The Midnight Helpers

DISCLAIMER: The women featured in the below video wishes to remain anonymous so her identity has been hidden via a fake name and an actress has been used to voice her story.  

A few weeks back, an article entitled ‘The Midnight Girls’ was uploaded here on BithellTom.Com. It was a short article that pondered on the secret, almost underworld life of prostitution that is hidden away here in Huddersfield. This short article and video is particular  is a direct follow up and a further investigation into the help that is being offered to women in the sex industry.

According to a UK Government publication on the subject of prostitution,  ‘The number of sex workers in the UK is estimated to be around 72,800 with about 32,000 working in London‘ and ‘An estimated 152 sex workers were murdered between 1990 and 2015. 49% of sex workers (in one survey) said that they were worried about their safety.’. So who is here to help protect the women who ‘work’ the streets late at night?

One of many charities that are situated up and down the country, Basis is a charity based in Leeds. The charity has a project focused solely on Sex work and how to help women and transgender women in the sex industry who need support and help. The charity supports women and transgender women who choose to stay and work in the industry as-well as helping women and transgender women who want out of that particular lifestyle and who wish to start afresh.

 Closer to home, here in Huddersfield, 20 year old ex-prostitute *Krystal spoke about her experience in the local sex industry, how she got involved in that particular lifestyle and what events forced her to distance herself from the sex industry altogether and to take a new path/ approach to life.

A Silly Review: The Super Bowl Show

So, it is over (sad face). The biggest, glitziest and most looked forward to sporting night has come to pass with The Patriots taking the winning title as the game came to an end in the NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas.

But that is not what I am here to discuss. I don’t even follow the game; the half time show is what caught my attention along with most other people.

Right from when it was announced that Lady Gaga was to join the list of legacy artists whom have sung their hearts out during the half time show, I was intrigued by what crazy performance she would conjure up- but to be frank I was slightly disappointed.I expected way more from a women who had dreamt of that moment since she was 4 years old.

However, I am just not too sure as to what exactly I did expect, something more ‘wow’ or breathtaking perhaps? . All I do know is that after her performance I was left wanting more. I wanted more of an aerial  performance for example, there was such a huge build up to her performing on the stadium roof that the one minuet she was up there  just was not enough.

I don’t know the logistics of the stunt or the hows and whys, but the dive from the roof to the stage  just felt a tad outdated and (dare I say) a little unimpressive with gaga looking nothing but awkward as she shimmied her way down.  The dancing was impressive though!  and her ability to sing ‘Million Reasons’ beautifully whilst out of breath was incredible, a true demonstration of her singing abilities and professionalism.  Although, I also feel a tad disappointed that Beyonce was not brought out during telephone, but it was never confirmed and Gaga said it herself that bey wouldn’t be joining her so why I feel disappointed, I don’t know. I guess we all got built up thinking it would one of those moments when your parents say you can’t have that toy but you end up unwrapping it on Christmas morn.

Anyway, that’s all. I enjoyed her performance but I would have liked more of a display. No shade but perhaps Gaga should leave the aerial stunts to the professionals such as P!nk, who can make a promise of spectacular and keep it.

If you are reading this, you have survived 2016

Grab a coffee  triple JD and coke, step aboard this nostalgia train and visit the only 12 stops available…

What a historical year this has been! ‘Everything’ that could possibly of  happened in 2016 has happened. From horrific developments in the war over in Syria, to devastating natural disasters, this year has had the stench of death seeping throughout the world. Lets take a large gulp of our chosen beverages as we take a very brief month by month look back on the past year. 

In January 2016, ISIS made their first appearance of the year with two suicide bombers murdering 70 people in Damascus, Syria;  the first of many cowardly attacks in 2016 and It was revealed that the world of Tennis was suspected of match fixing in a report conducted by the BBC, which lead to the arrest of over 36 people. North Korea also conducted a nuclear test which caused a 5.1 earthquake  but in lighter news, January 2016 witnessed  Taiwan elect their first female president; Tsai Ing-wen.

February 2016 welcomed the beginnings of peace talks regarding Syria in light of the Damascus bombings, but as we all know, sadly nothing lasting came of it despite plans for a temporary cease-fire. As of February 2016,  470,000 people died since the war began in 2011.  In other parts of the world, the second month of the year seen another suicide bombing, this time in Nigeria and North Korea launched a satellite up into space. Great. 

