Creating the blog was an educational experience on how to collect information and produce it in an effective and digestible manner for the reader, having images and videos for a full online publication. Using WordPress wasn’t an issue as I’m already familiar with the site from my personal blog which I created in April of last year. Therefore, I’ve had a long while to get used to the workings of the site. Although the layout tripped me up a few times as I’m used to my custom one, though I feel this layout is good for a news blog format, despite only showing the most recent three stories instead of all on a long scrolling page.
Getting an FOI story proved much more difficult than I’d initially thought. My first few requests were denied due to the information not existing, eventually having me resort to a more simplistic request, one I was sure wouldn’t be denied, rather than one that would be interesting for me personally to write about. My news writing skills could improve for the type of story I wrote. The FoI offices are also easy to work with. Even if my request is rejected it’s completely laid out as to why and sometimes with tips on how else to search for it.
The court report didn’t prove too difficult as I’ve done them many times before. While I never found them particularly easy to cover, I still wouldn’t classify them as overly difficult or taxing.
My political story following Billy Corgan was somewhat challenging but in an educational way. I’d been following the story anyway due to my interest in wrestling and doing an early draft of the initial lawsuit against TNA in class for that week’s assignment. For the blog, I found it stressful to assure all the information was correct and up to date with the case. At the time of doing it in class, he hadn’t announced he was purchasing the NWA, which I felt would be better suited as the lead for the story. The main challenge with this story was the fact checking and cross examining multiple sources to assure the information in the final story was correct. I didn’t want to simply put t=down the information I remembered from following it in my own time.
For the Irish water protests, I again encountered the issue of cross checking multiple sources and fact checking the most up to date information. The accompanying video was one I had been working on for a video assignment on the protest around the same time and decided it would be a usual asset to the blog. However, I wasn’t sure if this would count as self-plagiarism, so to be safe I also wrote an article for the story should that have been an issue.
The difficult part of the council report was finding what was discussed that also had enough information to write a full story on. Eventually, I settled on the Oscar Traynor road story, as Cllr Andrew Keegan had openly discussed it with myself and a few other students after the meeting. I also live in that area so I was aware of the plans already. My PTC is a bit shakey. Being on camera is not something I’m very comfortable with, as one could tell from the final video. I do need to improve on memorising scripts and presenting myself better in front the camera.