Extinction Rebellion London: Beehive Babies

VT Package about Extinction Rebellion London’s ‘Beehive Babies’ event.

My group and I created a VT on an event, made for our final piece of course work for our ‘Intro to Broadcast Journalism’ course. For the piece, I acted as the Reporter, Craig was the cameraman and Alessia edited the video. Learn about extinction rebellion and why it is so important to SAVE THE BEES!

Extinction Rebellion is an international organisation that aims to fight against climate change. The Beehive Babies event was a protest that went from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace, with the goal to pass a letter through the gates of Buckingham Palace to give to the Queen, asking for a bee rehabilitation program in all of her land within the UK.

Enjoy watching.

Georgie x

Culture and Diversity in Southbank

Above you can listen to my Audio Package on Culture and Diversity in Southbank. I discuss how the Southbank Centre won the Race Equality Recruitment Awards 2018, which they won by bringing in a new diversity strategy. This is accompanied with an interview with one of the staff members from the Southbank Centre who noticed a big change with the new strategy in place.

After this I talk about all the attractions around Southbank, which brings in diverse people from all around the world, this is accompanied with an interview with a Skater who skates at the Southbank Skate Space. He discusses how he meets many different people from all around the world and how he enjoys skating in Southbank because everyone can watch him and he is able to entertain them.

I finish off by discussing something we all love, food. There are so many restaurants and food markets around Southbank that sell a variety of foods from all around the world. I talked to someone who works at the Southbank Centre Food Market and he talks about all the diverse foods they sell and how he meets people of all races at the market.

Enjoy listening and I hope you discover a bit about Southbank.

Georgie xx

The Missing Women at the Oscars

In the last 20 years only one female director has won the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar award. Does this mean male directors are better or is it simply sexism?

According to a website by Shehroz S. Khan, a scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, data shows that since 1999, only 5% of the directors for the ‘Best Picture’ nominations were female. Meaning 1 woman won an Oscar in the last 20 years. This was Kathryn Bigelow in 2009 for her movie ‘The Hurt Locker’. Looking at the data of Oscar nominations for ‘Best Director’, only 8 women were nominated since 1999, whilst 129 men were nominated. The highest number of women nominated in one year was 2 in 2011, whereas the highest number of men nominated was 10 in 2010.

The situation for the ‘Best Director’ awards is much worse with only 3 women having been nominated since 1999, versus the 97 men who were nominated. This was Greta Gerwig in 2017 for her film ‘Lady Bird’, Sofia Coppola for her 2003 film ‘Lost in Translation’ and lastly, as mentioned previously, Kathryn Bigelow for her 2009 film ‘The Hurt Locker’.

Liz Tucker, the chair of Women in Film and Television UK (WFTV), which is an organisation for women working in creative media in the UK, said that she believes “how directors get nominated for awards is deeply a political process, money and marketing play a key role and sometimes, it can still be a bit of an old boys’ network.”

She said “in some quarters of the industry I think there is still a perception that women are a safe pair of hands, but if you want to get that glittery stardust, hire a male director.”

According to an academic research paper published as ‘Gender in Management: An International Journal’ written by Lynn M. Martin, the director industry is mainly male dominated. Women only represent 1 in 4 directors within the UK and are mainly a part of the smaller firms within the country. Only 1 in 226 larger firms have mainly female directors. Thus, this has a lot to do with the fact that such a small number of women are nominated or win the award.

There are other controversial opinions from fans who believe that including women just to fill a quota is more of an insult and that the male films just seem to be better. For example, twitter user @yaayandnaay who tweeted “Can we stop focusing on gender and focus on talent instead? To include a woman just to fill a female quote is sexist and an insult to all women. So, what if there were only men nominated? Their movies were simply better; that’s it. Stop interpreting everything as sexist/racist?”.

