All good things must come to an end.
Five days prior to the submission date of my project. Everything goes smoothly, luckily. I do really enjoy working and studying this much! I wish I could do more research and produce a better documentary though.
I had a terribly good time working for this practical project. No hassle, no sleepless night, staying in the media lab for hours and working in the library has never been so good, and I have more than enough time to travel as well as performing the best for the project.
How is it possible to carry out individual project than dissertation?
I’m studying Media, Communications, and International Journalism which give almost half of the course into practical journalism skills: News writing, news production, video editing, and basic graphic designing. I went through all two semesters producing a magazine and feature news video. During the summer, I had to choose between two options whether I would up to write an academic dissertation or individual journalism project as part of the final assessment for my degree. I didn’t even need to think that long to decide that I was going to wrap up the practical journalism project.
What is it about?
There are three components that I have to do to complete the final 60 credits of the MSc: An 800-word investigative article, a feature news video with approximately 6 minutes duration, and a reflective report in the making of the project for maximum 6,000-word.
Compare to a dissertation with more than 15,000-word to write, journalism project looks nothing but easy. However, each of them is unique and the approach is different. I suppose it’s not fair to weigh against one another.
For the article, I chose to write about students mental health as it is a very important issue among the students in the United Kingdom. So many students suffer from this invisible illness and sadly that some of them could not even continue to finish their study as the pressure in their life is harder than they thought.
Meanwhile, for the news video project, I decided to focus on the issue of Islamophobia and anti-Muslims hate speech in the United Kingdom, particularly in Glasgow, Scotland, from the perspective of Muslims women. I would like to present how Muslims community works together in women-led local organisations to overcome the concerning situation.
How’s the process went?
I started to work on the project early in July 2017. It took me quite some time to find suitable contributors for the news video but then I managed somehow. My supervisor was Bethia Pearson, she is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow but she has been working as a journalist for 7 years. She’s a pro really.
I was so glad that I chose to do the project. I enjoy doing every single little step to finish it piece by piece. Making initial contact with potential sources, bringing the camera and doing an outdoor shoot, interviewing people, editing the rough cut, until finalising every detail with Adobe Premiere Pro software.
Definitely! I wasn’t sure how to use the editing software as I have never used it before. I kept doing the trial-and-error until I manage to familiarise myself with every tool and menu on the computer screen.
Plus, the story line for the news video was changing just a week before I had to submit the file. It was crazy! At the beginning, I started the video with Glasgow city center view and it continued with voice over and some graphic data. But then, I wasn’t sure what was the trigger, I decided to change the opening scene with raw footage I took from the Internet which showed verbal harassment against Muslim woman happened in London bus a few years back.
After struggling to re-edit the video in a tight time, I felt more confident and proud with the latest version of the news video. However, I wouldn’t be able to upload it as it hasn’t graded yet. Soon, hopefully…
Any weakness by doing the project?
For sure. As it is more practical, so I don’t have any particular skills to do scientific research and writing up academic writing for 16,000 words.
Regardless, I am very happy with the result and I am pretty much confident that I can get good grades.