Paul Heaton- Alcoholism

Paul has admitted that drinking has been a problem for him during his career. Many of the songs he wrote whilst in The Beautiful South relate to this problem, the most prolific probably being Old Red Eyes is Back.

The band had a heavy drinking culture, and the height of Paul’s problems was during his time in The Beautiful South.

Although now owning a pub in Manchester, named The Kings Arms, Paul has said that he now hardly drinks. He realised that the reason why he drank was because he likes spending time in the pubs themselves. One of the main reasons he quit the drink was for his daughter.

My chosen prominent figure

I have decided to base my assignment on Paul Heaton.

Paul formed high profile bands The Housemartins and The Beautiful South. I have listened to The Beautiful South from a young age and enjoy their music, so thought he would be the perfect person to base my assignment on. He has a deep love for the city of Hull, and spent 25 years there during his time in both bands.

Two areas that I will focus on for my video doc is his drinking, and his love of politics. This is because they are subjects that many people might not know about, and would demonstrate my investigative journalist skills. I will also focus on The Beautiful South and The Housemartins as a whole.

FE Week- what I learnt

I feel that the main thing I learnt whilst at FE Week was how to find a story, gather information and then write the article in a short amount of time. Working with industry professionals meant that I could get advice on the best way to write stories, as well as experience what it is like to work full time in the journalism industry.

I have also found myself to be more confident after completing the two weeks. I learnt that you need to speak up if you need something, by ringing different people until you have the right information. At first I was nervous to use the phone, but by the end of the two weeks I was using the phone multiple times a day without even thinking about it.

Although I was tired by the end (I have never worked full time before!) I really enjoyed myself, and would love to return to somewhere like this for further experience.

FE Week- my role

As guest editor of the online magazine, I had a wide range of jobs to do in order to make sure everything was correct and finished in time for publishing.

My first day involved tweeting about stories that were in the current published issue. This involved making sure you could fit an appropriate headline in the word allowance, as well as a link to the college involved and the sponsor of the magazine.

I also started creating a news list for the next issue. This meant looking through press releases sent to the email, deciding which looked appropriate and then summarising them so you could read a brief account of what is was about.

I carried on completing the news list throughout the week, but by the second day I was given the chance to start writing articles for myself. I had a say on which stories I thought looked good, and which I thought wouldn’t be appropriate.

A huge part of my role was contacting press offices and colleges for information. This was because if we didn’t have everything we needed, we would not be able to publish the article at all. Also, in order to publish a story we needed a suitable photograph, in a high resolution, with the details of everyone in it.

When the time came to publish the stories online, it was my job to upload them on to the WordPress site, and to make sure that the photos were a suitable size for the website. For the two editions I was guest editor for, I wrote every story apart from the feature.

Summer internship

During the summer I was lucky enough to complete a two week paid internship in London. Based in Greenwich, I spent my time as guest editor at a newspaper called FE Week. This is a newspaper which specialises in further education. I was working on their online magazine called Campus Round-Up.

This is all about different colleges across the country, with articles about special achievements of the colleges and their students. It also writes about events that are held at the colleges, as well as any visits they take.

McCann troll

Whilst in our lecture we also discussed the death of McCann troll Brenda Leyland. It has been argued that she committed suicide due to the way she was treat by a Sky journalist.

He confronted her outside of her house, to ask her some questions about whether what she was doing was right or wrong.

Brenda was attacking the McCanns online, calling them liars and saying that she hated them on her Twitter account.

We all had different opinions on this matter, and I myself struggled to make up my mind as to whether the reporter was right or wrong to confront her.

My first opinion was that if he hadn’t asked her and she didn’t want to talk then he was wrong to keep asking her. However, after seeing the footage I can see that the way in which he did this was not in a nasty way. Also, if she was tweeting her opinions on Twitter, which is a public domain, then she should not have been surprised when people confront her to inform the public on her opinions.