I almost thought this would never be finished. I started researching what FGM was in early 2015. For those who don’t know FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation. It’s a horrific practice where girls, sometimes even babies, have their outer genitalia cut off and sewn up under the guise of a ‘cultural practice’.
There’s no way I want to pretend I’ve played a big role in getting this subject out of the shadows and talked about more so it can be stopped, but during my 19 months of work so many people hadn’t heard of it so it’s definitely something we need to talk about more.
My final report that went to air on LBC was three minutes long and led into interviews with politicians about what’s being done to get the UK’s first conviction.
But to pretend there was only enough material for a three minute package would be a lie. I’ve made a ten minute documentary which still only scratches the surface on such an important human rights and equality issue.
So here it is.
Here’s how it sounded at 7:50am during Nick Ferrari’s LBC breakfast show on Thursday 15th September.
This is how it was broadcast during Shelagh Fogarty’s show at 2:30pm later that day.
I couldn’t say I’m finished, because girls are still being cut and still no one’s been brought to justice for mutilating girls in the UK, but I am glad I’ve finally been able to share the work I’ve been rattling on about.
Thank you to:
Hibo Wardere – FGM Campaigner. Hoda Ali – FGM Campaigner. Layla Ismail – Forward UK. Lisa Zimmerman, Muna Hassan and everyone at Integrate Bristol. DCI Leanne Pook – Avon and Somerset Police. Baroness Northover – Spokesperson for International Development. MP Jane Ellison – FGM Campaigner. Dr Lynne Brydon – University of Birmingham.. Dr Dina Bisson – North Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Katrina Darke – The Rose Clinic. Professor Deborough Salmon – UWE. Sadya Ali – Forward UK. Mohammed El Sharif – Bristol Public Health. Claire Banks, and the school girls from St Werburghs Primary School. NSPCC. Dr Sohier Elneil and Dr Lata Gamble – UCL. Felicity Gerry QC. Zimran Samuel QC. Dr Rosa Freedman – Birmingham Law School.
“Would you mind if I also film a couple bits with you?”
“Oh… I thought you did interviews for radio…?”
A typical response from people who find it odd that the reporter from Heart says she not only wants to interview you but also get you to say a few words for people on Twitter to watch and click on.
Video’s now being expected in all radio newsrooms and just taking a couple pics for the website or news twitter account isn’t enough. Luckily for me I’ve had a good training in how to use a camera and edit a decent package, so going out to film as well as do all the usual radio bits isn’t too much of shock to the system.
But, something new I’m having to get used to is filming almost everything from a device that I can fit in my backpacker instead of lugging around a hefty camera and tripod.
Shaun the Sheep Bristol Trail Challenge
What’s Giving Blood Like?
Also couple of examples of more instant video stuff that goes straight to Twitter.
Last week I took on the scary role of afternoon reporter for London’s newsroom.
All I could think of while packing for the three days in the big smoke was how I likely was it that I could mess up reporting for our national brands, or live on LBC while trying to make a good impression with the big bosses
Packing for some reporting shifts in London from tomorrow… Unbelievably nervous but three days should go quickly right?
I’d pestered a few journos around the group to try prepare what was waiting for me at Leicester Square – which was just as useful for practical advice like getting in the building as other newsy tips. Here in Bristol’s newsroom, and I expect the other regionals, you’re obviously reporting on things as they happen but because Wiltshire for instance doesn’t always have an exciting story every single day I’m forward planning as much as I am reacting to what’s going on in the South West. And that was the big difference between the two newsrooms. My hours for the three days all started at ten but on both Tuesday and Wednesday it took until 2pm before anything interesting started happening – and up until then I felt a bit useless. I’m not used to just sitting still at a desk for that long so it was a relief when things did start to kick it up a gear. I may have regretted thinking that when Wednesday – my last day – didn’t have me leaving London until 11pm because of this fire in Holborn.