Regardless of this, the trend is still happening with the most recent Oscars in 2018 only nominating 1 woman for the ‘Best Picture’ and the ‘Best Director’ award. According to the ‘Insider’, this was noticed during the ceremony. It led to an incident where Emma Stone, who was announcing the ‘Best Director’ nominations said “These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.” Highlighting the fact that only one woman was nominated, pointing out how sexist the situation was.

Georgie xx

Brexit VT Package

With March 29 just three weeks away, we aimed to give a voice to the younger generation who feel that their needs are being ignored, even though they are the ones that will face the long term effects of Brexit. 75% of people aged under 25 voted to stay in the EU, according to YouGov whereas the majority of older people voted to leave. We spoke to two international students who spoke about how the Brexit outcome could change their view on the country they’re studying in, and we also asked them their opinion on how the Labour Party have backed a second referendum.

Above you can watch our very first practice VT Package, which covers Brexit at the houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, United Kingdom.

My groups VT package was focused on the younger generations, at the time, current opinion on the Brexit Situation. At the time, labour had just backed a second referendum, meaning that younger people could have their chance to have a say and vote. With Brexit being the hot topic in England, many angles are covered by different news stations, we thought being young ourselves, it would be interesting to see what young people had to say.

My VT Package group met up the day before where we jotted down a few different ideas of the angle that we could take, we choose one specific one however had a second favourite for a backup story if the first one didn’t work out. We then discussed what type of information we would need. Knowing exactly what we wanted to talk about, we wrote down a step by step order of how we wanted out package to be laid out (thus starting with a presenter, moving on to shots of the protestors and houses of parliament where a voice over will be attached etc..). We then gave designated roles to each member of our group, meaning that some of us had to go home and prepare some things for the next day. On the day, knowing exactly what we wanted to film, we got everything done quite quickly, we shot the establishing shots and the presenters (my) pieces. The only part we struggled with was the interview, the reason being because it was a normal day, most young people were either at collage/university and not outside protesting, which we didn’t think to consider. Thus, meaning it was very hard to find young people to talk to. Once we had gotten all the footage we needed, we sent it all to Alessia so that she could edit it all together.

Regarding the feedback that we were given, we were told that the presenter should do all of the audio in the VT package, the voice over should have some kind of natural sound behind it, rather than only talking. Specifically, regarding the interviews, we were told that it looked slightly un professional as we had one reporter either side of the two girls we were interviewing as well as that the interview didn’t fit in that well considering the girls were around 25 and thus didn’t fall under our story idea of talking to younger generations. Regarding the positive feedback, I was told that I spoke very clearly with good pronunciation and acted as a very enthusiastic presenter.

What I learnt from this process is that you have to be fully organised on what you want to do in order to make the filming process easier and quicker. I learnt a lot about how a VT package should look, especially with the feedback given. Realizing that the talking should all mainly be done by the presenter. I think my group and I also learnt a lot about how to compress a lot of information in a short video as well as what are the most important parts to include, as we had a lot more information however that would have made the video far too long. Next time my group should make sure to think thoroughly about what we are doing so we don’t come across a similar problem (all young people were busy with collage/university and thus weren’t around houses of parliament). In general I think that my group did very well, we were really organised and knew what we wanted to do, we just came across a few small problems and this practice VT showed us what we need to think about next time.


Stories hidden within databases –Are Hollywood movies true or false?

A representation of how true Hollywood movies are – screenshot from informationisbeautiful.net.

The website ‘information is beautiful’ has a page “Based on a true true story?” which analyses Hollywood films, scene by scene and states whether the events that happened in the scene are ‘true, true-ish, false-ish or false’.

Each of these options are colour coded, making it easy for the reader to see an overview of how true/false the movie is. The website has currently reviewed 17 different movies, from ‘Hidden Figures’ (74% true) to ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ (52.7% true) to ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (80% true).

How can this information be useful to journalists? What stories can we create from this data?

When movies come out that claim to be ‘based on a true story’, people tend to get a special connection to the movie as they can picture it actually happening in real life, which adds to the emotions one feels.

