Make Front Page News By Not Inviting The Media

Posted December 11th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

By David Leonhardt

Not a single reporter showed up at our news event. And we were THRILLED!

Not a single photographer showed up to capture the moment. And we were pleased as punch!

Not a single newspaper knew about the event. And we received front page coverage in every one!

You can make front page news by keeping the media away. But how did we do it? Here is the media relations plan we used:

BACKGROUND: A few years ago, I was working for a politician. In fact, he was a Canadian Member of Parliament (MP). That was about the time that Canada Post decided not to deliver mail to homes in new developments. Instead, new homeowners had to pick up their mail at community “superboxes” near the end of their streets. After laying down big bucks for fancy new homes, people expected the same door-to-door service they were used to, and my MP took the heat… even though Canada Post was an arms-length organization of the government.

GOAL: Our goal was to demonstrate that my MP cared, that he was on their side, that he was doing everything he could to help them.

IDEA: One of the complaints the new residents had was that they were not receiving their junk mail (Go figure!), including weekly grocery specials and, by coincidence, my MP’s mailing to constituents. This gave me an idea. Why not send my MP door to door to deliver his bulletin, explaining how he, too, was frustrated that Canada Post would not deliver his bulletin to them.

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CHALLENGE NUMBER ONE: But what about the majority of people who would not be home to see how my MP shared their gripes? We needed media coverage, so that everyone would read about it in their local newspaper.

CHALLENGE NUMBER TWO: This is a juicy story for reporters. Imagine the headlines: “Resident sock it to MP”. Imagine the photos of angry residents waving their fists in rage against Canada Post. My MP would not look good one bit. The media had to stay away. But how would we get media coverage?

METHOD: We would have to report to the media “after the fact” that my MP had just gone door-to-door. We would have to supply everything the newspapers would need so that they have no need to recreate the event, search for angry residents to interview or ignore the story altogether.

First I wrote a news release. OK, so it did not read quite like a typical news release. It read like a newspaper article. Actually, it read like five different newspaper articles, because I wrote a completely different story for each of the five newspapers in the area. To some degree, I was able to emulate each one’s style.

Next, we decided to provide photographs. We dressed my MP in a postal cap and had him carrying a postal bag. I snapped shots of him at doorways chatting with residents. This was just too “human interest” for any newspaper to ignore. Off to the one-hour photo developer, then we chose the five best shots and attached one to each of the news releases.

Zoom, zoom. We hand delivered an envelope to each newspaper. The entire process took us just five hours from knocking on the first door.

RESULT: Each newspaper had its own, unique, original story with its own, unique, original photo. This made the journalists happy. Four out of the five editors even used the headlines I provided! It also made readers, many of who received two or three of the newspapers, believe the media had been there in person… making the story all the more credible.

Can you repeat this success? Yes. If you want to get great media coverage, but you are afraid the media will pick up a negative angle, this is the recipe to use:

1. Position your business as you would like to be seen.

2. Find a way to demonstrate your position or characteristic.

3. Write the story for each newspaper as the newspaper would write it, but place it in the format of a news release.

4. Get some great visuals, going for action or something with a twist, and ensure each newspaper has a unique photo.

5. Let the newspapers know that no other media outlet has the same photograph.

Of course, it is always best to invite the media to your event and serve donuts, but sometimes NOT inviting them is a better way to get not just “a” story, but the “right” story.

About the Author: David Leonhardt offers dozens more creative ways to make your business front page news in the media relations “how-to” guide Get In The News! at

. For basic media interview training, visit


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Dublin travel agents occupy offices against closure

Posted December 11th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Monday, August 3, 2009

Employees of two Thomas Cook travel agency offices in Dublin, Ireland have occupied their offices in response to management’s announcement of earlier closure dates for the sites. On Friday, July 31, 40 employees at the Thomas Cook store in Grafton Street began an occupation protest after the sudden announcement of the store’s immediate closure; workers at the store had previously been told, when the closures were announced on May 12, that the businesses would remain open until September 6. The day after, employees at the Thomas Cook-owned Direct Holidays store in nearby Talbot Street began their own occupation. A third Thomas Cook store in the capital, in North Earl Street, closed without incident; according to one employee who spoke to Wikinews, this is because the North Earl Street store was closed up and stripped out while employees were at home, leaving the workers to find an empty space instead of an office when they arrived for work the next morning.

