The State Of The European Union And The Impact Of Television On The Society

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Joel Savage interviews Sergi Vicente, the Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Apartheid bowed to democracy in South Africa, the Berlin wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union collapsed. Globally things were financially, economically and politically falling apart, when the European Union was formally established on November I, 1993, to share free market and single monetary policy for over more than 300 million citizens.

Many Europeans, including Belgians, argue that things were better and life more comfortable, before the European Union was formed. For example, the past and present turmoil in other European countries, including Greece, reveal the European Union is unstable and steering into stormy waters.

My recent visit to Barcelona, I called on Mr. Sergi Vicente, the director of Barcelona Televisio, to give me his views and opinion on the present state of the European Union and the impact of the television on the society. Below are the excerpts of the interview.

Joel: There are thousands of Europeans, especially Western Europe, who aren’t satisfied over the formation of the European Union, because the pattern of lives changed, as prices of commodities escalated, affecting, the economy and the standard living of Europeans, leaving many unemployed. Let’s take Greece for example. What do you think?

Vicente: I don’t see the unification of the European Union as a failure. There are advantages and disadvantages in everything but in regard to the Union, the best has been achieved. Transparency, Communication, integration and the growth of successful free market, are some of the achievements. Besides, the EU has thrived to develop liberty, justice,  education, prosperity, peace, security, the protection of the environment and health, thus; helping to disseminate basic human values at the global level.

Joel: Lack of employment, is a situation many Europeans are facing today. What’s the employment situation in Spain?

Vicente: As you just said, it’s a crisis many Europeans are facing, yet the problem has led to the creation of new jobs in other fields to reduce the unemployment rate. Unemployment may be long or short term, but things will improve.

Joel: Journalism is rapidly losing its credibility, that’s the way many feel, because a lot of the media hide the truth and facts from the public. What’s your opinion?

Vicente: As a journalist heading an institution, we try our best to give the right information to the general public. This is the reason readers and viewers have favourite newspapers or television stations. Being transparent is one of the tools to build a good reputation. So I don’t see the reason the media should mislead people.

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Mr. Sergi Vicente, Director of Barcelona Televisio.

Joel: Barcelona used to be a city for drug addicts and peddlers. Is there any change?

Vicente: You’ve already seen that there is a dramatic change in the city, since the country is one of the most visited tourists attraction in the world. The mayor, police and other officials had worked hard and still relentlessly working hard to make the city  healthy and  safe for tourists.

Joel: Television is a great source of entertainment and education, yet many believe it’s responsible for crime and immorality which have plagued and crippled our society.

Vicente: I can’t say television is responsible for crime, even though I agree that it has both advantages and disadvantages.Children are protected and cared by adults, thus, it’s the responsibility of parents to control what children watch on the television. Controling children is part of the training and caring for children. Bad friends can also influence children. As a matter of fact, television educates more than influencing children negatively.

Joel: Mr. Vicente, thanks for the interview.

Vicente: You are welcome.

The Killing Indulgence: Don’t Be A Slave To Drug Abuse

Drug is something if you go into it, you can't get out of it.

The use of hard drug like cocaine has increased rapidly destroying the lives of many people

Crime and illegal activities, like drug peddling, are destroying our community and putting the health of individuals in danger. The disastrous effect of drugs on mankind is a global phenomenon that governments are yet to find a common solution. Consumption of dangerous drugs is tearing Europe and America apart, just like how AIDS has completely ruined Africa. On almost every street in Europe, junkies are commonly seen, especially in Spain, Germany and Holland. Hard drug has transformed able-bodied men into some fearful creatures like actors set for a horror movie.

Some are gaunt at the edge of death. Others have lost their families and properties. Some are insane leading them to permanent confinement in mental institutions. Similar to fight against terrorism worldwide, governments are fighting against drug abuse to ensure good health for its citizens. The drug menace, destruction and its drastic effect on people have dented and inflated the medical cost of many countries which citizens have been plagued by illegal usage of harmful drugs.

Every continent including America and Europe is at war over drug trafficking for almost a century. Surveillance and security at airports and border posts have increased but still hard drugs find its way into the hands of Americans and Europeans, taking its toll on citizens. Mexican drug barons and Italian mafias through different illegal sources bring drugs to the shores of Europe and America. Even though thousands of drug traffickers have been arrested, yet deadly drugs are still flooded in America and Europe.

