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.



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