BU’s Stephen Jukes talks about James Foley execution on BBC Radio Solent

When asked by BBC Radio Solent presenter Louisa Hannan about his thoughts upon hearing of the apparent execution of James Foley, BU’s Stephen Jukes replied: “Shocking, horrific, terrible… but sadly no longer a surprise.”

James Foley was a freelance journalist who became a captive of the IS organisation in Iraq. A video of his execution was uploaded to YouTube on 19 August 2014, which made international headlines.

A former foreign correspondent and media executive with Reuters, Jukes was interviewed about the execution and the dangers facing journalists in war zones.

Juke, who is now Dean of BU’s Media School, reflected on the change in journalism since 9/11, stating that journalism was safer prior to the attacks.

He said: “There was a time, a sort of golden age, when the journalist was neutral; a detached observer and probably almost untouchable. The word ‘press’ was also in a sense a sort of badge of security.”

In the past thirteen years though, journalists have become targets, he added. Journalists working with large organisations receive better protection, with specific training for hostile environments, including how to avoid kidnapping and being shot, as well as emotional support for any trauma they may face.

However, Jukes highlighted the lack of support and protection for freelance and local journalists in war zones. In areas too dangerous for foreign correspondents, news organisations increasingly rely on local journalists. A large number of journalists killed in Syria have been Syrians.

He said: “In a sense you’ve got this hierarchy of the foreign correspondent with all the protection and support, you’ve got the freelancer who may well be a Westerner, who goes in, has limited support, probably with some form of insurance and then you have the locals, who have nothing.”

Jukes believes it’s up to the news organisations and charities to provide support and protection to freelance and local journalists.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict alone, some claim that more than a hundred journalists have been killed. Terror organisations have used the murders of these journalists, recording their killings in order to spread their message.

Jukes provided a defence for the difficult decision of some news outlets in deciding to show the recording of Foley’s murder. He said: “If you don’t show the video the kidnappers will say ‘well, we’ll kill him’. If you do show the video, there’s no more publicity element left for the kidnappers, so they’ll kill him. Effectively, whatever you do, you’ll be wrong.”

However, he also added that he personally did not think that news outlets should give the terror organisations the publicity by showing the video, as it was readily available online. Jukes cited terror organisations’ use of social media as key in their campaign of violence

“What’s happened is those organisations, those terror organisations, whether they be ISIS or Al-Qaeda in a previous guise, they are really using social media. They’re doing what we do every day in getting their message out. They’re using the new tools of social media.”

However, Jukes does not think that the latest show of violence will deter journalists or those hoping to take up the career. He said: “I don’t think journalists or want-to-be-journalists are going to stop doing it. That’s what we do and we need to tell stories and that’s what we want to do.

“We want to hold a light up to truth and uncover what’s going on and get behind the scenes… The problem is it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.

Listen to the interview in full (starts 35 minutes into the programme, which is available for 30 days)

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Dr Andrew Mayers talks about maternal mental health on BBC Radio Solent

With one in ten women developing a mental health issue during or after pregnancy, BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers spoke to BBC Radio Solent about the lack of awareness surrounding pre and postnatal depression in some areas of Dorset.

Dr Mayers, a Senior Psychology lecturer, told the Breakfast in Dorset programme: “If a woman has got a history of previous mental health problems, you would hope that the local services would be alerted once she becomes pregnant.

“But I think it’s about more than that. Mums-to-be need to be given more information so they are aware of what could happen to them.”

When asked if there is a need for community and health service provisions, Dr Mayers argued there was, saying:

“I think it is important that anyone who is involved with mothers or mums-to-be should recognise the signs if there is a problem and know what to do within the community.

“In the worst case scenario women are taking their own lives. It’s one of the most common forms of death in that particular group of population.”

Dr Mayers is a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, which highlights the differences in support service between various areas of the country for mothers with mental health issues.

Part of the organisation’s campaign is to raise awareness for more funding and support that Dr Mayers claims is necessary for new mothers with mental health issues.

“If we spend money now on early intervention and support services, we will save money in the future for health, mental health and any other societal costs. We need the services to be brought up to scratch in mental health.”

Dr Mayers is a senior psychologist at BU and is also on the board of trustees for the organisation Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS).

Head of BU’s Cyber Security Unit interviewed on BBC Radio Solent

With Dorset Police commissioning online courses to help their officers investigate cyber crime and online fraud, Head of BU’s Cyber Security Unit Dr Christopher Richardson gave his thoughts to BBC Radio Solent.

Dr Richardson was interviewed on the Breakfast in Dorset show and told presenter Steve Harris that police force training at a local and national level was key.

“Training helps,” he said.  “It’s done across all the police forces and at a regional level as well. We are involved with the Regional Organised Crime Unit which is one of the agencies that are trying to tackle this problem.”

Highlighting some of the barriers towards fighting the crimes, Dr Richardson said:

“A vast majority of these crimes go unreported. The police are only touching the top of the iceberg when it comes to cyber-crime.

