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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Loughborough High School Makes the News!


Congratulations to all LHS students who participated in the BBC School Report 2014. 
Loughborough High School reporters researched and wrote an astounding number of reports on subjects including feminism today, the use of technology in schools, the local charity Rainbows Hospice, the changing faces of journalism and publishing, hairstyles in North Korea and football. They also conducted interviews with our LHS Headmistress, Chief Reporter at the Daily Mail; Matt Lawton, Leicester City Footballer; Conrad Logan, Head of UK Sales at Hodder Publishing; Lucy Hale and Rainbows Hospice Rep Jennifer Leach.
 
More stories to appear tomorrow, including our interview with Conrad Logan. 
 
Well done to all our talented writers. 


An Education on Internet Safety, by Caitlin, year 10

I have always felt that there are certain subjects on which we are over educated; for example, the topic of internet safety. Every year we are taught all about the dangers of the internet, sometimes more than once a year. It's just too much. I think that most people actually take things less seriously; because they are shown these 'Think u Know' videos from 2008 and they're way too busy laughing at the mention of 'MySpace' and Windows XP to take any of it seriously. It's actually a topic I'm quite interested so I might be slightly more attentive during these assemblies if I was learning something new, but being told the exact same stories (and being shown the exact same videos) every time gets a little old.

I agree that children need to be taught about Internet safety, but I still remember what I was told when I was ten, and I haven't been told anything new since then, despite several new websites becoming popular and a lot of the information I was told then becoming irrelevant. My Facebook settings are on private, I don't post anything inappropriate on twitter, I don't view anything unsuitable online and I don't talk to strangers. Being told not to do things I already don't do feels a little like being wrongly accused and it seems rather patronising. I think that the majority of teenagers need to be given credit for having some common sense or at least need to hear something a little more relevant. Children need to stop being taught to fear the world and start being taught to live in it.


 

Hairstyles in North Korea, by Sarina, year 10

In any other country, anywhere else in the world, laws relating to haircuts either don’t exist or are generally ignored by the press. But in North Korea even the smallest thing seems to trigger a media storm. A seemingly unconfirmed, not translated story on an Asian news website (Radio Free Asia) has now been picked up by news outlets across the world, from the Washington Post to the Independent. They claim the male students in Pyongyang are, in a policy soon to be rolled out across all of Korea, being ‘advised’ to cut their hair in the style of Kim-Jong-Un.

The issue is that most North Korean experts seem to doubt its content. ‘I think we can add this to the long list of ridiculous news stories on North Korea,’ the Washington Post reported that Andray Abrahamian, Executive Director of Choson Exchange, a Singaporean non-profit providing training in business, economic policy and law to young North Koreans said, ‘Everybody had typical haircuts there last week when we were there for a Women in Business program.’
Other experts also seem in doubt and apparently recent visits to the Pyongyang show no difference in hairstyles being sported. Radio Free Asia claims however that while this may not be an official policy in North Korea it is being, ‘strongly advised’ by the Workers Party. They also claim of rumblings in Pyongyang over the hairstyles lack of suitability for all face shapes.
Kim-Jong-Un allegedly based his hair style on his grandfathers, in an effort to appear more like him as a leader. Since then however there haven’t seemed to be any moves towards further limitation of the 28 approved hairstyles (based on pictures taken in barber’s shops), 10 for men and 18 for women, although a campaign has been launched to encourage citizens to cut their hair short in support of socialist principles.
Women are also being encouraged to have shorter hair, like the first lady of Korea, Ri. She has been seen in public, sporting her new shorter hair, as well as some above the knee skirts, which are not being encouraged.
Overall the matter of unconfirmed and apparently unlikely reports of hair style rules in Korea seem to be unimportant but could it be more dangerous than that? Surely this apparent trivialisation of one of the world’s most brutal regimes is frivolous and ridiculous, particularly considering the very real problems being faced by political and other prisoners up and down the country. We cannot afford to ignore the atrocities being committed by this regime, however interesting the surface stories may seem.

'This House Believes that A Woman's Place is in the Kitchen': a report on a recent debate, by Sarina, year 10

