weekly. Published online only.
enSouthport and Mersey Reporter
online newspaper. Your words.
Publication date:- 2016-12-30
user-generated Headlines and
reports on this page = 2 news items. Page - 8.
Sefton Schools Trip of Lifetime to Lapland
SEFTON School children who won an anti scrambler bike poster project have
returned from their Christmas trip of a lifetime to Lapland.
The children, from 5 schools in Bootle, Litherland and Netherton, flew over to
Finland and were taken to the Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle, where
they took part in sledging and sleigh rides, before meeting Santa himself. They
returned to England in time for Christmas, as Santa had some important work to
finish with his elves.
The 5 schools involved were:-
► Lander Road Primary School, Litherland.
►All Saints Primary School, Bootle.
►St Monica's Primary School, Bootle.
►St Oswalds C of E Primary School, Netherton.
►The Grange Primary School, Bootle.
The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighbourhood
team, Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and the L30 Millions
Project, and aims to highlight the impact off road bikes have on local
During the autumn term, children from the schools were taken on adventure days,
including a day out at Crosby Lakeside Centre, and in school designed anti
scrambler bike posters as part of the project.
Constable Thompson said:- "It was a magical trip for the
children and adults alike and I am so pleased that the childrens' enthusiasm and
imagination in getting involved has led to such a spectacular reward."
The 16 winners of the poster competition were presented their certificates by
Graham Sharp, Jamie Carragher at a ceremony in November at Merseyside Police
Headquarters, before the grand unveiling of the children's prize to Lapland.
Speaking at the time of the presentation, Sefton Neighbourhood Inspector Ian
Jones said:- "This has been a very successful local project highlighting
the dangers associated with off road bikes and how they can affect our
communities. We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and
danger to members of the Sefton community and beyond. We strongly believe that
education and engagement is such an important part of eradicating the problem,
working alongside Sefton Council and our other partners. We hope that by getting
involved, the young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and
wide, and that they enjoy their prize."
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said:- "It will be a
pleasure to watch these young people, who have shown enthusiasm and energy for
this project, receive their prizes. This initiative has got the young people
really thinking about the dangers and consequences of using off road bikes. I
often hear from people across Merseyside about the fear and anxiety the illegal
use of these bikes causes in our communities; that is why it is so important we
engage with our young people from an early age and help steer them away from
getting involved in such dangerous behaviour. I congratulate the winners and all
the young people who have taken part, as well as the officers and staff who have
worked on this effective campaign."
Sefton Council Chief Executive Margaret Carney said:- "We are delighted
Schools in Sefton have so successfully raised awareness of the dangers scrambler
bikes can cause, to individuals and the wider community. The posters that the
children have made are wonderful and send a powerful message to those engaging
in this sort of anti social behaviour. We are so pleased to have worked in
partnership with these wonderful organisations to make this well deserved trip
Is internet and constant chase of the hit counts destroying
CAN you trust news online? Is the article you've just
read on Facebook reliable? Do you ask yourself these questions or you just take
news stories for granted? The rise of internet and social media has definitely
opened up a lot of opportunities for journalism, but it has also opened a door
for pseudo news websites that with misleading headlines and fake news stories,
under a mask of quality media, try to lure audience to their websites with an
eye to maximise hits and get more cash from advertisers.
In 2016 the rise of fake news websites has hit an all time high. Recent US
elections and Brexit have only added fuel to the fire. Misleading headlines and
fake news reports tend to provoke the public and have often resulted in the
breakdown of social unity. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the
public is being "manipulated" by fake news and propaganda. Trying
to combat that issue, she has vowed to regulate 'fake news' by
passing a law that punishes those who publish fake news on social media. Is it
realistic? Is yet to be proven... The law might sound good, but it comes with a
huge risk. For example, it straight away opens questions like what can be
regarded as "legitimate news"? Where are the guarantees that the
new law won't be abused? And what will happen with freedom of speech?
In the UK, there has been no authorised watchdog / body that would moderate the
need of freedom of speech and the rights of privacy and legitimate speculation.
The only unaccredited regulatory body for British printed newspapers and
magazines was The Press Complaints Commission (PCC). However, after the Leveson
Inquiry that discovered serious breaches of ethical practice, the PCC was
folded. Instead of addressing issues raised, the PCC phoenixed with a brand new
identity; Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and until now continues to operate
in the same manner. It turns out that there have not been ethical standards that
all media have to obey, and all conduct codes are voluntary. The situation has
changed with the official recognition of IMPRESS (The Independent Monitor for
the Press is a Community Interest Company) in October 2016. IMPRESS is the only
independent press regulator, recognised under the Royal Charter that aims to
build a sense of trust between the public and the press. It allows journalists
to work in a fair manner free from governmental and political influence, as well
as gives the public the ability to easily hold the UK media to account in a far
more open and fairer way. IMPRESS believes that having a visual kitemark in
place, that is legally enforced and easily recognised, might help the public to
differentiate reliable media outlets from the bogus ones.
Another major issue that needs to be mentioned is the disappearance of regulated
local news outlets. The sad reality is that running a local newspaper nowadays
is often not profitable. The advertisers that used to be the main income for
local papers now prefer to place their adverts on Social Media or on things like
Google AdWords. This lack of investment has lead to many small media groups to
close down and gave a green light to unregulated blogs and chat forums taking
over the reporting of local news. The rise of citizen journalism on one hand is
good, but on the flip side the loss of professional journalists has lead to a
massive increase in unreliable and fake reports.
The scariest part is that advertisers are the ones who fund and support local
bogus news websites. Loud and scandalous headlines bring lots of hits that are
so tempting to potential advertisers. Yes, in theory that sounds good, as more
people see your advert, the better chances of success you have. Oddly, for local
stuff it doesn't always ring true! In practice, advertising on click bate sites
that provide unsubstantiated and sensational news automatically brings the area
down in the eyes of potential tourists. This, in turn, often affects local
businesses, even if not directly connected with tourism. In the long run it can
also lead to community divisions, as well as social and economic decline.
So next time you decide to place an advert, make sure the group you are dealing
with is accredited and carries the same views and ethical standards as your own
business. Also think on the long term impact of not supporting your local grass
roots media. Don't neglect the power of local newspapers and small PR companies
that are fully regulated and are targeted at local communities. Local websites,
like ours, are aimed at developing trust with our readers. We aim to help
promote and make the local area more of a community. When local communities feel
as one, they are happier and feel they have a voice. When you lose that small
link in the chain, the mechanics of good PR management brake down. That in
return means a brake down in society and the loss of financial stability for all
Let's hope advertisers stop funding hoax and clicks bate news providers and
instead will support the local regulated media. We truly believe it's the best
way how the society can tackle the issue of fake news at present.
Start 2017 with a new start. Check if the news sites you are advertising with
are fully accredited and regulated! It's more than just an advert. Get media