“The biggest problem, of course, is the individuals themselves. They need to be better aware of what’s going on when they are online. A lot of it is good cyber-hygiene; basic ideas like making sure you have an antivirus package on your system helps a lot.

“This will be reinforced by Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner  Martyn Underhill, who is sending leaflets about cyber crime to households across Dorset.”

Dr Richardson added: “If you get an email from someone you have never heard of before, and if you click on, it makes them very easy to get in your machine.

“Most of the crimes are very simple ideas of impersonation and basic fraud and have been around in society for hundreds of years.”

He added that the global nature of cyber crime made it more difficult to police.

“We are now connected to two to three billion people,” he said.

“So there is an escalation process within the police itself to tackle a problem that may be seen to be local, when in reality is on a more global scale.”

Find out more about BU’s Cyber Security Unit by visiting the website, Facebook page or following @bucybersecurity on Twitter.



NCCA’s BAFTA success receives widespread local coverage

The work of graduates and staff from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) on the BAFTA-winning visual effects for the film Gravity received coverage across a range of local media.

Around 40 graduates from the NCCA – as well as current Senior Practice Fellow in Computer Animation Adam Redford – worked with effects house Framestore on the visual effects for the blockbuster, which won six awards at the 2014 BAFTAs.

Their success was picked up in articles by local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo and Blackmore Vale magazine – which both quoted MA Visual Effects graduate Sam Salek about his involvement with the film.

The story was also featured in news bulletins on local radio station Fire FM, while Sofronis Efstathiou, Framework Leader for postgraduate visual effects and animation courses at BU, was interviewed about it live on BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime programme.

Sofronis told presenter Tim Butcher that Framestore have an outpost based near BU’s Talbot Campus, where some students and graduates worked on the visual effects for the film, and that the reputation for BU’s animation courses and graduates continues to grow.

“We’ve been around for about 20 years now, but over the past 6 or 7 years, every Oscar or BAFTA night we’ve seen our graduates either be nominated or certainly part of those films,” he said.

“We’ve got a big team here and we work very hard and speak to industry, having them feed into our teaching, so it’s good to see it’s working.”

He added that the visual effects industry – and the popularity of BU’s animation courses – continued to grow.

“It’s one of the best courses in the country…It’s a vibrant industry, it’s a creative industry around here – not just in London, but around the borough and certainly around the world it is doing very well.”

Listen to the interview in full (Starts 1 hour 35 minutes into programme)

Dr Ana Adi discusses 10 years of Facebook on BBC Radio Solent

Dr Ana Adi, Lecturer in Corporate Marketing Communications at BU, was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime programme on the 10th anniversary of Facebook.

Ana, who specialises in digital and social media, spoke to presenter Steve Harris about how the social networking site has influenced our lives, and what might happen to it in the future.

“Whether they’ll be around in the form that we know, ten years from now with the rapid change of the internet, that’s very tough to answer,” she said.

The site currently has over 1 billion users of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, and when asked by Steve if the site could be all things to all people, Ana said: “If we look at the numbers last year, Facebook’s popularity with a younger demographic has been decreasing, it’s only this year that they somehow seem to have got back on trend with the youth.

“There are a lot of issues there – of course, Facebook is trying in this attempt to be popular for a lot of people, and at the same time trying to make money out of the business model.

“They are trying to be many things for many people and that’s very challenging.”

She added that she believed young people would, however, continue to sign up to the site – often because they have no choice in the matter.

“Most young people, very young people actually, have a Facebook account because their parents create one for them,” said Ana.

Listen to the BBC Radio Solent interview (55 minutes into the programme)

BU PhD student Tony Stoller talks digital radio on BBC Radio Solent

BU PhD student and former chief executive of the Radio Authority Tony Stoller spoke on BBC Radio Solent about the switchover to digital radio.

Tony took part in Breakfast Show host Julian Clegg’s Big Conversation feature, which looked at new technology in the radio industry and the government’s decision not to switch off the FM frequency for digital DAB signals until after at least 2016.

“There’s been a lot of pressure on the government from some of the bigger battalions in radio to switch off FM because that way everyone is going to be forced to digital,” said Tony.

“But the government’s come up with a good solution – it says we still believe in digital, but not yet, and we’ll do some things to help digital along.”

He added that there were still some issues with the current digital DAB radio technology – including inconsistent signal and an inability to access some of the smaller, local radio stations.

“There’s a real question about the technology itself,” Tony said.

“There are two things you could do – you could make the present system better by finding a way of putting in a stronger signal. In some bits of the home it will work perfectly, but you may take it to one room where it may not work so well.

“The other thing you could do is look at other ways of doing digital radio. I can listen to radio through my television, on my computer, on my new tablet. There are lots of different digital options these days – you don’t want to be hung up on what we call a single platform for broadcasting.”

Tony’s PhD is looking at aspects of classical music on UK radio, and Julian asked him what made him leave the radio industry to go back to education.