Employees are demanding an improved redundancy package from Thomas Cook and allege a string of abuses by management. Thomas Cook management has offered the employees five weeks’ redundancy pay for every year worked at the company, in excess of the minimum two weeks’ pay per year worked required by Irish employment law, and says that the Grafton Street location had been losing money for five years. Employees, demanding eight weeks’ pay, counter that the company realised a profit of £400 million in the past fiscal year, of which 4 million originated from Ireland; and that Thomas Cook’s UK & Ireland chief, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, was given a bonus of €7 million earlier this year. 60 jobs would be lost in the closure of the two stores, which constitute all of Thomas Cook’s retail operation in the Republic of Ireland; a further 17 jobs were lost in the closure of the North Earl Street store.

There are no jobs out there…We need 8 weeks to live on for the next two years

Before the occupations began, workers at Thomas Cook’s locations, who are members of trade union the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) had voted unanimously to strike, alleging that the closures were being done without sufficient consultation of staff by Thomas Cook management. Caroline Cullen, accounts assistant and TSSA staff representative at the Grafton Street location, characterises the behaviour of Thomas Cook management as “intimidation”. When the consultation period had finished, she said, Thomas Cook management sent Simon Robinson, an executive director of the company, and a male colleague of his to close the office. The presence of the Thomas Cook executives, two high-ranking, business-suited men, in an office where forty-two of forty-four employees are women is itself intimidating, Cullen asserts; she says that Robinson furthermore attempted to “bully” the employees into accepting the five-week redundancy offer by saying that if they did not accept, they would receive only the statutory minimum. “You cannot live on 5 weeks”, says Cullen. “Travel agents are closing every week. There’s a hiring freeze at the banks. There are no jobs out there…We need 8 weeks to live on for the next two years while we look for jobs.” The extra three weeks’ redundancy pay would, she estimates, cost Thomas Cook €400,000.

A series of TSSA demonstrations against Thomas Cook took place throughout July. Trade union Unite in Ireland has offered its support for the occupiers and says it will take place in demonstrations scheduled for Monday morning.

Thomas Cook has accused the TSSA of making use of “dirty tactics”, according to a statement from Thomas Cook UK & Ireland CEO Pete Constanti. A court order has been delivered to the Grafton Street office requiring the occupiers to turn the keys over to Thomas Cook management. The TSSA, meanwhile, says that Thomas Cook is “riding roughshod over the right to take industrial action by marching staff into a room and telling them they are going to close immediately”.

Cullen says that the occupation began spontaneously. “We didn’t think it would go so far”, she told Wikinews, but when the closure of the office was announced, the staff “opened the windows and started screaming, ‘we’re not moving, we’re not moving’. We haven’t moved since.”

Monday, August 3 is a bank holiday in Ireland. Both sides in the dispute have delivered ultimata: Thomas Cook management demands that all staff return to work on Tuesday morning as usual or else the offer of five weeks’ pay will be reduced to the statutory two weeks’ pay, while the TSSA says that if Thomas Cook management do not produce a better redundancy offer by Tuesday then the business will face a boycott by the TSSA’s 800,000 members.

Ireland’s Socialist Party and Dublin MEP Joe Higgins have declared their support for the Thomas Cook occupiers, with a press release on Higgins’ official webpage saying

The High Court order for workers to end their occupation and the threat of Garda action is a disgrace….The trade union movement must mobilise to prevent the Gardaí [the Irish police] being used against these workers. Supporters and trade union activists should come to the offices to support the workers’ action and defend the occupation against any attempt to force them out.

Socialist Party members have been leafletting Dublin over the weekend promoting demonstrations in support of the Thomas Cook employees. The smaller Socialist Workers Party has also declared its support and conducted demonstrations for the occupiers.

Cullen said that the support of the Dublin community has been “absolutely fantastic”. People are bringing the occupiers fresh-baked scones and cakes and donating money, while morale inside the occupied store is “brilliant”. In contrast to the occupation at Vestas in England, where employees have been inside the factory continuously for two weeks, Thomas Cook employees have a chance to go home for a few hours or sleep in one of five rooms at a nearby hotel, although many do sleep in the office overnight. Nearby businesses are providing the occupiers with food at discount prices and, again in contrast to Vestas, the police and security are not interfering with the arrival of food and drink. Thomas Cook management have cut off telephone and internet access to at least some of the affected offices, but employees stay in touch with the outside world via their personal mobile telephones.

Cullen said that a chance for a peaceful resolution to the situation, without the involvement of the Gardai, was up to Thomas Cook management. “Thomas Cook have the chance to come to the table and talk to us. It’s in their hands, they still have the chance to come back.”

