An essay on newsgathering and distribution
For our task, we had to create a Look North Style news story. I chose to explore the thoughts from the townsfolk on what they think about the new build at Kings Mill School. Watch the video here:
Interview with Hamza Jeetooa for Daily Mail
Hamza Jeetooa is a British actor who is best known for his character Vans in Combat Hospital. Recently he has starred in Luther and The Thick of It, and is expected in series 5 of BBC dram/supernatural series Being Human. We were lucky enough to catch up with Hamza for a few questions.
How did you get into acting?
I got into acting when I was eleven years old in secondary school. I was very shy and drama became an outlet for me to express myself. Had a fantastic teacher back then who I still keep in touch with. School got me into acting.
What was your favourite show or film when you were younger?
Films… Anything with Macaulay Culkin back then. TV… Probably the BBC comedy, ‘Goodness Gracious Me’, I used to show off in school by doing impersonations of the characters from the show.
What has been the best thing to act in so far?
Probably my biggest job which was a regular role in an American TV series called Combat Hospital last year. They made the Toronto set look like a military base in Afghanistan with helicopters and tanks etc. The network and producers were really pleased with my work and I got to be the lead for one episode. It was great to be really stretched emotionally and physically. I got solid working experience and learnt my craft on that job. I’d love to go back.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Drink? Joking. I watch an unhealthy amount of TV and films. I work as a producer for a little indie company, Untethered Films which I co-founded. I’m also studying to become an independent trader (currency, commodities etc). Although it’s a long way to go before I’ll be competent enough to make any real money.
What was the drive behind Untethered Films? How hard was it co-founding a film company, knowing there are so many out there trying to become big?
Untethered Films was formed by a bunch of drama school friends while we were still in drama school. We were on leave for dissertations but still had access to equipment so thought we’d try out making our own stuff. It was terrible to begin with. But steadily, the quality of our content (short films, web series’ etc) have improved and we’ve began producing projects for external clients now at dirt cheap prices.
It’s so hard to land jobs these days so by making our own work we thought we could still be productive and show ourselves (and other newbies) off as budding actors, writers, directors and producers.
It has been a bumpy two years trying to establish ourselves. When you’re not setting with a huge amount of capital (like many execs and company directors do), you’re always going to be in trouble. But we’ve found a knack of creating high quality projects on zero budgets. We use our projects as a platform for upcoming talent to showcase what they can do.
It would be nice to grow quicker than we are now but we’re happy with what we’re capable of doing with the resources we have. I encourage anyone who’s thinking of making things to just pick up a camera and make it happen!
Who is your inspiration?
I admire individuals in the industry who are talented in other areas and manage to create their own work. People like Ricky Gervais, Noel Clark, Richard Ayoade and more recently, Lena Dunham and Adam Deacon.
If you weren’t an actor then what would your ideal career be?
I would like to be successful as a producer. One day an executive producer for one of the big companies. I love creating work and seeing it happen. If I didn’t have anything to do with the industry, then a doctor most likely. What a job that would be.
What director would you like to work with?
I was lucky enough to work with Danny Boyle last year who was an absolute dream. I would love to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie. All the actors in his films look like they’re having the time of their lives!
Funniest moment on set?
I shot a comedy pilot recently where I played a dippy character getting into random situations. One of them was ending up at a antenatal class and having to role-play giving birth with a bunch of pregnant ladies. Bizarre. Hilarious. Did more than a dozen takes because I couldn’t keep a straight face.
What kind of characters have you played?
A big range… Afghan military interpreter, urban Londoner (many times), Bradford rudeboy, Indian traffic warden, psychotic serial killer, repressed nerd… Would like to do an American character though. Not had the chance yet.
Would you prefer to act as a hero or villain? Why?
Villain. Definitely. Actors playing villains are guaranteed to enjoy themselves. It’s the most out of the ordinary you can get. There’s nothing quite like playing an outlaw and getting away with doing horrible things. Of course you don’t mean it though….
