Trump and Truth

What’s the deal with my computer screen?

On every website I visit, no matter where I look, I see these strange pixels. They resemble something I’ve seen before in one of those old-timey horror films. Distorted orange flesh and blonde frail hair that floats in the wind. It hurts my eyes if I look at it too long, but I can’t avoid it, it’s everywhere I look.

Whatever this monstrosity is, it appears to be frozen in a constant state of discomfort and anger. Maybe it’s frustrated with how disgustingly orange it looks? Maybe something sharp stabbed it in the backside? I scan the bold text that rests below the creature. “Donald Trump says he knows a guy who delivers very trustworthy information about foreign diplomacy which is very good, and everyone loves it”.

Donald Trump? Have I heard of him before? I begin searching the most desolate parts of my headspace. There must be something on this guy. La La Land epic fail at the Oscars, Brexit appeal vote defeated, numerous protests around the world on International Women’s Day. There’s even a small space where my BA dissertation goes. Oh, here it is. Donald J Trump fails to reveal tax returns. Donald J Trump falls short on providing a valid reason behind his quick judgement on claiming news organisations churn out “fake news”, but advocates sources of information which cannot be verified. There’s also calls of shutting down the press.

That doesn’t seem right. Maybe this poor creature is yet to grow a mature enough brain to comprehend how basic freedom of press works, because no sane or developed member of us homo-sapiens would suggest something so clearly dumb and obscene. It’s scary. It seems to believe what it’s saying.

The more it spits “Mexicans”, “China” and “Make America great again” the redder he becomes, like a birthday balloon ready to pop. It’s even got a couple hundred minions that chant and wail in unison to the sound of this nonsense. They wear baseball caps atop their big fat heads, sheltering sweaty plains of skin exposed from relentless balding. They’re white. White until the shouting begins. Then they scream at the top of their lungs in a devoted act of becoming as strangely off-colour and monster-like as their leader Donald J Trump.

If my mushy brain hadn’t pumped back into action before seeing any more of this horror-show, I probably would have convinced myself I was visiting an undiscovered alien planet. Full of testosterone-raging idiots who can’t tell right from their left, or north from south. They probably don’t know how to tie their shoes laces, for trumps sake!

I’m a journalist?

An update!

Hey everyone, long time no speak.

I haven’t updated this blog in a very long time, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing in the meantime.

Firstly, it’s probably worthy to note that I’ve been completing my magazine journalism MA at Cardiff University. So far, so good. I feel like I’ve already learned more than I did during my BA – but, this course is much more practical, so that’s probably why.

I spent my time before Christmas writing articles for Alt Cardiff , learning of new writing techniques and multimedia capabilities. My feature-length article for example, was a good demonstration of the range of multimedia I could produce. This feature article, regarding animal testing in Cardiff, went on to receive my highest mark (a first-class) last semester. I was pretty chuffed!

Another project I’ve been working on is Missing Pixels, a site aimed at welcoming all gamers. It was created for a digital project assignment but I think I might carry on contributing to it anyway. Feel free to join the community if you’d like!

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The week after we broke up for Christmas, I found myself in one of the UK’s largest magazine publishers: Haymarket.

Spending my nights a minute away in the hotel across the road, I was lucky enough to spend a week working with Stuff Magazine. Stuff Magazine deals with gadgets, tech, gaming; basically all the things I love. It was an inspiring work experience that made me feel confident in finding a place within the field. I am grateful to the Stuff team for having me on board, especially Rob Leedham, who got in touch and started it all.

stuffmagcontributor

That’s a very brief rundown of what I’ve been up to from September to December. Now, with the new semester, I hope to continue this progress in finally becoming an official NCTJ journalist. With more experience lined up for the Easter holidays, and hopefully some freelance opportunities, I think the next couple of months are going to be very exciting!

When I’m not being a journalist, I spend my days cleaning bowling alleys and shooting children with laser guns at Superbowl. Oh, the joys of paying your student debt…

 

Alexander Jones

 

For more information about me, check out my LinkedIn profile!

 

Tuning in, switching off…

What on Earth has been going on recently in the news?

After the seemingly “seismic” impact of Brexit, resignation of several political head figures including our beloved David Cameron, and the rise of Theresa May (not ‘Teresa’ the model like many blind keyboard warriors mashed into Twitter) – we are now haunted by several violent and horrifying events from across the World.

These events have definitely shaken me up recently. Everything seems to be going full throttle simultaneously into a brick wall. Freshly graduated from Cardiff University, I’m a naive, youthful academic individual looking to build a future for myself within this space and time. I’m only met with the darkness of harsh realities. Terrorist attacks from around the World, as well as military uprisings in areas not so far away from home – it’s hard to look past this barrier of hate. What can I do but mourn for the dozens and hundreds and thousands massacred pointlessly by sick individuals for twisted ideologies.

Bastille Attack
Bodies littered the streets of Nice following the Bastille Day massacre.

It can be pleasant bathing in the ignorance of celebrating a (well-deserved) graduation when all these horrific actions are taking place around us. I only heard about the Bastille Day terror attack just before I went to sleep, late into the night. It shocked me. As more detailed reports and disturbingly graphic videos made their way onto the web in the morning I felt sick. Sick, sad and angry. How could anyone do such a thing? More importantly why would you do that? Innocent and happy families celebrating a national holiday mowed down by some lone wolf, for nothing. A pointless slaughter of people of all ages, from across the World with varying beliefs. There was no message behind this massacre, we’ve witnessed terror attacks that attack just for the sake of murdering people. How faltered and deviant do you have to be to become someone who’d do that? Or, more importantly, how can we stop something like this happening before it sets in motion? Who knows? I don’t, that’s for sure.

