Politics package review: part 1

13 Apr

Hectic doesn’t even begin to describe the assessment craziness of the past few weeks. Feature print, politics radio package, a timed online article, TV and radio bulletin. The “funny” thing is that I am far from being over and half of the aforementioned work is still due in the coming days. You manage to finish an assessment, another one is waiting for you.

Picture by William & Mary Law Library (Flickr)

For those of you who think I am being a drama queen, I can assure you that these past three weeks, I have been breathing and eating journalism. I also have to admit I may have been slightly panicked overwhelmed.

When I found out that Uni would be closed over Easter weekend, I was really tempted to lay down in a fetus position and whisper repeatedly “I can’t take this anymore.”

Anyway, enough with over sharing my mental problems, I managed to hand in my radio package before the deadline. It’s now time for you to read my inspired critical review of my work. Lucky you. 

The story

I focused on the consequences of the Toulouse shootings in France, especially on the Muslim community. I know, the French girl who decides to do a French story how original! To be fair, the killings committed by Mohamed Merah and the manhunt that ensued have been a big international news story that ended with a deadly raid operation after a 30 hours siege. 

The crazy confessions of Mohamed Merah

But that’s not the only reason why I choose this subject. Coming from a Muslim family, one of my first thought after I discovered the identity and motives of the killer was: perfect, Islam is once again going to be criticized! As if Muslims in France didn’t go through enough ridiculous controversies (in French).


My goal was to prove that the government and the far right were taking advantage of Toulouse drama to stigmatize the Muslim community in order to boost their presidential campaign. It’s funny how easy it is to forget that part of a journalist’s job is to remain impartial.

I have done enough research to know that when covering an event, you’re supposed to tell both sides of a story. Personally, I think it’s ok to produce a subjective work as long as you give the opportunity to the opponents to give their point of view. And yet, here I was, planning to only interview people that I knew would go my way.  

Luckily enough, I realized my mistake on time to try to interview someone that would challenge my opinions. I had found the perfect person: Jeannette Bougrab, Secretary for Youth and Community Life and belonging to the currently ruling UMP party.

Jeannette Bougrab, French Secretary for Youth and Community Life

The member of the government had declared that “Muslims should denounce more barbaric acts such the ones of Mohamed Merah rather that fearing being associated with the Toulouse shootings”.

I spent days chasing the press officer of that woman. That’s right, not even Jeannette Bougrab herself, just the PRESS OFFICER. And I never got the interview of course. Crikey, so much for trying to be objective.

In the end, I included the government’s views in my script considering I couldn’t reach any of its member to balance the content of the package.


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