could give readers the chance to undertsand what they were and how they worked.

I found some useful sites about these to help with the facts :

These sites helped me to understand what these terms meant, and also it enabled me to be able to be more explanatory in my article to help engage the reader and help them understand.

Although this is not an article that effetcs everybody and is not something hitting the front pages, I felt it was important to give people the chance to see what sorts of things go on behind the scenes.

We all know about the cash problems etc within the hospitals, but have not seen anything to do with the process the NHS go through to employ staff, so I thought this would be good and it was about the West Midlands in particluar.

Overall I am pleased with this story and feel it is my best contribution yet. I hope you all agree! Let me know what you think please.

See you soon x


March 7, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 5:29 pm

Sorry about the belated post about my progess, this relates to  the story I wrote on Sunday.

After the fiasco of  in trying to find an original story from bloggs and other sources, this time I was slightly more successful.

I found a very small clipping in a national newspaper on the maggots being re-introduced. It was only a small piece but it grabbed my attention and thought it would be useful for me to write a piece on this.  I did not have much to go on from the artcile, just the basic facts about the MPs voting for it, so I began my research into this method of healing to gain some background information.

It was really interesting to find out about how it used to be used and the succeses of it. I found this website inparticularly helpful.

This was great to get background information about the maggot method and I realised how useful it will be for me in the future for other health stories and issues.

 I also wanted to see if I could find anything that proved that it worked, so I searched and I found this site, that explains how a women had the maggot dressings used on her wound and it healed very quickly.

Although I had all this information, I somehow needed to localise it to Birmingham. So my initial thought was as it was going to happen within the NHS, relate it to Heartlands hospital and other hospitals around Birmingham. I did manage to do this, but I also managed to get a quote from a student nurse based in Birmingham who has been learning about it from University and also on work placements in Birmingham hospitals. So I used this to help localise it aswell.

I also decided I would write a sports story for the site as well as a health story. Being the health correspondent for the site I should try to keep focused on health issues, however I am a huge sports fan and felt it would benefit me to produce a sports story to gain some experience in writing for that area.

I realised that the Sports correspondent had not written an important story on the success of a Birmingham athlete at the European championships. I felt I should write it, in order for it to be up to date news still.

I informed the editor to ensure it was ok to move away from my corresponded area and he agreed to it.

I did however, encounter some problems with this though, as I found a royalty free image to use, but it was the wrong size for the site, however on my computer I cannot change the size, so I had to leave it as it was as I could not find another suitable one.

I will change it tomorrow though as I don’t want to let anyone down and we are still chasing the awards!!!!!

I am pleased with how this week went and am gaining confidence in writing for the web and using blogs and other sources to help find original material.

Lets see how it goes next week though, don’t want to get ahead of myself.


Health article nightmare February 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 11:19 am

This week saw me begin undertaking the task of Health Correspondent for the UCE news website and what a week it has been.

With all the sites given to me to go onto and look for inspiration for original story ideas, I thought I would have no problem finding something I could use. However it turned out to be the exact opposite.

Being advised to look more specifically than just at blogs on health in general, I tried looking for Doctors or Nurses blogs to see what they had to offer.

Well apart from the fact that the majority were not even related to what I needed, they didn’t offer alot really. I found it quite a tedious task searching through hundreds of blogs, especially not finding what I needed, but it gave me an insight into the sorts of things you will have to do to get an original story.

Being completely honest, I could have spent more time looking and maybe I would have found something, but it got to a point where I just gave up. Luckily for me I already had a back up idea, which is the one I produced in the end.

This, I feel for a first attempt is OK, however, I will definately need to improve and research more in order to progress. If the story had not have been right on my doorstep then I would of had to, but as it was, I did not as the majority of my information was there for me already.

Looking ahead to future stories I know what to expect in the searching for a story and researching it and I will definately leave myself plenty of time to do it.

Lets just say, this has been a real eye opener.


Online Journalism February 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 2:55 pm

The internet. Love it or hate it, you cannot escape it!

It is now, more than ever, a major part of the world in which we live. For you budding journalists, even more so than others.

You may ask why? and all I will say is Online Journalism.

In order for you to compete in the intense industry that is journalism, you need to be able to offer something different.

So, we can all write a 500 word sensationalized news story for The Sun, but how many of us, given the opportunity could adapt that to make it appropriate for online?

Online Journalism skills are becoming more and more essential wihtin the journalism industry, as the internet becomes a major, 24 hour news source for the public.

The immediacy of online news, is what has made it so popular as a news source, but also so difficult as a skill. This is why it is so vital for up and coming journalists to obtain online journalism skills, in order to be able to compete in a market that is forever changing and progressing.

The majority of major news organisations already have online versions of their publications or broadcasts and this is where the market is constantly improving and creating opportunities for those of us lucky enough to be multi-skilled.

This is where the industry is going, along with the majority of others, so online journalism skills are essential if you want to keep up with the times and improve your chances of getting a job!

Mindy McAdams, a university lecturer, explains ” At a bare minimum, an online journalist should know how to produce a simple Web page and put it online.”

Could you do this? The answer from the majority of us will be no, this is why online journalism skills are so important. If you cannot do this, then i’m sorry to say there is no hope for you in the world of journalism as it forever moves more and more towards the internet.

Do not feel down heartened though, as there is still time to learn and plenty of places to do so. I will see you there!  



Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aljones87 @ 2:34 pm

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!