Friday, 19 December 2008


This module has taught me about using th internet as a platform for journalism, in particular, the use of blogging in contemporary media writing. Getting links to my blog, hits and views are essentially how it becomes a commercial project.

There are so many blogs on the internet available however, that finding a niche target audience is definitely the hardest element of this project. I'm not sure that my individual blog has a target audience ( i know it is for module purposes) but I certainly wouldn't read it in my free time!

I experienced blogger which you are reading this on and which we used for our group blog. I much prefer blogger as a platform because of it's accessible style and continuity in editting posts, uploading pictures and videos. News feeds and other blogs which I'm following are also much easier to manage in blogger.

I hope my feature on charities has enough variation between each posts but still has enough continuity to call it a feature. I have tried to include online elements such as links and video posts to show that I understand the difference between and online feature and a print one.

Suicide Season

The run up to Christmas is notoriously a stressful time of the year with suicide rates and homelessness peaking putting extra strain on already stretched services and charities designed to help individuals in need. The Samaritans charity, has warned that the recession in Britain is likely to push up suicide rates even further over Christmas. Rising unemployment, or the fear of losing ones job, financial pressures for homeowners and insecure investments will all be contributing factors to this expected crisis.
"Mental health effects of the recession are being overlooked by the Government," said a spokeswoman from the Samaritans.
Research earlier in the year by the Charity Commission and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo) showed that up to three-quarters of voluntary organisations had seen demand for services rise, and provided an early portent of difficult times ahead. However, charities covering areas that traditionally see a spike in demand during the holiday season - such as drugs and alcohol addiction groups, domestic violence organisations and homelessness support - are feeling a renewed squeeze, and many believe that worse is to come.

Chugging through the shoppers

As the festive period is upon us, people are flocking to the high streets across Britain and although they are watching their pennies a lot more, shopping still remains to be one of Briton's favourite past times.

So where do charities fit into this spending splurge that we all indulge in? The technique charities have adopted in an attempt to receive more monthly donations is what's fondly known by the general public as "chugging"; charity mugging!

From a distance, all can see why charities would put ambassadors on the street to try and gain passers by support and most importantly money, but when we become those passers by, desperately trying to run our errands, they become horribly annoying.

Is it the idea that we know what they want before they've opened their mouths? Maybe that we really are in a hurry and have absolutely no ability to spare a minute for these charity workers?

For me, I find the idea of giving my bank details to a stranger on the street makes me reluctant to stop. Seriously they could be anyone, and I know from personal experience that the majority are getting paid according to how many people they get to sign up for regular donations. So this desperate, begging and even harassing nature of the chugger is surely working against charities..... WRONG! They are still raising millions for their specific charities each year.

But the concept is deeply flawed and although charities need to pull out all the stops in such hard financial times, there must be another way.

Research has been done into the work of charity street fund raising, read more about the fundamental flaws of the job which are not going unnoticed by an ever growing apathetic general public.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

This charity is held very dearly to me since it helped me receive treatment and advice on a very personal level. It is therefore my number one charity I am suggesting for your much needed donations and support. Getting their message out there and bringing addicts from out of the shadows of society is something this country should embrace, not hide from.

Charity Profile: Addaction

Addaction is the UK's largest alcohol and drug treatment charity helping those who suffer with the disease of addiction.

It receives less donations per year than the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and has recently embarked on a huge marketing fund raising appeal in an attempt to receive more donations. The poster campaign which can be seen on tubes, buses and bill boards has a very hard hitting message that although the problem of addiction is very unpopular and often hidden in society, it is not unimportant. Families and lives are destroyed each year by alcohol and substance abuse.

Charities feel the Crunch this Christmas

As the economic downturn hits Britain, Charities of all kinds are experiencing a huge dip in donations as individuals and corporate donators rethink their generosity. Charities, which rely on donations for their services will face a billion pound black- hole in their funds by this time next year as individuals cancel their standing orders and companies reduce their donations in an attempt to save money they don't have.
Christmas is notoriously an important time for charities, with suicides, homelessness and domestic violence at a year long high. Charities such as The Samaritans, The Salvation Army and Shelter specialising in these areas will be badly affected by the credit crunch and with no hope for change in the near future.
Twenty- seven UK charities also lost over £50 billion after the collapse of the Icelandic financial market in which they had money invested. The Government have rejected pleas of a bail out because of their own lack of financial stability in the present economic crisis.

Individuals cannot be blamed for the change in conditions for charities, since many households have either been feeling the pressures of the financial climate first hand, or will do in the near future. Charity begins in the home and most families in Britain are recognising this in the breeze of the recession and cancelling their donations.
The squeeze has already seen the value of corporate donations tumble. The British Red Cross was forced to cancel its winter gala ball beside the Thames this month as it could not find a corporate sponsor for an event which usually raises £500,000. Shelter, the housing charity, lost £400,000 in the space of six weeks this autumn when corporate sponsors, including the nationalised mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, cancelled donations.

In such an uncertain economic climate, charities are suffering this Christmas, so remember, anything you can spare will not go unappreciated.

Individual Feature

Sincere apologies for the late entries of this blog feature, i understand it will be reflected in my mark.

I have finally settled on an idea for my feature which will be a set of varying posts on charities around christmas. I will try to write news stories, opinion pieces and profiles on individual charities and the effects of their work over the festive period.