Final Year Project

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Final Year Project: Accompanying Profiles

WRITTEN PROFILES as added on Winol.co.uk

 

Emma Wright

(On location presenter for Southampton Itchen)

 

Emma is one of the on location presenters for Southampton Itchen for the night of the General Election.

 

Southampton Itchen as a constituency will have two presenters on the night to cover the broadcast, Emma will take on the role as chief reporter for the location and will cover the majority of the presenting. At other times, another presenter will take over while Emma acts as a runner and researcher keeping up to date with any information needed on the night.

 

Emma has also created a constituency profile for the area, including interviews with all local candidates to further her knowledge and help with information gathering of her locale. This will aid her in understanding and reproducing any information she receives on the night. It will be a high-pressure environment with new information being received often, the inside information and relationships she has built with the candidates will add to the quality of her presenting.

 

She will also be responsible for delivering updates on the count, filming interviews with candidates to be live streamed and making sure the result is aired on time.

 

When asked why she chose the role Emma said “Southampton has two marginal seats and it is the biggest area we are covering. I wanted to try something different to managing the website as the election is such a big event for us as students”.

 

Emma has previous experience as website editor for Winchester News Online and as such was responsible for editing news stories as well as maintaining the functioning of the site and creating new elements for it.

 

Emma also spoke of the skills she has which make her a good choice for the role; “I think I have a good camera manner and I am proud of my interviewing skills”.

 

Emma, being ‘out in the field’ as opposed to working in the newsroom on the night, will have technical elements to consider. She added; “The main things I will have to prepare for will be internet problems, if there are connection issues with the streaming or Skypes, but we have researched the area and have looked into portable options so we are prepared as much as we can be”.

 

Emma’s constituency profiles will be aired during the live-streamed show. She has also produced several reports about the area which can be viewed on the website.

 

 

Lauren Clarke

(Producer of the live radio show on election night)

 

Lauren’s role on election night will consist of producing and presenting the election radio show on the night.

 

Her main responsibilities will involve making sure the show broadcasts in tandem with Winol’s video output, relaying the correct information and updating listeners as election news comes in. She will be assisted by two first-year Journalism students who will aid Lauren in setting up phone interviews and arranging guests for the show.

 

Lauren has previous experience as chair of the radio society and thought “it would be interesting to add another platform and an extra challenge to the night”.

 

“I have my own radio show every week so I am used to the radio setting. I was also politics reporter for a semester so I have a good general view of what to expect on the night.”

 

Lauren is confident she is prepared for the high-pressured environment and longevity the night will bring “I completed a 24 hour live charity radio broadcast so hopefully I’ll be able to sustain the show all night”.

 

Adding: “I think it will be great to have a radio version of reporting the election as it offers the opportunity for more discussion with the guests in a slightly less formal style”.

 

Being in charge of the radio show and having a small team, Lauren is anticipating some problems and how she is intending to overcome them. “A problem I could run into could be that the newsroom might forget we are here. It will be very busy so making sure we get the information on time will be a challenge, I have two students on board as runners so we need to make sure we keep up great communication with the whole team”.

 

She added; “There is always the chance of technical problems so in the days leading up to the election I will practice and make sure everything is working properly. If something does go wrong we will have to apologise to viewers and move on as quickly as possible but I am confident we are prepared enough that this won’t happen”.

 

Lauren’s previous radio work can be heard on her blog, her previous political news stories can also be viewed on the website.

 

Joanna Tatum

(Producer)

 

Joanna’s role on election night as Producer will involve her ensuring everything ‘behind the scenes’ is running as smoothly as possible, solving unpredicted problems, ensuring the studio and inject points are set up and organising equipment. Joanna’s role requires her to take responsibility for the running of the show and she will handle all of the input into the show while the directors will handle the output.

 

Joanna has had previous experience as a producer and post-production editor for Winol; “I really enjoyed the role and taking on the General Election live broadcast was a logical extension.”

 

Adding: “I’m organised, I’m good at communicating, solving problems and decision making and I believe I am capable of running the show. Having gone through two rehearsals so far, I’ve got a good idea of what needs doing.”

