During enhancement week at university in November 2017, De Montfort University arranged activities and events throughout the week. As I am a journalism student I had the chance to participate in a ‘News Day’.
On the day, the classroom was set up like a live news room. There were students scattered everywhere exchanging ideas and news stories, it reminded me of a live newsroom.
Coincidently it was the day of the American election in which Donald Trump became the president of the United States. As a result of the newly elected president, every newspaper and news website was buzzing with the news.
Reading the material, I found it was not all good publicity. Meanwhile BBC news was on the big screen in the news room with regular updates every hour.
Once we got settled at a computer, we were briefed on our task. We were given a deadline of five hours before we have to submit it and it could possibly be worthy enough to possibly get publication on the Leicestershire Press website.
I decided to separate the deadline into three mini deadlines; one hour to research and find one, then three hours to write it and two hours to edit it and apply the finishing touches to it before submitting it.
Upon researching, I found a lot of material regarding the American election, however I didn’t find a good enough angle which I could write a story on.
Corresponding with one of journalism lecturers, he spoke to me about a story hitting the news recently. In a recent Donald Trump campaign, he made a un-necessary comment about a disabled reporter who had interviewed him on a previous date. We thought this would be a good story and allow me to put an effective angle onto it as I, who suffers from a similar disability can put a personal prospective.
Using the skills I acquired through practical journalism unit, I thoroughly researched my subject, wrote an effective intro, suitable content, quotes to back it up and my personal opinion on the material I wrote.
Researching into this story, I unearthed some atrocious facts. According to my research the newly elected president was seen openly mocking a disabled journalist, Serge F Kovaleskia at a rally in South Carolina.
The reporter suffers from a congenital disability which affects the movement of his arms. He reported on the newly elected president on a pervious campaign and wrote an article the president did not like.
In the rally in South Carolina, the president was filmed to of openly mocking the reporter by referring to the journalist as a ‘poor guy,’ Then the president was filmed saying, “Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,” before opening mocking him by making flapping gestures and facial twitches.
Suffering from a disability which affects the movement of all four my limbs, I was outraged by this. These actions were made without any regard to the person’s feelings.
It is such a delicate matter, yet it was very the words said and the actions were patronising and tackles, possibly causing offence not only the reporter but to people who are affected with a disability as a whole.
It is shocking how such a highly considered figure and now newly elected president can get away with such a terrible thing. Its despicable.
Continuing to research the story thoroughly, I was outraged and in fact down right appalled at what I was reading.
Determined to create an article worthy of recognition and publication, I researched and was successful in finding footage of the rally in question on YouTube.
Reading my article through, I was trying to convey a strong message throughout and I felt it deserved a powerful title:
‘Why Trump’s attitude to disabled people offends me.’
‘A personal viewpoint by Sophie Abel.’
Submitting the final article, I was told it was a very powerful piece and when it was officially published on the Leicestershire Press website, my story was one of the top hits for about two weeks after.
I have since been asked to write articles and more material for the Leicestershire Press website from the leading global lecturer of the news day.