Reflection on specialist feature story

The feature I wrote was a specialism piece in education.

I came up with this idea after seeing a few stories in the national press about children being disciplined for their hairstyles.

It seemed to me like this was happening more frequently and when I discussed it with a few of people I know (who are my sources and relatives of sources), they shared some anecdotes with me about times when it has happened to children they know.

My primary sources in the feature are Emma Sparke and Sarah Wilkinson.

Emma Sparke is Chelsea’s sister. Chelsea told me her nephew had got in trouble a few times at school for his hairstyles and she gave me Emma’s phone number to conduct a telephone interview with her.

Sarah Wilkinson is my mum’s friend who is a teaching assistant at Dorchester Primary school. Before her current job she worked at Winifred Holtby Academy and so I thought it would be good to ask her if she’s witnessed any children get into trouble and to ask for her opinions. For this interview I rang her as well.

My secondary sources are news stories from the Independent and the Sun, which sparked my idea for the feature. Plus, I have included a statement Northern Irelands children’s commissioner made about the matter for authority.

I also tried to get a statement from Hull Trinity House Academy, because they were spoken about negatively in my feature and I wanted a balance of opinions. However, they never got back to me.

When I first started writing the feature it had a very chatty tone to it at the beginning like it should go in the Sun, whose socio economic demographics are CD2DE and target age group is 15-34. Due to their target audience, their writing style more laid back and their content seems less serious.

However, after receiving feedback it was clear that I hadn’t stuck to having a chatty tone throughout writing the feature and after the introduction the story turns into more of a serious news piece. Due to this I changed my introduction to be more serious so the tone was consistent throughout and it all flows nicely.

Now, my feature might be more fitting for a different national newspaper like the Independent whose socio demographic is AB C1 C2. Or it may bee fitting for BBC news online because of the serious and more formal tone.



Reflection on specialist news story

The specialism of my news story is music and the story is about a big band coming to Hull.

I came across this story because the person who organised the gig asked me to review it for him before it was even announced, and so it seemed like it was going to be quite a big and popular event.

I have written this story as if it would be published in a local music magazine such as Browse Magazine, or in Hull Daily Mail in the What’s Happening section, as it is all about the band (Holding Absence) coming to Hull.

Hull Daily Mail’s socio economic demographic is C2DE, which stands for skilled manual occupations and semi-skilled and unskilled manual occupations, unemployed and lowest grade occupations. These two grading’s grouped together are the lowest socio economic grades, which means Hull Daily Mail reach out to a wide and varied audience.

Their target age is also extremely wide with their reading age starting at aged 9. So that they appeal to a wide audience their writing style aims at people aged between 9 and 32, which means their content is simple and easy to read for the local audience they circulate to.

My main source for the story is Lewis Ross, who organised the event at O’Rileys where he works. I initially contacted him on Facebook and then met up with him to conduct an interview and get as much as possible out of him.

I also spoke to Darren Bunting who runs O’Rileys on Facebook, he is a very busy man and it was easier for him to just message me a response.

Plus I included one of the bands, To the Strongest, as a secondary source by quoting what they said about the show on Facebook. 

As well as just To the Strongest’s reaction I also tried to get quotes off the other bands. However, I didn’t manage to.

To bulk the story up a bit I also tried to find some quotes off fans. However, I didn’t manage to find any that were really worth quoting.

Albanian feature story

I think the feature story I have created is the best content I have created for the website.

The piece raises a serious issue which isn’t really covered in the press as much, and before I found the data about this I didn’t even know Albanian’s were targeted more – I thought it was Vietnamese men.

Although I haven’t really got any multimedia for the piece, I still think it’s important to be on the website as it is hard hitting news. And I think the infographic I created on helps break the written content up a bit. For the graphics, I stuck to the theme colours of our website so it all looks good.

On the story I have added links onto some of the text, which will take viewers to external sites who are my sources. By adding the links I will be making the story on the website more SEO friendly.

Evaluation of self initiated project

For the self initiated project I feel like I could have done a lot better.

Our group didn’t work well together at all as there was a huge lack of communication and barely anyone turned up to the sessions.

Working in a group was very frustrating, as I wasn’t sure what content everyone was gathering and I didn’t want to contact the same organisations and get the same stories as other people.

