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Sun come up…film about climate change and human displacement

Sun Come Up (trailer) from Sun Come Up on Vimeo.

Check out this trailer for a film about climate change impacting on human displacement.  This was the theme of my interview for my latest assignment and so I’d really like to watch this film.  The trailer conjures lots of emotions and brings the challenges to life.

Have you seen this film?  If so what did you think?

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Assessment one – the interview

Part 6 of 6

As already mentioned I had about 15 minutes of audio in my original interview so it was a tough challenge to edit this down and find the strongest story.  Once I had the news clip though I found it much easier to edit together an interview of 2 minutes and 45 as I just needed to keep the sections of the interview most relevant to padding out the top line.  Having said this – it is still quite soul destroying and painful to delete the rest of the audio – as Chris said lots of really interesting and valid points that I would have loved to have included!

  • Learning = to TRY to a newsworthy bits in the interview early on and then don’t expand the interview more than you need to – it just causes more work!

In addressing the cue for the interview I kept the top line the same but started to change the second and third lines.  The more I did this I realised that I was simply writing the same points in a different way, or I was just adding more detail that would be revealed in the interview and that there was nothing new left to be heard in the audio!  So – I ended up scraping my new ideas, and keeping the same cue as for the news story.  I figure it fits so why change it?  I did feel it needed one extra line to lead into the audio to let the listener know that it is a longer piece.

Listen to the full interview here and let me know what you think of the questions.  Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would have?

Cue

Slug: Somalia climate

Environmental expert Chris Hines, says civil unrest in Somalia is directly linked to climate change.

How much to invest in fighting climate change amidst the economic crisis is currently a split debate within the British government.

Chris believes the two issues are linked and that the UK and other western nations need to lead the fight against the threat of mass human displacement.

Catherine Feltham caught up with him earlier this week after a talk on climate change.

Clip: climate hines interview

In: All 6 billion of us…

Out: but if we wake up later, it’s gonna be pretty shitty…

Dur: 2,20”

Total: 2,47”

If you would like to read more around the topics covered in this interview and news story then try the following links:

Government Office for Science: Migration and Global Environmental Change Future challenges and opportunities report

Does climate change cause civil war? (news article: International Business Times)

Joint agency report: Mapping the effects of climate change on human migration and displacement

International Institute for Environment and Development – Population dynamics and climate change

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 1 – the brief click here

To read part 2 – research click here

To read part 3 – Eden interview flop click here

To read part 4 – the campaigner click here

To read part 5 – the news story click here


Assessment one – the news story

Part 5 of 6

Writing the cue

I wanted my top line to be big.  George constantly encourages us to be bold and search for a top line that is hard hitting, interesting, and ensures you have the audiences attention.

Environmental expert Chris Hines, says civil unrest in Somalia is directly linked to climate change.

I think I have actually succeeded with my top line this time!  I wondered if it was perhaps a bit too bold as obviously climate change is not the only factor influencing civil unrest in Somalia.  However, it is one factor in the eyes of an admired environmental expert, and therefore it is news.

It took me quite some time to get to this top line.  I explored many ideas such as waste management being inadequate in the UK in comparison to other European countries, western countries being responsible for exporting products and desires to developing nations so therefore being responsible for leading the fight against climate change…etc.  I decided these were too vague and could underpin the Somalia top line I finished on.  I wanted a solid, tangible statement to form the top line of the story, not a vague opinion.

  • Note – I had about 15 minutes of audio from my original interview to scan through to find a news story so it really was tough…there were quite a few different stories that I could have produced but I tried to find the most newsworthy.

In writing the second line – I pondered whether to give more background to the situation in Somalia, information on how Africa produces the smallest amount of greenhouse gases but is the most vulnerable to climate change, but least able to adapt to it, amongst other ideas.  I went with the line I did as I wanted to pull it into current news stories and directly link the UK to the problem.

Below is my cue to the news clip and the news clip itself.  Take a read and a listen and let me know your reactions to this news story. 

Do you think it is newsworthy?  If it grabs your attention, why is that?  Does it make you want to hear more?  (if so – you can hear the longer interview by clicking here!)

Cue (full with technical instructions!)

Slug: Somalia climate

Environmental expert Chris Hines, says civil unrest in Somalia is directly linked to climate change.

How much to invest in fighting climate change amidst the economic crisis is currently a split debate within the British government.

Chris believes the two issues are linked and that the UK and other western nations need to lead the fight against the threat of mass human displacement.

