Monday 17th February 2014
Today is the day of my pitch presentation. Here is the presentation that I presented to Honey:
The feedback I got from my presentation was slightly confusing.
After being told that this would be a good subject to do because it was relevant and had been in the news recently, it was then suggested that this may not be a good idea to do because it had already been covered so much. This was based on me showing that both the Daily Mail website and the Guardian website had numerous pages of results when doing a search for ‘Cyberbullying’ directly within their sites.
Another thing that confused me was that after being told it may be better for me to do the 5000 words and 5 images instead of the hybrid as it would be difficult to get so many images for this idea, I was then suggested that it might be a good idea to try do the hybrid one because I had some good idea for my pictures relating to this subject.
Both of these are very contradicting things and confused me quite a bit but I have decided that I am going to go ahead with the subject as it is too late for me to change my mind now that I have started the planning stage and also I do strongly believe that it would be difficult to get 15 images for this subject and having that many images would be too difficult to make my product fit for purpose as you wouldn’t see that many images spanning across two articles in a newspaper.
I am pleased that I was told my ideas for the images I had planned were good because I thought about structuring them quite a lot and so because I think the ideas for the images work quite well I think it’s a matter of finding a good angle into the story based on the images that I can do, however if I find a good piece of writing it can always be a case of switching the images to suit the article that I choose to write.
Wednesday 19th February
Today I met Chris in the canteen for a brief chat about my article because I was a little unsure on the angle I wanted to take to get into it.
He asked me what exactly it was that I wanted to be the result of my article. I said that for the Daily Mail style article I wanted to use a story to show how Social media and cyber bullying can be enough to ruin your life.
I know this will be difficult but if it doesn’t go to plan then I always have the ability to change it, although that may affect the timing of other tasks that need completing and other aspects of my working process.
He suggested that the Daily Mail would take a very subjective view whilst the Guardian would likely remain more objective. The example he gave was that if I wanted to do the whole ‘Social Networks will ruin your life’ headline like the one I was planning then I will need to get the interview from someone who has experienced this first hand.
Regarding this – he said that the best thing to do, from experience, is to get a face to face interview as opposed to a written email question/answer type as if you do it face to face they answer more instantly and you get a much more personal response rather than email questions where they would have time to sit and think about their answers giving you a much more generic response. I fully understand this and think it may prove difficult to get an interview like this however I will try and set something of the sort up via Skype perhaps or try and work a way around it. If unable to get a face to face interview a question and answer will have to do although may result in a lesser quality of article.
Another suggestion was for me to open the story with reference to someone very ‘Daily Mailable’ – C Brennan, 2014 – Such as David Cameron who appeals to the politically right leaning contingent of the demographic. Relating how his tweets are always met with a flurry of abuse into cyberbullying and how it is effectively a similar thing. An idea such as ‘look at the disgusting behaviour and abuse that our Prime Minister receives every time he sets foot on a social network. And then progress into the more personal level of the story from the interview and then back up with a professional opinion.
This is where I plan to bring in my access to contact with teachers to benefit me and have some questionnaires which I will hand out to them to see how they think bullying affects children’s attitude and behaviour within schools.
We discussed then how the Guardian would go with a different spin on the whole thing and perhaps look at how the psychological damage of cyberbullying is just as bad, if not worse than the physical damage caused by actual ‘old fashioned’ bullying. This could also look at the way that in times gone by kids would have a punch up on a friday at school and by Monday it was forgotten, but now things can escalate over social media during the course of the weekend.
The Daily Mail would ignore the different methods of ousting or ignoring cyberbullying by stating that ‘turning off facebook’ would be enough to get rid of the problem. That’s easy for an older person who occasionally uses it to post the odd thing or contact an old friend, but for teenagers, it is their life. They have all their contacts and friends, all the photos, all the details and memories of everything they do on there. So simply turning it off is not really an option.
Chris told me that a good thing to do would be to search on the library online using Nexis to get some statistics or to go look through the physical journal section of the library because there are apparently plenty of useful resources in there that would have all sorts of useful statistics that a lot of journalistic producers would often overlook so there is an opportunity to uncover some really interesting statistics.
This is definitely something that appeals to me as I would love to have some almost unique statistics and information contained within my article making it seem like I had done some good digging work in order to unearth them. I am going to take some time out to look through some journals relevant to bullying in the library.
A single stat could be used differently across the two articles for example you could have the stat for the amount of time teenagers spend on their phones and the daily mail would look at it perhaps like, ‘teenagers are spending X amount of time per day on their phones, that is the amount of opportunity there is to be on the receiving end of cyberbullying.’ The guardian would counter this by looking at how ‘they are opening up their network of contacts, speaking to people half the world away who they would have no chance of ever meeting without the opportunity created by social media.’
Another idea Chris suggested was to have a little poll poking fun at politicians. I suggested using this as a bit of a box out and having a ‘which is the least popular politician’ by taking say 3 tweets posted by each politician and looking at the first 10 responses from the public to their twitter feed and see which one gets the least abuse. Potentially not a very accurate poll but that hasn’t stopped the papers before! I was also suggested to go on the Daily Mail and Guardian websites to do a search for teenagers to get a feel for how they write about them as a subject.
I have really benefitted from this chat with Chris as it has given me a lot better understanding of how to approach the research and production of my article. It has given me a solid base for things to start looking at and made me feel less worried about finding an angle into the story.
I feel as though any further problems that I may have with the writing of the article can easily be taken up with Chris as he has proved to be a big help.
Saturday 22 February 2014
This is a little trick that I looked up through the magic of Google.
I wanted to know how to add the resources to the Gantt chart but for them to be displayed as initials as opposed to full name. For this I had to go to the Format tab and choose ‘Bar Styles’. Then I was able to choose which text is shown and where in relation to the icon on the chart it would actually appear. I needed to change the style for all the different types of chart bars that I had used to make it work for every task in my project.
Then it was just a case of picking ‘Resource Initials’ from the drop down list as my choice for what I wanted to appear on the chart.
I chose to do this because it makes less clutter on the chart. By default Microsoft Project sets it to show the full name of any resources as well as the percentage of time that resource will allocate to that particular task. This meant there was a lot of information on the chart and sometimes made it difficult to see the actual bars and as they are the thing with the most importance I felt the need to clear it all up.
This has helped me find it easier to look at my chart and be able to instantly tell where everything is and I wouldn’t hesitate to use this process again to make the visual appearance of the chart much better.
I had a slight problem with the dependencies on my Gantt chart in that, when I had uploaded my file to X-Stream I realised when going back to look at the open document that some of the start and finish dates on some of the last tasks had been altered when I’d changed an earlier task in the project just before uploading.
This is both good and bad. It is good because it shows that the software is working correctly and that when I change the earlier dates, the later tasks dates automatically change accordingly. It’s bad because as I had already checked all the dates on my project to make sure they were correct and after altering this earlier date I forgot to check back on all the other dates which meant that my uploaded file showed me thinking that the hand in dates were actually a week later than when they are set for.
Fortunately this isn’t the final hand in for the project file, and I went and immediately corrected the dates on the project so in terms of me looking at it to see where I am it will actually be correct and they will all appear when I finally hand in the Gantt chart.