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About Deborah Hobson

Deborah Hobson is a freelance writer and Deputy Editor of She specialises in human interest, celebrity and lifestyle features. Deborah has written scoops for The-Latest, using the Freedom of Information Act to uncover official secrets the public have a right to know about. She looks after contributors and if you would like to become one contact her:

Here are my most recent posts

Journalists exposed for their biased coverage of England riots

News outlets need to be held to account for their coverage of the headline-hitting English riots, a new report has argued.

Media and the Riots: A Call for Action, published on the first anniversary of the Tottenham, north London, riot which took place last August, is the first report to examine the impact of the mainstream print and broadcast media’s reporting on the communities most affected.

The report, written by University of Leicester sociologist Dr Leah Bassel, reflects the views of those people who attended the Media and the Riots conference held by the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust and in November.

Read more about the Media and the Riots – A Call For Action report on The-Latest.Com:

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Can Pinterest survive without copyrighted content?

Rapidly growing  social media website Pinterest has bowed to pressure from photographers and copyright holders who complained that the “sharing” site had allowed its users to post content that did not belong to them.

Pinterest is reforming its terms of service, asking users to only post content they created, or content they have explicit permission to publish according to The

Read the full story on The website:

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04 2012

Are you YouTube’s next celebrity vlogger?


Huge video sharing website YouTube is offering users an opportunity to become “internet stars” by entering their video blogging competition.

The YouTube Next Vlogger contest is part of the company’s Next Creator initiative which seeks to help promising artistes develop their skills and build up a following.

The competition is open to candidates from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and America.

Video blogging is one of the most popular types of activity on YouTube where almost anyone can submit film on topics ranging from accounts of the riots which occurred in the UK last summer, reviews of new movies and music albums to instructional “how to” blogs.

Read the full story on the website:

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03 2012

‘Twitter censorship’ raises concerns from press freedom group

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Head of new media at press freedom group Reporters Without Borders says Twitter’s ability to ‘withhold’ content from users based on local restrictions could have ‘real consequences’ for journalists.

They are preparing an open letter to the chief executive of Twitter, to raise concerns about an announcement that the social media platform now has the power to “reactively withhold” tweets from users to meet country-based restrictions.

Read the full article on UK website

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The Big Picture Street Photographer of the Year winners

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We’re proud to announce the result of our wonderful competition that attracted thousands of participants from around the world. Thanks to The-Latest.Com, the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust, Time Out and Olympus.

It is the first time ever that the title “Street Photographer of the Year” has been awarded in the UK to a citizen journalist using a mobile phone. The winner is young tech whizz Kheoh Yee Wei, who lives in Leeds. His prize, on top of the street photographer title, is the state of the art Olympus LS-20M camcorder. Kheoh’s winning photo is pictured, above.

One of the judges, Eamonn McCabe, the renowned and award-winning press photographer, said: “The quality of entrants was surprisingly so good it was really hard to choose a winner. Kheoh’s entry stood out as a result of the wonderful characters he cleverly captured with his mobile phone.

Read more about the competition winners and view their photos on The-Latest.Com:

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12 2011

What could we have done to save Amy Winehouse?


Death is perhaps the one certainty in life. Most of us think that our eventual demise will be in the distant future.

This wasn’t to be the case for the soulful, bluesy and angst-ridden young singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse.

The news that the undoubtedly gifted 27-year-old award – winning Brit had died, alone in her flat in trendy Camden, northwest London and probably from a lethal cocktail of drugs and alcohol sounds like the dismal and clichéd end of life experienced by many immortalised rock stars like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix .

Amy’s physical and mental decline in the last few years has been the subject of intrusive reporting by the tabloid press in the UK and abroad. Drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, self-harming and a disastrous marriage to co-dependent substance abuser Blake Fielder-Civil led to a number of spells in rehab clinics. Paparazzi – published photos of her near emaciated frame, covered in unsightly and meaningless tattoos, staggering out of pubs and nightclubs in the early hours of the morning were splashed across the pages of celebrity obsessed magazines. No one needed a clairvoyant to predict the probable outcome of this tragic story.

However, like many others including fans and her contemporaries I’m shocked by the brutal suddenness of Amy’s death.

The immediacy of access to news and the sharing of information on the internet has made large sections of the public feel like participants in the lives of famous people like Amy rather than voyeurs. By following the minutiae of Amy’s turbulent life on newspaper websites like Mail Online they feel a connection with her which is beyond a simple appreciation of her music.

