Tag Archives: journalism

A short PSA from a cyclist

Just a quick bit of backstory here. This is a short opinion piece I’ve written for the student newspaper of which I am the editor for – the Chester Intelligencer. You can follow the newspaper on Twitter here or check out the website itself here. We’ve put a lot of hard work into the site and so far it’s going well, if you’re interested in anything there, please don’t hesitate on getting in touch!  Anyway, on with the article.


I’m a cyclist.

Now this fact may not cause any need for alarm with most of you, but a slim minority of you will be balking at the thought. Or that’s the way it seems. Yesterday, for example, I was cycling down Hoole Way when a driver unceremoniously sped through a red light and almost gave me a knock.

So consider this a public service announcement on behalf of all cyclists. We know we look silly in our fluorescent jackets and questionably tight lycra, but we can assure you it isn’t the latest fashion craze. Although as a current employee of Topman, I’m not so sure those days aren’t that far off.

Regardless, I can assure you that we aren’t trying to make it more difficult for drivers to get to where they need to be. I – as well as many cyclists – have a full driving license. We know it can be frustrating to lower your speed and drive around us, but can we ask for a little decorum here? All we ask is for a little sympathy for the guy surrounded by high speed moving slabs of metal and glass.

The common argument from drivers is that cyclists should be on the pavements, one that I must offer my opinion on. It’s currently illegal to do this in the UK, and would in fact create more problems, as pedestrians would then be a factor in this dispute as well.

It’s coming up to Christmas and as a result, it’s getting darker outside earlier and vision can sometimes be impaired. We’ll promise to wear the aforementioned ridiculous rave party get ups, if you promise to keep an eye out for us.

I must apologise if this article sounds slightly jaded in some respects, but a year ago, I was knocked off my bicycle by a driver who wasn’t paying attention to the road. Fortunately I was alright, but on another day the results could have been much worse. If I could offer one word of advice to motorists it would be this. Be predictable. This can also be applied to cyclists as well. It can be difficult for motorists to predict how cyclists are going to behave which can lead to stressful encounters. By everyone acting in a predictable, logical manner, we should all be safe.

There are very different groups of cyclists, just as there are different groups of motorists, so I understand that cyclists can also be as much a part of the problem as well. Unfortunately the big issue is that roads aren’t designed to accommodate both motorists and cyclists. My hope is that by reading this article, a small seed of consideration will be planted in the heads of many, so that we can all be more careful this holiday season.


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The future of rock journalism

Here’s a piece I’ve done recently for a competition for the Louder Than Words Festival upcoming in Manchester. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think!

The future of rock journalism

Frank Zappa successfully offended an entire industry in 1977 during an interview with Bruce Kirkland for the Toronto Star newspaper. He said, “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write interviewing people who can’t talk for people who can’t read”. It takes a lot of talent to hurt that many people’s feelings in one sentence. To write off rock journalism that broadly though is incredibly shortsighted, even for a man of Zappa’s stature.

The advent of rock journalism really came about in the mid-60’s following the breakthrough of the Beatles. With the lines blurred between rock music and popular culture, it was paramount that news publications carried reviews, interviews and stories relating to rock music to keep them in the public eye.

It became important for musicians as well, used as a vehicle to get messages out there, to expose another previously unseen side of your persona. Who can forget John Lennon’s now infamous final interview with Rolling Stone magazine, three days before he was murdered, in which he spoke passionately, saying, “What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean. I’m not interested in being a dead hero…so forget ‘em, forget ‘em.”

Nowadays, and looking towards the future of rock journalism, it’s hard to envision a time in which we’ll still not salivate over the prospect of “the big interview” with this week’s rock icon. Whilst the methods of consuming the discussion may change, we will all still hang off of every word that leaps off the page.

With the advent of the Internet, everyone now has the ability to be a rock journalist, and can promote or offer an analysis of a local gig or band to the web in seconds. Rock journalism isn’t devolving; it’s evolving into a wider, larger, living, breathing creature. More people are getting involved, and that can only be a good thing. As long as there’s rock music, there will be rock journalism telling you what you have to be listening to right now.

Not bad for a bunch of people who can’t write, eh, Frank?


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Can we now return to our regularly scheduled programming?

I’ve officially been back at university for one and a half turbulent weeks, and whilst some student’s intentions may be starting to wane at this early stage, all I’m filled with is a longing desire for things to settle down so I can get started with some work.

Well, that and the yearning for my housemate to stop doing DIY work in his room. It’s like living next door to an international hammer convention. (horrendous metaphor, I know)

For the last week and a half, I’ve been placed at a university campus (Warrington) which is about an hour’s drive from where I’m living (Chester). This of course, has led to transport issues, which has led to conflicts with my part-time job, which has led to missed lectures and generally everything being a right pain in the backside.

But things are looking up. I’ve managed to switch campuses, back to nearby my student accommodation. I get four day weekends now, which is enough to put a smile on anybody’s face. And to top it all off, now I have this lovely website to vent and spout whatever comes into this little mind of mine.

So this has been my last first week of university. Unexciting, perhaps. But it’ll get better, I swear. If you stick around you can join me a journey that hopefully ends in me becoming a degree-toting, full-time employed, lean, mean, journalising machine!

Fingers crossed it’ll be one that doesn’t have Bob the Builder as a neighbour. (That one was better, right?)

For future reference, these are the four modules I’m taking this year for the final year of my journalism degree:

  • Working in the Media
  • Public Administration for Journalists
  • Magazine Production and Online Journalism
  • And a big fat auld Dissertation

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Hello and welcome to this little section of the Internet that I’ve paved off for myself. My name is Ryan Carse and you can find out plenty more about me by clicking on the about tab, see what I’ve been up to recently in my blog section, and check out everything I’ve done to date in the portfolio area. If there’s anyone you may know of that would be interested in this site, I’d please encourage you to let them know, the more the merrier! As a present for you all, I’ve included a picture of me standing somewhat awkwardly atop of the Reichstag.


Ryan Carse


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