The New Journalist

Thursday’s Top Picks

Thursdays Top Picks is a magazine show packed full of games, laughs, chat and even a politician punch-up! You’re sure to have a laugh watching this.



My role on the show was VT operator.


Uprising National Youth Debate

Live Blog UpRising National Youth Debate, Birmingham



Visiting Coast to Coast on Birmingham’s Broad Street and is a great place to grab a bite to eat or have a few drinks with your pals.

Upon entry you are greeted with a welcoming vibrant atmosphere. As you walk in you are greeted by well groomed front of house staff who are well mannered and assuring that you enjoy your time at coast to coast.

You are then guided to your table by a an ever so kind waiter that introduces himself.

David – his name was, cheerful and attentive approaches and makes you feel asif you know them on a personal level. He had to sit down at the table with us to take our order as the music was way too loud to the point you could hardly hear what he was saying and vice versa ( one of my only cons of the night) .

He takes our drink orders – Mine and my friends, we both order off the Mocktail menu as we’re driving. I decided on a Scarlett O’hara which is Ginger beer laced with raspberry purée and fresh lime juice. She orders a New Yorker which is fresh apple juice shaken with fresh lime and mango purée.  Both were yummy to my pleasure as I decide on what starter and main I will go for.


For my starter I went for the Boston Prawns which were large and juicy prawns wrapped in a plain batter it arrived piping hot and was served with a cajun dipping sauce. The cajun sauce complimented the prawns very well as it had a hint of garlic that gave the prawns that extra kick of flavour.


For my the main course I went for texan chicken wings in a BBQ sauce with sweet potatoe fries as the side which were lovely and crunchy.  This meal came with a side of 3 dips.  IMG_6055

The main question answered: yes I would go back again because I enjoyed the food and the atmosphere and the restersunt has kind staff who are very attentive to your needs.

Incentives for Votes – Are we voting for the wrong reasons? #BRUMVOTE

This week’s voting commences at Birmingham City University for the BCU student’s union leadership elections 2015. The campaign they have put on for this week is giving wristbands to students across all campuses to enable them to have up to 5 free hot drinks, 1 drink a day for the 5 days the election is on. However when I actually asked people who I spotted with these wristbands on many of them said they only voted for the free drinks. Voting incentives are put in place to encourage more votes to make the voting process more fair to the candidates but this way in fact it could actually hinder the voting process because people may not  neccassarilyvote for best candidate for the position but just vote for anybody just for the sake of the freebies.

Young People Say Vote! #BRUMVOTE

Many young people seem to switch off when they hear the word ” POLITICS”.

They think “What’s that got to do with me?”

Politics actually is what affects us on a daily basis from simple things like the price of food, the wages we get paid and the way society is run.

This video shows the true meaning of politics which are the simple things in life that affect not only young people but everybody in society.

Here are a few young people’s views on things that need to change.

Fifty Shades Of Grey Review

The film which has been hyped about ever since the release of E.L James best selling book is finally out at the box office this valentines day and despite all the negative talk of the infamous Fifty Shades Of Grey I must admit I quite enjoyed the movie. However I have to say I felt it was a little rushed and many questions were left unanswered and situations unexplained.

I found myself asking Questions like how did Mr grey find out where Ana worked? I would have liked to see how he did that it would have added to my perception of Mr Fifty Shades. It also plagued my mind with the thought of who cleaned this “secret” red room because it was spotless and everything was immaculately set out  as all Mr Greys sex tools were laid out in such order.

It was quite weird that a man like Mr Grey,this alpha male, billionaire with all this money and power still couldn’t keep his old well spoken, upscale Mother from arriving at this lush apartment unannounced.

However I think the cast members were to my pleasure, very attractive, at first I must admit I imagined Mr Grey as Christian Bale in the depths of my mind and was slyly disappointed to find out  it wasn’t him playing the part. Despite my disappointment for my own visual pleasure this James Dornan grew on me and I found him quite sexy and I think he pulled off the part.

Ana was exactly how i expected her to be young and brunette and a natural beauty. I would have liked to see a bit more of the supporting characters like Rita Ora who made her film debut playing Mr Greys french speaking sister.

My final thoughts of this movie is that it is definitely a must-watch.

DISCLAIMER: Watch without the high expectation that it’ll to be the best film you have ever seen because it won’t be. It was good,yes but a little bit rushed. 

5 Things you should know about Housing benefits if you are under 25

The government has made changes to the housing benefit system that affects people under 25. Here’s a list of things you should be aware of if you may need to claim.

  1. You Will be expected to live in Shared accommodation unless you are: 

– Renting from a private housing association

  • a lone parent with one or more dependants and receive child benefit for them
  • are under the age of 22 and have been in care
  • live with a partner
  • gets the severe disability premium in their benefit because they are entitles to the middle or higher rate care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
  • requires an extra bedroom for a carer who provides overnight care but doesn’t normally live with them

2.Shared accommodation rate does not apply to council or housing association tenants.

