Thursday, 12 May 2011

WINOL Semester Two, Week Four

The fourth week on news actually turned out to be quite a big one for me. My news editor wanted to broaden our stories from being just Winchester based and look at something a bit further afield. One of the first year students on the course, Ali Al- Jamri, has connections to Bahrain, as his father works as a journalist out there. I contacted Ali and asked whether it would be possible to set up a skype interview with his father to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and to find out what it is like to be a journalist in country experiencing such political unrest.

The skype interview was set up for the Tuesday to ensure there was enough time to edit everything and in a way test the waters to see how successful the interview method would be.

I wrote out a list of questions and made sure I had done enough background research on the recent events and protests in Bahrain to be able to discuss them if necessary. I felt surprisingly nervous about interviewing a journalist and I also prepared myself for any technical difficulties.

The actual interview went very well and despite a few issues to begin with, skype worked really well. Mr Al- Jamri spoke of such a broad range of concerns in Bahrain, that I had plenty to work with and choose from for my package.

I also interviewed Ali to localise the story and to strengthen the human interest topic in the piece. I managed to find copyright free footage from of the recent Bahrain protests which was fantastic to use as a headline clip and really emphasised the story.

I planned exactly how I wanted the package to open and which clips from the interview I wanted to use. I opened with a short interview clip from Ali, followed by clips of the protests to link across to the interview with Mr Al- Jamri. I was thoroughly pleased with the scripting and overall outcome of the package. The guest editor on WINOL that week was Tom Hepworth from BBC South and I received some really positive feedback from him on my package. He said he liked my opening interview with Ali as it was slightly unconventional but worked well, although I could have used more shots of Ali’s face at the end to emphasise the human interest and local connections in the story.

Overall, I was really pleased with how the package turned out and I was proud to say I managed to successfully conduct a skype interview, use copyright free footage and localise a story which is such a huge worldwide newsworthy topic.

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