My Twitter package has been a challenging experience for three main reasons:
1. Find interviewees
Being a student can be a real drawback when trying to convince someone to do an interview. I phoned three majors child protection agencies with the same negative results each time. The conversation usually goes like this:
Me: “Hello, I’m doing a video package about this issue, could I speak to someone knowlegeable about that?”
Potential interviewee: “For which organisation do you work for?”
Me: (Apologizing voice)” Actually I’m a student…”
Potential interviewee: “We don’t speak to students. Sorry.”
In the end, I phoned child protection expert Mark Williams Thomas who said yes immediately. Plus, he has also been interviewed by the BBC. Whoop whoop!
I also intended to speak to a parent of a teenager on Twitter to know his/her reaction to the story. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone to match that specific demand and schools didn’t want to speak to me, so I decided to do a voxpop instead.
What a bright idea. Voxpop are usually difficult to make, but this one was particularly dreadful. In one hour and a half, two persons talked to me. The joys of journalism!
The filming part of this package was especially difficult because of the risk of libeling people. showing persons on computers seems harmless in itself, but if you use theses images to illustrate pedophiles using the Internet, you may libel these persons. It’s called juxtaposition. The struggle to find suitable images leads us to the next part of our process:
3. Getting pictures
In TV there is one simple rule: no pictures, no story.
On the other hand, a package with only pictures with only anonymous persons or screens can be very boring. Enhance my (at the time)smart idea to ask Mark Williams Thomas to send me screen shots of people breaking the child protection policies of Twitter.
He was filmed by the BBC and showed the channel users saying alarming stuff such as “I love young girls”. I thought I could use images of these profiles in my package. But as soon as I send my email request I felt really uncomfortable. The fact that Mark Williams Thomas never replied, event though I reassured him I would keep the users anonymous, reinforced the feeling that this was a weird thing to ask.