- Born October 9th 1939
- Became a chief War correspondent and reported from all over the world, covering numerous wars, most notably Vietnam.
- Lead a four year investigation on behalf of children damaged at birth by the drug Thalidomide, and left out of the settlement with the drugs company, resulted in a special settlement.
- Produced a multitude of films such as “The War You Don’t See”, where he speaks of embedded journalists and their role in war, “Utopia”, where he discusses the Aboriginal Australians and how they are overlooked and are suffering at the hands of modern day Australians, and “Palestine is still the issue”.
- “It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it.” He believes in looking beyond what you are given and digging deeper to find the true meaning behind a story
For my 2000 word comparison essay, i compared John Pilger and Martin Bell. I chose these two as i feel they have contributed a lot to journalism and i look up to the both of them due to their beliefs of picking a side, as opposed to traditional journalism which aims to be as unbiased as possible.
I started this essay worrying about the word count that i thought was far too much. In the end, i went slightly above 2000 words. Before this, i was worried that i would not have enough content on Martin Bell, as he is not as widely known as Pilger is. Gathering research on him was quit difficult.
In terms of comparing the two, i decided to focus on their reporting styles. This has worked to my advantage, as there was a lot of semiotics that i was able to draw from their reporting styles, discussing the denotations and connotations of different features such as their camera shots, use of language, tone of voice and colour.
Writing this essay, i spent a good amount of time using the library to as a foundation for research. Thanks to this I was able to go a lot more in depth into analysing their work. I used various examples of their work when describing their impact and describing their reporting styles. However this essay still lacks some depth to it. I do not go as in depth on the use of language, and i have barely touched on the political impact Bell had, only stating that he became an MP.
If i were to do this essay again, i would go a lot more in depth into describing their socio political impact, as well as describing the angles they chose to shoot at, and backing up more assertions i made with examples of their work.
Ultimately, i did want to go more in depth, however due to the word count, i was unable to.
I decided to do my story on the minimum unit pricing on alcohol. I decided it was best to speak to a manager at a shop to get his views on the MUP. Needless to say, i struggled getting a hold of someone, as many retailers and shop owners were reluctant and did not want to be interviewed.
I made numerous phone calls and visited multiple shops but even still i was unsuccessful as no one wanted to be interviewed. After a few more tries, i managed to interview one of the managers of a well known store, getting to know how the MUP is affecting his store.
I got the interview just short of four minutes, which is perfect as i had a lot of content so editing was easier.
One problem, however, is that i did the interview in a room at the store and the AC was on in the background. Before the interview, i thought this might disturb my audio and so i asked for the AC to be turned off for the interview. We turned it off and it was still sounding. After 10 minutes of waiting for silence and no other free rooms available, i had to make the most of my environment and conduct the interview with the AC sounding in the background. This is not the worst sound, and throughout the entire interview there were no popping noises as i put a wind muff on the phone before conducting the interview.
Overall i am pleased with the end result. I interviewed a manager and not just a store worker, so i feel that gives more strength to the story.
Some of my written cues were too long and some were too short which makes the story inconsistent, however the cuts from the interview i selected for the interview i feel were strong, as the manager clearly and concisely explains how the MUP affects him.
If i were to do this again. i would ask stronger questions, as in the interview some of the questions i asked that i edited out were not strong. Had i asked stronger, more relevant questions, it may have lead to an even better story.
I did my news story on homelessness in Hull. In the beginning i had no structure, not knowing how i was going to tackle this topic.
I decided the best way was to get in touch with a homeless organisation and ask them a few questions.
I got in touch with one, and i even managed to setup an interview. After completing the interview, i realised i had not positioned the interviewee correctly to get him facing the other direction and not the camera.
As well, i had no shots of anyone in the organisation working, such as cooking for the homeless or talking to any rough sleepers.
After some thought, i decided to get in touch with a different homeless charity. I got in touch with volunteers at the Hull Homeless outreach who were more than willing to help me get an interview.
I conducted my interview inside St Mary’s Church. Although the background was not ideal, i can justify filming there, as the organisation cook for the homeless inside a section of the church. They receive more than 50 rough sleepers a night at the Church, so i thought this would be an ideal location.
Unfortunately, on the day of the interview, it was raining and so i could not get the best shots of the volunteers serving the homeless and the camera is shaky on multiple shots despite the fact that i was using a tripod. This is because many rough sleepers had come together to eat and i had difficulty positioning myself in a place where the camera would not shake and i could get good shots of the homeless being served food – also taking the bad weather into account. However i feel my shots were relevant for the story as i speak about how the organisation helps the homeless by providing them with meals.