Clip: Somalia-hines

In: We’re seeing people come in…

Out: and I don’t know that we’ve got that at the moment

Dur: 30”

Total: 51”

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 1 – the brief click here

To read part 2 – research click here

To read part 3 – Eden interview flop click here

To read part 4 – the campaigner click here

To read part 6 – the interview click here

Assessment one – the campaigner

Part 4 of 6

This part of the story requires going back in time slightly!  The weekend before this assessment was due I was having a tidy of my room and found all the leaflets I have collected over my first few weeks here.  I decided to be proactive and make my own ‘diary’ of upcoming interesting events so that I could identify any potential interviews/topics to investigate.  This way I thought that I would be better prepared when we are set interview tasks by already having an idea of what is going on in the area.

During this process I found an interesting sounding talk – ‘Why all of us should be M.A.D (Making a Difference) to be held at the Poly in Falmouth, by Chris Hines, founder of Surfers against Sewage (SAS) and A grain of sand.  After reading about Chris, who has been awarded an MBE, I thought it would be crazy not to interview him and so I emailed to request an interview.  I was surprised to receive such a swift response agreeing to the interview the next morning. : )

Image: AbductedByHumans (Flickr)

Two days later we were set this assessment! Now…I did think perhaps Chris would be good, but I wanted to make sure that I got the best person for the job, and not just use him because it was easy as I already had it set up!  I also wasn’t sure if Chris would be able to give me the international angle as his work has mainly been regional and national.

So I decided that Chris could be my ‘back-up’ interviewee!  By the time the talk came I had confirmed my interview with Eden but not yet had it.  I prepared some questions before the talk but found myself scribbling more throughout the evening.  Chris’s talk was amazing, it was really enjoyable, engaging, inspiring and he was a fantastic passionate speaker who was clearly an expert in his field.  I realised that he would probably be great to discuss an international angle with as he was focussed on how everyone needs to play a role in fighting climate change.

How the interview went

I immediately felt confident and in control in the interview, putting into practice my ‘management of the interviewee’ techniques such as placing myself right next to him, shoulder to shoulder etc.  The interview went well on the whole although I realise that I did ask a few irrelevant questions upon playing back my audio.  The more I interview the more I realise how tough a job it is to do well.  You have to be really quick on your feet to react to what is being said and respond appropriately.  The ability to listen and retain your own thoughts/questions arising throughout and also be able to distinguish which are the points to pick up on, and which to leave out is still a challenge to me but I did have a go!  I also tend to get quite long interviews which is then a challenge to edit down to 2-3 minutes.

Chris Hines at The Poly. Image: Catherine Feltham

What I think went well in this interview was that I picked up on his opinions and tailored questions to get back answers which fed into an angle I could use later in editing.  That was the angle that the UK government is not doing enough, with some specific areas and reasons as to why.  This was good because I wanted to make sure that my news story was up to date and relevant with events happening currently.  I also showed him that I had done my research and by setting this up in my questions early on he seemed to give me more back in his answers.

My experience in this interview was completely different to that at the Eden Project and the results mirrored my confidence.  It’s also shown me that sometimes you get lucky and interview someone who is charistmatic, enthusiastic and engaging and other times it may be more difficult.  In both scenarios though, the challenge is to get the best from the person at the time by applying various techniques.

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 1 – the brief click here

To read part 2 – research click here

To read part 3 – Eden interview flop click here

To read part 5 – the news story click here 

To read part 6 – the interview click here

Assessment one – Eden interview flop!

Image: Catherine Feltham

Part 3 of 6

So Wednesday morning came and I had a positive conversation with the Green Foundation Project Manager at the Eden Project.  A very helpful and enthusiastic guy who said he sat next to those who would be ideal for me to speak to for an international angle.  I was feeling excited, happy, and sure that I could get a strong interview that would produce newsworthy, international, topical content. I had shortlisted a number of projects within Eden where I thought the most suitable interviewees might be. My priority was the Eden climate fund as I was sure this would provide insights into the humanitarian consequences of climate change, and we could specifically talk about the displacement of people and how the latest population growth figures might add to this problem.

Image: Catherine Feltham

My interview was confirmed with the tertiary education coordinator…I have to admit my first thoughts were, ‘why not the project manager of the climate fund?’…so I did question whether this person was most suitable and asked to speak with someone within the climate fund.  The response was that the tertiary education coordinator would be fine.  Upon reflection I realise that I should have insisted that I wanted to speak to someone within that specific area.

I won’t go into detail about how the interview went, other than say that I was not in control and was rather thrown by the situation!  My interviewee asked me for a few working days to ‘review’ my edited content and ‘approve’ it before I released it.  In my head I knew this was crazy and not how things work…after all I am a journalist, not someone being commissioned by the Eden Project to do their PR!  But in the situation I froze and fumbled.  After asking my first ‘easy’ question which was something like ‘Can you explain what the Eden climate fund is, why it was set up and what its aims are?’ and getting the answer…’No, I don’t know about that’ – I immediately felt frustrated!  I thought I was hearing things – after all, this is the person who had confirmed he was the right one to be interviewed about the Eden climate fund..?!

