Only be swayed by the truth

One thing that annoys me a lot at the moment, is how people seem to be so easily swayed and impacted by the way news companies frame news stories. You could see stories about the same event on 5 different news websites and each will be framed differently.

Framing

Framing means the way people present something. The actual event that happened doesn’t change, just a news company will write about that event in a certain way that they think will a) appeal to their audience b) grab attention and c) tie in with the political views of the news company as a whole.

It’s like the coverage of the murder of Jo Cox last week. The facts of the event were – Jo Cox went to work, was walking in public and was murdered. You can argue all day long about the motives, the reasoning’s and what led it to happen but to try and explain it away is just plain wrong. Lets start talking about events and news stories for what actually happened, lets not try and sanitize it or use it to push an agenda.

Reporting

Murder is illegal and wrong. A person being killed is sad. It is so hard for the truth to out these days in situations and that is mainly because there are so many half-truths and out right lies out there, which are being reported on as if they were facts. If something bad happened to you or I, I would want the truth to out. I wouldn’t want my death to be used to benefit a political agenda.

Scare mongering and fear in this country has been created out of nothing by the media. The way the media reports news (especially in the last few weeks) has just fuelled hatred within our society, made a society of angry people and caused division. If news were just about facts rather than opinion and agenda, society would be in a much better place than it is today.

I hope that we become wise to what the news is doing to us soon and that a campaign is started again for real news and factual news. The news has too much power in our world; it shapes the way we think and how we react to things. The news knows how much power it has; we just need to find a way to lessen the power it has over our lives.

Jo Cox and uniting against the hatred that killed her

I think a friend of mine summed up the sadness of the situation that unfolded yesterday, when they took to Twitter to say:

“Jo Cox protected the vulnerable, spoke for the voiceless, challenged ignorance, stood in the gap, loved hard and without fear. Dark day.”

Jo’s husband then went on to release the most eloquent of statements about the death of his wife and mother of his two children, that I know I would not have been able to give if I was in his situation:

“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.”

How as a father do you even start to explain to your children that another human being, whilst just walking on your average street in the middle of the day, murdered their mum whilst she was just doing her job? Jo was not in the Armed Forces and fighting in a war, she was just simply going around her community, listening to the general public and trying her best to make her community the best place it could be.

Divisiveness

The media and divisive politicians and political parties caused this to happen. No longer should people be able to hide away and be able to say “we didn’t want what happened to Jo Cox to happen.” By consistently peddling ideologies of hate and division they have poisoned the minds of many in this country and it is something as a country we should not allow to keep on happening.

When did we stop caring for others, when did we stop caring for those less fortunate than us? No one gets the chance to choose what country and situation they are born in to, so why are we discriminating against others because of this? Something they have got no choice in. We are one race – the human race. If I could make a better life for my family in another country, I hope that country would welcome us and show us love. If we ever had to flee our country because of war, oppression, slavery, starvation etc. etc. I hope that other countries would take us in.

Contribution and compassion

Regardless of family background and country of birth, those people that are contributing to our society should be championed. It is the people who have come here for help that we should be showing compassion to. It is the people who are blaming any problem this country has on immigrants and religion that are the ones we should be worried about.

For far too long we have laid the blame of hate at the feet of religion, which has stopped people actually looking at the real hate brewing in society and the real causes of it. Sadly hate has just become acceptable in this society and sometimes even ‘cool.’ We need to stop trolling people, hating people because they lead a better or a perceived better life, hating people because they support a different football team. I could go on and on and on.

Human beings first

Lets start looking at the human being first, before the things that make us different, as the things that make us different don’t matter. Lets start reaching for love before we reach for hate. I know I was always raised as a kid to help others, to not judge others and to treat everyone as an equal. I thought this was the British way and part of what made this country great; I think we need to go back to our traditional values before we let everyone change them.

I know the things that enrich my life and make me who I am are my family and my friends; I am better with them than I would have ever been without them. I plan to do my best to be a great part in the lives in as many people as possible. It’s time for us all to be the change we want to see in the world. To not accept the messages that some of the media and politics want us to hear and make our decisions based on our own moral compasses. If I can I will always help anyone and I hope many people will do the same.

My Dementia Awareness Week 2016

dementia

This last week has been my busiest week since I launched my book on dementia titled “Unbreakable Bond.”

