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Transition Year students can win a week's work placement in The Irish Times. Send us your thoughts (200 words maximum) on a media-related topic - if your submission is published, the placement is yours.

Please note: there are virtually no places left for students between now and the end of March.

Luke Carey, Lucan Community College, Lucan, Co Dublin

The Glenn Hoddle v the media saga came to a close recently when he was relieved of his position as English football manager - a position that resembles a political guillotine eagerly awaiting its next victim. Although he had survived the first few pitfalls of his managerial career, the media weren't letting him go this time. His comments about the disabled left the media with an ideal opportunity to sway public opinion and render him unemployed.

Although entitled to an opinion, Hoddle hasn't learned (through experience) the vast difference between a private opinion and one publicly expressed by an FA official. This incident highlights the need for absolute discretion when dealing with the media: a person who lives in the public eye should choose his words carefully, taking on board the effect of what he says on the general public. If Hoddle had been more discreet in his interview with the Times , would English soccer supporters be happy with him as manager today? Was it clever journalism that exposed Hoddle's attitudes towards the disabled - or did Glenn Hoddle give bad PR advice in another life?

Antoin Smith, St Mary's Diocesan School, Drogheda, Co Louth

In the past few years, the Government has been pumping EU money into building motorways. The Drogheda bypass, which is due to start in the near future, will be only a couple of hundred metres from where I live.

Instead of waking up to the fresh smell of the countryside, I'll be waking up to a continuous hum of traffic and the smell of gases from hundreds of cars, lorries etc zooming by every day.

I won't be the only one suffering. The beautiful Irish countryside is going to lose out enormously: the motorway will be cutting through many agricultural fields on which farmers, and Ireland, depend; large numbers of ditches and hedges, sustaining numerous sorts of wildlife, will be destroyed. The scenic beauty will be lost forever.

I just hope that, in the future, we will find a new means of transport which won't destroy our beautiful country.

Write to media scope by posting your comments to Newspaper in the Classroom, The Irish Times, 11-16 D'Olier Street, Dublin 2, or faxing them to (01) 679 2789.

Be sure to include your name, address and school, plus phone numbers for home and school.

Or you can use the Internet and email us at mediapage@irish-times.ie.

media scope is a weekly media studies page for use in schools. Group rates and a special worksheet service are available: FREEPHONE 1-800-798884 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). media scope is edited by Harry Browne.