Week Eight: Script Writing and Audio Editing

Starting off the morning session, we had to open this week’s Moodle presentation and follow along with Rebecca. We began by going over our homework, starting with the homework of having to watch the news. We discussed what the news went over and compared the channels to one another. After going over this we went over the homework of having to edit our interview clips together.

Moving onto the lecture presentation we started to compare news interviews and profile interviews. We were shown an interview done by The Guardian with Daniel Radcliff as an example of a profile interview. After watching and discussing this we watched a bunch of the classes videos that they had edited, we were given questions that we had to answer about the videos.

We moved onto practicing ‘Vox Pops’, we watched a few examples. Learning that they are framed left to right and right to left and that they always come in groups of threes. Finding a relevant location in order to find opinionated people is important, the answers should be short and to the point and the background location should change as it will link the three Vox pops together smoothly. In order to properly understand this, we were given an assignment to go and film ‘Vox pops’, my group decided to relate our question to the recent celebrity suicides that have been going on, from this we derived the question ‘why do you think people should be nicer on social media?’.

For the afternoon session with Michael we focused on script writing. However as always, we started the class by discussing the homework, which was to pitch our ideas for the audio packages. We discussed these thoroughly, going deeply into each idea, being provided with a lot of feedback.

Using the audio file that we had created on the day we took a trip to Westminster and using an online program called headliner we edited this audio file. We could add pictures, a transcript, title pages and wavelengths. We spend a while just editing these pieces in class.

After finishing this we went over a script writing guide: opinions don’t matter, having a discipline and fair report, keeping it short and simple as well as always making sure to introduce the audio.

Moving onto story telling features: the general story structure is called ‘Flatline’ and is very common however can be quite boring. A more interesting structure would be ‘Introduce an Arc’, done by adding a question to drive listeners through, promising an answer to this question. Another structure is ‘divide in acts’, generally being divided in three separate acts (beginning, middle and end). One of the last examples given were ‘Signpost’ which is telling the audience why they should keep watching, explanation of why you are doing what you are doing, small reminders. We listened to some examples of these story structures.

Michael ended the class with one final tip: MAKE IT SPECIAL, done by adding interesting elements, surprises and interaction.


Week Eight: Reporting controversial topics

The morning session started with discussing the New Zealand Mosque attacks, discussing the editors code of practice and by answering different questions that should be considered about it (such as how do you describe the incident at first? do you publish or show the attackers video? and how much details of weapons used, method of attack, planning etc would you reveal?) Michael showed us different covers of how ‘The Mirror’ wrote about this story, by using very controversial titles. We had a thorough discussion/debate about this.

After this we moved on to fight hoax, doing a similar task as the previous week where each group searches a Brexit article on their social media website. Then using fight hoax to answer questions about the article. After finishing off fight hoax we moved onto the homework which was to present our datasets and initial thoughts on how to approach it as well as ideas for graphs.

Finishing off the lesson, we were reminded of our workbooks and what exactly we had to do for it.

During the afternoon session with LJ we focused on a program called ‘In design’ which could help us make the layout of our infographic. We learnt how to use the program, being able to split it into columns, add text, add images, titles etc. We were given an assignment to create our own article layout using an article we found online, done in order to practice using the program.


Week Seven: Brexit Editing

Today we started off the lesson by going over the homework, which was a few different things. We started by going over the homework of watching evening TV news from the night before and discussing the story order and the way of filming. Moving on, we discussed the piece we had to write about what we learned as a broadcast journalist when making our VT packages, linked with this project we were handed out sheets that we had to fill in, discussing the roles that the different group members had. Many didn’t write this Brexit piece so we were given around 15 minutes to sit and do it, having to discuss an overview of the VT, what the story is and why we are covering it now. Discussing the process of making it, talking about the feedback we were given, both positive and negative and what I learnt from the process and how I would do it different next time. Moving onto the last homework, which was finding someone to interview, together with this we were told how to make an interview good and why they are necessary.

For the afternoon session with Michael, we started the class off by listening to our audio files that we made when we went to the Houses of Parliament and discussed Brexit. Many of us had not edited our pieces and so we only listened to one piece, a sound scape, which perfectly used sounds to make you feel like you were standing in front of the houses of parliament on that very day. Considering that none of us had edited it, we were given time to edited our pieces. After editing and handing in our Brexit pieces we had a short lecture on interviewing, the skills that are needed for interviewing and what type of questions we should ask.


Week Seven: Ryerson Exchange

We only had the morning session considering that LJ was ill and thus meaning we did not need to come in for the afternoon session.

We started off the lesson by discussing the data that we had to find and collect to make our infographics with. We spent a lot of time on this, with Michael going over each student’s data thoroughly and providing everyone with in depth feedback. After this we went back to discussing fight hoax, we were put back into the groups that we were split into the previous week and each group was given a specific social media on which we had to find any single article about Brexit.

Moving on from this, we had a speech by Ryerson University about doing an exchange in Canada, where they also handed out free pizza. They were trying to encourage students to do an exchange with them because their university really focuses specifically on the creative industries.


Week Six: Picture Writing

Still being ill I was unable to go to today’s lesson as well however after reviewing Moodle I was able to see what they did in the lesson. They started off the lesson by going over the homework, which was discussing TV evening news from the night before.

They then moved onto showing the Brexit VT packages and reading out the studio intro for it. After watching all of the videos, each group was provided with some feedback on what they could do better next time, what went well etc. Continuing, we went over the skill of writing to pictures, which is of much importance.

To end the class, the homework was handed out. We have to write a better version of our Brexit voiceover and record it. We also have to write and record an audio of a piece called “What I learned as a journalist” and talk about the five most valuable things we learned as a broadcast journalists from producing the Brexit VT.