 

Being producer, Joanna will be in charge of the technical elements in the gallery as well as ‘in the field’ considerations and is likely to come across several technical problems. “I forsee multiple problems, from losing the Internet to not having a guest to the OB teams running out of battery. If we lose Internet I plan on having a Skype-capable laptop that can be substituted if necessary. If we don’t have a guest and can’t dig one up, we can either ask a lecturer to take on a guest seat or we can run constituency packages and so on.”

 

“My job is to provide options to the directors so that they call make the call, I am also working with Ryan (McAndrew-OB producer) to ensure every base is covered. We are going to have on the night. No plan ever survives first contact and the hope is that we’ll be well enough prepared to handle the problems as and when the issues occur.”

 

Joanna has worked on several of Winol’s weekly bulletins and this along with her other work on the features department can be viewed on the website.

 

 

Henry Nixon

(Chief Analyst)

 

Henry will be the in-studio politics expert on the night of the election. He will help the presenters give a balanced and concise understanding of the implications of the results as they come in.

 

The role will involve discussing results on camera, predicting outcomes and analysing information, which has been communicated from the outside broadcasts. As well as discussing what guests have to say throughout the night.

 

Henry chose the role because he has a deep-seated interest in politics: “I have followed local and national politics for many years and my experiences have given me a well-rounded understanding of politics all over the country.”

 

Henry has had previous experience making news packages for Winol as well as writing text stories. The high-pressured and live nature of Henry’s role will require him to have a thorough knowledge of all the political aspects of the programme. “I love researching politics and political issues, I love scripting research and news in to studio presentation. I think quickly when presented with breaking news and have a confident and reasoned demeanor that comes across in the studio. I also respond well to pressure and I am thoroughly briefed for the general election in all the constituencies we are covering.”

 

Henry’s role as an analyst means he does not have to contend with the technical issues which many of the other students have to consider, he does have other obstacles to think about before the night however. “The biggest obstacle on the night will be technical issues to the OBs, which will mean the presenter will through to me for opinion and analysis. I will have to remain focussed, up to date and calm when the broadcast may suddenly be on me. I will be effective and useful in these situations by being briefed, imaginative and coherent throughout the night.”

 

Henry’s previous work is available to view on the Winol website.

 

 

Calum Warren-Piper

(Data producer and graphics editor)

 

Calum’s role on election night will be graphics and data journalism editor. He will be in charge of amalgamating all the data that will be coming into the newsroom and presenting it promptly and correctly. He will also be in charge of making sure the graphics are finished before the election date, meaning he will have to delegate work within his team to ensure exit polls and results will all be visually presented to a high quality.

 

When asked why he chose the role Calum said: “It is my passion and the area od journalism that I am hoping to get involved in when I leave university.”

 

Calum has worked in data journalism for Winol and will be drawing on this experience to perfect his role on the night: “I have previous experience in data journalism presenting for Winol and creating graphics for the team. I have experience with the applications used for creating graphics and the process of transforming complex data into graphs and easy to read packages.”

 

As Calum will not be in the studio and will not be involved with the presenting or gallery aspects on the night he will not have to consider the technical running of the show. He does however, have some issues he must be aware of before the night: “the problems will arise when a large amount of data and information comes in all at once and it will be extremely difficult to present it all as promptly as possible. It is likely this will cause a build up and we need to, as a team, have created previous templates for certain graphics which we can easily slot data in to. This way, if people can or need to make a graphic for a filler for the studio it will be easy to do even with a minimal knowledge of graphics.”

 

Calum’s previous work in graphics can be viewed in many of Winol’s news package or in his two-part Politics show ‘Politics and Power’ with fellow student Alex Delaney.

 

 

Lucy Wilson

(Presenter)

Lucy is one of the four presenters on the night and will present a two-hour slot of the live election show.

 

Her main responsibilities will include hosting the show, ensuring the show runs smoothly, presenting links and letting viewers know how the show will progress, for example communicating ad breaks and interviewing guests.

 

When asked why she took up the role; “I wanted to challenge myself as I am not usually very clued up when it comes to politics and I have never presented for longer than an you before.”

 

Adding: “I think I am a good person for the role as I am good at dealing with stressful situations and I can make quick decisions hen problems occur.”

