Students turn to sex work to fund living costs

University students are struggling more than ever with finances, as living costs rise. With expenses including, rent, bills, food, transport and general social activities, the student loan is no longer covering the necessities even with the added income of a part time job.

Over the years the UK has seen an increase in student sex workers using the industry to help pay for the expenses of student living. According to the 2018 ‘save the student’ survey, around 3% of UK students use the sex industry on a regular basis to fund basic living necessities, this has also seen a rise of up to 4% during periods where students are especially strapped for cash. One student from The university of Sheffield said “I hated my part time job, I was on minimum wage working 10-hour shifts which mixed with my student loan barely covered my rent, this line of work gives me flexible hours to work around my studies and I have extra cash, so I can actually experience university life. I won’t do it forever, but it works for now and I actually enjoy it.”

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A recent article in the Guardian, highlighted the increase in students sex workers and the surge in awareness from universities, with The University of Brighton providing a fresher’s fair stall offering free healthcare advice and none judgemental support for students partaking in sex work.

Despite the increase and awareness of students moving into the industry, the negative views surrounding the field has led to a reluctance from students to reach out for support and advice. Only a third of students (33%) within the industry will confide in healthcare providers, councillors and university staff about their line of work. This has meant students have no advice in regards to exiting the industry with barriers such as low paying job alternatives and mental health issues keeping them within the trade.


By Lorna Tyler

Crime in London goes down as crime in the UK begins to increase

Over the past decade crime in the UK has gradually decreased, from 2007 to 2014, giving a promising outlook into tackling crime. London and other major cities in the UK, have seen also seen a reduction in crime overall, within the same time period. However as of 2014 crime in the UK has been rising with an additional two million crimes in 2016 in comparison to 2014 and a 5% increase over a nine year period.


Individual crime statistics for London, suggest that despite the overall crime going down, more high impact crimes have been spiking over the past few years.


From 2013 London has seen a surge in prosecutions for possessing weapons, this can be seen right up to the last few months with London’s murder count at 36 in the first quarter of 2018 due to guns, knifes and other weapons. London as of 2018 has also been branded more dangerous than New York, according to the office of national statistics and a report from the guardian.


Controversial stop and searches in the UK additionally hit their lowest point since 2008 in 2014 after being on a gradual decrease since 2010, according to statistics released from the metropolitan police. Raising the question as to whether this could be the cause for the increase in possession of weapons offences as of 2015.


Of course the possibility of more effective methods to combat crime coming to light in recent years could mean the link is nothing more than a coincidence.


In a quote from the metropolitan police press office, Laura Roberts concluded “In January 2012, the Metropolitan Police Service launched a major and renewed focus on stop and search to make it more effective and fair. Since then, there has been significant reductions in the volumes of searches carried out, increased arrest rates and reduced complaints”.


Despite the increase in high impact crimes, other offences that highly effect society such as drug taking and dealing have decreased consistently within London, since 2007. Since its highest point over the past decade, drug related offences have halved according to 2016 statistics. In convergence with this, non-domestic burglaries have reduced to a third of the original amount since their highest point in 2007 and robberies have reduced by over a quarter since their highest point in 2008. Raising the possible connection between the cut in drug related crimes with many drug users having a pattern of theft to fund their addiction.


Other crimes with a huge impact on both individuals and society as a whole such as sexual offences, have seen a drastic increase over the past decade especially from 2014, with 2016 showing the highest number of reported offences over the past decade. However this increase could be due to more people coming forward in recent years and could also potentially include offenses that happened in past years, with victims only coming forward and reporting the crimes now.

Souces for infographic

Can Fake News Really Swing an Election?

Fake news has been popping up all over the place in recent years, spreading from websites specifically set up for the purpose of fake news, seeping onto our social media and causing chaos on what we can and can’t believe.

When scrolling through our Twitter or Facebook we will at some point come across a link to an article that someone has shared. If it links to the BBC, ITV, SKY or any of the general official news channels we can be almost 100 percent certain that the news is accurate and reliable, however fake news sites such as aim to trick readers into thinking the content they post is real.

This can appear harmless, until readers begin to form negative opinions of people based on facts presented in fake news, ruining reputations and in some cases having the ability to swing an election.

The US election was a prime example of this. With an abundance of fake news sites posting about the election and each candidate, those who viewed these articles would run the risk of having there views on each candidate swayed by the information in those articles. Bringing forward the question can fake news swing the outcome of an election by making the public biased towards a certain candidate?




Journalism is changing and an uprise in citizen journalism is the reason

Social media is dominating the news world. Stories are breaking on social media through tweets and videos taken on mobile phones by the public. As a journalist this has both its perks and fall downs.

With the public having such a useful tool, contact with journalists is easy, making the stories easier to find, the days of being out searching for a story are practically over with citizen journalism taking over and finding the stories for those in the news business.