What woman/lady would you like to act alongside of?
Emma Watson, mainly because I’m infatuated with her. Also Rebecca Front as she is my favourite female comedy actor. Maybe Natalie Portman too. Oh the list is endless.
If you could create a character for the next Doctor Who series, what would they be like?
I’m not a fan of Doctor Who… I’ve only seen one Christmas special two years ago. Sorry!
What cast has been the best to work with? Are there any individuals you have become good friends with?
Definitely Being Human. They were a really relaxed, lovely cast and crew in Cardiff. The longest time I spent on a job was Combat Hospital in Toronto and although I had a great time, Being Human topped it as I was a lot more experienced and could really enjoy myself with the people around me. The three Being Human leads are wonderful and immediately make you feel at home. I had previously worked with Steven Robertson (Mr Rook) on Luther (series 2) and was stunned to see him at the table read for the first block of shooting. Bear in mind, the last time we met… He was a maniac who almost killed me in a petrol station (acting in Luther, obviously!). I have become good friends with another cast member but I’m afraid I daren’t say who as people may put two and two together… And I don’t want to give any plot clues away!
Someone mentioned that you are to appear in the next series of Being Human, what was the filming like? Was it difficult to portray the character? Did you have to do anything out of your comfort zone?
I am in the next series of Being Human, yes. Filming was amazing as it was a wonderful blend of being on location and being on cool sets in the studio. Never having an idea how they’ll make a scene look like until you get there. Then I can just go and play!
In terms of character (without giving anything away)… It was a fresh challenge for me as I had never played a character like my Being Human one before. It is great to try something completely new though. Everyone on set was happy with my work and the relevance of my choices… I hope the audience enjoys it too!
All of it was outside of my comfort zone as I had never done any sci-fi before! But it was totally welcome. Although when I got some of the costumes I was going to be wearing… I was thinking “I would never wear that in real life…” – I guess that’s why it’s acting.
What are your plans or hopes for the future?
Hopefully off the back of more good acting jobs, I can grow as a producer also. That’s the plan any ways. To be a successful actor and producer. I’d like to be able to choose my projects as an actor someday. Not have to audition. That would be nice.
Ten quick questions
Wine or spirits? – Spirits
Comedy or tragedy? – Comedy
Keith Lemon or Stephen Fry? – Keith Lemon
Sweet or savory? – Savoury
Romantic night in or boys’ night out? – Boys night out
The Joker or Batman? – Joker
Angelina Jolie or Kate Beckinsdale? – Kate Beckinsale
Vampire or Werewolf? – Ghost?
Trainers or shoes? – Shoes
Dogs or cats? – Cats
Words – 1,419
Elderly Fall Prey to Addicts.
Several young drug addicts are tricking vulnerable old people into giving them money. In one case, an elderly man, who suffers with kidney failure, was approached and when his trust was gained he started receiving phone calls from the addicts, asking him to meet them outside Tesco with some money.
The addicts used sob stories to get elderly people to feel sorry for them. One victim said, ‘One told me that he’d been stabbed and robbed, and that he needed money to go stay at a hotel.’
Two of the addicts have been dealt with by the police and were given an eight month jail sentence. The family of one victim told us, ‘It’s not long enough. They’ll be out in four months for good behaviour, and then they’ll be back to their old ways, or worse… they’ll be back for more.’
The addicts have been going to any extent to get money, which includes robbing people’s houses. The latest of these robberies included the addicts taking approximately £700 in cash, a new iPhone, and cigarettes.
PC Wilson shares his views. ‘If it isn’t money they take, its things they can sell off for cash.’
Police have issued a warning for elderly people in the areas affected, asking them to be aware, and to inform the police regarding anything suspicious.
Hull Museum Finds Day – January 27th
Hull and East Yorkshire Museum are opening their doors for another Finds Day on Saturday 27th January.
