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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Camilla McMahon, 20
Camilla McMahon

Camilla has a wide range of interests and would like to explore them as a journalist and a documentary maker.

She thinks that a journalist's voice is a powerful tool that can raise awareness and make a difference.


In today's society you could be mistaken for thinking the sole purpose of the celebrity is to amplify and exaggerate every flaw and insecurity the average person struggles with concerning their appearance.

This week's magazines and newspapers have been focusing on the implications this could have on society. Nicole Richie seems to be taking most of the responsibility for this and in my opinion quite rightly so. The trend of the super skinny size 00 sweeping America takes the meaning of 'to die for' in fashion to a whole new level.

This is in stark contrast to the raging debate on the epidemic also preoccupying the news, both here and in America - obesity. Both ends of the weight extreme (very thin or very fat) are unhealthy. But this isn't about health is it? This is about the body cult and our superficial belief that outward appearance is everything.

It is becoming increasingly apparent this new skinny craze is in fact the glamorisation of eating disorders of which there is no glamour in reality. But these disorders are like traps, luring sufferers into the dysfunctional behaviours and locking them in their cycle before it is realised. I strongly support this week's media coverage of these issues.


I was one of the many students to receive my A-level results this week and so the news coverage surrounding this topic was of great importance to me.

As the time approached Radio One allocated an appropriate focus on preparing students for the reality of the emotional rollercoaster that are the A-levels.

They provided support on their website, which included a helpline offering advice on how to eat, drink and relax properly. They used famous voices to illustrate that everybody endures the tension but still survives.

I worked with the Newsbeat team of Radio One on a piece, in which I voiced my anxieties about my results.

It was a difficult time but I thought it was a really good idea to allow listeners to hear my personal perspective on what my future was likely to hold and what the negative consequences of bad results could be.

Radio One was effective in reassuring those of us who were feeling insecure. It took a positive and a more laid back approach to informing listeners that academics is not a matter of life and death and that there are alternatives for those who fail too.

I felt reassured by the advice given by Radio One and was given a strong sense of not being alone in my hopes and fears. l was affected positively on a personal level and I believe this is a real example of how broadcast journalism can help people.


The main story dominating the news headlines of the past few days is that of the critical levels of security that have been implemented at UK airports. Massive delays have followed at airports with a universal ban on all hand luggage and tight security being enforced.

Whilst this controversial topic preoccupies the nation it seems another issue has got us riled on an equally frustrating level - Big Brother. Always an issue we hold strong opinions on, the re-introduction of the previously evicted housemates has caused an uproar with the general public.

Many feel cheated that the money they spent voting these housemates out of the programme was a waste. Channel Four risk having to refund 3 million to those viewers unhappy with this turn of events. Personally l think it's a small price to pay if it means we don't have to endure the self righteous monologues of horse face grace all over again, good riddance!!!!

Weight is something you just can't escape in modern society. If we're not being pelted by pictures of emaciated celebrities we're being lectured on the rising levels of obesity. It's usually a subject related more closely to girls as we scour the latest trends, squeezing into our skinny jeans, however a new survey questioning 500 teenagers aged 11 to 16 revealed that boys were equally worried about their bodies and that 1/5 of all teenagers have a friend with an eating disorder.

As an ever growing level of research reveals more and more about the epidemic of peoples warped images of their bodies and food more blame is being attributed to the media for their negative focus upon the growing pressures of perfection attributed to today's youth.

Football fans across the country have breathed a sigh of relief at the news of the new England captain Chelsea player John Terry will be in charge of the England team under new coach Steve McClaren who believes Terry has the potential to be "one of the best captains England has ever had." After nearly six years in the job Beckham gracefully stepped down from his position which l found very admirable and has placed him in high regard with fellow players.

This weeks stories have covered a wide scope and l personally found a variety of topics that interested me on many different levels. I felt particularly impressed by the nature of immediacy the BBC attributed to its concise and comprehensive reports on the major controversy surrounding the congestion in airports and confusion in regards to the terrorism threats associated with this.


I was intrigued by the story about a pair of strange new worlds blurring the boundaries between planets and stars that have been discovered beyond our solar system. Their existence is set to revolutionise current theories about the formation of planets and stars which could lead to new findings leading us closer to understanding how the entire solar system came to exist!

Upon my discovery that the infamous Meatloaf is set to re-release Bat Out of Hell III, l felt a distinct lack of excitement at the prospect of being subjected to being forced to listen to the ageing rocker's second attempts at fame. I can't help but wonder why? I think a better option would be to retire gracefully with his dignity left (relatively) intact!

The BBC offered a comprehensive and pessimistic look at the end of the heatwave that has swept England. Covering stories that included rain preventing any play on day two of Durham's cricket match at The Riverside, thousands of fish dying in a lake at Powys Council's HQ in Llandrindod Wells and storms bringing the action at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest to a premature close on Tuesday. I think maybe a more positive approach would have lightened the heavy mood the rain clouds and stormy weather have brought with them.

Each week the BBC offers coverage of the week's events in the Middle East in a factual nature that presents the events in an immediate but not disheartening way which l feel is important as the fighting continues and hope is fading. However, there is a distinct lack of objectivity that leaves the audience unable to comprehend some of the more complicated issues arising.

Overall l enjoyed the BBC's coverage of the news this week. There was a diverse approach to a variety of stories for an audience with a wide spectrum of interests.


I enjoyed the BBC website article on the relation between hunger and attraction in men. Apparently hungry men rate more women as attractive than those who are full up. This study could help psychologists gain a greater understanding of the physiological influences involved in eating disorders.

I did not enjoy the story about jockey Paul O'Neill's ''headbutting'' his mount. After listening to various reports concerning the rising levels of animal cruelty l thought the jockey's behaviour was highly inappropriate and irresponsible.

I thought the way the BBC covered the weather was informative. It warned of the dangers of the hot weather and reinforced the importance of hydration, shade and sun protection.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Lebanon was presented respectfully and impartially. I watched a special report on the Six O'Clock news and I was very impressed by its comprehensiveness.

However l was disappointed with the way some reports were presented. Some of them assumed a great deal of prior knowledge and were too complicated.

I enjoyed the mixture of serious issues and the more light hearted stories that removed the negative focus of the growing tensions in Lebanon and Israel.

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