The following articles are pieces I have written while completing my Master's degree in Digital Journalism at the University of Strathclyde. I have written a few of these pieces for class assignments and my placements at the Herald and Scottish Sun.
TOURING TOMMIES Haunting life-size silhouettes honours Hearts footballers who fought in World War One
The eerie art installation is touring the UK in remembrance of the fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives in World War One
By Natalie Bello
28 Feb 2018
HEARTS are paying tribute to fallen footballers in World War One with a poignant art installation.
The ghostly figures have been displayed at Tynecastle in honour of seven players who lost their lives during the conflict.
The six-foot-high aluminium Tommies are touring nationwide until Armistice Day in November as part of the art installation ‘There But Not There’.
The initiative is backed by former head of the army General Lord Dannatt and Birdsong novelist Sebastian Faulks in a bid to raise £15 million for armed forces and mental health charities.
It is hoped that local community groups will buy similar scale silhouettes to honour the fallen on their own war memorials
And members of the public are being encouraged to buy smaller, 10 inch high versions to remember their own relatives.
Former Chief of General Staff Lord Dannatt said: “The poppies at the Tower of London captured the start of the national WWI commemoration – There But Not There will be the abiding concluding image.
“In buying the Tommies and silhouettes, people are not only commemorating the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers, they are also supporting the veterans of today, with all profits going to charities supporting the armed forces community.”
Many men enlisted for the war in local recruiting drives with the promise of serving alongside their friends, neighbours and colleagues in ‘Pals Battalions’.
Birdsong novelist Sebastian Faulks added: “One hundred years ago this country offered its best young men to the war. Many never returned. This nationwide campaign will honour those men at a local level – in the towns and villages from which they came.
“Just as Pals Battalions were formed from local offices, factories and schools, so each community now has the chance to remember its own. These haunting figures allow us to give thanks for the ultimate sacrifice these men made for our country.”
Charities benefiting include Heads Together, the mental health campaign backed by Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Help for Heroes and Walking With The Wounded.
*This article was publish on the Scottish Sun's website
Music Review: Kendrick Lamar, SSE Hydro, Glasgow
By Natalie Bello
16 Feb 2018
KENDRICK Lamar is ready to perform and wants to be in front of his fans. That is evident from the minute he walks on stage. He explains to the crowd that they are part of his family and you can feel the connection he has with his fans and the energy that pulsates around the arena.
Lamar is not your average hip-hop artist, and the show is true to this model. Images that look like modern art are displayed on giant screens in the background. Some of the images are edgy and not what you’d expect to see in an arena. A ninja dancer performs a routine at the halfway point of the show. Lamar played all his hits from the album DNA including the crowd favourite HUMBLE. He also played Alright which was an important song when it first hit the charts for many minorities, especially African Americans.
Lamar has become an advocate for the black community, and his music has become something bigger than expected; he challenges the way we think about racism in the United States. Look at his Grammy performance in 2016 where he rapped The Blacker the Berry and Alright. As Dave Chappelle said at the Grammy Awards this year, “the only thing more frightening than watching a black man be honest in America, is being an honest black man in America”.
*This review was published on The Herald's website
Blades On the Rise
By Natalie Bello
20 October 2017
Knife crime in Scotland has risen by 5% after 40 years of low crime rates. Police figures from the first two quarters of 2016-17 show that there were 1,720 instances of people carrying offensive weapons, including knives. During the same period last year, this figure was 1,604.
A reason for the increase is the new recording method that Police Scotland has implemented this April. Before this new approach, the police would track the number of knives and offensive weapons used to commit crime separately from the possession of a knife or offensive weapon. Now the data is merged. The new recording system allows officers to get a better grasp of the number of blades that are in Scotland. The police have warned that with this new system it will appear that there is more crime when in fact, there is the same amount there has always been.
The Violence Reduction Board has raised concerns that the rise in crime could be linked to police cutting down on their use of stop and search tactics. In 2015, there was a call to reform consensual searches because many Scottish residents, including children, were being unlawfully searched.
In January, new rules were published by the Scottish government which meant officers would only be able to stop and search people when they have “reasonable grounds” to do so. With this new reform, the police have needed to significantly reduce their reliance on this tactic. There were 588,511 less instances of stop and search tactic in 2016-17 compared to 2013-14. However, no positive correlation can directly lead to a rise in knife crime.
Offenders caught with a knife can face up to five years in prison, yet many never go to jail. In 2015, two-thirds of those found with an offensive weapon avoided jail. Offenders are being handed a fine or a Community Payback Order as an alternative to prison. John Muir, 77, a victims’ campaigner who lost his son Damian to a fatal stabbing, stated in The Scottish Sun, “the leniency shown to people caught with knives, or prosecuted for using them, is degrading to victims, and their families. That is helping to push up knife crime because of a lack of deterrent”.
*This article was written for a class assignment
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