Learnings

You will gather that the interview did not go as planned, but like all trainees setting out on their first ventures, I have learned from the experience.  In future I will:

  • be more assertive and try to use techniques for taking control when things start to slip away
  • use the ‘blocking’ technique (covered by Tim Hubbard with us in class this week) to help keep the interview on track and I will keep my questions focussed rather than asking broad, sweeping questions
  • try and avoid frantically changing subject areas in a desperate attempt to regain the sense of the interview!

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 1 – the brief click here

To read part 2 – research click here

To read part 4 – the campaigner click here

To read part 5 – the news story click here

To read part 6 – the interview click here

Assessment one – research

Part 2 of 6

Climate change….ahhhhhhhh!!

This was my immediate reaction to our broad interview topic.  Although when I heard that the multi-media broadcast students had been set ‘housing issues in Cornwall’….(yawn)…I was happy to have a more exciting topic! : )

However, climate change is a HUGE subject and this is where I note my first challenge…having lots of ideas and being impatient and feeling I should be able to choose one straight away.

This is a rough idea of some of the thoughts that went through my head…

Weather and natural disasters Drinking water Ocean levels rising Marine life Antartica and penguins Glaciers People and lifestyles Food Population increase Human displacement Energy

So what to go with?  All could be newsworthy, and are topical.  I decided at this point to choose a topic I am more interested in, as well as start to think about who I wanted/might be able to interview here in Cornwall.

I decided to follow the charity route…partly because I like charities, but also because those in campaigning and policy roles generally know a lot about what is going on in their area and understand the  political aspects.  First I tried the British Red Cross as I had already had contact with the Truro office when I met them at the freshers fair.  Reading one of their international pages on the ‘climate change challenge‘, gave me food for thought (despite not having a clear last publish date on it) and took my mind to the humanitarian consequences of climate change…that is, thinking of it as much more than an environmental issue, but one of conflict, refugees, human rights, food, health…etc. When you think about it, climate change tends to affect the world’s poorest, and these communities are less likely to be in a position to respond effectively and therefore the impact is that much harsher.

Sadly the closest Red Cross member of staff suitable for interview was based in Plymouth and this wasn’t really an option for me, so I moved on to Oxfam who also have representation in the south west.  I got a great reception from a helpful media officer at Oxfam who was keen for me to meet their political campaigner but unfortunately we could not meet any closer than Exeter at such short notice….so back to the drawing board.

Finally I managed to set up an appointment with the charity ShelterBox, however I was not convinced.  By this point many of my class mates had already confirmed their interviews so I was feeling under pressure.  On my walk home though (a great way to reflect on the day’s activities) I realised I needed to continue hunting for the most suitable person to talk to on the issue.  ShelterBox had not really sold it to me as they said they don’t usually speak about climate change and that they didn’t have any expertise internally to discuss current issues.

So – that night after much more research a ‘ding’ noise went off in my head (cue energy efficient lightbulb!) – the Eden Project!  Surely such a reputable organisation, engaged in research surrounding a whole range of environmental issues would be the ideal place to look?  It seemed a good place to seek out an expert, with a voice of authority which could reassure listeners of the validity of their claims?

Check out an interesting video that I found during my research here.

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 1 – the brief click here

To read part 3 – Eden interview flop click here

To read part 4 – the campaigner click here

To read part 5 – the news story click here

To read part 6 – the interview click here

Assessment one – the brief

Part 1 of 6

So as week five begins our ‘Introduction to journalism’ module comes to an end and our first assessment is due!  As each week has gone by, and each assignment completed we have wondered how we will be assessed on all of this!

The answer – on two radio pieces and our accompanying blog posts. It was a relief to find out what we needed to do and also that our tutors have been fairly generous with the time off over the next week to give us space to complete this.  Along with that comes a feeling of pressure that there is no excuse to mess up!

So the task is to interview someone relevant and find a news story about climate change with an international angle.  Out of the interview we are to produce:

  • a news story (specifically a 50 second audio cue and clip – no more than 2 seconds over or under!)
  • an edited version of the interview with our questions (including cue and lasting no longer than 2 minutes 45 seconds, with 2 seconds either side)
  • a series of blog posts reflecting on and evaluating the process

So prepare yourselves for a mini series of posts which aim to give the highs and lows of my experience!

TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS STORY AND ASSESSMENT SEE THE LINKS BELOW

To read part 2 – research click here

To read part 3 – Eden interview flop click here

To read part 4 – the campaigner click here

To read part 5 – the news story click here

To read part 6 – the interview click here