Despite the heaviness of the matter the atmosphere was light and jovial as three boys and three girls made sexist remarks and pretended that this was totally normal. The audience had more than doubled since last week’s comparatively tame debate on Self Harming, clearly drawn to the ‘awesome power’ of being able to yell at each other and be feminist at the same time. The opposition claimed passionately that, "A man who believes a woman's place in the kitchen clearly can't deal with her in the world." To which the rather sarcastic male debater on the proposition shot back, "We do know what to do with women in the world, we send them back to the kitchen". There may have been a definite tone of sarcasm, but hearing this comment from a sixth-former at a 'prestigious' all-boys school was a little alarming.
Of course it was going to be ridiculous. At an all-girls school, not even the bravest of sixth-form boys would have calmly walked in and claimed their utter apathy towards women's rights. Even David Lloyd George wouldn't have done that, and his house was bombed by suffragettes. Frankly the fact that it didn't disintegrate into a bar brawl speaks volumes to the patience and self-control of LHS students. Just for the record, we could have taken them.
Personally, I feel that while the answer is obvious, a woman can go wherever she pleases (as long as it isn’t against the law); this shows a deeper, emerging problem in our society. Feminism is going wrong.
This isn't an overnight revelation that has appeared only at a small school debate and we certainly aren't saying that women should be subservient to men; the thing is they don't have to be so irritating about it. Feminism is not saying that all men are evil, that all girls have the right to strip down naked in public and dance. Feminism is not having our rights handed down to us by a group of middle aged white stereotypical men, as if we are sat at a 'slightly less capable' table. Feminism is about standing up and having your say about something you believe in. If women achieve, it will inspire others and motivate them, opening doors to even more women. The same applies to men, or to any other group. To achieve as a woman, all you have to do, or all you should have to do, is prove that you're a capable, intelligent person. Nothing more.

Rainbows Hospice: 20 Years of Faithful Service by Ashley, Karishma and Lydia, year 8

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Here at Loughborough High School, we have been fortunate enough to speak to the wonderful Jennifer Leach, a fundraiser for Rainbow's Hospice. She is responsible for the Loughborough High School collection of easter eggs and all other donations. Two of our amazing interviewers, Karishma and Lydia, took this wonderful opportunity  today to ask her some interesting questions. Before we got onto the Easter egg and donation project, we decided to ask for more information on what Rainbows achieves, and what it is doing in all corners of Great Britain.
 
Rainbows helps over 500 families, all from different backgrounds, and with different types of care. Over half of these are for families that stay over night, and, as Rachel put it 'it's a place for all to be a normal family'. Many of the illnesses they care for are:

-    Cancer
-    Tumours
-    Complex disabilities

As you can tell, Jennifer has a lot on her hands, but is prepared to do anything for the people that use Rainbows. If that wasn't enough, Rainbows care not just for the terminally ill children, but also for the families that are affected by illness. This weekend happens to be 'siblings weekend', meaning that all the luxurious eggs you donated will be going to people who will be going through a traumatic period, because, as I'm sure you can agree, losing a brother or a sister would be incredibly difficult.

When we asked Jennifer her views on her fundraising, she told us that 'no two days are ever the same', and that they are 'always having to think of something new'. That really stood out to us, as it meant that they are willing to spend their free time thinking of new and exciting fundraising activities to help someone else.

Jennifer was continually smiling through out her interview, showing that she loved what she worked for, and was even willing to share the latest news about what events are coming up, including the Rainbow Run, on 4th May, for 11+ years, to raise as much money as possible.
Karishma herself will be participating in this amazing event!

So, after reading about how this wonderful woman and her special cause help unfortunate families, I'm sure you're wondering about how you can help. Well, it just as so happens I can help you with that! Running throughout the year, Rainbows has made a 'Great Birthday Bake', to celebrate their 20th birthday. If you are interested in participating in this, or any other rainbows event, head on to www.rainbows.co.uk for more information.

Exclusive Interview with Head of Loughborough High School: Mrs Gwen Byrom, by Chota and Kate, Year 8

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The Changing Face of Journalism by Melissa, Leesal, Cait and Isi, year 11



Journalism has always been critically important in the mass distribution of news worldwide. The trade itself has shaped society through many generations but it now faces new challenges in the form of the internet and the increasing technological needs of worldwide consumers.

The Daily Mail, the biggest selling newspaper in the UK, sells 2.3 million newspapers every Saturday and has offices in London, Sydney, Bombay, New York and London. The figures from their website show that 108 million unique users view their online website every month and 1 in 4 internet hits every day are for the Daily Mail Online. This provides substantial evidence of the challenges and benefits that the journalism industry faces and will continue to face in the future.
  
Matt Lawton, chief sports reporter at the Daily Mail, visited us at Loughborough High School to tell us about the daily life of a news reporter. One thing that stood out for us was how much his job has changed due to technological advancements and the resulting pressures imposed on him by his “two masters”; both his newspaper and online readership. Lawton also spoke at length about the “infinite” and “expansive medium” that is the internet which has created an unprecedented immediacy for journalism and an audience thirsty for the latest news.

Travelling is also a large part of this job which for him is one of the highlights of his career, especially since he is due to travel to Rio this summer for the World Cup.  This is all underpinned by what he described as the “beauty in journalism”- no specific degrees are required but with a strong head for communication and the ability to develop relationships you are on the right track for both success and enjoyment in the industry. This led to him talking about the Leveson inquiry and phone hacking therein to obtain ‘news stories’. Lawton denounced this method as “journalistic doping” and aired his frustration on how it has been “damaging” to the industry he works in.

It is no secret that nowadays it is extremely easy to get hold of news which can break in a matter of minutes thanks to twitter compared with the sixteen hour wait readers faced up to twenty years ago. So what does the future hold for journalists like Lawton? How much more can the industry change?