After conducting the interview, i then went home and started researching the statistics of homelessness in Hull, expecting to see a rise in homelessness throughout the city. However, upon researching, i found the homelessness in Hull has actually been decreasing and not increasing.
I was going to do a story on how levels of homelessness have increased, but after doing my research, i decided to I decided to do my story on how although statistics show homelessness increasing, the organisation holds opposite views as it has seen a tremendous rise in the level of homelessness (the interviewee said “The levels of homelessness have gone up tremendously” but I cut that part out as i did not want her to repeat it when I had already said it when was voicing over the film).
Generally speaking, i think the story is okay but i could have ended it better. I ended it speaking of the objectives of the organisation, i could have ended it on something stronger.
Overall though, having interviewed someone relevant to the topic, and getting good overall shots from hours of filming, i think the outcome is good.
If i were to do this again, i would tackle this story on another angle instead of what i did. I would also do my research before going into this story, as i expected an increase of homelessness and not a decrease.
For a great number of years many have argued over a definite answer to the question: “is print dead?”
One cannot deny the fact that it is dying. Within the past ten years, according to research from Press Gazette, an estimated 300 local newspapers have been closed. In terms of advertising revenue, print is also making significant losses. Last year, the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Sun had a decrease of around 5% in ad revenue.
Nowadays as well, people are relying less on newspapers as a source of news, and are relying more on technology.
Here is an infographic showing the decline in newspaper circulations, detailing the percentage change in the average and weekly circulations.
In addition, a survey conducted by Pew Research Centre in 2016 found that 24% of adults in the USA found cable TV news to be most helpful, while 3% found local paper in print to be helpful, and 2% found the national paper in print helpful. It also found that 36% of U.S adults learned something about the election from a print newspaper. This was lower than the percentage that learned from radio (44%), digital sources (64%) or 78% from TV (Barthel, 2016).
Evidently, print is dying. However, to say that it is dead now would be incorrect. Here is an infographic based off of research conducted by Pew Research Centre, which found that 51% of those who read a newspaper read it only in print, while 5% read it on desktop only. This research shows that print is not yet dead and is widely used.
In conclusion, although print is at a severe disadvantage with ad revenue falling and more people relying on online sources and technology as a source of information, print is not yet dead. That being said, however, with constant developments in technology, and with teenagers preferring online mediums to print, all the evidence points to journalism being purely online in the future.
Barthel, Michael. “Newspapers: Fact Sheet”. Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.
Adeyemi, Samuel. “Is Print Media Dead”. ModernGhana.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 May 2017.
Generally speaking, i found this easier to do than the general story that i took so long to find a topic on.
Going on the council website i searched for interesting meetings to attend in order to write a story. However many of the meetings were rather boring and were more feature than news.
Searching again after a few more days i found a meeting about a Hull Housing strategy set to improve housing standards. The story was not particularly difficult to write, and since i recorded what was said in the meeting, it was easier to get the quotes and write the story up.
The council meeting was on a very broad topic: Housing across Hull. However i picked an angle to tackle this story and focused primarily on the private sector housing.
I believe this story is newsworthy as housing is a topic that many are interested in. The council plan to make the housing better by lowering rent. As many households in the private sector are forced to pay high rent, a topic like this is likely to grab their attention and the attention of many.
In addition getting a photo relevant to this story was simple.
My story, however, could be improved upon.
This story would be best suited for the Hull daily Mail. This is because it is of concern to residents in Hull as it is about housing across Hull.
Hull City Council have given the go ahead for a plan set to drastically improve housing standards in the private sector.
The council plan to make a high quality, energy efficient and affordable private rented sector so that it is accessible to all.
The need to improve the housing was discussed by members of the cabinet last week, as it was noted the rent is too high, and this leaves many households struggling to survive.
In addition the houses are of poor quality, since the heating is insufficient.
To improve the heating in the houses, the council plan to develop and publish Hull’s Affordable Warmth Strategy.
The size of the private sector as a whole is one a portion of the problem. There are currently almost 2,500 homes that have been empty for nearly six months – the vast majority of these are in the private sector.
It is expected to increase even more in size, as Dave Richmond, head of housing said: “Private renting sector has doubled in size and is expected to double in size over the next 10 years. It really is going to be the looming problem that we face in this city unless we get to grips with it.”
To tackle this particular issue, the council plan to find new and creative ways of bringing the empty homes back into use as well.