Once hooked on drugs, they can’t do without them. The more they take it, the more they want it. In order to satisfy their demand, junkies resort to stealing anything they could lay their hands on. This has caused a sharp increase in crime. The question is: Are the authorities winning the war on drugs? The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Despite previous and recent progress in arresting drug dealers and seizing tons of illegal drugs, the trade still goes on unabated.

Drug

Is the  “The global war on drugs is it yielding positive results or failing? From every angle, one could clearly see that the war on drugs is totally futile. New research has revealed more dangerous illegal drugs have become cheaper while their potency increased, indicating that efforts to control the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.

War on drugs has totally failed that governments wish to consider decriminalizing drugs in a bid to cut consumption and weaken the power of organized crime gangs. Until the war on drugs is successful, many will continue to live in the abyss, taking them into their untimely grave. Harmful drugs had spread to the extent that it is tried by many people including children and pregnant women, putting the babies’ lives in danger.

Children are now using cocaine in large quantities like adults. It’s very hard to see one you loved consumed by drugs. In fact, the war on drugs is the responsibility of everyone. Parents have a role to play as well, by letting your child know that you have concerns about his well-being, educating the child on how dangerous drugs can be. When the child is already deep into drugs the only solution is to enter the child into rehab.

Diary Barcelona: What Makes The City Special And The Best Tourists Center In Europe? (Part Two)

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Tourists at Port of Barcelona crossing the bridge. Announcements are made often to passengers when the bridge is to be opened for passing vessels. 

There is something special about Barcelona, so unique that one lacks the right words to describe this wonderful city. Barcelona is a city one can’t different night from day, because both the day and night are equally dense with its citizens and people from other countries, since is the second largest and one of the beautiful cities in Spain.

The city has identified itself as one of the most fashionable and adorable cities in Europe. The reason is simple and logical. It’s renowned ancient and architectural buildings, history, culture, food and beautiful coastline beaches, add glamour to Barcelona. No matter what season you visit, the city has everything to offer, it’s therefore not surprising to acknowledge the reason the city has been one of the perfect destination centers in Europe in regard to tourism.

All works and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It will be self neglect if one fails to visit Barcelona once in his or her life time. What makes the city so special? The port of Barcelona has the statue of the explorer Christopher Columbus, pointing to the direction of America. Even though historical facts have proved the claims of Columbus discovering of America as total false, since there were native Americans (Arawak Indians) before he sailed to that part of the continent, that doesn’t prevent tourists to visit his statue at the port of Barcelona.

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Cable cars transporting tourists. One of the ways to enjoy Barcelona.

The humans posing as statues along Ramblas, add another spectacular scene among thousands of scenes to see in Barcelona. The cable cars transporting passengers to and flo in the mid air, is something to boast of. In the city I met travellers from all parts of the world, including New Zealand and South Africa. The South African couple told me, they flew to Kenya and joined their second flight to Barcelona. A pretty long journey indeed, but it worth to undertake such journey to come to wonderful Barcelona, they said.

The Ramblas and the Plaza di Catalunya are calling tourists. Newspaper shops, restaurants, shops and flower shops have paraded each side of the Ramblas, offering services in the most fashionably way to tourists. While walking on the Ramblas, I heard a deep voice bellowed “Mr. Savage.” Guess what? A friend I knew in Belgium on holidays with his family. With the streets lined up with beautiful sights and performers, we had a very good time. Next was Plaza Reale where I sat down for hours to watch cultural performers.

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The famous statue of Christopher Columbus pointing to the direction of America.

In 1986, I was also in Barcelona, as the first country in Europe to visit from Africa. On the same Ramblas, I decided to polish my shoes. The fact that a White man is polishing a Black man’s shoes, brings the whole world activities to a standstill. Hundreds of tourists stopped and gathered round us, like people watching a football match. The crowd keeps swelling at a very fast rate that eventually, I requested the shoe polisher to discontinue polishing my shoes. I paid him and walked away. Laugh and grow fat or be slim, whichever way you want it, fasten your seat belt and  read Joel Savage’s ‘Road Of Agony.’

Road of Agony

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Agony-Joel-Savage-ebook/dp/B00DUHSAYI

Ryanair Is A Fraudulent Airline: Why Airline Asks Passengers To Print Boarding Pass Online When They Have Workers At Airports To Serve Passengers?