But isn’t it important to know how accurate the claim is? For journalists writing reviews on movies, this can be a very factual website that will help them to compare the movie, to the truth, part by part.

There is so much fake news nowadays that journalists try so hard to avoid, this data can be useful to helping journalist avoid this problem.


Everyday Justice

Court case
Overview of Court 3 in Highbury Magistrates’ court, taken by Georgina Blackwell

After visiting Highbury’s Magistrates Court on the 15th of November, I was able to get a better understanding of how the UK’s justice system works. The visit really opened up my eyes, showing the struggles that innocent people go through. As well as the abuse that the court has to deal with.

After an unsuccessful sit-in in Court Room 3, where none of the defendants showed up to their case, I decided to sit in Court Room 12, where I got to experience 4 cases.

The Case 

The case that hit me the hardest was the 2nd case about a young man whose children failed to attend school often enough without any proper justification. He started explaining how he was in prison during the time that his kids weren’t going to school, he had been falsely imprisoned for 11 months for something that his brother had done. Thus, during this time, his ex-wife was taking care of the kids and should have been the one taking them to school. However, money was being taken from his account (almost 1000 pounds in total) from social services and still is being taken.

The magistrate said that “it sounds like you have a good case” and that we have “accepted your explanation”. Thus, the case was re-opened and the young man must return in December for his second trial to try and get his money back.

Overall Opinion

I found this an extremely emotional case as I could see the pain in the young man’s eyes. Currently struggling to support his children by himself. Needing the money that has been and is being taken from him. He was completely helpless, having done absolutely nothing wrong. This case showed me the hardship that some have to go through when they are completely innocent.

This same case showed a hint of an opposite perspective, showing the abuse that the court has to deal with. They are trying to do their job and help people get out of their sticky situations.  When they were providing a mandatory warning the man got quite loud, speaking over them and using inappropriate language. Saying he didn’t need the warning as he hadn’t done anything. The court has rules which mean they have to read the statement out, whether they believe the person or not.

My general opinion on the Magistrates Court was that it was a lot less formal than I thought it would be. The members were getting up a lot to talk to one another or to drink water. It made me think that people don’t take the magistrates courts as seriously as they would the Crown Court. They seem to talk over the magistrates and not follow the rules.   


Could VR in news make people too emotionally connected?

Virtual reality
Man with VR headset on, from Pixabay.

Arizona State University, Cronkite School of Journalism has started a “Location-Based VR (Virtual Reality) Data Visualization” project. It is a $30,000 project and is led by Retha Hill. The project aims to help people, mainly journalists, to easily create location-based data visualizations in a virtual reality format. Meaning the audience could explore particular neighbourhoods’ crime and education data. Done by using virtual reality footage taken in the given areas.

The editorial opportunities with this project are that it enables people to become more involved with the story. They are able to not only read the story but are able to experience it themselves, it makes the story immersive. This could help people to understand the situation a lot better, especially as 65% of the world are visual learners. It also allows for journalists to add a lot more detail.

The two main editorial pitfalls that come with this project is the expense as well as emotional connection. VR is an advanced piece of technology which is very costly. Thus it won’t be easy to start using it constantly for news stories. Journalists are already struggling with getting paid because of technological advances and citizen journalism. Meaning it will be a struggle to find the money for such an advanced project.

When it comes to emotional connection, because people will be able to experience the situation for themselves, they might become much more understanding towards the situation. They may gain bias opinions. For example, say one could follow the life of Donald Trump, seeing how harsh people are on him and the facial expressions he has, one might start to feel sorry for him and change their opinion on him. This is what journalists are strongly encouraged to avoid. 


Citizen Journalism creating uncertainty in the world of news!

Citizen Journalism
Social Media Apps Screenshot by Georgina Blackwell

The role of journalists in a world where news is also provided by citizen journalism and user generated content, is a world that is much tougher for journalists than in a world without it.