The collective sharing of grief on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter at a life spoilt and cut short resonates with the personal experiences of those who have had an “Amy” in their lives: an alcoholic, neglectful parent or an abusive, addict partner. This outpouring of emotion should not be ridiculed.

I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness and underlying frustration when I heard about the final chapter of Amy’s life. It was the same sense of waste and futility I experienced on learning about Michael Jackson and even Paula Yates 11 years ago.

A while back Amy obtained an injunction against paparazzi photographers.  The court order banned a leading paparazzi agency from following her. Photographers were also banned from following her within 100 metres of her home and photographing Amy in her home or the home of her friends and family. According to a newspaper report, sources close to the singer said legal action was taken out of concern for the safety of Amy and those close to her.

Amy’s seemingly devoted father Mitch will be devastated I thought. Why wasn’t he with her or why wasn’t anyone with her? Why was she left on her own? I asked myself. She was weak and vulnerable.

A friend commented that if he was Amy’s manager he’d have kept a watch on her 24/7.

What could I have done to help Amy? The answer is nothing. The reality is I didn’t know her.

*A blog post written by Deborah Hobson and reproduced with permission from The-Latest.Com.

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07 2011

Writing for free doesn’t have to mean betrayal

The US blog-led news site The Huffington Post launched its UK edition today.

It launched a Canadian version in May, but the UK edition will be the first one outside North America.

The Huffington Post was set up by Arianna Huffington in 2005 and bought by AOL earlier this year for $315m (£222m).

Since the acquisition took place complaints have been made by disgruntled unpaid bloggers on The Huffington Post who argue that some of the cash from the AOL deal should trickle down as fair compensation to those who have volunteered writing during the site’s enormous growth period.

In April, The Huffington Post was hit with a class action lawsuit by a group of bloggers who claim the massively popular site mistreats those who enrich it with content. Noted freelance journalist Jonathan Tasini is leading the proposed class action filed in New York’s federal court.

Journalist Kat Brown debates the value of writing for free in her blog on Huffington Post UK

*Arianna Huffington remains the president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group.




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No, not a superinjunction but a Big competition

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New charity the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust (CJET), which is supported by The-Latest.Com, has launched with its Big Picture street photography competition.

This exciting event has won backing from Time Out magazine, Olympus, who have donated a prize worth almost £300. Guardian News & Media donated an iconic image, taken by a citizen photographer, of Ian Tomlinson, the innocent bystander killed by a police officer at the G20 protest of 2009.

The competition offers entrants from the UK and abroad the opportunity to win the brand new Olympus LS-20M pocket camcorder and the title of “CJET Street Photographer of the Year” by using their mobile phone to take a winning picture.

Judges are award-winning photographer Eamonn McCabe, former Picture Editor of The Guardian, renowned publisher Dr Margaret Busby, a CJET Trustee, Martin Shaw, chair of the Trustees, Allyce Hibbert, Picture Editor of Time Out and Brian Usher, Picture Editor of The-Latest.Com.

Martin Shaw said: “CJET recognises that ordinary citizens not only consume news but make it too. Think of the image of innocent bystander Ian Tomlinson who was unlawfully killed at the G20 protest, the 7/7 terrorist attack and Asian tsunami photographs that have come from camera phones. We are doing the Big Picture competition to celebrate this important new citizen journalism.”

CJET is a UK charity that inspires and encourages the personal development of disadvantaged young adults through journalism, writing, literacy, photography and video. It produces educational material that includes college standard online out-reach materials and tutorials for contributors interested in a career in journalism, photography or broadcasting.

It also aims to assist the public to find a better connection with the sometimes mystifying world of media, journalism and current affairs that is so influential in all our lives.

The competition runs from June 1 2011 to August 31 2011 and the winner notified on October 3 2011. Full details can be viewed here:

Please send the link to the competition page to all your contacts. We look forward to receiving your photos.



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Twitter hampering criminal investigations UK police warn

Messages on social networking sites are increasingly hampering major police investigations, a senior detective has warned.

The comment came from Detective Chief Inspector Jes Fry from Norfolk Police after Michael Tucker, 50, was jailed for 26 years at Norwich Crown Court for murdering his partner Rebecca Thorpe, 28, and hiding her body in a freezer.

Read the full story on British journalism trade journal Press Gazette.


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05 2011

The web’s weakest links

Dan Gilmour, an avid exponent of how people can be empowered as new media users critiques the use of hyperlinks on the worldwide web.

Read the full story on Comment is Free section:

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