March 2016 witnessed a U.S led airstrike kill more than 100 militants in Somalia and the arrest of one of the 2015 Paris attackers. History repeats however with Brussels and Pakistan becoming the latest victim of suicide bombings killing  32 people in Brussels and 72, mainly children in Pakistan. On a more positive note, Turkey stepped up and  agreed to help take in a number of migrants who were fleeing the increasing violence in the east and President Obama made history once again by embarking on a presidential visit to Cuba, the first in 88 years.

In April 2016,  U.S Secretary of state John Kerry made a diplomatic visit to the site of Hiroshima to lay wreaths in memorial, he is the highest ranking U.S official to ever  visit the site.  In Sanaa, Yemen a fresh cease-fire in the fighting between Houthis rebels and Yemeni forces  emerged after an individual was killed a few hours prior,  breaking the original cease fire that was in place.  This month also saw President Obama announce that he would authorise deployment of up-to 250 special forces troops to help Syria fight ISIS But 50 people were killed in Syria after an airstrike destroyed a Hospital in Aleppo, which nobody claimed responsibility for. 

May 2016 played host to three bombings in Baghdad which killed 80 people, injured many more and destroyed the surrounding buildings; Isis claimed responsibility.  Two of the 280 school girls who were kidnapped in April 2014 were found this month leaving a total of, at this point of the year, 218 girls still missing.  The fight against terrorism stepped up this month with the leader of the Afghanistan Taliban  being killed, to further this ISIS militants came under attack from the Iraqi army and U.S air protection. Speaking of the U.S, President Obama made history again by Visiting Hiroshima and its survivors, becoming the first sitting president to visit the site in history, trumping John Kerry’s’ visit last month. 

June 2016 sadly seen the deaths of 49 individuals in the devastating Orlando shooting and the next day would see Paris attacked once again with two police officers being  killed hours before the Eiffel Tower was to be  lit up in rainbow colours as a mark of solidarity and respect for the Orlando victims.  However in the east, victory was Iraq’s after the government regained control Fallujah, a town that was held captive at the hands of ISIS for months prior. June 2016 also witnessed a few  other positives including the election of Rome’s first female mayor. But It wasn’t long before it all went downhill again however with the UK voting for Brexit resulting in the prime Minister David Cameron, who backed to stay apart of the EU, retiring. Great job guys! 

July 2016 was a particular awful month as it became clear ISIS had a much stronger presence in the world the ever before with an increase of ISIS inspired terror attacks spreading throughout the east. Pathetically, Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to a mere 6 years behind bars for the murder of girlfriend Reeve Steemkamp in 2014 and the UK saw Theresa may become Prime Minister, the 2nd female to take the helm. Andy Murray won Wimbledon again making him the second player to win twice since Fred perry in 1936 but France was the victim of yet another terror attack, this time in Nice after a truck was driven through crowds lined up to celebrate Bastille day, killing 84 and injuring 200.  Japan witnessed its worst mass killing in decades after 19 disabled people were murdered and  to  end July 2016, ISIS held five people hostage in a church in Normandy, France, executing the priest on his altar. And if things couldn’t get worse, July also saw Pokemon go released. 

August 2016 did not provide any respite for the hideous evil acts of cowardly murders as another bomb went off in a hospital killing 11, this time in Yemen where a further two bombs destroyed a school and a food factory the week before.  In this month Russia launched an airstrike attack from Iran into Syria, blowing up two ISIS command posts along with 150 ISIS militants. August seen the United Nations announce that they were going to financially help  Haiti with their battle with cholera after the disease was introduced into the country by United Nations peacekeepers who travelled from Nepal where it is rife. Also , sadly an ISIS suicide bomber killed 50 people at a turkish wedding ceremony, making it Turkeys deadliest ISIS attack. To counter that however ISIS’ second in command leader was killed. 

September 2016 was no different either. The Syrian Government were suspects after chlorine Bomb was  dropped on Aleppo causing  100 people to be hospitalised and another Syrian cease-fire was called for but was soon over after an airstrike on a UN convoy carrying food and medical aid killing  20 people in the attack.  However, In other news Mother Theresa gained her sainthood naming her Saint Theresa. Go you Theresa! 

