As Gwyn and Chris’ marriage is ‘consciously uncoupled’ a new union appears between the Guardian and the Express on NHS fraud statistics.
Were you stirred by the international outcry over Marius, the two year old giraffe who was fed to the lions in Copenhagen Zoo?
On the same day, Longleat Wild Safari park in Wiltshire killed a lioness and her five cubs, but this story was largely ignored by the British media.
Why did the British media focus their attention on a Giraffe in a Danish zoo, rather than a lioness and her cubs being culled in Wiltshire, right on Blighty’s doorstep?
Self-monitoring your health is now easier than ever. With the touch of a smart phone we can monitor our heart rate, posture and even our sleeping patterns. If we were that way inclined we could gather an overwhelming wealth of data about ourselves. Not only smart phone apps but gadgets and pocket-sized machines are available to provide us with an enormous insight into our every day functioning. Rapid technological improvements are offering us evermore accurate data, but we have to ask ourselves whether simply seeing these numbers is enough to motivate us to make positive change. Is looking at a pedometer that tells us we’re 45 per cent behind the national average number of steps going to make us get up off the couch?
Recently, charities and health-care providers from the Wellcome Trust to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been queuing up to give their public backing to the Government’s efforts to create a single online NHS database for patient medical files. The coverage of this story shows an interesting divide between a government-backed, carefully orchestrated PR campaign on the one hand, and on the other, privacy activists and certain parts of the press who have cleverly linked this story to a general narrative of NHS privatisation.
The recent spate of coverage of the changing experiences of students and new graduates has encouraged me to reflect on my own journey to Journalista. Greg Hurst’s Times article (13/01/14) analyses the rising trend of university as the first step onto a conveyer belt of internships, starting with Freshers’ week networking events, and hurtling on via open days, career fairs and summer internships towards a Grad Scheme Job in a Times top 100 company. In theory. The Labour Party has meanwhile announced plans for a ‘debt free’ degree program, with costs shared by government and employers, with, presumably, employers influencing the curriculum (reported in the Guardian), potentially spelling the end for the humanities and arts. We have seen articles varying from Razavi’s ferocious piece in the Independent (25/11/13) suggesting unpaid internships are a just punishment for those too lazy to gain work-experience while studying, to pieces like Jack Davis’s recent post on the Information Daily, arguing unpaid internships threaten social mobility.
Something very rare occurred last Wednesday during delivery of chancellor George Osborne’s spending review – and it had nothing to do with burgers (although that may have been rare too); there was good news in that £3bn has now been set aside from the NHS pot in 2015-16 for increased integration of health and social care services.
“I would have written a shorter letter,” the 17th century mathematician Blaise Pacal famously explained, “but I did not have the time.” Using similar reasoning then, many might have expected something a little more distilled to emerge from the 14 months that passed between the final hearing into the collapse of NHS care at Mid Staffordshire and the publication of Robert Francis QC’s report last week.
This past few weeks have played host to a number of high profile technology failures with major issues affecting banks in the RBS group and more recently with the nationwide failure of the O2 phone network.
Whilst the banks’ responses to their crises were admirable – opening branches on weekends and vowing to cover any financial losses incurred as a result of their failure – it has been completely eclipsed by the efforts of O2 and its social media team.