“I wanted to study aspects of radio that interest me,” Tony said.

“Bournemouth University is a great place to do it, but it’s very hard.

“If I’d known what I was taking on, I might not have done it, but it’s huge fun as well.”

Listen to the programme (available for seven days after broadcast)

BU academics pay tribute to Nelson Mandela

Bournemouth University academics have paid tribute in the media to former South African President and human rights activist Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5 aged 95.

Cliff Van Wyk, lecturer in creative strategy and analysis at BU, was featured on BBC South Today and BBC Radio Solent talking about his experiences of Mandela.

Cliff, who is South African, spoke of being at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in the country, when Nelson Mandela came onto the pitch wearing the kit of the South African union rugby team, known as the Springboks, which had previously been seen as a symbol of apartheid.

“When Mandela came out in the springbok jersey and embraced Pienaar, this was the defining moment for me,” Cliff said.

“What I saw in that man was an incredible amount of basic human goodness and dignity. He came in and the pure moral and political stature of the man is what really drove it”.

He added: “The most significant part was that when we left the stadium it took us ten hours to get home but the distance was only four or five miles, purely because of this outpouring of joy”.

Darren Lilleker, leader of MA International Political Communication at BU, appeared on radio station Wave 105, and reflected on the impact that Mandela’s life had on his own development.

He said: “He was all about reconciliation and building a civil society.

“I was sixteen, with the usual cares of a sixteen-year old boy, with some interest in history and politics but limited. Apartheid was a word that was known and I remember happily signing petitions against it.”

He added: “His release six years later was part of the new dawning of democracy, of freedom…he showed the world a very important lesson. It is not revenge but reconciliation that rebuilds a society; his path to power was not on the back of civil war but a desire for civil society.”

Miles Russell discusses Piltdown Man hoax on BBC Radio Solent

Miles Russell, programme leader of the BSc Archaeology course at Bournemouth University appeared on Steve Harris’ Drivetime show on BBC Radio Solent, discussing the 60 year anniversary since the discovery of the Piltdown Man was uncovered as a hoax.

Russell suggested archaeologists have learned from the hoax saying, “We have all become more cynical. If a find is too good to be true, it often is”.

Piltdown Man was said to be the biggest archaeological discovery of the century in 1912 when fossils of a human braincase and an ape like jaw were discovered, marking the midpoint in evolution between apes and humans.

In the 1950’s further research was carried out on Piltdown and, 60 years ago, the discovery was exposed as a hoax.

“People were so worried about proving Piltdown as a hoax that they wanted to make sure every last test was complete,” said Russell. “Before the hoax was uncovered, children had always been taught that civilization began in the south east”. However the science behind Piltdown didn’t align with other scientists discoveries over the years.

Dr Jeff Bray appears on BBC Radio Solent

Dr Jeff Bray, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Retail management, appeared on Steve Harris’ Drivetime show on BBC Radio Solent, discussing the marketisation of Christmas and whether the popularity of adverts translates into sales.

Bray suggested advertising is money well spent saying “advertising helps to build retailers brand value and it subtly influences our purchase decisions”.

“Talkability is the important thing… Spending a lot on a creating a decent advert means businesses don’t have to spend that much showing it” said Bray, suggesting that YouTube and other online video outlets are the perfect place to watch a good advert.

Although he went on to suggest that advertising is hard to quantify as it is “difficult to know what is having influence on the customer”.

Dr Miles Russell mystery guest on BBC Radio Solent

BU archaeology lecturer Dr Miles Russell was the mystery guest on BBC Radio Solent’s Nick Girdler show.

The regular feature involves Nick having to guess who his studio guest is, having only been told one clue about why they are in the news.

Miles, a senior lecturer in prehistoric and Roman archaeology, has recently helped to identify the Bosham Head, which was discovered in a flowerbed in Chicester in around 1800, as a statue of Roman Emperor Trajan.

The only clue Nick was given as to Mile’s identity was that he ‘helped solve a 200 year old mystery.’

With a little help from Miles, Nick worked out who he was and the pair discussed the importance of the Bosham Head and where the statue came from.

“The problem is that the face has been so badly battered that no-one thought we would ever be able to identify who it was, and some people doubted whether it was even Roman,” said Miles.

“What we did was a 3D laser scan of it, which picks up all the finer detail of the eyes and the hair and from that you can see things that aren’t normally visible to the human eye.

“Thankfully, most emperors have a highly realistic image of themselves created so as soon as you get the position of the eyes and the hair, you’ve got your man.”

Miles added that he now planned to work with colleagues to use the technology to try and identify other statue heads at museums around the country.

The pair also discussed Bournemouth University’s reputation for archaeology.

Miles said: “We are renowned for doing practical archaeology and training people up to do that. We’re in a fantastic landscape around Bournemouth with Cranborne Chase and Dorset, up onto Salisbury plain. There’s so much archaeology around us so there’s a lot to do.”

You can listen to the feature at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p003d430/clips