Sunday, 6 December 2009

How to...

Write a news story

Main questions before starting: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? If possible, answer these questions in the first line.

The pyramid structure: start the story with the most important facts. The first sentence has to give the most important elements. Then retell the introduction with more information.

Things to remember:
● It's about people, not objects. How can the story be relevant to people?
● Try to name people
● Don't be passive , have an angle
● Don't start a news report with a question
● Be objective - don't describe news as bad, good, tragic etc.

● Quote people
● When writing: one idea per sentence, write short and active sentences, reduce and simplify words.

Do an interview

First things to do:
Understand the subject
Have a list of questions - but use them only as a guide
Decide of a location/time
● Anticipate problems: "What could go wrong? Can the interviewee become aggressive? Can he/she say inappropriate things on air?" Interview Guy Goma

There are two types of interview:
●Informational interview: you gather facts and establish information - experts, eye witnesses, police etc.
●Confrontational interview: you put forward somebody's point of view and you challenge them to balance the argument.

There are different kinds of interview:
●Press conference: plan well - you must get a question in a press conference, otherwise there's no point in going.
● One to one
● Vox pops: interview people in the street - don't do it too often
● Doorstepping: an aggressive and unpleasant way to interview people; don't do it unless you don't have the choice.
● E-mail - not reliable
● Death knock: get information about someone who died from their relatives.
● Profile interview: for features usually.
● Celebrity
● Telephone
● Down the line

Starting an interview:
● Give your name and who you work for
●Dress appropriately
● Get the basic details right - name, age, adress job, family details.
● Check that the technical equipment is working
● Try to put the interviewee at ease
● Listen to the answers and ask supplementary questions
● Body language: nod, tilt your head, lean forward, smile - don't talk while the interviewee is speaking
● Use silence - don't be afraid to say nothing for a few seconds. Silence can be a weapon!

● Ask open questions - thus you'll get more information
● If you don't understand, ask another question to clarify the answer
● Keep questions short
● Use leading questions - "Where you angry ...?"
● Don't use loaded questions - remain objective

Tough questions
● Leave the tough questions until the last minute
● Warn the interviewee that it's going to be a difficult question to answer
● Use a shield - "People say that you..." don't attack him/her directly
● If he/she won't answer a question, suggest an answer
● Point out that a "no comment" statement would sound very bad.

Where to find information

Here are the main sources where we can find information:

Press releases
● Press Officers
● Courts (you can find court listings on the Internet)

● Government
● Opinion polls/National Statistics Office
● Private investigators
● Councils
● Universities
● Employees/Employers
● Ofcom
● Trade Unions
● Religious organisations
● Press associations: pressassociation virtualnewsroom
● Non Governmental Organisations
● Eye witnesses
● Grieving families
● Police
● Charities
● Private contacts

● User Generated Content

Friday, 4 December 2009

Teenager hit by a car in Fareham

A teenager has been seriously injured after he was hit by a car in Fareham.

The 16-year-old boy was hit on Wednesday, December 2, at 11:25pm while crossing Newgate lane.

The young man now suffers life threatening head injuries and is staying at Southampton General Hospital. The 71-year-old driver and his passenger have not been injured in the collision.

Police are looking for witnesses. PC Faye Cappleman from the Cosham Roads Policing unit said: "This incident occurred close to the time when people would be returning home from an evening out.

“We’re looking to speak with anyone who saw the Hyundai Getz, or the pedestrian around this time, or anyone else with information about what happened.”

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Eco action in Winchester

Heatseekers vehicles will soon help Winchester homeowners to reduce their energy consumption by spotting escaping heat from their houses.

Scientists from the Energy Saving Partnership have developed Heatseekers vehicles using thermal imaging technology – a technique that identifies heat in cold temperatures.

Heatseekers vehicles will operate at night in the streets of Winchester this month. Once this operation done, a team of energy advisers will contact local homeowners to tell them how to improve their insulation and in the meantime reduce their energy bills.

The Winchester District Strategy Partnership chairman George Beckett has welcomed the initiative with delight: "This scheme will help our residents see the heat and money leaking out from their homes and we hope it will inspire them to take action. The scheme is supported by Winchester Action on Climate Change and will not only help in the fight against rising CO2 levels, but also help save our residents money in these difficult times. The energy advisors have information about grant discounted insulation which is available to all homeowners and significantly reduces the cost of any insulation improvements."

The Director of the Energy Saving Partnership Keith Hewitson said: "The HeatSeekers thermal imaging vehicle has already created quite a buzz in the sector and we are delighted to see it in action in the Winchester District. The technology has already helped improve energy efficiency in thousands of homes across the country. The HeatSeekers vehicle is one of the key front-line weapons in the battle against climate change and is already playing an integral role in the plans to make UK homes more energy efficient."

If you are a homeowner and would like information about you property’s energy consumption, please call HeatSeekers on free on 0800 111 4968.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Law lecture - Revision

The following definitions are to be known for the law test.

Malice: when somebody writes/broadcasts/publishes something that is untrue and knows it's untrue. If there is malice, the person won't have any defense in court if sued.

Public interest: when an article/documentary/investigation exposes corruption, danger of public health which is misleading the community.

Innuendo: When a journalist makes an allegation without saying it clearly, just insinuating it, without any evidence.

Juxtaposition: when an article and a picture (for example) are next each other in a newspaper but have no link at all and mislead readers making them think that they're linked in some ways.

Defamation: broadly speaking a statement or opinion that lowers someone's reputation. The statement/opinion either exposes the person to: hatred, ridicule, contempt. The statement/opinion could lead people to avoid/shun the defamed person.

Libel: libel is composed of: defamation, identification and publication to a third part (a letter is enough!)

Slander: defamation in spoken form (very difficult to prove in court!)

The person who has been defamed has one year to undertake an action in court.

Somebody who is sued for defamation has three possible defenses: justification, fair comment or qualified privilege.

Subterfuge: when a journalist doesn't inform people he's interviewing that he's a journalist and that everything they say could be published.
Under what circumstances can you use it? When the information you're trying to get is in the public interest AND if you can't get the information in another way. You also have to get the authorisation from Ofcom if you want to broadcast the interview (radio and TV). You don't need any authorisation to publish the interview in newspapers though.

Do not interview or film children without their parents' consent.

Do not glamorise crime ( you have to be careful if you want to interview criminals)

Do not mention a person's nationality unless it's relevant to the story.

Main stages in a criminal affair: Investigation
Arrest and charges
Procedure at magistrates court

The case is active when the accused have been arrested and when the charges are brought.

The Qualified Privilege defense only applies when a judge is present.

You can't interview: members of the jury or witnesses when the case is active
members of the jury after the case about the case.