 

Being presenter, Lucy is likely to encounter several problems on the night including; technical issues such as Skype or the Live Outside Broadcasts not working. Lucy will also need to consider her presenting conduct, as it is an election special, rules of fairness apply and she must be careful to give equal time to political guests.

 

To prepare for the role Lucy said; “I will follow all news programmes in the run up to the election and keep an eye on any political updates, I will read up as much as I can about national and local politics so I can fill any time where there is, for example, a lost VT.”

 

“I will also ensure guests are prepped about how long they will have during discussions, I will also prepare key questions or extra discussion points for the guests if we need to fill time” she added.

 

All of Lucy’s previous work, both on news and features can be viewed via the website.

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FYP: Critical Reflection

BA Journalism Final Year Project Critical Reflection

GE2015

Pt1: Why should students broadcast the general election?

Pt2: How Journalism students at the University of Winchester (Winol) covered GE2015

My Final Year Project consists of a filmed documentary split into two parts with an election focus. It was an obvious choice for me to cover the General Election as it is such a major news event in the prime time on our course as trainee Journalists. I chose to present the piece in broadcast as it is my biggest strength and I think, is the most interesting and engaging way of representing the content.

The first section of my documentary contains a series of interviews with a selection of local election candidates and politicians across the south including; Winchester, Southampton, Basingstoke and Eastleigh from all major political parties.

The second part of the documentary focuses on how the Journalism students at the University of Winchester covered General Election night 2015 in their LIVE Winol election night special. The election night special consisted of a seven-hour live broadcast following a format similar to that of Winol’s weekly news bulletins. This part of the documentary begins with a portfolio of interviews, conducted by myself, prior to the election, with select Winol students who have key roles in the election night broadcast. For example, the social media co-ordinator, graphics editor, OB producer, senior on-night political analyst, gallery co-ordinator and in-the-field presenter. The documentary then features a behind the scenes look at how Winol filmed and live-broadcasted election night. It follows a more creative style with music and time progression. This part also contains follow-up interviews with the previously mentioned students on their progress on the night.

There were specific things I aimed to achieve with my FYP, which I am confident I have done. I didn’t want the video to be a campaign piece to encourage more students to vote, which I think it could’ve easily turned in to as it is such a highly debated topic at the moment. Rather I wanted to focus on why it is important for student journalists to broadcast and cover the general election. I wanted the piece to provide a local look at the impact student broadcasting can have in an election, not as an encouraging piece but rather investigating the opinions of local party candidates and students’ views on the subject. My aim for the final part of the documentary was to provide a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how Winchester University students covered the election in broadcast form. The aim was to see how a student input, following a story-like format with a build-up, tension and a finale, would influence the television and online output.

It was impossible to predict how the night would go beforehand, problems the students were likely to run into or how they would solve them, meaning filming the documentary was as interesting as creating the final video. I drew on my skills as a video journalist to aid in creating the content of the documentary; I wanted to include some of the rules and tips I learnt from news packaging to maintain a professional and directional style, which for the first part of the documentary I am happy I achieved. The piece also required other skills I have gained throughout the course including my interview skills and my relationships with my contacts as well as my filming, editing and production capabilities. The second part of the documentary required a more creative, free-style format as it followed a story line and time progression. This is unfamiliar in news packaging and was more experimental for me to be able to create something more dramatic and with such an unexpected outcome. Overall I am pleased with the work I have created and think I have made a creative, interesting, informative and original piece of work, which in providing an insight into student journalism, might also be helpful for other students when reporting an election.

It was a complicated process deciding the format and style of the documentary; I considered following a more art-house ‘fly-on-the-wall’, Pennebaker-inspired style film. My extensive experience and confidence in packaging however, lead me to the decision to present it more as an extended profile package. Having made several news packages for Winol in the past I am confident in my ability and skills to execute successful broadcast-worthy material. I thought this was the best way to create a well-thought out, creative piece of work that I am proud of. I did however, retain some elements of the ‘floating’ non-intrusive style in some shots, for example I used a a camera attached to a moving jib in the studio to create this effect. I wanted to try to incorporate some of this type of filming to add an extra level of creativity and interest to the piece. Another important decision to be made regarding the style of the piece was whether to, myself, feature in the documentary as an on-screen presenter explaining and narrating the piece. I made the decision not to do this, I thought it would distract from the theme and would be an unnecessary addition. This would use up valuable space, which could be filled with more important and compelling interviews. Instead, I chose to narrate simply through voice over, it is informative without distracting from the importance and understanding of the election focus.