The week actually started last Friday when I recorded an interview with Pirate FM, one of the biggest commercial radio stations in the South West. This interview went out on Monday and you can listen to it here:

http://www.piratefm.co.uk/blogs/wheres-your-head-at/unbreakable-bond/

Then on Monday, ITV Westcountry filmed a feature on dementia with me, which aired across the southwest on Tuesday evening:

http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2016-05-18/dementia-fears-preventing-people-from-seeing-gps/

On Wednesday I was invited by Alzheimer’s Society South West to speak at the Cornwall Dementia Action Alliance Partnership Launch at the Royal Cornwall Showground.

This was all off the back of being published in “The Journal of Dementia Care” last week.

The best thing about being this busy, is the number of people I am being able to touch and impact with my story, as that is what it is all about. Thanks to all these media companies and charities I can touch more people than I can by myself and I appreciate every one of them.

Inspirational

I have met some very inspirational people this week and heard a lot of personal stories about how dementia has affected them. If it wasn’t for Dementia Awareness Week I may not have heard these stories or been touched by them and it has been so important to me to hear them. So often in life we get caught up in our own lives and problems, but hearing from other people gave me insight and perspective, which was really appreciated.

Thanks to everyone I have worked with this week, with the raised media profile, my book “Unbreakable Bond” made it back to the top of the bestseller charts. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for everything that happened this week. It’s not for vanity that this is important but because the more books I sell, the more lives the story of my mum and I can help and that is what it is all about.

Proud

I hope my mum is proud of what has been accomplished this week and the fact that she can continue to play her part for years to come in helping people affected by dementia.

To find out more about my book and get a copy go to:

www.unbreakablebond.co.uk

Media relations

At the moment I am doing the media rounds for my book “Unbreakable Bond.” So over the space of 5 days, I have 3 radio interviews with prominent local stations across the South West of England.

My first interview was yesterday on BBC Radio Cornwall, then this Saturday I am on Phonic FM in Exeter and then finishing up on Monday on CHBN in Truro. This is the busiest little media patch I have had in a little while and I am very much enjoying it.

You never know who is listening

The thing with being interviewed on radio is you never know who is listening. A five-minute interview could lead to lots of new interest for my book, or it might not do anything for it. The question I have to ask myself then is – are doing radio interviews worthwhile if it doesn’t lead to further sales of the book?

Through my printing and distribution companies I can track every time someone purchases my book and where they purchase it. Sadly the thing I can’t find out is what triggered the person to buy the book. If a book is sold just after a radio interview – is it coincidence or was someone listening? If a book is purchased a month after a radio interview – was it because someone just remembered about that interview they listened to with me or listened to it again on a catch-up service?

Don’t be disheartened

It can be disheartening when you invest your time to do a bit of media and it doesn’t seem to have a knock on effect on sales. As this is what you want from the media exposure, you want more people to be reading the book. I think though that no matter if everyone or no one is listening, it is still worthwhile as I believe every piece of media you do contributes to the brand. Being on a TV show, Radio programme, newspaper or website gives your voice more of an authority and might lead you to getting another chance on another platform to talk about your product.

Being on a TV show or Radio programme gets people excited for you and gives you something to talk about and hype on your own social media feeds and websites. You don’t always want to be just continuously posting about your book, so posting about being on a TV show or Radio programme gives you an indirect way and a different way of promoting your book.

If you don’t say yes to opportunities you will never know where they might lead. Even if they lead nowhere at least you now know that, you have gained experience along the way and you may have made a contact or two.

My writing is now available in more places

A little while back on the blog I alluded to new opportunities that had arisen for me and I can now tell you about one of them.

I am now a writer/contributor for a new exciting news outlet called “The News Hub.” It is an interesting place, where writers are incentivised to write engaging, quality content and a place where the community plays a huge role in governing the site and makes sure the best written and most relevant articles are easy to find.

Opportunities

I have been running this blog for two years now. It started as a place for me to share my thoughts and showcase my writing. Through my commitment to writing on this blog it has led to many exciting writing opportunities, including writing for other sites, apps, social media, other people’s books and my own book.

I have made no money out of this blog and in terms of traffic not hit the numbers I thought I would but this blog has done so much more for me than I thought it would. It has given me a platform to express myself and formulate my own thoughts. It has given me chances to experiment and work on what makes a good article. Most of all, it has kept me passionate about writing and active as a writer. To get good at something it takes practice and repetition.