In October 2016, citizens and rebels of Aleppo were given eight hours to evacuate as Syrian forces and Russia forces paused attacks, the united nations approved the plans even though they had requested a 48 hour pause, Yemen however, saw a three-day cease-fire. The migrant camp ‘The Jungle’ in Cali, France was  dismantled this month due to poor conditions with the migrants being relocated to temporary housing units throughout France. Pakistan came under attack once again this year with a police training camp falling victim, killing 61 cadets and injuring 100. 

November 2016 saw Iraq army forces enter ISIS held town of  Mosul, for the first time in two years. In response ISIS kidnaps 300 citizens 47 miles west of Mosul, at this point the fate of the citizens was unknown, it was later shown that they were being used as human shields. Also, as of November 2016 3,940 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean sea to escape the raging wars in the east. And to top it of, Donald Trump went on to win the US president election, but that is another post you can read here.

December 2016 brought a very small gift of positivity as the control of the Syrian city of Aleppo was regained from ISIS by the Syrian Government for the first time in four years. Despite their efforts however, ISIS managed to regain control of another central location, Palmyra and the fight continues. ISIS also claimed responsibility for the very recent attacks on the  christmas market in Berlin, a copy cat attack of the awful truck incident that happened in France took 12 lives and injured many more. A Russian Ambassador was also shot and killed in turkey this month.  And to finish the year, actress Carrie fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds die just a day apart. They are the latest in the mass of celebrity deaths that have occurred periodically throughout the year of 2016. (You can read about them on some place else) 

So that is it. This train has reached its final destination. Please depart and enter 2017 with love, respect and kindness.  

Happy new year. 

* All information came from 2016 Current events . All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not represent the source used to gain information.

 

What a boom Audio Boom makes!

It is rare that I become obsessed with somthing, it has to be extreamly good. But there is no other word to describe my feeling for Audio booms’ Serial  then obsession!

Audio Boom is a app that hosts a whole range of podcasts from fictatious dramas to new bullitins and everything in between, you can download podcasts manualy or set it to download atomaticaly when the latest install is online! It’s free, easy to use and full of great content: for example, Serial.

//embeds.audioboom.com/posts/4037628-s01-episode-01-the-alibi/embed/v4?eid=AQAAALFqUFj8mz0A

Series one of Serial is a weekly podcast about the murder of a young girl. In TV comparison its just like making a murderer, but I find it is far more captivating.you ar You are stripped of all visuals and rely purly on drip feed of information from the presenters  choice of words. With raw audio of real interviews and telephone calls, Serial is addictive and the murder case can quickly become osessive as you try and solve the most elusive  who dunnit you have ever heard of. Each episode is between 30 minuets to an hour and half, the drip feed style is perfect for when you have abit of time spare.

 

 

 

 

Can you Youtube? Yes you can!

I am a  Journalism student: Check

I have my own blog: Check

I take “artsy” photos that don’t get shown and  just take up memory on my iPhone: Check

Well then, the only thing left to crack was Youtube! And how easy it was to crack! The editors suite is functional, basic and easy to follow and there is a wide variety of stock footage that can be used to create little.poitless videos (such as the one above), hours o fun to be had!

Obviously, you can go out and film your own footage that you can upload and turn into a “vlog” if you so wish, but the process is still just as simple. Drag, drop and edit. The non-lyrical music is provided for you, so you can add a bit of emotion via a soundtrack (Also so you can avoid those hefty licence fees).

Zoella and co move over! BithellTom.com is  virtualy on the way!

 

The Midnight Girls.

They say a picture is a thousand words, but for the women in this picture,  it is a way of life.

Being one of Huddersfield darkest secrets, the girls of the so called “red light district” work a very public night shift. I live on Ray Street, and  I feel sympathy for the girls who walk up and down Great northern street, risking their lives daily, flaunting what little they have to catch the eye of a passer by.

I can only guess as to how they ended up at this point in their lives. Guess as to what dark force is over them making them do what ever it takes to have a little more.   

And this way of life is increasing, more and more girls join the street each week. Last week there was seven ladies of the night scattered along the street as I drove past on my way home.

In June 2016, two men were arrested for the rape and assault of two sex workers. But still, the girls continue to work.

But why? Where is the help and protection for these girls?.

