Two of Ofcom’s Important Codes of Conduct to me as a Journalist

OFCOM are the broadcast regulators for TV and Radio. However, parts of their code of conduct are crucial in other fields of journalism. For instance, the written forum.  The two most important sections of the code for journalists are Section 5 (Due impartiality and due  accuracy) and Section 7 (fairness).

All of section five is important for a journalist as each part of the section focuses on making news that is correct and that isn’t biased. This section also is extremely important as it reinforces the ethical and moral guidelines of a credible and truthful journalist. The points below highlight key rules.

Some important parts identified in this section of the code

  • This helps to ensure that news, in whatever platform, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality. (due – not favouring one side over another)
  • If significant mistakes are made in news it should normally be acknowledged and corrected on air or through the right means.
  • Any personal interest of a reporter or presenter, which call into question the due impartiality of the news/information, must be made clear to the audience.

The other import section is 7 which focuses on fairness. It talks about fairness to all people within organisations and those who are participating in a program. To sum up the section it helps the journalist to sustain a high credible, trustworthy and reliable profile. This helps the public to trust what your saying and helps to uphold your professionalism. The points below highlight key rules.

Some important parts identified in this section of the code

  • This ensures that broadcasters avoid unjust or unfair treatments of an individual or organisation in a program.
  • it may be fair to withhold all or some of the information where it is justified in the public’s interest or under other sections.

Reflection on Online Immersive Websites Presentation

Online Immersive Websites

On the 27 April 2016 each person in the group was expected to produce a presentation on what they believe to be an immersive website. We had to conduct research to find 5 different websites in which fitted the task. Once all 5 websites were picked we then had to create a visual presentation and deliver a professional standard presentation. I believe that my presentation went extremely well on the day. I felt that I really understand what an immersive experience are now.

Researching I found interesting as you stubble across many weird and wonderful things. It was evident that some people used the same websites as others. For instance, in mine I used the Latvian Holocaust Mueseum and I think a few others did too. I personally don’t feel this was an issue as it must be affective and must showcase that it is a very engaging and immersive website. I wish looking back now, I picked some of the other websites I had seen when conducting research as people may not have come across them before.

I only used my presentation as a visual aid, there was only bullet points to back up what I was talking about. Lots of images where used within the presentation. I really took on board all the information gained in the previous sessions about how important it is to know your content, how to present well and how to create a PowerPoint slide which isn’t to heavy for the audience. This is my presentation. Click on the link if you want to see.

Immersive Online Experiences – Copy

The main thing that I feel stood out on my presentation was the fact I incorporated screen recordings. Each screen recording was done before the presentation. The screen recordings where of each website, I recorded myself moving around the screen, clicking and hovering over key parts of the website. This was done so that I didn’t have to rely on the hyperlinks and the internet connection to load each page. Especially, within the location we were in, is not a reliable space for internet connections and fast broadband. The screenshots allowed me to not have to jump in and out of the presentation, this allowed me to deliver a much smoother presentation with no hassle. There were limitations in doing this. It didn’t capture sound bites when on the website. The sound would have given the moving image more of an impact. This was not the end of the world because it allowed me as the presenter to talk and explain things without getting distracted. I didn’t feel that I needed a script or cue cards as I really planned out in my head what I wanted to say. I feel that it comes much more naturally when not using aids. As I had practiced I didn’t feel as nervous or anxious to do the presentation. Also it was a very fun task which made things easier.

I really enjoyed this task and the overall brief as it allowed me to full understand what immersive means. In the other section of the brief it really allowed us to use content we found interesting and produce an interactive and immersive online presents. This was really enjoyable and stimulating. I feel the research into immersive online websites really helped with this section of the task as it allows us to see first hand what has already been produced and what the most common elements to making an interactive website succeed and draw viewers in, whilst keeping them engaged with the content. Over the next few years I hope to carry on developing a creative flair to my work as it makes the work so much more alive. These skills learned will be evident in my work from now on because I have to consider, who and where I want my content to be seen. If it is done well then it will help me to become trusted and more well known.

 

Developing the Brand Identity Further

If I was to continue to develop my Brand identity further, I would;

  • Make the CM flow better, by getting rid of the centre part of the M graphic
  • Make the M Graphic Just black instead of having the same graphic as a tire.
  • Consider different fonts and look at more colours

I think for my first attempt the brand is of a high quality but with these changes it will make it more simple and visually more professional.