Validated

I now feel validated as a writer because of the opportunities that have come my way and the people that have wanted me to write for them. Blogging is a powerful platform and there are many similarities in this new world between a blog and an article, with the lines between the two becoming more and more blurred.

One thing I would say to any other bloggers out there is – never under estimate the impact of your blog and your words. Impact can be measured in so many ways so don’t just think of it as number of viewers to your blog. Go after engagement and not views. Advertising and promotion can bring you views but it is good content that gets you engagement. It is better to have a small engaged audience than it is a big unengaged audience.

I hope everyone who reads this blog will follow my progress at “The News Hub.” To view my articles go to:

https://www.the-newshub.com/@adamsibley

TV and Parenting

In the UK this week the BBC have cause outrage with parents by extending the broadcasting hours of it’s children’s channel CBBC to 9pm. Parents, teachers and doctors have all had their say on the matter with many remarking about how it could damage children’s health and education.

I think the outrage is so interesting in the modern era of video on demand, streaming, Youtube, DVR etc. etc. etc. It is no so easy for parents and children to watch children’s TV at any hour of the day. I don’t think this helps children or parents but it is like Pandora’s Box has already been opened on this front.

Standards

I think if it had been anyone else but the BBC doing this, it wouldn’t be news. People seem to hold BBC to different and higher standards to anyone else. The BBC have fought back to the criticism by saying that people have the off button if they do not want to watch the extended broadcasting of the channel which I wholeheartedly agree with.

The problem with the BBC is that CBBC, CBeebies and all it’s programming has such a following and popularity that children everywhere adore their programming to the point of obsession. So the BBC are a victim of their own success in many ways which isn’t the worst place to be.

Making the right choices

The reason why this subject is so important to me is because I am a new parent and work in the TV industry. I want to make all the right choices for my child and I know everyday you have to make so many decisions and that there is so much pressure to make the right decisions.

I have no right to tell any parent what to do or how to parent but I think it is important that parents keep control and don’t look to others to make their life easier. Troubles and challenges are always going to be around each and everyone of us and how young people interact with media is a big one.

I see so many children with tablets in their hands unsupervised these days. The young generation seem to have control and seem to be exposed to so much media these days which I don’t think is healthy. I am not going to be one of these parents that doesn’t allow their children to watch any TV but I want to be a parent that uses it in the right way and to be involved in their engagement with TV.

Media is powerful but no one is more powerful than a parent.

Blessings in disguise

This week the Church of England have taken over the headlines here in the UK, after leading cinemas refused to screen a commercial they had made featuring the Lord’s Prayer.

The advert that they submitted can be seen here:

There were no complaints made from the general public about the advert and the rules set out by the Committee of Advertising Practice only urge advertisers to avoid causing offence and inciting hatred, they do not say that something of a religious nature cannot be shown.

A lot of us will no doubt be going to the cinema over the Christmas period to see the new blockbusters like Star Wars, so it was a great advertising idea by the Church of England to capitalize on this market. I think that churches need to use media and interact with culture to reach people in the modern world we live in, so will always support initiatives like this as I want to see more things like this. I want to see the media taken over on all levels.

I think he big cinema chains scored a huge own-goal by banning this advert. From a business perspective they gave away income and lost future potential business from the Church of England. After doing this they also gave the Church of England a million times more publicity than they would have got, if the advert hadn’t been banned. The biggest marketing and publicity companies would be giving themselves the biggest high fives if they managed to get the publicity that this advert has received but it wasn’t a marketing company, it was a church.

The big chain cinemas could face a backlash for this action as by some media outlets they are being seen as not allowing freedom of speech. People will continue to go and see films, don’t get me wrong, but peoples view of certain chains of cinemas could change considerably.

In the UK, the media is telling us that we are becoming less of a Christian nation. The uproar about this advert being banned gives me hope and I think shows that although church attendance maybe down or the number of people who call themselves Christian maybe down, underneath these numbers I think there is still a lot of support for the church and Christian faith in the UK.

The timing of all of this in the run up to advent and Christmas is brilliant for the church and Christianity. The cinemas did not think this through at all but I hope through this incident that it will encourage more people to think of Christ this Christmas.