I chose to write about the smoking ban in Hull and East Riding Hospitals, namely Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill. It was an interesting story as it has caused a lot of controversy. I visited both sites to try to get some film and interviews. This proved to be a lot more difficult than I expected. People were not happy about being recorded or filmed.
Outside the entrance to Castle Hill, but still within the grounds, I managed to interview an elderly lady who had come out for a smoke. The quality of the recording wasn’t very good as we were standing in the rain. However, I think the recording adds to the story because it illustrates how people are ignoring the ban and also shows conflicting views.
The short film footage that I managed to take on my mobile phone was an important lesson for me. I was approached by one of the security guards and asked to stop filming. What was even more interesting was that he asked me to leave before he approached the people who were smoking.
I was not sure if I would be able to show this footage so I blurred out the faces to avoid any problems. Also I feel that it adds some irony to the article as the people I filmed smoking were mainly staff.
The article could be used for a local website such as the Hull Daily Mail because of the location. Although a link I added is a general NHS guidance addressing all UK NHS Trusts. Comments taken from Facebook were also aimed at other hospitals so this story would have a wider appeal. The audience demographic is also very wide-ranging as it is an issue that affects so many; both smokers, non-smokers, staff, patients, visitors, old and young alike.
I enjoyed both of the assignments for Immersive Journalism because they allowed me to be more creative and to produce work that is more representative of myself. I did, however, find both Thinglink and Shorthand Social to be limited tools for different reasons. Perhaps, the free versions do not allow as many options or possibilities to make the final product truly immersive.
For my Thinglink piece I chose to present some of the attractions of Hull as the City of Culture 2017. I wanted to produce a piece which would convey just a small part of the action. I decided to look at it from a different angle as I am privileged to be one of the many volunteers. The idea of the purple rucksack was to give a glimpse of how the volunteers are experiencing this year’s events. I liked the idea of the rucksack being part of the volunteers uniform but also instrumental in showcasing Hull in far away places.
Every volunteer was given a rucksack as part of their uniform but with over 4000 volunteers we were advised to personalise our own. I started to look at some of the original and funky ways people had decorated their backpacks and took photos. The one I chose provided a great example to use for Thinglink, the badges being an obvious choice as pins.
Thinglink is a fairly straight forward to use but I spent a lot of time on this piece. I enjoyed it because I also needed to use the skills I had learnt in photography, video and design. The only thing I found limiting was that individual photos or text cannot be added on the free version. This makes it more difficult to convey the story.
I had many different ideas for this assignment as we were given the freedom to choose the subject. It was not difficult to find something to write about. Shorthand Social was a great tool to use to showcase one of the most beautiful places to visit in my home town, Hornsea Mere.
I enjoyed doing the work because it was a learning experience of discovery. We often do not appreciate what we have on our own doorstep. I took the time to visit Hornsea Mere, to take photos at different times of the day and to reasearch some of the history. In some ways there was too much information to include in one piece. I should maybe have focused on just a few of the attractions.
In order to make the experience more immersive for both myself and the viewer I went for a trial sail at the Hornsea Sailing Club open day. However, it was a fairly windy day and it proved too difficult to film whilst dealing with the ropes and boom of the boat. I also had problems filming the car rally as it was dreadful weather and the turnout was poor.
I found Shorthand Social to be frustrating at times and quite time-consuming. If you want to change the order there is no copy and paste option so you basically have to start over. You can’t alter the fonts or colours either and there is no spelling or grammar check. Overall though I think the visual aspects of my finished piece work well and that it is a good representation of Hornsea Mere.