One of the issues I came across in the filming of my piece was with equipment failure and availability. There were clashes in equipment bookings, which meant I had to book any equipment I needed sometimes up to two weeks in advance.  I also had issues with SD cards failing to record, or not working after a few minutes. When filming on my own this posed problems, as it was difficult to ‘keep an eye’ on the camera whilst also interviewing the person. I overcame this by buying my own cards to guarantee successful filming. In addition to the video documentary I wrote reports and profile interviews of members of the Winol team contributing to the general election. There was a legal consideration in writing any political reports as parliament dissolved several months before the election therefore any written contributions made after the 30th March would have strict reporting rules. The Representation of the People’s Act meant that restrictions would apply until one second past midnight on election night (May 7th). This meant that there were risks of committing a strict liability offense, the first in publishing any form of advertising or bribery and the second, risk of libeling a candidate becomes a criminal offense as opposed to civil. From this point it was particularly important to ensure all candidates were mentioned in any articles and always balanced. Any news or features articles about the election for the website were also subject to the Representation of the People’s Act as well as Ofcom and BBC guidelines and any broadcasted interviews must have had strictly equal airtime. This only lasted until election night when coverage went back to balance over time.

The biggest hurdle I came across was with the availability of candidates, despite several months of persistence and explanation some candidates were unavailable to interview due to busy scheduling. This forced me to have to catch the candidates at the end of public debates or talks or during their campaign trails, unfortunately this compromised the quality of some of the filming. The time and location restraints didn’t allow me much consideration of lighting, angles and sound recording but the content took priority over this. My experience using the editing software Final Cut Pro, however allowed me to distract from this with effects and was able to boost the sound to a point where I think it is not noticeable. Another consideration I had was in finding legally safe music to use. It was important to consider copyright law in regards to the use of music so I had to find music, which I was able to use through creative commons that was free to use as well as royalty free. The usage of music in my piece is minimal, after experimenting with several different types and layering I found a concurrent music bed became too distracting, I instead chose to simply place it at certain points to build tension in the video.

There was a very clear evolution to my project as the time progressed. Aspects of interactivity were added to provide another platform to the piece, it was challenging because I had to learn new programmes to enable the interactive elements but it really added something extra to the documentary. I originally created static underlays with videos, which could be clicked on to find out more or to view extended interviews etc. However I changed this to a moving video to add an extra interesting element and create a sense continuity as it is laid underneath the entire documentary. It was a very complicated edit and I learned a lot through the process.

I also changed much of the layout with the political interviews; to begin with the piece was very linear with a sequence of interviews both with politicians and students, however this became somewhat boring when watching the piece. Adding the new interactive platforms, cutting all the interviews down and layering all the student pieces, as well as including visually interesting effects and graphics really took the documentary to another level. It has transformed the documentary from an informative linear watch to something, which can be really useful and has many levels and layers to it. It was incredibly challenging to learn the new programmes in such a short space of time and the new elements heightened the standard of the piece so I re-worked it several times after making this choice. I also had to consider all of the on-the-night footage and creating the YouTube hotspots to enable the interactivity but it was completely worth it – It changed the reception of the documentary whilst maintaining the original intention.

The behind the scenes filming on election night went relatively smoothly, I booked extra equipment so I would always have a spare and managed to get all of the shots I needed. I was careful to make sure I got everything I needed without getting in anyone’s way or compromising the programme. I previously informed all members that I would need them at some point in the night, so that also went well. I made sure to pay attention to their schedules so as to catch them at the least stressful time. This section, I think, is what really makes the documentary stand out, the behind the scenes shots and ‘off the cuff’ interviews with team members brought a great sense of personality to the piece. This is my favourite part of the project as it was just as much fun to film as it was to make the election programme and I think this comes across.