We were not in any position to consult with senior managers who had their own hidden agenda

Pauline McManigan, a TSSA member and employee at Thomas Cook subsidiary Direct Holidays’ shop in Talbot Street, echoed Cullen’s sentiments. “John Kinnane [Thomas Cook’s managing director for Direct Holidays] has made things extremely difficult for all staff. He has intimidated staff, bullied staff and used abusive language toward female staff”, telling one employee today to “fuck off” in response to a query. Kinnane refused to recognise the TSSA as representing the Direct Holidays staff; without union representation, Direct Holidays staff “were not in any position to consult with senior managers who had their own hidden agenda and proved this when they closed the consultation down when staff said there were other matters that needed to be discussed.” Kinnane, she said, made threats similar to Robinson’s in order to get employees to vote for the five-week redundancy package.

McManigan says that Kinnane has demanded Direct Holidays’ staff return to work on Tuesday as normal. “That’s not gonna happen”, she replies, noting that the Direct Holidays staff did not trust Thomas Cook management not to close and strip out the store while the employees were not present. McManigan gave the following statement:

The staff at Direct Holidays based at 17 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 never had any intention to strike, officially or unofficially, on these premises, although we did pledge our support to our colleagues based at the Grafton Street store & our union, the TSSA, who have supported us wholeheartedly all the way through this. Thomas Cook sent their security firm to this building yesterday to intimidate its staff and try to bully them into handing over the keys to this premises. Staff refused to hand over the keys as there was a fear that the Direct Holiday shop based at 17 Talbot Street would be stripped over the bank holiday weekend and when we returned on Tuesday there would be no office here, as was done at North Earl Street Thomas Cook. Thomas Cook/Capital Holdings has provoked all staff based at Direct Holiday into the action. John Kinnane, the managing director of Capital Holdings has never supported staff at Direct Holidays and initiated senior members of human resources from the UK to come to us and bully us. Staff at direct holidays will stand firm united and strong through all of this. We will not stand down.

Obama’s new stance on same-sex marriage earns donations

Posted December 11th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Following the announcement this week by U.S. President Barack Obama that he supports the legalisation of marriage for same-sex partners, the Obama campaign claims to have received an increase in donations and support from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) supporters.

Financial support for Democratic politicians by LGBT groups had fallen to the lowest rate in 16 years, with only $590,000 raised so far in the election cycle. A June fundraising event planned in Los Angeles and focused on the LGBT community is likely to sell out and Obama’s campaign team is seeking to expand the event.

Gay people better get out there and support the president.

Chad Griffin, the incoming head of LGBT campaigning group the Human Rights Campaign, said that the President’s statement on marriage “will further energize an already excited base”. Obama supporter and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Wade Randlett said that the announcement “reminds people of the Obama they worked hard for in 2007, 2008. Someone who takes strong, bold stands”.

The sex advice columnist Dan Savage wrote on Twitter: “Gay people better get out there and support the president. If he loses in November, we’ll be blamed.”

Opponents of same-sex marriage have also used the President’s statement on the issue to raise money: the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have run a three-day long “money bomb” fundraiser this week which raised $20,000. NOM plan to increase the amount spent on supporting candidates in federal elections this year.

Australian shot in Thailand

Posted December 10th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Friday, June 30, 2006

An Australian has been shot in the abdomen in Thailand. The 22-year-old man from Wagga Wagga, Lee Burkinshaw, was shot in the Chantaburi province during a drive by shooting. He was evacuated to Bangkok hospital after receiving some treatment at a local hospital. An operation is needed to remove the bullet from his abdomen. He is expected to make a full recovery.

His spleen was removed but no vital organs have been damaged.

His father received a call at 2 a.m. AEST.

Lee went to Thailand to study the gem cutting.

“It is the gem capital of the world, and a lot of the rough cut gemstones come into there to be cut and styled,” Mr. Burkingsaw said.

He is undeterred from revisiting Thailand.

“This is purely a one-off incident … Thailand is a wonderful country, it’s just an unfortunate incident,” said Lee.

This is the second incident in recent weeks in which an Australian had been shot in Thailand. Last week a nurse was killed when she was shot in the neck near a bar.

Citizen Aqualand Diver Eco Drive Men S Watches}

Posted December 10th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Submitted by: Zeta Watches

A longstanding misconception needs being addressed first. Contrary to many people holding AQUALAND as a specific model from Citizen, it is actually a class of specific type of watches with specific uses in specific fields. Not that you cannot wear them in the nightclub or on the streets; just make sure you are not one of them who abhors water or hasnt gone beyond the safe boundaries of private and/or commercial swimming pools. We are talking about the wild oceans here, where things usually start 300m deep.