For photojournalists however the ease of taking a photo off social media doesn’t make there job easier but in fact practically renders it redundant.

With the publics photos and videos being easy to access, and able to be used quickly in breaking news situations that need to be aired quickly, the need to wait around for pictures from photojournalists is simply no longer there. Bringing back the argument of speed vs. accuracy, or in this case, speed vs. quality.

The need for bigger news companies also seems to be fading slowly with user generated content popping up everywhere, the ability for anyone to create a blog, start producing videos and content across a wide range of genres.

In a new generation aspects of journalism can be found across the internet.

Social media and the Photo Journalist

Russell Boyce is a photojournalist, having worked with a company called Reuters, an online website that provides photo packages of global events to be used in all areas of news be that print, online or broadcast, for over 20 years. Russell has worked in London as an international news photographer, a job that consists of travelling the world to take pictures of global events, and Asia as chief photographer. He describes this particular experience as “shaping the news coverage of a turbulent region”.

In London Russell Boyce was responsible for instructing and coordinating a rage of photographers based all over the world to produce the picture packages that the website Reuters that he works for offers. Both him and the company say that they aim to make these picture packages “tell an in-depth story behind breaking news”.

Despite companies and professional photographers working together to produce high quality packages, with breaking news requiring images quickly for release the up rise of smart phones and social media can essentially render photo journalists redundant at times. With members of the public able to take and send a photograph of an event directly and instantly to broadcast and online news companies, the speed of this can sometimes outweigh the need for quality that a company such as Reuters can provide.

Photo journalists however are essential for covering events in areas such as the Middle East and Africa where the use of social media and smart phones is practically none existent, being able to provide otherwise unseen images of events.

When speaking at London South Bank University Russell spoke of the ability to tell a story through a photograph, an element that news companies are willing to sacrifice the element of time for in order to uphold a story using a photograph, something that images from the public can usually not provide.

Save Umana Yana – NIB

Over the past few months a petition has been launched for the removal of the mobile phone boxes located in front of Umana Yana, a local take away located on croxted road. Specializing in Guyanese and Caribbean food, the company although having a large base of regular and local customers, heavily relies on passers by for income.

The issue of the phone boxes has been raised multiple times by the restaurant due to them obstructing the view of the take away from the road for potential passers by and new customers. Southwark council despite owning the land outside of the restaurant where the virgin phone boxes are residing, have very little power to remove them due to them not owning the boxes themselves.

A petition for the removal by the council however has still been launched in the hope that it will create some impact and begin the process. The petition can be signed through the change. org website so far having reached just shy of the 1500 signatures goal since being created back in august, currently having just over 1450 signatures to date.

Analytics Overtake

The use of analytics is taking over news rooms and dominating the content that we see. Particularly for online media sites such as the BBC and ITV news, the use of analytics has seen a significant rise. With an abundance of readers moving from print media as their dominant information source, to online news, the use of data that forms analytics helps filter and understand what type of stories readers respond to the most.

With every article we click on, be that through social media or a direct link to the webisite the company can monitor us. They know how long we viewed a video or article for, if we read the whole text, if we viewed it from a phone, desktop, laptop or tablet. Everything goes towards measuring the popularity and views on each story posted by a news company. 

Main news stories and the placement of a story on each website, all comes from what us as viewers click on and enjoy to read, just because a story is important doesn’t always mean it will attract readers attention, more popular stories can be found and moved to the main story section of the page. Companies can meausure if short or long stories appeal more to readers and adjust the word count to increase the chance of an article going viral.

Social media also factors in with analytics showing what percentage of readers access the article via a link through social media. Producers of this content can then decide if an image or video linked to the article has any impact on the readers choice to click on it.

Stuck in an Echo chamber

Social media is continually growing; with new apps and websites being developed and released on a daily basis, and existing ones continually undergoing updates to advance. During this, more and more people are joining social media sites, with Facebook now having a count of 1 billion users accessing the website or app every day, and Twitter with 134 million daily users.

Social media is now one of the fastest ways a person can access information and news, as and when it happens. Generally when following accounts and accessing websites we will only do so if they are relevant to our interests and views. Just as we would do when associating with people in every day life, outside the virtual society of twitter and Facebook.

The ease of finding content relevant to us, is now easier than ever, with information from past browsing history, being used as a tool for social media sites to suggest content and accounts we would most likely be interested in. Here is where an issue arises however, with filters aiming to provide ease when surfing social media but instead putting up barriers to content that may clash or disagree with what the user supports. We become accustomed to seeing one side of something, only being exposed to content that matches our own personal views, meaning we run the risk of a narrow-minded approach not just online but also in real life.

Political issues in particular seem to show this trend, with people only following accounts and pages relating to there own political views. Putting up a wall from them seeing the opposing views of different political parties.

Breaking out of the circle of these echo chambers and filter bubbles means having a greater understanding off all areas of every day life and discussion, be that political, philosophical or just general.