If I were to do this project again with more time and resources I would have expanded the documentary to a national scale with comments from party leaders and a more in depth look into Universities all over the country. Within the limits I’ve had however, I would have liked to have been able to spend longer cultivating the interviews I needed, whereas I had most of what I needed, more time would’ve helped me. Due to candidates limited availability I often had a very short timeslot to interview them after having to ‘catch’ them on their campaign trail or at public talks. This meant that the quality of the interviews could have been better as I would have had more time to consider camera angles, lighting and sound etc.

In addition to filming some of my FYP on the night, I also helped with manning the inject point. This meant, that alongside my filming I also helped the newsroom producer with cameras and sound and fill in with talk-back during breaks. As I had several cameras in several locations it became difficult to keep track of their functioning. I had to keep checking the cameras to ensure the quality of the footage was maintained, as well as conducting interviews for my FYP and working on the inject which was tricky to juggle at times, however I don’t believe any of the filming, for the election or my project was compromised. The election programme overall, was a triumph for all involved. The output was incredible and the viewership was higher than anyone could have predicted. There were very few issues and the ones that did arise were easily dealt with. Certain people really shone on the night and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the entire night. It was truly phenomenal for student work.

For context reference purposes, previous examples of Winol weekly news bulletins can be found via the website: http://www.winol.co.uk or via the YouTube channel: WinchesterJournalism.

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Showreel

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Innovation in Magazine Journalism-The use of QR codes in the industry.

In 2012 the use of QR codes rocketed with its unique way of bridging virtual and real world elements in journalism but it was not the only technology to do so. Since its birth several engagement technologies have been created, however QR codes continually act as the front-runners in this increasingly interactive media.

The use of QR codes or ‘Quick Response Codes’ has become an increasingly popular element of the magazine industry over recent years. The ‘code’ is the familiar square grid often seen on posters or in magazines and is read by most smart-phone mobile devices. The two-dimensional code was originally trademarked for the automotive industry, tracking vehicles during manufacturing in Japan, before becoming a feature in the magazine industry the world over.

The coding system has become coveted in print and consumer industries due to it’s fast readability; it allows immediate reader response capabilities and interactivity between the creator and those reading the magazine.

Use of the codes has shown increased interactivity with readers, as recognition of the symbol increases so has its usage, according to Nellymoser, a mobile marketing firm; almost 4,500 codes featured in the top 100 American magazine titles.

The noticeable enhancement QR coding offers the magazine industry is it’s ability to directly engage with its readership. Written articles in print can, via the QR code, engage readers with a more connected media form, some companies have added videos, connected people with social media and offered subscriptions. This form of interactive journalism not only forms a bridge between print and online publication but also slowly brings print and feature writing into a more broadcasted format.

The magazine industry:

QR codes have also been increasingly used for product advertising, buying and tracking, especially in women’s fashion publications. There is increasing argument for the notion of an ever-declining print industry both in newspapers and magazines. Sugar, Nuts and Easy Living  are among some of the magazine titles that have closed down in the last five years. More and more magazines are moving to include strictly online content, arguably one of the most news-worthy moves last year was Hearst’s Company magazine which has continued to drop in print sales in the past ten years and is now solely an online publication.

The increasing use of QR codes and other technologies might act as a method to reduce this movement.

There is equal argument for the cause of this to be potentially cost or convinience. It is, of course, more expensive for the publisher to produce thousands of print copies of a newspaper or magazine, as opposed to a purely online publication. However, it is also possible that the decline is due to the cost for the consumer. If a reader can gain their content online and for free, this is likely to be the more desirable option, especially for younger, more digitally advanced audiences.

The other factor in the decline of the print industry is the practicality, ease of use and instantaneous nature of online journalism. Features and news stories can roll over several times daily, whereas in print, especially in monthly magazine issues, consumers are forced to wait weeks at a time for their favourite issue’s release. This has both pros and cons for contributors. It has arguably led to a more competitive industry and a lack of concern about the originality or ‘way a story is written’ and more about simply communicating the basic information. However, it has led to a much more accessible method of obtaining stories, particularly features, without compromising the creativity of the content i.e. the quality of photo-shoots or product advertising.
Consumer control:

The biggest ‘factor’ in the use of QR codes is the large amount of choice given to the reader. People can choose to access further information about a topic or product, rather than it being in the magazine as a several-page advertisement spread for example. It has, in a way, given more control and power to consumers in giving them the option to interact with what interests them most as opposed to covering several topics in magazines. It has also potentially increased the impact of advertising. Whereas previously, readers, after seeing a clothing advert would have to physically go to the shop or look up the item online, it is now instantaneous. The codes have become such a focus for the advertising industry. By means of acting as a strategy of allowing readers to access the brand much quicker and attempt to increase the ‘conversion rate’ or chance of sale. Many companies, as an incentive and means of encouraging use of the quick response method, will offer a discount when connecting to the site via the QR code. This is particularly important for the print magazine industry as much of its revenue comes from magazine sales.