Reflection on Mobile Journalism 

Think 6 ps

  • Purpose – What is the story, what is it I want to produce?
  • Plan – who to interview what multi media do I need to use. Equipment needed. Wifi and editing tools apps in the field.
  • Production – what apps need to be used.
  • Publishing – Make sure wifi is available.
  • Cross posting – what apps can you duplicate the content over. Getting the news spread
  • Position – Maps or geo- tagging could it be useful to project.

To me as a Journalist this is incredibly important to remember as this will help to ensure that I am getting the news out sufficiently, at a fast speed and over many different pieces of multi media. This means the news can be seen or heard by the audience.

Key facts

  • Make sure when filming your phone is horizontal (home button should be on the right hand side) This is because a TV screen is this way. People don’t view things up and down but across. This also helps to capture a wide view of the scene.
  • Make sure the phone is fully charged and any other equipment. Loss of power means the news can’t be published or captured.
  • lens can capture dust and get things on so make sure the lens is cleaned.
  • Notifications can be a pain and disrupt filming so put it on areoplane mode.

Space Utilisation in an Identity

When creating my own identity it is crucial that I have a better understanding on placement, spacing and utilisation of other identities. This will give me more of an insight on how I should structure my own branding. Spacing can be really important to a piece. Letter spacing is the amount of overall spacing of a word or even a bulk of text. Letter kerning focuses more on the spacing better two characters. If a letter is moved closer this causes negative space, which can make one character appear to be a different one. For instance: if I had to characters C and an L and changed the Kern then the letters can appear to be an A or a D. This could change the full meaning of a piece and makes an identity look unprofessional.

my kerning explination.jpg

My example

I did some research and here are some examples out there on the market. These prove how how important spacing and kerning are.

bad-letter-spacing-1__605

This is a shop in America. The Name of the shop isn’t made clear and could be Misinterpreted as Kid Sexchange or Kids Exchange.

bad-letter-spacing-19__605

This Image is from Grand Theft Auto. The click lovers could be Misinterpreted and could be read as Dick lovers. This changes the full meaning of the text.

If the letter is moved further away it creates positive space. This makes each letter readable for the audience. However, too much spacing can be bad for an identity. It can end up making a group of letters become individual.

I have learned that depending on the type of text and the spacing of each element is valuable. This can affect how the eye runs across the words and change the meaning of the data given.

Blank spacing has positive connotations of a much more professional piece. Newspaper tabloids like the New day have lots of negative space. This helps to make the content seem much more important.

If I take on board this research then I will produce a much more professional identity. It will make my typeface look much more appropriate and help to communicate the right meanings behind it.

Reflection on Emily Bell

Emily Bell is a significant influence in the journalism industry, she currently works at the Columbia Journalism School in New York City as the Director of the Tow Centre. She has had a very interesting and successful career over the years. Working for some of the most recognised media organisations around the world. From the Observer to the Guardian. Her career at the Guardian extremely successful and she spent two decades, writing and coming up with new platforms to what news could be used on. In 2000, she pioneered the mediaguardian.co.uk and became editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited a year later. She developed multiple of different ways to reach audiences on a digital platform.

Open Journalism has evolved over the years and is becoming incredibly important. Emily Bell has done so much towards the developments, for instance:

  • Creation of a two-way relationship between readers and the media – This allows audiences to leave comments, get involved and be a part of the news (building rapport). This is as important in today’s society as the world is online driven. People spend so much time on their phones, laptops and many other pieces of technology. By having a two-way relationship help to give the audience a voice and give them an immersive experience.
  • Online storytelling techniques – websites, social media, blogs etc. navigation, colours, content all play an important part in the success of a storytelling website.

Reflection on Court Orders

Court Orders

Section 29 Orders – Bans the press reporting the name, address, school or other information about a child under 18 (victim, defendant or witness)

Anonymity Orders – Victims of a sex offence – this order is automatically placed for life

Section 4 Orders – Made by court to postpone reporting – if there are two trials about the same people – the media will be banned from printing so as not to interfere with either of the cases

Section 11 Orders – Anonymity to defendants or victims in cases of blackmail and cases of national security. It bans name, address and any particulars being published. This has to be made straight away at the Magistrates Court.