Passengers board a Ryanair plane parked at Girona airport, September 20, 2012. Ryanair has welcomed a meeting between Irish and Spanish aviation authorities to resolve a dispute between the airline and the Spanish government over safety standards. Ryanair has accused the Spanish aviation authorities of falsifying information on incidents involving its planes, an accusation Spanish officials have rejected. REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: TRANSPORT TRAVEL BUSINESS)

Ryanair: Designed a scheme taking illegal money from passengers over lack of printing boarding pass online.

When did Ryanair begin to ask passengers to print boarding passes online, without the intervention of International Air Transport Association (AITA)? Because this is a fraud and a crime.  

I made booking online to Barcelona on July 13, 2015 and I received confirmation that I will be leaving with Vueling Airline and my arrival with Ryanair. If I knew that Ryanair requests passengers to print boarding pass online, I would have cancel the flight immediately.

I printed my the bookings online and at the National Airport in Belgium, I was successfully given a boarding pass by Vueling official, when I presented the printout bookings. After visiting Barcelona, I confirmed my return flight but at the National Airport of Barcelona, when I gave them the bookings printout, Rynair officials demanded my boarding pass.

I said, what do you mean by boarding pass when Rynair needs to give me one before boarding my flight. To my utmost surprise, the Ryanair official behind the counter told me I need to print it online. I asked her, what’s her significance  as Rynair official working at the airport, and expecting passengers to print their boarding pass online?

The official refused to serve me the boarding pass until I paid the sum of 45 Euros. This is illegal and a fraud, Ryanair should know this. No one forces an airline to operate on low fares. If they have decided to do that, they shouldn’t find way and means to take money illegally from passengers.

Until Rynair refund the illegal 45 Euros they collected from me, I will make sure that within a year the airline goes bankrupt.  A Spanish court has already ruled out that Ryanair has no right to force customers to print their own boarding passes.

The judge in Barcelona said that, under international air travel conventions, Ryanaircan neither demand passengers turn up at the airport with their boarding pass, nor charge them €40 (£34) if they do not.

“I declare abusive and, therefore, null, the clause in the contract by which Ryanair obliges the passenger to take a boarding pass to the airport,” Judge Barbara Cordoba said.

Diary Barcelona: A Visit To Barcelona Television/FM Studios – Part One

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The passion of every television station is to entertain, give first-hand information and run programs the public will be interested. Technology has made today’s television the most popular electronic appliance in the world. For a number of years now, Barcelona Televisio has been one of the best local television centers in Barcelona, influencing much of the day-to-day activities of local civic life.

On July 14, 2015, I was delighted to meet Mr. Jordi Colom, the technical director of Barcelona Televisio, in Spain, who took me around the entire studio to explain the activities behind the success of the television and the radio studios, to discover the influence and impact of technology in today’s modern journalism and mass communication.

Barcelona Televisió, also known as BTV, is a channel of local television, publicly owned and managed by a municipal subsidiary of the city of Barcelona. The broadcasts began on November 3, 1994, in a small place located at Via Laietana, in Barcelona, with the success of unification of the channels and service in each district, under the company information in Comunicació de Barcelona.

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Cross section of journalists at Barcelona Televisio.

Among the objectives of the Barcelona Televisió (BTV) is to become a municipal channel which would encourage citizen participation. Programs offered from its studios include half-hour information, debate, and contents provided by each district television, serving the people in the Catalan language.

With its own language, laws, and customs, independent-minded Catalonia, is one of Spain’s richest and most highly industrialized regions. With a distinguished history stretching back to the early middle ages, many Catalans think of themselves as people not part of Spain.

Under the management of Mr. Sergi Vicente, since 2008, Barcelona Televisio has followed different programming models but has remained a model of proximity and public service.  The success of the television facilitated the creation of the company’s FM station service in 2014, naming it Barcelona FM.

On a familiarization tour, the technical director painstakingly explained the work of the journalists servicing various departments, how the studios operate each day for viewers and how information is gathered and disseminated to the general public. According to Mr. Colom, the locals, referring to the Catalan, increasingly desires local TV programming, including the weather and the traffic, because they rely on those two things to carry out their daily activities.

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Photo: Mr. Jordi Colom, the Technical Director and the visiting journalist Mr. Joel Savage

The well-organized studios provide news writing, editing, technical activities, interviews etc; and also local government affairs programming, regional sports, and news, with great impact on many individuals.