This is not new news to Huddersfield, people just ignore it. So why is it not in the news more often and why is nothing being done?

 

    

 

Tweet- Tweet.

Twitter is  important . Its a tool in most peoples life. But it is especially important for the profession of a journalist. The social media platform not only provides a route to promote a story, it is a platform that also enables you to keep up to date with your sources.

This particular platform also allows you to find and capture your audiences’ reaction in real time via their responses, plus you can keep them up-to date and provide them with a way to keep track of the stories.

Just like Facebook, twitter has a live stream function too, which is great for covering stories as they happen.  The “moments” feature  is perfect too with all of the breaking news  gathered in one central place, updated live.

Basically, Twitter is life for a journalist and you can follow me @BithellTomCom

Three, Two, One- Action!

Facebook has revolutionised the way news stories can be reported and the way viewers can interact with whats going on in the world by introducing the “live” button. 

In todays society, reporting live has never been easier! With a click of a button, reporters can share whats happening via live stream and viewers can even interact straight from Facebook via the comments and emotion buttons. 

And it is all so straight forward! 


All you need to do is click the live button at the top left hand corner….

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Name your video and select the audience…
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Wait for the three second countdown cue … img_5535


And then your live! img_5531


Once your done, hit finish at the bottom right and eh voila…IMG_5536.png


 This tool is so useful for journalists! Its so convenient, easy to use and accessible as almost all have Facebook . You may have seen this tool used regularly recently with some pages live streaming with competitions and breaking news , even nasa joining in with a live stream from space! 

What a world we live in! 

If you like this article why not check out my most recent blog where I delve into the live world of twitter!  

Like me.

Facebook is a huge part of our everyday life, whether you like it or not you still spend an average 20 + minuets a day scrolling through “your” news feed.

But exactly what keeps you scrolling?

A very special algorithm. That is what keeps you hooked, or so it is supposed to. For us non technical minded folks an algorithm is “a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem”  But what was  Facebook’s’ problem?  well, as it turned out, how to ensure we see the posts that really mattered to us first  was Facebook’s top issue that kept them up at night. 

And to solve the issue; invent an ever-changing  code that will sort the  information it receives and rank it for you. That’s right according to this article I recently read, (available here)  your Facebook news-feed was generated specifically for you with your interests  taken into careful consideration.

In the original days, the data Facebook gathered from you via the links you clicked, the profiles you visited etc., was fed back into the “machine” to give you what Facebook thought you wanted to see first. Although, it would seem it did not work quite as well as they would have liked, according to the article. Only 30%  of users reported that Facebook “sometimes” gave them the most interesting article, and sometimes is just not good enough so Facebook gave us the power to decide what we like, by giving us a “like” button.

It may not be clear to all, but the “Like” button has more use then just letting your friend know you like the video of the cat they posted the other day, it lets Facebook know that you specifically like that person and the cat video, so if you like more of that persons post’s you will see more of that person and you will see other cat videos, which to me makes perfect sense.

The article is very interesting once you get to the nitty grittiness of it. It makes you realise that Facebook holds a lot of power and control over what you get exposed to. I would recommend anyone download it from the kindle app and give it a read.

The kindle app by the way is great! I downloaded it onto my phone and synced it to my chrome account specially for this reading  and it is so handy, easy to use and simple. It’s a forgetful persons saviour! didn’t finish that online reading last night? well whip you phone out because it will be  on their (providing you remembered to save it to the app extension, which you can find here )

 

Why Oh Why ?

When I was younger, “Why” was a crooked letter that couldn’t be straightened; connoting  it was a word that you shouldn’t really use too often. Now however, that very same word is the absolute basis of my future career. So, In recognition of that, I am going to answer a few why’s that surround this blog: 

Why are you doing this? 

I am doing this because this is a free practice run. I am testing my ability to write in different styles to suit different audiences, and test what topics are well received and which are ignored. 



Why are you writing on this platform?

I am using WordPress as a host for my blog as it is the one I was more familiar with at the time I started this blog. It is easy to use and it is efficient.



Why are you starting your blog now?

Well, it makes perfect sense. I am a 19 year old Journalism student who gets sucked into cliches just as much as you! 



Why didn’t you do it sooner?

I tried, but it failed miserably. I was too young, too inexperienced  and too pre-occupied to give a blog, the love it needs.