Challenging Court Orders

All orders can be challenged by the media apart from victims of sex offences as the anonymity order is automatic

It bans people from reporting elements of cases but the press have the right to challenge

To challenge you must write a not to judge – give this to the clerk to pass on or ask the judge verbally

You must give notice to the prosecution and the defence of your intention to oppose an order. The court is supposed to give the media notice of intention to impose order

The court can vary or lift orders

Sometimes courts can make illegal orders so you must challenge it so you can report on it e.g. putting a section 39 order on an adult over 18

Even when the courts have incorrectly placed an order you must obey it until it has been varied or lifted

Section 11 Orders

These are used in blackmail and national security cases – it bans the name, address and any other particular – it gives anonymity to defendants and victims

If name or matter has already been mentioned in public proceedings, a section 11 order cannot be made after

Section 11 will be made when they are necessary in the interest of administration of justice

You can argue it is in the public interest to name the defendant and get the section 11 varied or lifted

Judicial College Guidance says that banning the publication of a defendants address may wrongly identify someone unconnected to the case

Courts try to use the order to protect the defendant’s children but this is not allowed

Section 4 Orders

They are to avoid substantial risk of prejudice to a later case

If there is a large gap between cases (4 months or over) it can be argued that you could report as people will most likely have forgotten the information by the next case. Also, it may result in more victims coming forward

Section 39 Orders

Once the defendant turns 18 years old this order expires

If it is a case at crown court they have to apply it – but it can be challenged

If the defendant is given an ASBO you can argue that you need to name them to make the ASBO effective

If it is in public interest e.g. Robbery or Murder you can argue to lift it

If it is a case about a teacher at a large school you could argue to get the order varied so that you could name the school as the individual child won’t be recognised from that

Babies and Toddlers – won’t be aware of the publicity so you might be able to get it lifted (usually if the child is under 5)

They cannot be used on children who are dead or not part of the proceedings

Challenging a Section 39 Order

It varies from judge to judge about if it is lifted or not

You could ask for it to be varied if lifting the order is not successful

Reflection on Creativity and Design

 

When it comes to creative flair it is clear to see that lots of people are naturally creative at a specific time of the day where they are most creative. For me I personally find I am the most focused and creative around the evening hours of 7 – onwards. Other individuals take longer to develop creative skills and need more time to enhance these skills. many people tend to keep a pen/paper/Dictaphone with you at all times so they can record ideas as they think of them or see something they think will help them later on.

Leaflets are a good example of what can spark inspiration or ideas for a design. Leaflets all have specific typefaces from there fonts, layout, colour scheme etc. every design we see over time doesn’t always stick in our brains so by following the three main skills to becoming a more organised and prepared designer will help us in later life. In the real world of work we could be asked to write, design, present on a topic that we know very little about and by keeping a record of things may help to influence the piece to success.

There are 3 stages to aiding creativity

Collect

Collecting things that are raw material can be useful and they are not always inspiration or ideas but maybe handy to take influence from the written styles, house styles like colour pallets etc. There are a number of sites that are really useful when keeping collections in one place. Pinterest, Google +, one drive are all great for collecting. You may think that things are useless but most things will be relevant at some point

Sources:

  • Observing life – drawing or photographs/videos
  • Books
  • Magazine – keep up with what’s going on, look at all genres too – you might not always be working in the area you would like
  • Found typography – Appropriate fonts for the story, shop signs
  • Stuff off the internet – Pinterest, google+, Deviant Art, YouTube, Blogs, Be aware that a lot of things online are opinion and not facts, look at colour schemes
  • Freebies – Flyers that get handed out on a night out, look at design
  • Leaflet racks – content of leaflets – how have they been written, how is it marketed to their intended audience
  • Clothing Labels/Tags – some are nicely designed – makes you think about it if you have to untie it, extra detail – makes it seem higher end
  • Packaging – is sells based on designs and products but the packing can reflect the product.
  • Photos – even one that have gone wrong, photos using other objects
  • Doodles

Catalogue

Cataloguing can be extremely useful as it is a visual aid that allows you to see exactly what you have saved for an idea. Google+ is visual through images instead of just a list like the favourites list are. In favourites it just saves the link and doesn’t show what it is actually about, this means it will be harder to find something useful when needed.

There are many different ways to keep a catalogue, for instance;

  • Sketchbook/Notebook – keep it on you all the time
  • Binders
  • Box files – to put things in
  • IPhoto/Flickr – some have lots of info on them e.g. date etc.

Create

When creating a product, piece of writing or whatever needed it is important that we work to deadlines.