The Finds Day is a chance for all metal detectorists and amateur archaeologists to bring in anything they have found to be identified and, in some cases, recorded.
“We’ve had some really great finds,” Says the Museum curator, “we’ve ranged from Bronze age axes, to much older worked flint.”
The Finds Day is always something amataeur archaeologists and metal detectorists look forward to because it gives them a chance to talk to the professionals. Amateur archaeologist Simon Marsh said, “We will find plenty of things that we don’t know what they are, and the finds days give us a chance to learn something new, so that if we find it again then we will know what we are looking at.”
The Finds Day also gives people chance to have a look around the historic city of Hull. People from around the region come to Hull not just to go to the Finds Day, but to also tour the city. Statistics from the Maritime Museum have proved that there has been an increase in the amount of people who go to the museum at the time of the Finds Day, and most of them are tourists.
Ian Jackson, a metal detectorist from Bridlington, said, “I bring my family for the day out. We love to tour the museums, a chance we don’t often have in Bridlington.”
The Finds Day will take place between 11am and 1pm that Saturday. Entrance into the museum is free for all.
Intro – What I intend to explore and discuss
In this essay I intend to explore the current state of the media sector and analyse the impact on job roles, and how the media sector is changing into a more digital world. I will research the effect of the digital age on the media sector. I will concentrate on three different principal players of the media sector: the BBC, Radio Humberside, and Virgin Media. I am exploring these three because I am covering two main principal players, and another sector inside the principal players.
Overview – the state of the media sector, principal players, other people who have made up the media sector
The media sector is constantly changing. Nowadays we are a more digital age, so print papers are slowly in decline. People prefer to check the news on their technology via apps or the internet. A quote from the Oxford University Press sums this up: “We would prefer to get our news painlessly. This third “lessly” is not here yet, but our future technologies will be smart enough to provide only what it is relevant to us and we care about – anytime, anywhere. That will be how people will prefer to get their news tomorrow.” Apple has brought out apps for many news sources, including the Daily Mail, Google News and other participating news corporations.
The changing state of the media sector is also affecting other principal players such as film companies, because filmmakers are finding it easier to get into the market. Before the internet and YouTube, filmmakers had to find a way to publicise their films and show them to the audience, which was hard because they couldn’t just upload their videos onto YouTube like they can now. The other problem with the changing media sector is that film organisations are losing money. This is because people are uploading new films online for people to watch rather than going to the cinema and spending money on watching films.
However, there is a plus side for the constantly changing state of the media sector. Magazine companies are in a similar state to the newspaper industries and are able to make their own websites to promote their magazines. For example, SciFi Now, a Science Fiction and Horror Magazine, have created a website similar to their own magazine where they can advertise what is featured in the magazine, and much more.
Operation – how do they operate, what is their function and what role do they play
I am now going to look into three different types of media organisations and go into detail about their operations.
The BBC – The BBC operates through broadcast and online journalism. The BBC has its own news programme, BBC News, which is broadcasted three times a day every day; Breakfast, Lunch and at six o’clock at night. BBC News plays an important role in the news industry because it is one of the main broadcasting stations, and so a lot of people will be watching BBC News sometime during the day. The main function of the BBC News is to inform people of what is going on both locally (Look North) and Nationally (BBC News). The BBC also has its own news site where people can look for breaking news stories, and it is updated regularly with the latest stories.
Radio Humberside – Radio Humberside is a radio station that operates both online and through local radio stations. Radio Humberside has the function to entertain people through music, but it also regularly updates its listeners on the local news, such as any important road closures or, for example, if there are any schools locally that are closed because of flooding or heavy snow, listeners usually turn to their local radio stations, such as Radio Humberside, to get this information. The Radio Humberside also has its own online page where you can “listen online” to whatever show is playing.
There are also other features of the site which update people on the local news or other important information they need to know. They are fairly easy to navigate, which opens the site to viewers of any age and ability.
