Lately, it has been difficult to select the most shocking events happening across the world… whether it was the Japan earthquake, Libya continuous uprising or Syria unrest, Guantánamo Bay secrets or others. I haven’t written about them simply because I have too much to say. These days I have seen an amazing documentary about the children from Afghanistan that are addicted to drugs and I decided to dedicate this post to them. This short documentary explains what happened to the citizens of Afghanistan during the conflict and reveals an unreported side of it. I was shocked seeing these images, that are truly devastating.
I believe that being a parent is the greatest thing in your life, but how hard it is for a parent to make his own child a drug addict? Reasons? Hunger. War. Pain. One mother even confessed that she used to give her child opium because she didn’t have enough food to feed them all. Opium is a drug that is it obtained from the opium poppy and contains 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin. Opium is the cheapest thing you can buy in Afghanistan, even cheaper than food: 1£/smoke. As a parent it is also hard to see your child screaming in pain caused by broken arms or legs because of occasional bombings they get. The only solution for the poor children is opium. And I am wondering, what fault has this child committed? Why should he care about the war?
How can that be possible that guilt for the thousands of lives taken or destroyed is a small price to pay for the glory of the Western World? How can that possibly be true that we are looking at these shocking, desperate images and do nothing about it? Where is the equality?… And now watch the documentary here, sorry I couldn’t include it on my blog.
Since the Web 2.0 offers us an unlimited platform to express our opinions, to make our views known and to get in touch with a lot of people across the globe, journalism is permanently converging. Lately, we have witnessed a significant growth in online journalism because it’s instant and therefore it’s better. However, it has lots of disadvantages as well. First, a journalist today must be able to multi-task rather than being a simple reporter as journalism is a very competitive field. Second, it makes you spend all your time in front of the computer and this is a huge danger for your health. This is what I don’t like about it: because it’s so instant you have no time to properly research your stories and because it’s online you have to sit on your desk and type into a computer all day long.
Notwithstanding, there are more advantages today. The module gave me a better insight into the blogosphere, as it was a totally new world for me. I started up my blog and tried to post something regularly. I am quite satisfied with its progress as I managed to get a lot of comments, views and even a couple of subscribers. Also, the blog is the perfect platform to gather all my journalism activities and a great opportunity to increase my writing skills. I do want to keep it and to develop it into a news and current affairs blog. In our multimedia classes we went through a lot of useful stuff and tricks for making your blog better and unique, so I am fully prepared to have a competent news blog.
Another significant achievement was to acknowledge the power of social networking sites, especially Twitter. I understood that Twitter is an utterly necessary tool for journalists. Instant reporting and great news source. You get the chance to follow big people from all around the world and to stay tuned with the latest news about them. Twitter has also discovered a lot of talented journalists that made their way into the industry via the 140 characters tweet.
Overall, I can see that journalism is heading towards one single direction that is online, because the dot.com pages hold a wealth of information that is now more easily accessible than ever before.
My group blog is called ‘Skint But Mint’. It is a blog about student lifestyle and how to make it easier for students to live abroad. The motto ‘a problem a day solved the student way’ was our creative approach to the blog as there are hundreds of other student blogs on the web and we wanted to make it different. I am very happy with the project because in a short term we have achieved to create a small audience,to motivate them to comment and to visit our blog regularly. Our Facebook page has helped us a lot to develop a small group that was later actively contributing to the blog’s discussion.
I think we managed to cover all the subjects that matter for a student and got some interesting interviews with Jo Elvin, the editor of Glamour Magazine and Ben Gilbert, the music journalist from Yahoo!. I liked the fact that we had a lot of personal photos as it made the blog more appealing and colourful.
Thinking about what didn’t work, sometimes I thought some post were too long. I tried to read every new post uploaded, and as a reader, it was difficult for me to get to the end of it.
I think Skint But Mint can be more successful if we continue to work on it. Initially, I had the idea of introducing an online competition on the blog so that people could get more involved. The competition was about asking our readers to write about some of their problems or upload pictures with food they ‘ve cooked. The prizes would have been taken from studentbeans.com, that has the greatest offers for students in the UK. Due to the lack of time , we didn’t introduce it.
Overall, I am satisfied with our work and I got valuable skills in writing and in working in a team, that is never an easy job.
To start with, I want to mention that despite the hard work I enjoyed a lot doing this video material, because I am passionate about broadcasting. I was lucky when choosing the subject for my video journalism module, because an interesting event was approaching London. Doing a bit of research on the launch of the ipad2 in the US early in March, I noticed that the event shared a great media attention, so I thought it’s a good idea to film the Apple nuts on its launch in London. Apple launched ipad2 on the 25th of March in London at 5pm, but from the morning papers I could read that people started to queue up 33 hours ahead. I enjoyed being there a lot, experienced how it is to be a real reporter and to interview tens of people in a couple of hours.
I had a vague idea when I went to shoot, but I knew I have to take as much footage as possible. I took random images with London and then focused more on the Apple store from Regents Street. I was surprised to see the great atmosphere there and the one-mile long queue that was waiting for the magic gadget. That is how I got my idea to make the video more comic and entertaining.I also wanted to make it different and original and I think I achieved that.
I worked on it for a long time but nevertheless, I am very satisfied with my short documentary and I am confident that it ‘s one of the best videos in the group.
As I mentioned above it was a double pleasure for me to work with audio and video, and I found the audio module very interesting. Also, it is twice easier to work with a Zoom recorder than with a Canon camera, but however, the editing process takes a while as well. My first interviewee was an intelligent guy that I met recently. I think it was worth interviewing him, because he has a great story to tell: he is the founder of his own software development company and he is only 18 years old. Besides his high responsabilities at work, he is a second year at Bath University.
For the podcast I went for a great story as well: WikiLeaks. Being inspired by this controversial website, I wanted to make an original podcast about it and decided to cover Julian Assange’s trial. To act as a real journalist, I went the Belmarsh magistrates court to take good interviews. I think I will remember this moment for ever, because it was my first experience in covering such a big, global story and talking to so many important people and well-known journalists.
Being one of the tens of reporters that were present, I also managed to take pictures and video footage with the whistleblower hero, Julian Assange. I sent the material to several international news agencies and they were accepted and published by the russian media giant RIA Novosti.
My podcast starts with Julian Assange’s court hearing and then questions if WikiLeaks has changed traditional journalism and how. To sum up, I am happy with my work and I look further to work on more challenging projects like this.
This is a documentary I made for my video journalism module, about the launch of the iPad 2 in London. Great atmosphere, nice weather and a long long queue. My first interviewee is Jules Lewis, the first man who started to queue up 33 hours ahead iPad2 launch on Friday the 25th of March. Have a look and leave a comment 🙂