Turkey Coup
Turkish civilians stood up to the attempted military coup – many lost their lives in the process.

Following this dreadfully sad moment in French history we are faced with a military uprising or “coup” in Turkey. Borders are locked down, deadly jets fly low above the city of Istanbul, soldiers seize local news networks and other establishments. At this point I began losing hope. In the back of my mind I keep thinking: when will it be us? When will the United Kingdom become the victim of the next terrorist attack? When will innocent British lives be brought into danger? It’s a scary thought, but one I try not to linger on for too long. 84 lives were taken during Bastille Day, more than a hundred were taken in Turkey a few days after. It’s times like these that make you think the whole planet has gone mad.

Beneath all this madness I believe that there is hope for the French, and the Turkish. People unify over events that are shared among them – after every terrorist attack there’s a vigil; and we are reminded that despite these small smudges of hate, we all share hope for a greater good.

 

Alexander Jones

 

New month, new semester…

The spring semester has begun and my new modules are underway. University continues to go on, and the weather also continues to freeze us within our homes. 

Last week students were summoned by their lecturers to attend the first of many wonderfully insightful lectures. I was one of them. I was surprised to see that over half of the student population actually turned up. I was even more surprised to see that most of them were sober.

My first lecture was on the Tuesday for Social Media Trends (ooo) and to show how good of a start we were having to our first day back the lecturer was an hour late due to public transport being late (darn the trusty public transport, always so reliable) and we were sent away for an hour to “get coffee”. Pfft, I don’t drink “coffee”. Coffee is for the mentally unstable and Americans. Instead I went to Starbucks in the union with my good friend Sasha to have a, wait for it… caramel frappuccino. After the slightly above average drink we made our way back for a one hour session with our new social media trends lecturer. The content of the lecture itself did interest me and the work we have to do in the future sounded pretty decent. The main assessment is based around a group digital project in which we have to create an app/website/service etc. that was capable of social networking capability. Funky beans. The other major part was a “blog” or something, not too sure about that one.

My second lecture took place an hour after the social media trends session had finished and was titled Advertising and The Consumer Society. Another fairly interesting module that was lectured by the legendary John Jewell; a man praised by many, also I follow him on Twitter. I’m a good student. The three hour slot for this lecture was very intimidating but the reality wasn’t as harsh a blow as the final hour or so consisted of a film/documentary about a man named Toscani. Possibly the craziest creative person ever to exist. Honestly go look at his work on Google images, some eye-catching material.

image1Told you so… (Also I stuck his face in there)

The final lecture might be my least favourite of the bunch, however I feel it will be the most useful module for me in the future. Doing Media Research is one of the core modules that plans to teach us amateur students how to conduct research and propose a dissertation idea that may end up being the dissertation that we carry out in our final year. So yeah, very helpful.

I’m looking forward to see how these modules play out this semester and I’m especially pleased to see that there are no exams in the summer and that most of the work is practical (as I predicted), here’s to a good second half!

Alexander Jones

Charlie Hebdo and the sieges of Paris 

Days after the murders performed at the satirical cartoon magazine headquarters, the killings continue in France.

On the 7th of January the news story that two gunmen had attacked and murdered 12 members of staff from the Charlie Hebdo building became massively viral. Without live TV and access to regular news, word travelled swiftly about the dreadful events that had taken place in Paris.

The aftermath from the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office.

If you have a look at any large news source at the moment you will see claims that the two gunmen are believed to be Islamic extremists; their names Said and Cherif Kouachi. The Kouachi brothers. What a great villain duo. Evidence such as Said’s ID card, was found in the getaway car which was abandoned after the shooting. This was used to lead the French police into investigation.

The world was quick to respond to the massacre: the people of France came together in the open squares, such as the Place Royale in Nantes as shown in the feature image, to display a form of solidarity and respect to those that had been killed. Social networking sites sprung with images and writing in support of the victims and united against the suspected men. The saying “JeSuisCharlie”, or “IAmCharlie”, is still trending strongly on Twitter.

An example image of protest.

Days after the main events at Charlie Hebdo the police continued their search for the Kouachi brothers, leading them into the rural areas surrounding Paris. French special forces, armed with black tactical gear and automatic rifles initiated searches door to door of every house they came across in the hopes of finding the terrorists. I may be called out for calling them terrorists, but that is what they are. They committed an act of terror, murdering 12 innocent people, therefore they are terrorists.

French special forces make door to door searches for the Kouachi brothers.

Sadly, as of today, two more people have been killed in a French siege believed to be taking place at a supermarket in Dammartin-en-Goele, North-East of Paris. The police are at a standoff with the suspected Kouachi brothers in a hostage situation. It appears that we may be coming close to the final act of this terrorist plot, or so we hope.

The events from the past days have shown us two things: that some humans can be unnecessarily violent and cruel, and that the rest of us can unite against these pointless acts made by lesser men and create solidarity. I believe that these men will see justice in the coming hours, or the coming days, and that their actions will of course leave us with something to mourn for many years, but most importantly we must remember that they didn’t get what they wanted.

Charlie Hebdo will continue to print its weekly satirical magazine and with the support of the government and Google it will release 1 million copies of its next edition. Take that extremists.

JeSuisCharlie

Alexander Jones