A package on anything to do with Cornwall. That’s the task.
As you can probably imagine, there are lots of ways you can shoehorn a ‘Cornwall’ angle into any story.
I’ve decided to focus my efforts on a cat – currently at a vet’s surgery in Penzance – that got trapped on the under-carriage of a train. It travelled 1700 miles, and lived to tell the tale (no pun intended).
I’m going for a light, feel-good kind of story because I know I can get some lovely pictures, and it’s the kind of piece I like making and watching.
While my peers ridicule me for being the ‘Chief Miraculous Animal Recovery Correspondent’, I’m confident this is a story newsworthy enough for any broadcaster or print outlet.
Here’s how other news organisations have approached the story:
- ITV took an anthropamorphic approach, referring to the cat as ‘terrified Polly’.
- The Daily Mail chose much the same angle, and included a video of the train manager, provided to the national newspapers by SWNS.
- The Independent printed a story citing quotes from The Times, and published a photo of the wrong cat.
My take on Polly’s adventure
So far I’m pleased to report that my plan is half coming together. I’ve secured interviews with the vets responsible for treating Polly. I’m still waiting to hear back from First Great Western to see if they’ll let me interview the train manager who found her.
Here’s how I plan to make the story:
- I want to get original footage, and challenge my camera skills by getting a range of different shots from different angles and levels – easier said than done when you’re working alone!
- It’s essential that I speak to both the vet and the train manager – without them, the story just won’t stand up and I’ll be forced to look into doing something else.
- I’m keen to film the reunion between Polly and her elderly owners. This would make for a real tear-jerking story. Obviously this will depend entirely on getting permission from them so I need to be prepared in case they don’t agree to it.
What can go wrong?
This brings me to one of the major problems I’m experiencing. As a trainee broadcast journalist, with no reputable corporation behind me, and no flashy press pass, it’s practically impossible to be taken seriously by those generally against any form of contact with the media (ahem…train companies). Student journalists simply lack the credibility and clout to get the stories we want from the people we need to speak to.