Virgin – Virgin is a major media sector that covers anything from printing to airlines, to games and travel agencies. Because of the high amount of sectors that Virgin covers, its function varies from entertainment (Virgin Games) and to transport people around (Virgin Airlines). Virgin is highly dependant on the digital aspect because there are so many different websites that are all owned by Virgin, as they can’t pack all the different sectors into one site.
There are many different sectors of Virgin and these have their own different websites.
Virgin play an important role in the media sector because they control a large amount of the media sector. Their company is similar to that of Sky; it isn’t just a news company or a airline company, it controls almost everything. Because of that, they cover a large audience, which is important as that is what the media sector is about – who has the largest audience.
Changing structure – explain how media industries sector is changing digitally
The media sector is becoming more digitally dependant. For example, in the news industry Journalists can go out on a story and can now upload photos and information on the go. Most news sites, for example the BBC News site,
Other news sites have apps that can be installed from the different mobile stores. These apps allow people to read the news on the go, and are updated regularly with the latest stories. This is pushing the print press into a slow decline as it has been found that more people prefer to check the news on their phones, rather than buying a paper.
The different sectors of the media sector are changing differently when it comes to the digital age. I will explore how my three case studies are changing digitally.
The BBC – The BBC doesn’t just control the BBC News aspect, but also aspects like BBC TV shows. BBC are their own television company and are constantly making new TV shows. The changing aspect of the media sector digitally is affecting the BBC because, rather than just showing their shows on their channels, the BBC have introduced BBC iPlayer, which is a new online site that allows people to rewatch any BBC show online for a while after the shows have been shown online. This is good for if people miss their shows, a “catch up”, or just for anyone who wants to watch something over again.
The BBC also is affected digitally because it gives them the chance to advertise their own shows on the BBC main website. Most of the BBC TV shows have their own websites which are regularly updated. These websites have information about their shows, as well as multimedia like videos and images from the actual shows. For example, the BBC Being Human page has features like a blog, which is regularly updated, images from the show, and character profiles “prequels” where you can go further into the character’s background.
Radio Humberside – Radio Humberside has its own online multimedia website, which is affected digitally as the media sector changes to become more digital. The website itself is important digitally because it has features such as being able to listen online, and search through different programmes. There are also important information links like travel and news that people can click on to get the information. These links are digitally important because if they weren’t there then no one could get the information they need.
Virgin – Virgin is important digitally because most of Virgin’s companies revolve around something digital. For example, Virgin’s airlines need some form of internet booking and timetables that people can use. Virgin itself is a digital company. Virgin use a digital multimedia site known as “Experience Virgin America” as their Virgin Flights site, and without the digital age the site couldn’t function.
The site opens with a “click and drag” feature that opens up a video of a baseball game that you have to use the “click and drag” to help hit the ball. There haven’t been many other multimedia sites like this, except when Mercedes Benz made a advertising campaign that sent many people to their website. Mercedes Benz showed part of an advert on TV where there was a woman sat in a car and she asked which way to turn. The advert would then send you to the site, which would be an interative site that ended with you typing in your mobile number. The number was then rang and when you answered, you would hear the woman’s voice telling you that you had been entered in a competition to win a new Mercedes car. The advertising was so successful that it was one of the most clicked on websites of the year.
Changing job roles – refer to two organisations researched, analyse the way in which job roles and skills need to fulfil
The BBC has created several new job roles for the digital age. A Media Manager is someone who manages the process of putting things online, for example news stories or uploading to multimedia sites. A Research and Development Engineer is someone who deals with all the new technology. They research the technology and deal with the creation and development of apps and multimedia sites. A Software Engineer is someone who works with the new software, such as the Adobe packages, and develops them on how to make them better. The BBC also have a Director of Future Media, who will examine the current state of the media sector and who will determine what the future may look like. The CEO of the Guardian expressed his feelings on what effect the digital age might have in the future. “Digital is fantastic, with fantastic opportunities, but only 30% of our revenues come from digital format. So, to say we can sustain a business for a long time with a high level of journalists with this mix of revenue is very, very difficult.”