Another issue discussed to target was the affordability of the private sector that leaves many people without homes, as Mr Richmond pointed out: “the private sector is the main cause of homelessness.”
Many in the private sector are rough sleepers due to the high rent.
Cllr Steve Brady, leader of the council said: “We have got to drive up the standards of the private sector. Some people are living in awful conditions and it’s unacceptable.
We want (the private sector housing) to be a decent home standard. We want clean, dry homes and to me it’s the least that can be expected from anyone that is renting a house.”
Discussing when the current conditions of the private sector are likely to change, he said:
“When the government give us more powers to act against the landlords that are not providing decent homes for the people.”
I found this extremely difficult, as i was only able to get a story at the last minute. I searched through multiple newspapers and websites to find a story to write about but most of the stories were not suited for the hyperlocal website.
I wrote a story about an event i attended called the Hanse Day event. Although it is not a very serious news topic, over 21,000 people attended this event so it can be argued that it is still newsworthy.
As well it is about the heritage of Hull back in the 13th century and how Hull transformed tremendously over the years.
If i were to redo this story again, perhaps i would aim to talk to as many people as i could in town, such as local traders and event planners in order to get a better news story to write about.
Overall however, i am happy with this story, as i was also able to get quotes from the event organiser, which helped strengthen the story a little.
I wrote my story on a woman that was refused to divorce her husband. Getting this story was not so difficult, as i was scrolling through newspapers looking for interesting stories and found this one.
Getting quotes was not so easy as many people did not want to be video recorded. Although i managed to get two interviews on video, the second video was not good as the person i was interviewing gave very short and brief answers. In addition, my first and only video interview had a lot of wind noise which i tried to blur out using a wind muff on my phone. However it did not help much, so i edited the video to reduce the wind sounds but the audio sounds quite different.
I felt this story needed the view of someone relevant, such as a solicitor. It was difficult to get in touch with one as many either did not answer their phones when i rang to talk to them or did not want to give their opinions on this topic.
Despite the challenges faced, after hours of phone calls and emails, my persistence payed off, as i managed to get a quote from a Solicitor about his views on the story. This helps give the story a more professional view as opposed to simply asking members of the public about their thoughts and feelings.
I also have an audio interview. Although there is the sound of a siren in the background, the interview lasted for over a minute, with the interviewee giving his full opinion on the subject. There is also a lot less wind in the audio so it is clearer. I also embedded strong tweets to add more multimedia to the story.
If i were to redo this story i would aim to get interviews from people in quieter places to avoid the wind.
I believe this story is suited for a publication such as the BBC, as the entire case itself is not based in Hull so it would not be suitable for the Hull daily mail. As well it is a topic that affects a very wide range of people.
Over 21,000 people gathered at the Hull High Street on Saturday to celebrate the international Hanse Day.
The annual event took people back to the a 13th century medieval Hull, a time when the city was part of a powerful league called the Hanseatic league that dealt with trading.
Meredith Trowsdale, the event organiser, said: “In the mid-13th century, seafaring merchants from across Northern Europe joined together to form the Hanseatic League as a way to pursue their shared economic interests.
Throughout the North Sea and Baltic Sea region, up to 200 towns and cities were members of the League. Hull was one of several associated trading cities in the UK, exporting such items as wool, cloth and salt.
Some days up to a dozen ships arrived into Hull with imported timber, canvas, furs, iron, flax and pitch. For over 400 years the League played a major role in shaping economies, trade and politics before losing its significance in the mid-17th century.”
Although this is only the second time the event has been celebrated, the first being last year, there were almost double the number of people, as Trowsdale said: (We had) 21,075, compared to 12,000 in 2016 which was our first year.
Residents flocked together to interact with people dressed as characters from over three millennia ago.
Connor Miller, 28 from Goole said: “I missed the event last year so this was my first time. It was so exciting and there was so much to see.”
Amy Katherine, 47 from Hessle said: “Some of the stunts the characters were doing were quite scary. But it was nice to see everyone mingle and have a good time.”
Esther May, 33, from Anlaby said: “It’s nice to see such recreations. I feel i can know a little about what Hull was like all those years ago and how different it is now.”
Sandra Evans, 35, from Hessle said: “You don’t see this everyday, especially here. They should do things like these more often.”
Following the end of the 6 hour long event, Trowsdale said:” The event was a great success with a 75% increase in visitor number.”
The date is already selected for our 2018 event – 12th May 2018″, she added.
To learn more about the Hanse Day event, visit their website