Our weekly list of unmissable news brand content includes tips how to get through the January blues, insight into investigations and a call to end youth knife crime…
1. Happier hounds
While Blue Monday is reportedly the most depressing day of the year for humans, it turns out dogs can also feel the winter blues. The Mirror interviewed Lorna Winter, co-founder of puppy training app Zigzag and a director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter. She shared her top tips and games to keep our furry friends happy over the darker and colder months, such as playing games as a vital part of their physical and mental development.
Winter also shared a study by Queen’s University in Belfast, which found that dogs who were exposed to Mozart settled down more quickly than those who listened to other genres of music. The research found a calming record or TV can help dogs relax with owners.
2. Travel galore
Need to escape Blue Monday? January can seem a depressing time of the year after the festive period comes to an
d end and colder days draw in. In the latest podcast episode of The Standard, lifestyle director Suzannah Ramsdale reveals to listeners fresh new holiday destinations for 2024. Tips include hidden getaways across the Greek islands, Sweden’s eco-friendly floating cabins and cycling trips such as the new 2,090-mile bike trail across the Balkans.
Ramsdale also investigated the trend of ‘cool-ations’ why people are heading to cooler destinations such as Scotland due to climate change reasons. A survey on UK travellers by Booking.com showed, over 42% said the change in weather would influence how they book their trips for the upcoming year.
3. Call to end youth knife
Actor and musician Idris Elba is calling for more urgent action on youth knife violence. Elba launched his ‘Don’t Stop Your Future’ campaign this week, which aims to help “put an end to knife crime and amplify the voices of marginalised communities”.
“It tells our country, our society, the world that we are running out of tolerance for what is happening to young people — we have to offer solutions”, Elba told the Guardian. He urged for the immediate banning of machetes and “zombie” knives, as well as more funding for youth services.
“With someone like myself that has this platform, it’s not that I am more qualified to speak on this – it takes a group of us.” he added: “What’s really important is that we are listened to as a society, whether Idris says it or a youth campaigner says it”.
4. Insight into investigations
Ever wondered how news brand journalists investigate public figures and companies? Paul Morgan-Bently, head of investigations at the Times, gave insight into how The Times breaks down some of the biggest stories from the last year, such as sexual allegations against comedian Russell Brand.
How do investigative journalists break big stories that make headlines from across the world? Morgan-Bently said reporting on sensitive subjects takes a large amount of careful work from interviewing sources, doing extensive work behind the scenes, checking important details from evidence and even involves reporters going undercover to get the scoop. The published material is looked over by lawyers and senior editors.
5. Overcoming barriers
Mar Galceran makes history as Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome. After a political career over 27 years and battling for decades to ensure people with intellectual disabilities were made part of the conversation, her election is a significant moment for the representation of those with the condition. After being elected to Valencia’s regional assembly, Galceran has stated that she wants to be seen as a person and not for her disability.