You probably get enough housing benefit to cover your rent if you receive job seekers allowance (JSA).

3. You cannot claim housing benefit if they are in full time education

Only sometimes there are exceptions to getting housing benefit if you are a full time student.

Sometimes part time students can get housing benefits too.

4.Age matters! 

Know how much LHA ( local housing allowance) you are entitled to. Your age can affect the maximum rate of housing benefit you get. You can find out how much you are entitled to on the housing benefits calculator.

5.Leaving care

Care leavers aged 16 or 17 probably won’t be able to claim housing benefit. You should be entitled to support from social services.

If you are aged 18 or over, you should be able to claim housing benefit for a rented home.

The shared accommodation rate for a private rented place won’t apply until your 22nd birthday.

For More information about Housing benefits in the UK go to the government website:

CV Download

Download my CV here:

Toni Morris CV

Private Konstantinous


Dionne Konstantinous is the epitome of girl power. She’s the captain.She’s a master. She’s the teacher.

A typical day in the life of Military Commanding Officer Dionne Konstatine, consists of being responsible for 74 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers ,Shooting Officers and Staff Officers.

Dionne joined the army cadet force in 1989. When she reached the age of 18 ½. She joined the Territorial Army and also became an adult instructor within the ACF.

I asked what made her want to join the military and she said:

“In the 1980s there was a TV show called the ‘Krypton Factor’. This show was about testing the contestants mental, physical ability and various aptitude tests. Also including an Assault course. At the time I didn’t know what any of this meant but I knew I wanted to be apart of that kind of thing. I would rush home from school to watch the programme as mother often forgot to set the timer on the VCR  to record it!”

During one of the Christmas holidays a cousin from America came to stay with her, she was in the US army and shared her stories.

“After hearing all her stories I went along to the local Army Careers office to find out how to join the Army. However I was clearly too young. They suggested that I Join the ACF. They sent me to visit a unit in a town called Blackheath however during this time there were lots of race killings and my parents didn’t want me to travel so far from home. I found a local unit to where I was living and went along to join. However they did not accept girls and so sent me to another unit up the road. The following week I went along with my dad and signed up.”


When joining the military you are required to under go several tests; mental, physical ,verbal reasoning, mental arithmetics, aptitude and so depending on the results of these tests is where you are best placed. To remain in the military requires a good level of fitness and the right mental attitude. You develop qualities through your training which make you a better person and more skilled than when you joined.

Dionne believes that ‘Integrity’ is a key quality necessary to survival in the military.

“I have spent more than half my life in the military and I couldn’t imagine not being here. The many skills and qualifications I have gained through the military have not only aided me in a successful civilian occupation but essential life skills. My achievements and work ethic have lead me to network with very influential people which in turn have helped to fund and develop my cadets in their training.”

While she isn’t being Captain in the military she is training in martial arts. At present she runs three Marital Arts classes and competes for Great Britain.  Her current rank is 4th dan and is currently in training to become a 5th Dan master belt.

“My mother often shared a story with me of how during her pregnancy she went to see a Bruce Lee film and during the fight scenes as she became excited so did I (in her stomach) so I guess in theory  I got into martial arts from the womb!

We moved to LondIMG_3628on when I was 5 and my mother almost instantly enrolled me and my siblings into a local Judo club. I studied judo for about 3 years however soon became bored and wanted a new challenge. I discussed this with my mother and she said ‘we’ll find a new club’, so I did. I found Shotokan karate and enrolled and trained under Sensai Tito Stewart for 14 years.”

Martial Arts isn’t just a hobby for Dionne.

“Martial arts is my life”

“I endeavour to live a martial way which includes not just the physical side to training but both spiritual. I am careful with the people I have around me and the imagines (media) I expose myself to.


When we train we train by these codes and tenants:

Be loyal to your leader

imageObedience to parents

Honour friendship

Always finish what you start

In fighting choose with sense and honour




Respect and obedience



Indomitable spirit

I try to apply them to my daily life and seek to better my existence mentally physically and spiritually and to avoid any that will reduce my mental growth and physical  health.”

Dionne considers The people she trains with are like family to her. In fact she said they are her family.

“we spend as much time in the Do Jang (training hall) as we do outside together. We train hard and we play hard!”

Anyone would think that with all these jobs how would someone manage it all and not go crazy.

The short answer is… She just does!

“ I enjoy and love what I do and I have a strict work, life and training balance.I believe you should not spend any of your time doing things that make you unhappy. My Hobby became a second job. Within it I look to develop other interests.I guess my Hobby is to continue learning.”

Since Dionne’s very first Judo lesson she has studied several practices including; Judo,Shotokan Karate, Aikido ,Kung Fu, Muay Thai Kick boxing, Ji Jitsu, Chi gung (developing internal energy power).

“I continually seek to develop my skills so I’m always researching and training with other martial artists.”

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