Programming of BTV, based now on the public service and minority-minded, was renovated completely in September 1997. Directed by Manuel Huerga, who won a public competition for the design of programs, the grill was divided into two strips. Spaces of short duration, no more than five minutes, which highlighted the news and cultural agenda.

Television is indeed a wonderful tool which has brought comfort to our homes, as millions of people depend on simultaneously as a source of entertainment, information and to carry out businesses, but there is nothing more interesting than discovering its anatomy and activities. Visiting Barcelona Televisio is the best experience I will never forget.

Where Are You Going This Summer Holiday?

 

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The idiom: ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy’ might be conceived by an ideologist who knows that after working very hard , life needs relaxation, refreshment and holidays, because they provide relief from the monotony of our daily routine and also significant for our mental and emotional well being.

Unlike Africa blessed with continuous nine months of sunshine, summer comes just once a year in Europe and America, and this sunny period is something special which is never wasted. The legs which have been hiding in trousers are suddenly exposed and short skirts hiding in the wardrobes become adorable fashion for the ladies.

How do we enjoy our perfect Summer holidays? People enjoy summer in various ways. Some travel to favourite or tourists’ attraction places to enjoy the beautiful scenery, landscapes and quiet places. Others prefer to stay indoors and enjoy the barbecue events with their families and friends.

Most of the time, I travel to see my mother in Africa, who is now eighty years. But this year, I decided to change the direction of my summer holiday. I chose Barcelona. Why Barcelona? Just some few months ago, I remembered that in 1986, I opened an account in one of the banks in the city.

I deposited an amount of nine thousand pesetas in my account. (I’m not sure how much that amount is in Euros.) After my holidays in Barcelona, I cashed seven thousand pesetas from the account, leaving behind two thousand pesetas. Definitely my account is now a dormant file, but 1986 to 2015, is long enough to generate certain interest.

This sounds crazy, isn’t it? But I mean it, I’m going to the bank to find my account to re-open it once again, to see how much interest my two thousand pesetas have generated. There wasn’t much computer that time, so whatever means they will use to find my account is their own business.

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Sometimes government takes over dormant accounts after certain period. If my account is gone, that’s not going to ruin my vacation at all. It’s stupid to be miserable in a city called Barcelona during summer holidays, when the city smiles, beautiful restaurants invite, miniskirts tempt, and the sight of beautiful people from all walks of life, makes you appreciate the wonders of creation.

The Influence Of Technology On Public Libraries

“Let these great modern library buildings increase your appetite to read.” –Joel Savage

 

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The Fascinating Library Awesome Roman Building Style Of Madrid Public Library With Stone Figurines And Stone Steps Great And Captivating Building Architecture Design Of Library Home Library Decor Photo.

Many get happiness in doing different things. Gardening, cleaning, cooking, listening to music, participating or watching sports and reading, add happiness to man’s life and takes away boredom.

However, I take reading as a priority among all activities, since reading enlightens, educates, provides information and aware our consciousness of whatever is going on around us. Just imagine, without reading how can we follow our choices of career professions?

I have come across many people that mistakenly put themselves into serious situations, just because they failed to read certain documents before they signed. While the standard of reading is rapidly declining, it’s amazing and breathtaking looking at the impact of modern technology in our library institutions today.

The comfort of stepping into a library

Today we are witnesses to the architectural technology which is transforming library projects. Magnificent attractive modern libraries are like a magnet, inviting everyone under the comfort of its canopy to read. The question is: How does a beautiful library entice people to read?

Well, there was a time when readers don’t care much about the cover of books. I remember a local song in my country which part of the lyric is: “Don’t mind the body but the engine.” In today’s publishing industry, designing an attractive book cover is one of the priorities to sell.

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The people of Kansas City were asked to help pick highly influential books that represent Kansas City. Those titles were included as ‘bookbindings’ in the innovative design of the parking garage exterior, to inspire people to utilize the downtown Central Library.

It is most likely that people will read your book, because of the attractive cover. Thus; the days’ readers don’t judge the cover of books is over. What about a glamorous cover but not an interesting book? This question doesn’t seem important to readers that depend on attractive covers to choose their books.

This week while reading I stumbled upon modern architectural libraries which stole my heart to the extent that I decided to write this short feature article to share with readers worldwide. Reading is defined in many ways but I like this: A multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, and motivation.

In today’s society that reading determines the career of everyone, it’s good to see such building buildings to encourage more reading and help those that hate to read to cultivate the habit or talent to read.

CAP 2Kirkwood Public Library.

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