I tried to get in touch with everyone and ask what was been done several times however no one would speak. I even sent them all a message saying I had had enough and that everyone should go in and sort things out. However, the others didn’t seem to care.

I think I should have taken charge of the group, as the editors lacked control and were never in contact with me other than right at the start of the project. I felt like I was doing everything on my own.

After putting off doing work for a while I eventually kicked into gear and I started to work on what I wanted to do, regardless of what everyone else was doing.

I regret going against how I planned my time out in a Gantt chart at the start of the project, as I suddenly felt like I had a lot to do in little time. However, I created more to keep myself on track and they helped me stay organised.

It took a while for organisations to get back to me after contacting them for spotlight pieces, and I think I should have contacted them a lot earlier than I did as I didn’t get as many as I wanted for the website.

However, I have managed to create a fair amount of content for the website and I feel like I have done a nice variety of things.

The best story I think I found was my feature story about Albanians being trafficked the most. This story only sparked from finding some data online from the Salvation Army. Then when I dug deeper and asked Prof Gary Craig what he knows about the issue I realised it was quite a big story, and I had a lot of research which allowed me to create the feature.

The only issue with my content is that I haven’t got as much multimedia as I wanted, because it was difficult to meet up with people for interviews because of how pressed I was for time and how busy they were as well. However, I have got some audio pieces and I helped Chelsea create a video for one of her stories.

Overall, the self initiated project has taught me to not sit back in group projects and to organise my time better.

If I am to work with groups in the future on projects I am probably going to take charge and get on with everything I want to do straight away, so I can achieve the best possible outcome and not be left feeling disappointed and like I could have done better.

STORY: Albanians prime target for human trafficking and exploitation

Over the last five years the number of Albanians trafficked to the UK has been rising.

Now, latest figures are suggesting Albanians are targeted more than any other ethnic group for human trafficking.

In February 2017 there were 48 Albanians referred to the Salvation Army, amongst 207 victims with different ethnicities.

The second most victimised ethnic group was Vietnamese, with a recorded amount of 29 people referred to the charity.

To view the statistics, click on the link below:

Women also seem to be targeted more by human traffickers as 64% of those who were referred to the Salvation Army in February were female.

In a women’s refuge in southern Albania, a girl revealed to the BBC that she was forced to sleep with several men a day.

“Seya” was trafficked from Albania when she was 14. She fled from a violent family home, and was then sold into a trafficking ring by a man she thought was her boyfriend.

She told the BBC she was “terrified”.

Unfortunately “Seya” isn’t the only girl who has been victimised after escaping from a violent home. In fact, most of the women and girls who are trafficked from Albania report fleeing forced marriages and domestic violence.

According to the Home Office in Albania, domestic violence is a “serious and widespread problem”.

One of their documents from last year stated that in a survey it was shown “some 53 percent of women had experienced domestic violence within the last 12 months”.

Home Office said it is not only the women’s partners who are violent towards them but also parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws, and other relatives.

Associate director of Hull’s WISE (Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation) Professor Gary Craig also claims women in Albania have very “little opportunity for paid work”, which is why they are attracted to moving abroad to try to earn a decent income.

The professor of social justice says many of the women are lured into the UK by criminals who promise them jobs, such as work in a hotel or a café. However, they often end up being trafficked and exploited.

He explains: “It is reasonably easy for women to be trafficked into the UK via Italy as they are then in the EU. The route across the Adriatic is relatively short and very well-used by criminal gangs. The cost of getting women to the UK may be relatively low.

“There has been a huge growth in criminality in Albania and indeed it has become for some sections of society, more or less a way of life as the institutions of law and legal enforcement are weak. There is a very large network of gangs able to manage the trafficking nexus.”

A human trafficker who is serving a 15-year sentence in Albania said that there was a time when “everyone” was doing it.

Prisoner Fatos Kapplani is being held at a high security prison for trafficking children to Greece and forcing them to work as prostitutes and beggars. While he was carrying out the criminal acts, he had a wife and children.

When he was asked in an interview with the BBC what made him do it, he said: “It was a time that everyone was doing that kind of thing.

“It’s terrible,” he added, “What if that were my child and someone did that to them. It’s very terrible.”