It isn’t just advertising that has gained this benefit, columnists now have the option of creating further content about a topic, which might exceed the granted word limit in a print magazine. Whereas any online publication automatically has this luxury, this again helps to bridge the gap between print and online journalism.

The QR code effectively acts as a link between both the content in the article and the author of it. Often using the code will allow a direct means of communicating to the company i.e. linking straight to an email address. More use of this, alongside more direct social media communication, could see a new era in customer feedback, creating a much more personal relationship between company and consumer.

The use of codes is continually expanding the technological communication market. Some companies will use the codes for payments of products or for job applications; asking applicants to link from the code to upload C.V.s etc.
Digital movement:

There has been hesitation in the industry with the use of QR codes.  Sometimes the codes do not link to the appropriate sites or readers do not connect to the code effectively which can ‘put consumers off’. Often the mobile activations will require separate, specific apps which further decreases its ease of use promise, GQ, Teen Vogue ad Popular Science for example, all required magazine-specific apps to use the codes (in 2011).

It does not constitute that a digital move will make for more sales. This year, it was revealed that Good Housekeeping; a print magazine which features mostly lifestyle and fashion content for the over 40s, had the highest circulation of women’s magazines in the UK. It could be that the efficacy of technologically enhanced consumer methods is really only effective in younger readers. It is conducive that publications aimed at younger readers are losing their readership in print format and are moving online more and more. It is often considered a failure for a magazine to close and move to online-only. It is perhaps more appropriate to suggest that this is more suited to their target readership and it is a positive choice, as opposed to a forced necessity.

Other interactive methods:

Augmented reality or AR is another method of engaging readers from print or digital media. It involves the process of revealing hidden content or digitally rendered images and super-imposing them into real-world situations. It has become more popular recently with advertisers, as it can present a 3D image of their product, allowing customers to fully interact with something before they buy it. Originally, the technology was used for location based innovation e.g. military, medical procedures and navigation purposes. More recently it’s potential for advertising in magazines has become more apparent. It works similarly to QR coding in it’s offering of essentially 3D adverts, extra information or engaging games or competitions etc.

Though QR codes are more popular with marketing strategists and companies seeking the best ways to interact with their audience and gain custom, AR appears more focussed on providing an almost ‘one-off’ fun interactive experience for it’s users. Both types of technology have been particularly popular in the retail market, but have not been limited to it.

The increasing use of QR coding also offers scope for more interactive technologies within the industry.

The technology has clearly demonstrated its potential for boosting interactivity, especially within the magazine industry. The use of this technology is looking to become more specialist in the future. In an attempt to avoid over-use or complacency with the digitalisation method, the use of QR codes seems to be headed in a more utilitarian direction. This will also be more tailored to a specific person’s needs, perhaps in a more loyalty focused context. It could be considered that this reduces the original context of their creation, as they were created to encourage interactivity and build sales with customers, making it specific to only a loyal readership could significantly reduce itseffectiveness.

QR codes and other similarly related technologies have revolutionised consumer interaction in the magazine industry and continues to be a unique and effective method of innovation.

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Confessional Interview: Simon Harmer

Sergeant Simon Harmer, a medic in the British Army, suffered life changing injuries on 26th October 2009. Whilst out on a patrol in Afghanistan Simon activated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as a result he lost both of his legs and severely damaged his right arm.

Simon endured five years of surgery and rehabilitation and has since competed in several charity events including the ‘Invictus games’. Simon also volunteers as an ambassador for Help for Heroes and set up his own website and motivational speaking business; blown-away, where he tours the country visiting schools and functions speaking of his incredible story and inspirational attitude towards his accident and his life.

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Full Editor Interview-Jamie Angus (not for assessment)

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