Politics Assessment: The package

Here’s my package on Cornwall’s views on the so-called ‘bedroom tax’:

(It’s conveniently split into two which means you have time to go and make yourself a nice cup of tea before you listen to the second half.)

Editorial choices:

  • Longer, yet relevant quotes to allow my interview subjects to tell the story. Yes, it runs the risk of sounding rambling and boring, but I’d like to think the clips I chose are interesting, informative and where appropriate, emotive.
  • Music and SFX. I took a gamble in using music to run through my package. It’s something I’ve never done before and I was aware it could prove distracting or even cheesy. I’m pleased with the outcome, however, and think it brings out the best of the clips and adds plenty of drama. The main reason I used it was to move the story on in an interesting manner. Six minutes is a relatively long time for my audience to sit listening to the story, so I hoped this – along with the clips from the protest – would add that extra bit of interest.
  • A strong focus on how the issue will affect locals. This package is aimed at a Radio Cornwall audience, so I made sure I spoke to relevant people from the county (protesters), along with Cornish politicians who spend much of their time down here, as opposed to Westminster. I reigned the national story in from how the changes (to all welfare benefits) will affect those on benefits, to how it could impact those claiming housing benefit in Cornwall – with a particular focus on the Camborne area.

The triumphs:osborne happy

  • The interviews: They all went smoothly, and all of my subjects were helpful and provided plenty of good talking points – particularly George Eustice who spoke of elderly people who “continue to hog houses that are too big for them”.
  • The protest: As luck would have it, there was an anti-bedroom tax protest staged in Camborne in March. I went along and picked up some interviews and lots of SFX.
  • Being organised: As I’d planned my story well in advance I knew from the start who I needed to speak to and what I wanted to ask them. I then felt relatively confident that I could put together a decent package.

The catastrophes:Osborne sad

  • Sabotage by computer: An error message appeared on my computer, followed by the blue screen of death, the very second I’d just laid down my final clip. I had no choice but to force a shut down. Fortunately I’d been saving my project as I’d gone along, so I only had to re-do a small part of my piece. Annoying all the same though.
  • The M-Audio: Always a bit of a trouble-maker and the quality of the recordings isn’t great – spending ages de-essing and getting rid of static is not fun. I guess you know by now that I don’t rate it much.

Do you feel more informed about the changes to benefits as a result of listening to this radio package? Leave your comments on the form below:

Politics Assessment: The Editing Process

There’s always a vast amount of material to listen to before you can decide what to cram into a package. And this was no exception.

Even at six minutes long (which is rather a lengthy package) it’s still a challenge to pick out only a small selection of good clips.

To that end, some things didn’t make the final edit for one reason or another.

So here are some of the rough cuts I set aside from the George Eustice and Jude Robinson interviews which ultimately weren’t used, but they’re interesting all the same.

Listen to them on the player below.

Politics Assessment – The People

For my six-minute package I’ve decided to include three voices. Here’s my cast-list:

Chris Gibson – Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance

ChrisGranger1

As I mentioned, I went along to a ‘bedroom tax’ protest in Camborne to speak to some of the organisers from Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance.

As you can imagine, they were very happy to stop and chat and explain why they were demonstrating and why they’re against pretty much every Tory reform.

This chap stood out with his strong political views and brilliant voice, so I’ll definitely include him in my piece. 

George Eustice – Conservative MP 

GeorgeEusticeConservative MP George Eustice very kindly agreed to let me interview him at his office in Camborne.

He gave good, contrasting thoughts to the protesters, explaining why his party thinks the benefit changes are “the right thing to do”.

He also told me that dozens of brand new one-bedroom flats (right next to his office) were being made available to retired people which will make it easier for affected locals to downsize and, as he put it, “stop hogging houses.”

Jude Robinson – Labour Councillor

JudeRobinson

Taking time out of her very hectic schedule, Jude Robinson invited me to her home in Pool to squeeze a quick interview in over lunch-time.

Naturally she was against the “bedroom tax,” saying it was something Labour would never dream of doing.

I had the chance to put to her some of the questions I’d asked George Eustice, and got some interesting answers, which I’ll share with you all soon.

But my highlight: I had the privilege of meeting her very friendly dog, two cats and three chickens. They didn’t have much to say on the issue.