Beth Krysta Wilson
My story: Study by researchers at Leeds University found almost a third of strip club workers they spoke to are university students. My piece is a video report about this information and speaks to relevant interviewees.
Unbiased: doesn’t take an view and say whether it’s bad or good, that’s not the BBC’s way of doing things. (Didn’t say: she wanted to be anonymous so her boss didn’t find out.) If it had been Mail Online they would’ve wanted a clear angle e.g. young vulnerable girls being targeted by strip clubs.
Challenging output: To me, the use of the phrase ‘challenging output’ suggests that the BBC would be happy running a story about a sensitive subject, such as the sexual objectification of women. However, they later talk about protecting ‘the vulnerable from harm’ and go on to say ‘content which might be unsuitable for children will be scheduled appropriately’. This research indicates that the subject I will be reporting on must either be appropriate to be viewed by children, or else broadcast after the watershed.
Informative: The information I’m giving to viewers is new and factual, it’s important and relevant to the audience given release of the study.
Audience: Quite an adult topic but dealt with in a way that is appropriate for pre-watershed i.e. no clips of inside the clubs/dancing. I did consider trying to gain access to the clubs and filming inside, but I felt that given the BBC want to protect younger audiences etc, it’s one thing talking about it and another showing it.
The words truth and accuracy are used many times throughout the BBC Guidelines, and I think that really highlights their desire to be viewed as an honest and reliable source of news. I haven’t manipulated quotes or facts and their is no agenda behind the piece – it’s simply there to inform the viewer.
Relevant to the BBC, Radio 5 live interviewed Peter Stringfellow about it.
Accessible for all – complex stuff e.g. SEVs, but explained in a way that everyone can understand.
Correct editorial tone – formal and informative.
Why this story?
It’s a challenging subject: As we’ve touched on, the BBC like to cover this sort of thing.
Relevant to Look North demographic: Their mission statement on Facebook asks for significant stories from around Yorkshire. this report from Leeds Uni was covered my national media such as The Times.
Current: When I started this project it was in the news and if this was a real-life exercise, would’ve been filmed and published on the same day.
Research report: It’s connected to my research report which was about the sexual objectification of women.
Dr Teela Sanders: She conducted the academic study so is well sourced. I could’ve read more findings but it’s more relevant to hear it from her.
Gemma Ahearne: She speaks from experience, worked in SEVs then went on to further education.
Stringfellow: Offers a male perspective. I did try interview night club owners but none got back to me. Stringfellow is well known within the industry. A credible source.
Anonymous: Currently working in an SEV and is a student, exactly the sort of person the study is about. She wants to be anonymous so her boss at a health spa doesn’t know she works as a stripper – read between the lines the fact she wanted to remain anonymous. She’s not a friend, genuinely anonymous and I went and found her, not just someone I know.
If we look at the sort of shots in BBC packages, it’s clear that mine are of a similar standard and fit within their house style.
Fits in with standard BBC package duration – 2 min 39s
I did have more voiceover scripted and a graphics section with some of the statistics from the report, but I felt the piece worked well enough without them and the length it was at was ideal.
Determination/perseverance: Kept going, emailed lots of people many times and then had to develop a new story when it looked as though original one might not happen.
Most people probably have views on sexual entertainment venues so it’s something that needs to be treated sensitively. As quoted by Pape and Featherstone (2006) in Feature writing: a practical introduction, when dealing with sensitive topics such as this, it’s always best to do face-to-face interviews to establish a rapport with the interviewee, which in turn, will help them feel more comfortable answering your questions. I found this to be true with my interviews, which were all done face-to-face.
I don’t like SEVs but I made sure this did not come across in the report and it remained unbiased.
I was honest throughout the report and didn’t manipulate quotes to change their meaning.
Was honest throughout the process, didn’t want to lie and say I was a professional – a range of different ideas and the one I felt best was to be honest.
I made sure my interviewee remained anonymous, both in the report and in my reflective work she cannot be identified. Sanders (2004), says in Ethics and Journalism “A journalist’s work involves a constant tension between nurture and trust and maintaining scepticism. This is nowhere clearer than in the relationship between reporters and sources.” This quote is absolutely relevant to my experience creating this report; Gemma Ahearne talked in more detail in one clip about working in an SEV but afterwards asked me not to use it and I chose not to.
Has made me re-evaluate the news we see on TV; is it being broadcast because it’s the most newsworthy story, or, was it just easy to create a package about it on time? I had found a relevant and topical story, but due to a lack of willingness from interviewees, I had to cover something else. I have developed my editing and filming skills. I’m used to working on features, not news, so this was really different for me new style of journalism.
Evaluation – I think this project has gone very well. I’m happy with my final product and think it would be appropriate for use at my chosen publication. I met the deadline with a good amount of time to spare and have utilised the functions of the Gantt chart, such as keeping an eye on the critical path.
Problems – Was more difficult that I expected, I was very reliant on other people, who sometimes did not get back to me so plans I had made as you can see here, had to be deactivated when they did not happen.
Problems – Some people not willing to be involved which caused the necessary change in story.
Development and documentation – Uploaded to YouTube as it went on and reflected on each shoot to develop the project and document my progress. Helped me to keep on track and develop an understanding about why certain things went wrong and how they could be done better the next time.
What I’ve learnt – It’s incredibly important to expect there to be set backs. Throughout this project I’ve always planned to do things earlier than necessary so that if there was slippage, I would still have time to re-arrange it. And it can be difficult working on a project that is so reliant on people and it’s important to have back-up ideas.
What I’ve learnt – Things change. Something you thought might work could later on feel unnecessary as I found with some ideas I had for my report.
What I’d do differently – It’s tempting to say I’d choose a less controversial topic, but I think the issues I encountered could be experienced with any subject. If I did this project again I would ensure I had a number of story options and would start contacting potential interviewees as early on as possible to help avoid the struggle I encountered trying to encourage people to be involved.
Pape, S & Featherstone, S. (2006) Feature writing: a practical introduction
Sanders, K. (2004) Ethics and Journalism