Virgin has changed its job roles according to the digital age, just like the BBC has. Most of the job roles are about dealing with technical changes over the course of the digital age. The skills needed are becoming more technological, and companies are offering courses in technology for the people who are not gemmed up with that kind of technology. But Virgin are also asking for people who are good commercially; they know how to sell products.
Conclusion – summary of findings
In conclusion, the digital age has had an important aspect on the media sector and how it has changed. Both Virgin and the BBC have been affected by the digital age and are dealing with it in different ways. Both companies have has to add job roles to work around the digital age, and while some companies are finding it hard to deal with the digital age, for others it has been something good.
BBC News Website (www.bbc.co.uk/news)
Google Play Store Website (https://play.google.com/store)
BBC Being Human Website (www.bbc.co.uk/beinghuman)
BBC iPlayer Website (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer)
Virgin America (experiencevirginamerica.com)
Radio Humberside (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiohumberside)
SciFi Now (www.scifinow.co.uk)
Oxford University Press: Floridi, L. (2010). How do people prefer to get the news today? . Available: http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2010/09/20/how-do-people-prefer-to-get-the-news-today/. Last accessed 20th Dec 2012.
Guardian CEO Quote: Ryan, P. (2012). Guardian CEO outlines digital future of news and media industry. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media-network/media-network-blog/2012/oct/12/guardian-ceo-outlines-digital-future. Last accessed 20th Dec 2012.
They are the father and daughter time team who are unearthing history.
Young archaeological researcher Ami-Jane Marsh, just 18, has been unearthing artefacts since she could walk.
She and dad Simon, 48, who has been metal detecting for over 30 years, the pair are extremely enthusiastic about their hobby. Their finds range from World War Two aeroplanes, Roman votive pendants, and prehistoric flint hand axes that go back to the first humans.
However it was in a local winter ploughed field that Ami-Jane and Simon found a very unusual find.
Ami-Jane recalled “The mud in the field was very deep and so difficult to walk on, you struggle to keep your balance most of the time, especially with mud adding ten pounds to every stride and half way up your wellies. The detector gave out a positive signal and we started digging. Several inches down, we found the object. At first we thought it was a tractor part as the condition was so good, but after some cleaning, we discovered it was a Bronze age socketed and looped axe, dating back over 3000 years ago.”
It isn’t just the metal detector that finds artefacts, whilst Simon uses the metal detector, Ami-Jane walks beside him and looks for anything on the ground. “field walking, where non-metal artefacts such as flint, stone and pottery are visually found, adding pieces to the historical jigsaw.”
Simon told us of one of his favourite artefacts, which has earned him the title Axeman. “We were on what we believed was a prehistoric site and I saw something sticking up out of the ground. When I pulled it out, I realised that it was an extremely rare find, a Palaeolithic flint hand axe, dating back to a period of the first humans using tools, up to 200,000 thousand years ago.”
It is not just a matter of walking across a field and hoping something pops up, much time is spent beforehand researching. Simon explained. “We have found that collecting data via the internet through searching maps, local history etc. helps us pinpoint specific areas that show human habitation in some way or another. Usually a good sign is aerial photographs as they show where specific habitation has been. You may well be aware of the old tales of UFO crop circles, where there is a perfect circle in a field and no track to it. These are sometimes prehistoric sites, burials or iron age round houses that have left their mark in history behind.”
In the future, Ami-Jane and Simon wish to continue their hobby, and have some ideas about what kind of things they would like to find. Ami-Jane shared her thoughts. “We’re all about the research; we don’t want a hoard of gold that’s worth thousands, it would be nice, but I’d rather find something of historical value; a grave of a long lost king, if only.’
*It must be stressed that you cannot just walk on any land without the landowner’s permission, and all artefacts found are recorded at the local museum, under the Portable Antiquities Scheme.