Thursday, 6 October 2011

Winol - Week one and two

Welcome back on le blog de Julie. I have finally decided to get started on this blog, and I'm going to write about Winol / media law as often as I can. There, I've said it. I've got no choice but to do it now.

So this year I am meant to be investigative reporter, which is a great job, as well as being extremely difficult. Being investigative reporter means finding stories that aren't in the news agenda. Which means... I've got to find ideas, question everything I see/hear/read etc. And read the news. Radio 4, the Guardian and BBC News have become my best friends. And for entertainment I watch the French news when I come home at night.

I have decided to focus mainly on Freedom of Information Requests. And it is not as easy as I thought. Take Hampshire Constabulary for instance. They really, really, really hate FOIs, and they'll do anything to delay your request. Sounds like they've got something to hide.... In any case, when I sent this request: "How many vehicles - including bicycles - computers and printers were stolen in the last 10 years from Hampshire Police?" I certainly did not expect this response:

" Dear Ms Cordier

Perhaps you can clarify your request, please - are you including computers and printers under the category of 'vehicles' ?"

When I said they'll do anything to delay your request, it means ANYTHING, including making themselves sound like retards.

Anyway, in the past two weeks I have not been investigating much I'm afraid. But it'll come. Instead, in week one, I mostly helped the second years with the technical side of news reporting. I went filming with Lou, and helped people on Final Cut Pro. In fact it was a great confidence boost as I remembered how nervous I was last year at the same time, and how much I've learnt since then. I don't stress anymore when I interview people, and I can edit a package in less than 2 hours. Which is pretty outstanding considering that in December I spent a whole night (from 7 pm til 5 am...) editing a 1'30" long package!

In week two, Chris walked into the room and stepped all over my beautiful news story-to be. I wanted to "investigate" whether the university had met their own targets regarding education access for people from disadvantaged background. Instead he entrusted me with an investigation that shall remain confidential for now...

Then Becky (my dear news editor) decided that I should do a story on bacon. Well, Chris had heard of a student who had to google how to cook bacon and thought that would make a fascinating story. Uldduz (second year news reporter) had already organised the interview with the girl-who-can't-cook-bacon, but as she had already a package in the news bulletin I was given the story. Putting this story together was very entertaining, but writing the script was difficult. I got help from Cara, Becky and Mikey - he's the one who thought about the "pig's ear" pun! And for those who thought I've been nasty in the script, I was strongly encouraged by Angus to do so. So I only followed my lecturer's advice really.

here's my tasty "news" story:


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