However, if the creative juices just aren’t flowing then you could change the environment you are in. Possibly go out for fresh air or go to somewhere where you can focus more Peace and quiet maybe key. If you have a mental block then there is no point just spending hours and not getting anywhere then Go to bed get some rest. In the morning something may come to you.

Brainstorm and mind map is a good way to get ideas onto paper, once ideas are down then it is easier to make better choices. Ideas will develop and possibly merge.

The use of mood boards can work to our advantage.  The advantages of a mood board is that it narrows it down ideas, clients can make them if you ask. Mood board are how it makes you feel. Key when trying to make an emotion.

Style boards are also useful this can layout ideas on how something will look. For instance, Colour Pallet can be chosen from an image that gives the feel you would like to portray.

As a journalist it is imperative I take these three skills and put them into my own practice. This will help me become a much better designer and keep up with current styles, whilst putting my own spin on a topic. The skills will help save time as I will have things that will give me direction when struggling. Over the next few weeks I hope to develop my own catalogue.

 

 

Reflection on Adobe Audition

Working with Adobe Audition.

When working with sound it is imperative to listen to what you’re recording If not you won’t notice the problems until you listen and it could be the thing that makes or breaks a product outcome.

When practicing with different mics there were different issues identified when listening to the audio back. The types of problems consisted of holding mic problems like movements, tapping on the mics and in general lack of practice. This can be avoided with more practice. Also noise problems were noticed as noise can be anything from wind, traffic, room noise etc. If an area is busy or noisy it may be best to find somewhere else when filming sound. This will help to create better high standards sounds. However, if this is an issue to find a different area there are noise reduction techniques on different editing software’s. For my project I will be using adobe audition/ Pro tools.

What to do if the interviewer is louder than the interviewee?

Can record separately using this software. Making sure the output that is capturing the interviewee is the most important as I may not get a second chance to record what is needed. Also waste time and could result I a bad product. I can dub myself later on and merge the tracks in editing.

As a journalist there are things I need to consider and look out for. Such as:

  • The signal to noise ration – look out for handling noise and background noise.
  • Stereo and mono. Need to know the difference. Important to understand the software.
  • Find a bit of space (background noise) – highlight, effects – noise reduction – capture noise – print.
  • Always wait for 20 secs before beginning to record. This is then your noise print.

Process to cleaning up a file/track

Firstly, open the software and go to file import – then select the files required

When the correct file is selected make sure that both channels on the track are open. To do this go to edit – extract channels – to mono files. Once do manipulate the left channel.

The to start manipulating there are many things you can do to clean up a track’

Highlight the parts of the track that are irrelevant or useless to the final product and delete

If a piece of sound is really loud. Select the track and go to effects and select the option normalise this will make all the track similar in volume

If a file is done by a Fostex mic then it is important to extract channels to mono files.

If a piece of sound is too quiet select the track go to effects and select the option amplitude.

Once the track sounds that of a high standard then it is important that you export the file. Save as a WAV file.

Reflection – Voice Training

In today’s session we had help to understand how to bring in emphasis on key words when broadcasting. Also how to bring light and shade into the voice tones. This will help me to sound much more natural and not as if I am reading from a script or auto cue. Also to get away from it all been monotone.

Today I leaned that women often have to lower their voice to a much deeper tone as they can be squeaky. This can be a distraction to listeners. Talking from the lower part of the diaphragm gives the reader more breathing time and makes the sound much more control. Guiding the voice is key to success. It depends what the piece is about but you can add depth within the tones, helping to create a mood and spark emotions. It is our job as broadcasters to understand how we can change and adopt our voice for different types of stories.

We did a practice run, with a script we had prepared earlier. We had to read it first then re-read it but put emphasis on the key elements within the news story. It was a good environment to get constructive feedback. This will allow me to understand what I can do to make myself a better broadcaster. My feedback was that I sometimes over emphasised and my script writing could have been improved more for speech.

We had to think about the techniques shown to us the week before about taking three deep breaths before going live. This brings down the pitch of the voice, this makes it sound much more professional and also improves the delivery of the content. Cat explained that if there’s ever a figure or statistic it must be emphasised, slow down when speaking and pauses can help to make sure that the audience can understand, hear and taking the key facts.

To me as a journalist it is an incredibly important skill to have and something that is a transferrable skill to different career choices. Voice training is key for me as I want to go into the broadcasting industry, so I need to know what I can do to make myself much more professional.