Once again, I was not able to attend this class as I became very ill however I heard that what they did was go over the data sets that we had to find and were given feedback. They then had a guest speaker who introduced the class to ‘Fighthoax’, telling them what it is about, how the system works and how they can use it.


Week Five: Trip to Parliament

Today was a really fun day, we had a field trip at the houses of parliament in Westminster. We were given an assignment to create a VT package on Brexit.

Before going on this field trip, my group met up and discussed what angle we would want to take and our order of filming. We decided that we would focus on teen opinion’s on Brexit. At the time of filming the labour party had just backed a second referendum, meaning that younger people would have a chance to vote, thus we focused on asking teens about this when we interviewed them.

We then decided on who would do what and the order of our VT package. We decided that I would be the presenter and camera woman, Craig an interviewer and cameraman, Alessia also an interviewer and the editor and Matt would do the voice over as well as the research. 

Lastly, we created a general order of out package. We decided that we wanted to start it off with shots of the houses of parliament and then the presenter would start off talking about where we are, what’s going on and what we are going to be talking about. Moving on to shots of protestors, houses of parliament etc which will be shown with the voice over in the background, discussing Brexit statistics regarding younger people. Next would be interviews with young protestors or people around and asking them about what they think about Brexit and how they feel now that a second referendum has been backed. We would then finish up the package with the presenter concluding and signing off. We had a few other things we wanted to add in however because of time constraints we had to change it up.

The day was absolutely perfect for creating a VT package, the sun was shining and there were quite a few protestors around as well as we were there when Theresa may enter the house of commons.

The filming went rather well as we knew exactly what we wanted to do so we were just trying to get it done. However, we did struggle with finding younger people, because what we didn’t really consider was that everyone would be at collage/university. Thus, none of the protestors were young enough to use for our package but we managed to find some younger people about.

I think that out video turned out really good, it was edited really well and we managed to get quite a lot of information in the short time we had.

Later on in the day, we moved onto doing our audio files with Michael. I decided to do a walk around podcast, meaning that what I had to do was simply explain where I am and what is going on around me. I stood directly in front of the houses of parliament, where all the protestors and police were. It took me over 10 tries until I got a recording. that I was happy with.

At the end of the day we stayed around the houses of parliament for a bit to see if Theresa May was coming out and then eventually we were allowed to go home/stay/choose what we wanted to do.


Week Five: Day of Excel

This week I was not present for the morning session with Micheal as I was helping a friend out at the hospital. However after reviewing the presentation on Moodle , I saw that they discussed ‘Finding data sets’. They started off with going over the homework and then later on went over examples of finding data sets in sources. They ended the session by going over next weeks homework.

For the afternoon session we had another Excel lesson, where we went through the rest of the examples that we did in the previous lesson. We went over one called ‘Box and Whisker Plot’ which I found particularly interesting as I had to hand draw these quite often when studying in IB. Moving on, we used real data sets from the police about different types of crimes in many areas around the United Kingdom. We learnt how to gather the main data we would need for whatever we would be doing, from the data provided as well as how to make graphs from this data. Being shown which graph would be the best to use in this scenario.


Week Four: Brexit VT Practice

For the first session with Rebecca, we discussed the homework from the previous class. Each VT group presented our VT’s on student life to the class. We were provided with feedback from both Rebecca and the class, enabling us to make improvements in the future.

We moved onto the second part of the homework where we analysed a news channel of choice. could choose between BBC news, Channel 5 and Channel 4 news. We were given a form to fill in which had a few different questions. We had to write about the story line of the entire show. We had to talk the audio and visual elements of a specific VT. We also had to mention which filming sequences and interviews would have been planned prior to planning. Lastly, we had to discuss how much background information they provided on each story.

The entire class choose the BBC news so we all took part, I gave a lot of input about the story-line and explained what type of information they provided for each story.

The class was then split into our VT groups, done in order for us to start preparing for our VT’s that we will be making regarding Brexit. On the 26th of February, we will be going to Westminster to view a protest on Brexit. Only me and one other member of my group were present, so we started off by using SiSo to book out the equipment for the day. We also discussed the different types of angles we could take and what type of roles everyone could do.

To finish up the lesson, Rebecca gave us an assignment again in order to prepare for next week. In order to practice out PTC’s, we were given the following two complex sentences;

“Record numbers of students from China and Hong Kong are applying for places at British universities, according to official figures.”

Data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) shows a spike in demand for undergraduate places from mainland China and a small rise in applications from the EU, despite fears over Brexit.”

My team mate and I both practiced doing the piece to camera as well as filming.


Week Four: Data and Excel

In the morning session with Micheal, we started by going over the homework, as we always do. We had to write a story on a discussion between Sarah O’Connor and Tim Harford. Talking abut what they discussed, whether we agreed with what was said and if there were any reservations. As well as using this to consider how we approach statistical claims and where they could have misled us. We then had to use this knowledge to analyse a current story.

A few students discussed what they had talked about. Me not being confident when it comes to statistics, decided to stay quite.

After going over the homework, we moved onto business data. We talked about stock exchange and FTSE, currencies. Looking at some real statistics and using excel to create an infographic. Where we could view how things have changed and increased/decreased.

Next we focused on finding data stories, where we were shown a few interesting websites. An example being as ‘Strava’ which is a massive heat-map. Shown below. Micheal also showed stories from BBC news and explained how they could be made into data stories.

‘Strava’ which is an online global heat-map.

We finished the morning session off by doing an exercise. We had to find three different articles on BBC news. Talking about how we can develop the story using data sets.

For the afternoon session we had an excel workshop. We went over all the basics such as percentages and addition. We were given a few data sets and shown how to make infographics. Shown what the best one is to use for certain data sets. Having never been very good with excel, this was a really helpful class. It is always good to know the basics.