The technological advances have led to the mobile phone. Enabling anyone to write, voice record, video record and photograph whenever and whatever they want. This is tough for a traditional journalist to go up against. They can’t be biased and have an editors code of practice. Meaning an obligation to follow ethical and moral codes.

Citizens do not have this commitment; they can share their views and opinions very openly. Which our generation seems to love considering that it brings in controversy and drama.

The mobile also makes it easy to share a story almost instantaneously. A traditional journalist is unable to do as their pieces have to be put through numerous steps before being published.  

With the mobile is the growth of social media apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. These have opened up a platform to enable the public to post their own news on. Although these apps can be very helpful for a traditional journalist when sharing news, citizens can also share news on the apps. Where can the line be drawn between the sharing of ‘real news’ and ‘fake news’?

Do people trust corporations that have specific codes and rules to follow. Meaning the distribution of tangible news. Or do they trust ordinary people that can put a twist on what they see/hear. Sharing  fake news with the world?


The Telegraph’s techniques at drawing in a younger audience through Snapchat

Screenshot of The Telegraph on Snapchat by Georgina Blackwell

Starting Monday and ending Sunday I followed The Telegraph’s posts on Snapchat. Done in an attempt to try and analyse the techniques that The Telegraph uses to draw in a younger audience. I successfully found three main techniques used.  

The Telegraph sticks with its demographic successfully by sharing stories such as; Not understanding Bitcoin, The Duchess of Sussex discussing social media pressure, Angela Merkel stepping down, discoveries of disappeared people and the crashing of a bus in China (etc). However, it includes partial soft news discussing topics such as; the beef between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, the attention on Stormy Daniels and personal stories about diet/exercise and other things (etc). Thus, the stereotypical stories that teenagers want to read about.

Another technique that The Telegraph repeatedly uses for every article on snapchat is the use of music. Adding music that fits with the emotion linked to the story. Sad music being used for the crashing of a bus in China. Upbeat music for intense topics such as the article about Bitcoin. Spooky music for the article about Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1986.

The last technique used is the appearance of the front of the article. The Telegraph uses moving text, moving pictures, moving pages, bright colours and little animations on the front page of the article. This makes the article interactive and stimulating for the brain as well as it makes the newspaper seem young and edgy as they are able to do advanced technological techniques which is attractive to younger people.  


Would you be able to forgive someone who killed your family?

Pieter Hugo went to Rwanda almost two decades after millions were killed during the genocide and photographed perpetrators and survivors together in one photo. He displays the different types of forgiveness that people can have for one another. Explaining that some of the pairs sat together and chatted about village gossip. Others agreed to take the photo and then parted ways, not exchanging much contact.

First Photo

The first image photographs Jean Pierre Karenzi, the perpetrator and Viviane Nyiramana, the survivor. Jean killed Vivianes father and three brothers. After begging for her forgiveness and building a house for her, she pardoned him. The photo shows Jean looking very sad and regretful, facing away from both the camera and Viviane. He is very ashamed of what he has done and clearly doesn’t forgive himself. Viviane is staring into the camera and has her hand on Karenzi’s back. She has no guilty conscience as she is looking straight into the camera. Her eyes are filled with sorrow from her losses. However it’s noticeable that she has forgiven Jean as she is touching him affectionately.

This seems like a case of full forgiveness, where the two would genuinely communicate with one another.

Second Photo

The second image photographs Godefroid Mudaheranwa, the perpetrator and Evasta Mukanyandwi, the survivor. Godefroid burned Evasta’s house and tried to kill her and her children, but luckily, they managed to escape. Evasta hated him for a long time. Eventually he came and knelt in front of her asking for forgiveness. His sincerity moved by her. Now she relies on him when she’s in times of trouble. The photo portrays them standing side by side. Both with stern faces, making it appear as if they don’t have a good relationship.

It is clear that Evasta has forgiven him. However, the photo makes it seem as if this is a situation where the forgiveness isn’t totally there.