The Aqualand has evolved through years and today, it exists as a most popular choice for professional divers in fact, anyone who has got anything to do with the depths. Its a dive/tool watch thats used for actual diving and not some folly ornamentally similar.

Is the Aqualand an alternative for the omnipresent dive computers? Nay, but its the next best option to a dive computer. Even if you have one, the importance of a secondary method (Plan B) cant be ruled out. The Aqualand provides you the information that helps you calculate your survival chances. This secondary method is critical and a potential life-saver if things go awry. It is also a highly usable and practical alternative when strapping a wrist-computer clearly spells V-A-N-I-T-Y. This one doesnt have that many multiple dials and is less likely to run out of juice all in a sudden.

Okay, so why not a mechanical alternative? Because Aqualand is an excellent, fault-tolerant device.

At the top of the Aqualand list is definitely the Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter; its a ready-set-dive kind of a watch thats functional till 70M. ISO compliant, it has a power reserve indicator and the dive mode starts automatically as you hit the water. Affordable, feature-packed and built to survive the Apocalypse, the Citizen Promaster Aqualand is a must buy if you are trying to eventually become a master diver!

One more thing that makes the Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Mens Watch a winner is its fast ascent indicator. It automatically starts beeping (audible under water) when you are coming up at a velocity greater than 33 feet/10 meters per minute.

And lastly, the basic shape. The classic, round, tuna-can type build makes for a recessed dial and a 2 to 3 mm higher bezel that actually protects the mineral crystal.It also gives the watch a true, instrument-type look, with further contributions from the fixed, depth-gauge sensor that automatically activates once it hits the water.

But the Citizen Promaster Aqualand Scuba Diver Watch is large in its dimensions and not suitable for skinny wrists if you are wearing it for fashion. Otherwise, it is a bargain for all that it provides. Compare it to another watch with similar features and youll find it is more imposing, yet more wearable, in its stature.

We at aspire to be the first truly global online watch store. Based out of the tiny island nation of Singapore, our goal is to bring you the best and latest in watches no matter your location. We source our watches from established distributors from all over the world in bulk.

About the Author: Click Here For More Information :


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Hurricane Richard makes landfall in Belize

Posted December 10th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Monday, October 25, 2010

We already boarded up everything, and we already got everything, office equipment and everything, stored in a safe place. We got all the tourists out, and get the whole place secured down.

Hurricane Richard made landfall in Belize about 20 mi (35 km) south-southeast of Belize City with winds of 90 mph (150 kph) at approximately 6:45 local time (0045 UTC) according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Richard is currently lashing the country with strong winds and heavy rain, which, officials have said, could cause life threatening floods and landslides.

Officials have revealed that 10,000 people are currently sheltering in schools and churches, while some have moved to Belmopan, as the country is battered by strong winds and heavy rains. Although tourists have been evacuated from vulnerable areas, some residents have decided to ride out the storm in their homes.

The area which Richard made landfall in is populated with neighborhoods made of wooden houses with zinc roofs. According to a clerk at a bed and breakfast, Fanny Llanos, “the winds are very strong [and are] getting stronger.” She also said that palm trees were struggling in the winds and there were loud sounds all around.

It has also been reported that 3 foot (1 meter) waves were beginning to hit the docks. Local emergency officials have advised store owners not to increase prices as people tried to stock up for the impending arrival of the hurricane.

Landslides have blocked one of the countries highways in the Colon province, blocking access to 40 towns leaving 15,000 people trapped. Teams are trying to clear the highway. Residents have advised that they have taken adequate preparations for the storm with one man saying that “he expected only some beach erosion and minor damage to homes.”

Full Wikinews coverage of the 2010 hurricane season

Monday, January 2, 2006

New Zealand’s warm sunny New Year’s weather has come to a sudden end as gale force winds and rain assault southern New Zealand.

In parts of the South Island New Year campers have finished their holiday early as winds averaging 120km/h (75 m/h), gusting at times up to 180km/h (112 m/h), have blown in.

Power went out to 1300 homes in the capital city Wellington; flights were grounded at the airport, with incoming flights diverted to Palmerston North airport.

“The North Island will also be affected by the low,” says MetService forecaster Michael Short, “with heavy rain around the Tararua Ranges and Mt Taranaki.”

The MetService has issued severe weather warnings for most of the South Island and the southern portion of the North Island; bad weather is also forecasted throughout the rest of the country.

The MetService says to expect bad weather for the next 10 days as a deepening low moves south of Stewart Island, but a flow of westerly winds is expected to stay put all week.

Holiday makers have been asked by MetService to review their holiday plans and keep up to date with the latest weather.

Spelbound declared winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010

Posted December 10th, 2017 by F4GKcb4Y

Monday, June 7, 2010

An acrobatic group known by the name of Spelbound has been declared as the winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010, a televised variety talent show competition broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom. As the winning act of the show, Spelbound have won £100,000 (US$144,580, 120,313, A$175,079) and a place at The Royal Variety Performance, an annual gala evening that is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family.

In no particular order, the top three acts were revealed to be two dancers known by their stage name of Twist and Pulse, gymnastic group Spelbound and Kieran Gaffney, whose act involves playing on the drum kit. After Kieran Gaffney was revealed to be in third place, Anthony McPartlin, who hosts Britain’s Got Talent with Declan Donnelly, said to Kieran: “Well done Kieran. Kieran, you’re a star, you came back, you got all the way to the final. I know you’ve loved this. You’ve loved this, haven’t you?” In response to this, Kieran Gaffney stated: “Thank you very much. Thank you, everyone for supporting me. Thank you.”

Shortly afterwards, on the episode that was broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday, Anthony announced: “After tens of thousands of auditons, five semi-finals and an amazing final, this…this is it. One of you is about to walk away with £100,000 and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2010 is…Spelbound!” Glen Murphy from Twist and Pulse commented about finishing in second place, stating: “Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t even believe it. I can’t believe it at all.”

Alex Uttley, a 24-year-old member of Spelbound, commented on the gymnastic group’s victory, commenting: “Oh, my god. This is unbelieveable. We just want to say thank you to everyone out there. It just shows that all our hard work has paid off.” One of the coaches of Spelbound, named Neil Griffiths, stated about Spelbound: “Oh, they’ve worked so hard over the last few weeks. Um, since the semi-final, we…we really had to pull out the stops to try and up the game. They’ve not known they’ve worked in the gym from six in the morning till twelve…twelve o’clock of the night. I couldn’t have asked for more. Um, it’s a team of coaches. I don’t take all the credit myself. There’s, uh, two people up there that know who they are who’ve been fantastic.”

Spelbound consists of 24-year-old Alex Uttley, Nicholas Illingworth, aged 24, Adam Buckingham, aged 21, 20-year-old Adam McAssey, 19-year-old Douglas Fordyce, 18-year-old Edward Upcott, 18-year-old Leighanne Cowler, 17-year-old Katie Axten, 17-year-old Lauren Kemp, 15-year-old Jonathan Stranks, Abigail Ralph, aged 15, 13-year-old Hollianne Wood and Amy Mackenzie, aged 12. Bookmakers had previously predicted that Spelbound would be the most likely act to become the winner of the series.

The running order for the final started with Twist and Pulse. The second act to perform was Liam McNally, a 14-year-old singer. The running order subsequently continued with 40-year-old impressionist Paul Burling, singer Christopher Stone, aged 28, Tina & Chandi, a woman and dog dancing act, Connected, a five-piece singing group, Kieran Gaffney, aged 12, 22-year-old Tobias Mead, a dancer, 80-year-old singer Janey Cutler and Spelbound in that particular order.

Earlier on in the final, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has stated to Spelbound: “We are hosting the 2012 Olympics and I think ‘what a brilliant opening act’.” Fellow judge Piers Morgan also commented that “[t]he purpose of this show is to identify hidden great British talent. You are that act.” After Spelbound won in the final, another judge, named Simon Cowell, stated that “the right boys and girls won on the night” and that he could “only say on live TV that that was one of the most astonishing things I have ever seen. Seriously.”

Thursday, October 29, 2009

According to US health officials, New York state governor David Paterson has declared a state of emergency in the state as a result of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

The Associated Press news agency reports that the six-page declaration was issued because at least 75 people have died of H1N1 related illnesses in New York since April. Three have died from H1N1 related illnesses just this past week. The declaration also says that human cases of the virus are on the rise.

Paterson says he issued the declaration because “a disaster has occurred throughout New York State, for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately.”

The declaration will allow health officials more access to the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu shot. It will also allow for an increase in the number of vaccine doses available in the state and will allow more health care facilities to administer the vaccine, including dentists and pharmacists. Schools with health centers will also be allowed to administer both vaccines.

Despite the declaration, officials stressed that there is no reason to worry. A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Health, Claire Pospisil, said that “it [the declaration] helps us to be more prepared.”

The order came shortly after US president Barack Obama declared a national emergency last Saturday, a response to the spreading of the virus, which has now been circulated in 46 states.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources