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Paris 7th January. Toll: 12 people shot dead. 66 milions people wounded.

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This Sunday the whole world was gathered to support France in the tragic events that occurred last Wednesday.

The French Office of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo was attacked by two terrorists killing 4 cartoonists, 5 journalists, 2 police officers and a person from the maintenance.

The French authorities have organised marches all around France for people to express their support after what happened. Not only French people were chocked after the tragedy,the whole was grieving this Wednesday. French people consider what happened as their 9/11.

In France, more than 3.7 millions of people walked in the street. This was a historical mobilisation, the biggest since the Liberation after the Second World War.

A gathering was organised this Sunday in London at Trafalgar square, Ironically.
The place where the imposing statue of Nelson (who defeated Napoleon) illuminates the place.

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French student Pauline: ‘For me it’s important to be here and to commemorate what happened. It has been an awful day for France. Now we have to show that we are a united nation, they have tried to shut us up but all they will have obtain is one minute of silence’.

 

The two terrorists responsible of the slaughter said they did it to revenge the prophet Muhammed. The satirical newspaper published a cartoon where they represented the Muslim prophet.

‘From now on it’s crucial to set :IMG_8305e record straight and not to lump together what happened with Islam. Because those people who claim being Muslim are not. Or if they are they for sure haven’t read the Quran. In our religion it’s forbidden to harm anyone. They didn’t only kill 12 people they have wounded an entire nation’. Farid, French Muslim.

 

 

 

 

I’m not gonna lie, I have never read Charlie Hebdo in my life,but saying Je suis Charlie doesn’t literally mean that you are Charlie and

IMG_8288that you agree with their points of views and the drawings they published. Saying Je suis Charlie means that you support Freedom of Press, it means that you disagree with what happened, saying that you are Charlie also means that you are Ahmed the police officers that’s die under the bullets’.

Janice, Spanish woman. She came to show her support with what happened in France.

 

Mostly French people were present for the gathering, they all stayed silent for a while before bursting into the Marseillaise.

Gerard, French Cartoonist was here as well : ‘ It could have been me. I have been drawing for many years. AnIMG_8201d this is the first time of my life that I want to laugh anymore. They killed one of the best cartoonists of this generation but they are not dead they will live forever through their cartoons. They were so smart and sensible that they could make people laugh even people they did not know’.

 

This day will remain momentous, firstly for French people but for the rest of the world because the most important people of the political landscape were present in the streets of Paris to join them in their sorrow and prove that all the world is united against terrorism.

 

Here is an interactive timeline of the events:

http://www.timetoast.com/flash/TimelineViewer.swf?passedTimelines=1023179

TV music news

Check out the link of iCov music news segment here.

This is the music segment my group and i produced. The production process was very fun and interesting, it was not the first time for me that I was in a TV studio but it was the first time I had to manage and run a studio. Of course we had supervisors to help us during the training however we had to record our segment on our own without any help.

To have an effective outcome, we had to divide roles effectively : a director, someone dealing with the camera, another person dealing with  the VT and a sound engineer. I had this role, I had to check the levels and make sur the levels were good for the presenters.

It was a very fun experience, being on the studio all together. Though we didn’t know each other very well, we had to team up in order to be efficient and have a good communication inside the group. At the beginning we all wanted to be in front of the camera, I suppose we all thought that it was the most important job and not being in front of the camera was like we were left on the sideline. But it’s at this moment I understood we were at uni and especially that it was a place for mature and thoughtful student. By looking closer to how we had to organise the filming we all fall agree that it was not possible to have numerous presenters, it didn’t make sens. So as wise persons we just decided that two girls would be presenting the magazine.

There wasn’t any major problems, we just had some troubles with the camera, not filming the right person on the right angle. But we manage to fix the problem while editing.

 

Journalism task

For Uni, we were asked to produce an OOV (stands for Out of Vision). Basically  it is like when you see on the TV on the news. You can hear the voice of the journalist commentating some images but you can’t actually see it. To do so you have to learn how to edit, it exists thousands of editing software. At the begining of the year we were given the Audobe Suite but it’s pretty complicated and we need time and practice to nail it perfectly. So far I can use Audobe audition quite correctly without breaking everything  as soon as I touch to a button. But I wouldn’t say the same regarding Audobe Premiere, it’s a nightmare to edit on it, believe me it takes ages. The same amount of time as if you wanted to retouch Madonna on photoshop. I would rather advice you to use Final Cut Pro or even iMovie if the work demanded is not complex.

Coventry University held a sale of  vintage items.  To manage a student budget each  item could be acquired for a moderate price. You will found  jackets, tee shirts, handbags or even scarves. Some fashion students of Coventry are involved in the project.The idea is to recycle ancient stuff from old houses to give them a brand new life. The event is held  once a year at Coventry University but several times during festival in the UK. The money that is raised goes to a charity that help woman refugees.

You can watch my OOV below :

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Vintage clothes are a good occasion to find original clothes to stand out for the crowd, that you won’t find anywhere else .

PS: I was only joking for Madonna, she lights up my darkest moments!

 

Reflection:

As I had already experienced this format I was more confident to produce one according to the specific conventions. This time I have included still images and it’s not over the time limit. It’s very clear from the very beginning we know what it’s about; we don’t waffle and go directly to the goal. The voice over is clear, I filmed the hub with my phone and it was very noisy so I had to remove the noise while editing. The lights are also better on this OOV. I have used effectively the legend so it makes it clear to the viewer; he knows where  the story takes place.

Also regarding the targeted audience I think I have done a good job because, the target audience is students. Fashion is quite a big deal for them, along money so I tried to combine these two topics: how to find both affordable and trendy clothes.

 

 

 

Silverside

 

Silverside

Silverside performed at the Town Crier, a local pub of Coventry located near Ikea. The band essentially performed covers. The pub was busy that night while they were performing energetic covers of the White Stripes and the Kings of Leon.
The Town Crier organises open music stage every Saturday where local bands can have the chance to perform in order to share their talent.

One of our uni task was to transpose the same story but  on two different type of text. I have transformed an interview into an OOV.

This is the basic interview, my friend and I wrote the questions together, but she chaired the interview and I was doing the camera work. we attributed the role on an equal footing because both of these jobs are important.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/87226121″&gt;

And this is the OOV made from the interview, OOV means Out Of Vision literally it means that we are talking about the story and we focus on this story without having any journalist interacting on the plan. To make a good OOV it’s primordial to have stills and it must not be over 35 seconds.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85717416″&gt;

Documentary – 72 Hours Challenge

In our Key Concept in Media and communication module we were asked to produce a 3 minutes documentary in 72 hours. Indeed within 3 days we had to shoot, to make interviews, to edit, to make risk assessment, find equipment, a lot of researches. But fortunately it was a group work, we managed our time and effectively  and eventually we met the deadline.

The subject was imposed , my group (the group B3) had to make an observational documentary about the history of Hillfields ( a sensitive neighborhood of Coventry) and the targeted audience was teenagers. We chose to cover Hillfields’s history of music

It was nice to work with them because everyone was very open minded to everyone’s ideas and listen to the rest of the team. We were organized since the very beginning and took all the decision together as a group. We decided that we would shoot the first day and that we would edit the second one.

It was my first “intense” shooting. We began our shooting from 10.30, we went to Hillz fm to film their radio show and came back to uni. We were supposed to go back there at 4pm to film but we were told thqt few others crew would be there to film as well. We decided to go back to Hillz fm in order to be the first. We waited there until 4pm and finished around 5pm. At the end of the day, all our crew was very tired but we were happy with the work we’ve done.

It was a very good experience, I’ve learnt how  important team spirit is. It was very interesting to work with people from other courses (some members from the crew were studying media and communication and others media and production) and share our knowledge and our abilities which tend to by complementary.

 

NaNoWriMo

Day 2: Saturday 2nd November 2013

Here we go again. Brand new day, new objective. As I said it before my aim is to write around 1600 words a day. Unfortunately, I didn’t met the deadline  I had because I had to do some groceries in the morning and it took me a  pretty long time as I had to take the bus because the grocery’s store was outside the city. When I came back, I was starving so as I enjoy cooking I baked a nice dish and it took me a while to do it so it was almost 5pm when I finished. In the evening we had to attend the East Winds Cinema Festival, so it took me all evening long.

I only wrote 300 words today, I hope It won’t disabled me. I’m very enthusiastic about it and I’m still ready for the challenge.

Day 3: Sunday 3rd November 2013

Something very important in the student life is the balance between leisure and work. Though it may be hard to be reasonable sometimes, it’s a strength I think I have. I won’t mind missing a big party to finish a work if it’s really important. I’m dedicated to the project I undertake: it’s one of my qualities. Since I decided to take part in this project I knew for sure that I would have to sacrifice some of my plans for it to meet my deadline. I have to confess that I was particularly lazy today and I didn’t go any further in my novel. I wrote 200 words. I have the story in my mind but I don’t know if it’s a good story actually I’m hesitating to change my plot with something very different.

I began writing my story on the very first day of the competition, I didn’t wright anything before. Neither a summary of my story nor a plan. I had a story in mind, and I was just writing how it came. After a while, I was afraid of writing something boring so I decided than instead of carry on writing I should rather think about it for a few days. Structure the story, make some research. Though being spontaneous can be a good thing, it might be the source of problems sometimes because it can end up with messy and unorganized outcomes.  And this is not what I want.

Days 3,4,5,6: I have been thinking about my story. I took some notes, made some research. I was very dubious regarding my script but I realized that it was too late to begin everything over and that it would be  better to carry on with the current story I had. As far as i was coming up with my story I was realizing how tough it will be to finish my project with all the homework I have. Two documentaries, a 2500 words essay, packages, my blogs to update.. I knew it since the beginning but my assessments are in the end of the month, almost the same day as the NaNoWriMo. Anyway, I’ll see how it goes but to make it until the end it’ll be extremely demanding.

Also, I can’t focus when I’m at home so I think from tomorrow I’ll go work at the library.

To be continued …

Critical Reflections

It’s been now a month since I started university, since I started Journalism and Media, since I settled down.

A part of being a journalist is being able to have a critical point of view on every topics but also about himself. A  professional journalism  shall be capable of critical reflexions, to look backyards and to judge if he took the good decision, why does he find it was a good or bad decision . What he would have done if he had to make the same choices but in the present time. This is a reflection upon what I have been doing so far.

Getting used to lectures, learn how to be organized : two essential things for this year

I wrote a letter to myself in which I explained what I wanted to gain this year. I wrote that I wanted to have more experience in journalism area, that I would like to try a brand range activities of this trade. I wrote that letter one month ago and by reading it again recently I realised that I had accomplished some of my wishes. Nonetheless there are some other things that I would have done better if I have had known.

I was very exciting about studying in the media world and I have to say that so far I’m not disappointed at all. I have discovered plenty of activities and I am dayly aiming to broad my range of skills.

I was afraid to be overtaken lectures ,homework, parties. But since the beginning I have been wise regarding partying, I try to have a balance life between studying and leisure. I have learnt that thanks to last year when I went out a lot: I have evolved and understood that this year was getting serious and that it was time to be mature and to work if wanted to succeed. I used to read a lot but last year I lost this habit and I’m glad because I am now reading again.

Coventry is a vast city, the university is huge. offers a lot of diffrent activities, a lot of parties!The fresher’s week was all about partying. There was so much to do that I end up with not knowing what to do. And I was confused about life. Getting used to a new city, new people, new personalities, new university. And at the beginning I wanted to do everything at the same time. My schedule was very busy. But I quickly realised that I had to slow down and take things once as a time.So I focused on gaining Journalism skills.

And also moodle was a brand new system for me: I wasn’t used to it at all. And at the beginning it was very confusing, I got lost and I didn’t understand my timetable.

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We have been to some of journalism task : interviewing art.We had to be in pairs and to interview people on the street about anything we liked. It was the first time I was confronted to such a task, but I took a real pleasure to do it. I found out that I really liked communicating with people and I find it quite easy: it’s the basic if I want work in the media area. In a personal way ,it  was a very beneficial activity. We learnt how to interview people, the way you have to talk to them and to be friendly, you can find below a rush of one of our interview :

This is me interviewing a student and  my classmate recording the interview. I was quite comfortable during the interview, the student was nice and was answering to the questions I was asking and was very fluent. All the interviews  went very well except one maybe, we were interviewing a manager of the university. I was asking the questions but despite the fact that  my colleague and I prepared some questions before the interview I run out of words and I had a blank. I really felt embarrassed on the moment but failure is only human. I didn’t know what to say and when finally I gathered my wits I began to ask questions on a whim . If I could go back in time I wouldn’t have done so because it end us talking about global warming whereas we start our conversation discussing about international students; there was no connecting thread,no structure and no transition from a topic to another. Nonetheless this was a very good experience, it helped me to understand  how important it is to  structure  the news. I know that I still have a plethora of skills to learn from this course but I have that day by day , by setting my heart on learning and expend my knowledge I am getting closer to my aim: becoming a journalist.

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I tend to be shy sometimes  and I didn’t dare talking because I wasn’t very self asserted but I thing that I’m becoming more and more confident. I have started a radio show with two friends of my class and I really like it, I really do enjoy it. One other thing I wanted to find out this year was which job will I do in the future and I think that after my radio experience I would like to be a part of it. I’m trying to get involve the much I can. A major difference between high-school and university is that we students, have to create our own opportunities, they won’t be brought on a silver platter and throughout  the year I’m willing to take all the opportunity and to try new things to see how it. works.

I will end up my reflection with a quotation of the American Author Margaret J. Wheatley in her book Finding Our Way: Leadership For an Uncertain Time : “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful“.

 

Letter to Self

Letters to self

A key part of the course is the ability to write creatively and to reflect upon the learning. So I wrote a letter to myself in one year’s time that outlines what I want to have done, produced, thought about, read, seen or heard and how I want all those experiences to help me in my personal and professional development .

Letter to self

Dear Nour,

  This year you took the plunge and plucked up the courage to leave your native country in order to study in England. A different country, a new culture and another language: you took the challenge.

You quitted your calm and peaceful life for an exciting and hectic one. You took your independence; your parents will no longer nurture you: you would have learnt to manage on your own. And it is here life is joining the course you chose you must not lean on others you have to find your own way; there will not always be people around you all the time. Some of them will help you sometimes but most of the time you will have to be clever and get by. I hope in one-year time you would have understood this, and that you would be less gullible. But I’m not very worried about it. I know somehow you are a pillar of strength.

You chose to add a step to this challenge by studying Journalism and Media, indeed get used to a new system in another European country will not be easy everyday. So you will have to be perfectly fluent and express yourself like your fellow classmates.

By the end of the year I hope you would have developed a vast array of skills that are this course demands.

You must know it, but what is making a journalist’s strength it’s his versatility: he should be able to react to any subject: sports, politics, entertainment, news, culture…Nowadays in any trade versatility is put on a pedestal.

You also chose to study a brand new language. As you know itbeing multilingual can stand you out when you will be looking for a job. Learning Arabic could just be an advantage moreover seeing that you want to become a reporter, speaking the language is a big part in understanding a culture and obviously it makes the communication easier.

Another point that is important in our society this days it’s sports. It represents an essential financial part on its own. I know that sport is not your all-consuming passion but it is important and considered by most of citizens nowadays. If you want to communicate with the world sport can be one of the master key so you made some efforts to try following the sport news, reading sports magazine and eventually by the end of the year you were able to explain clearly the rules of the off-side.

Obviously, by the end of the year you would have produced some piece of work that would have shown your commitment and all the progress you did throughout the academic year.

Another point that is also relevant in your study was confidence .I know talking in front of a large audience is not easy, how disturbing and awkward it can be. Nevertheless, I would like you to increase your self-confidence and trust yourself. You know what you are capable of, it is a part of the challenge you’re accepted: you must go the whole hog. 

You already had an insight of what the job of what the job of a journalist consists in. But sometimes it can be full of illusions. Do not delude yourself .It will be tough. You will be on the field, and you will see what is going on from the inside with professional journalists. Sometimes you’ll have to fight to find a place but it’s a part of the game. However I know you are willing to do your best to achieve you goal.

You made a very good choice by studying Journalism and Media, you have learnt a lot about the world, about people. It broadened your horizons. You have discovered so much; you rub shoulders with a new culture, a different ways of living. On the human side it was such a beneficial experience: meeting a very wide range of person that all come from different background. But also on the intellectual side, you’ve learnt how the attractive world of media is working and what you need to do to find your path.

To finish, I would say that throughout this year you kept in mind the most important which is the matter of journalism: the main purpose of journalism is conveying knowledge.  It is getting closer to people and help them to understand the world they are living in.

Nour”

Banksy, one the most well known street artist didn’t finished to amazed us. He decided to overthrown the codes of street art by selling his work. Traditionally you would find his work along the street, because what characterizes street art from another art is the fact that it won’t last and that an other graffiti will be recovering his drawing. It’s the rules of street.

The other astonishing fact is that since Banksy has began his activity he always remainded anynymous and nobody knows his real identity. We just know that he was born in Bristol (where we can find several of his work).As a  street artist he is worldly acknowledged.

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One of Banksy’s painting in Bristol
But he left his hometown to settle down in New York for his project “Better Out Than In”;  he took his fans into a treasure hunting all around the big apple streets. He draws on the wall and then posts a picture of his work  upon his blog and people take pleasure to find the place in the city.To make the  buzz he  set up a stall in New York Central Park, where original and signed canvasses of his painting were sold for 60 dollars each (around £38). Usually his work is estimated  to be worth up to £20,000 each. He didn’t tell a word to anyone, he just posted a video on his blog with the simple legend : “Please note: This was a one off. The stall will not be there again today” .

The video of the stall he put on his blog

Though the old man, settled his stall from 11 am he made his first sale at 3.30 pm : a woman bought 2  canvasses after negotiating a 50% discount as well  a New Zealander .To thank her the old man gave him a kiss on the cheek. The last buyer was a man from Chicago who needed something “only to decorate the walls” of the new house he just acquired. At 6pm the graybeard packs up his stuff, he earned 420 dollars.

A lot of people have been traveling around Bristol or New York especially to gaze at his work,his videos have been watched by millions of people all around the world (more that 5 millions people have already watched the video of the sale). Despite this worldwide succes only 3 persons stopped at the stall and bought canvasses. We could wonder if when people buy painting they are rather buying the signature that is on it.

This story reminds me of a experience made by the Washington Post in 2007. In Washington’s underground a  man  starts playing the violin : 45 minutes and 6 pieces of Bach performed with excellence, talent and grace.  As  the performance took place during rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people cross the station, most of them were on their way to work.

The video of the talented violinist entitled Stop and hear the music

Only a man recognized that the street musician was in reality a world famous violin virtuoso and gave him a 10 dollar note. An other one leant against the wall to listen to him but he looked at his watch and carry on walking. A woman throws a coin to the violinist without stopping by. Several children fell on the musician to admire him but all the parents (without exception) forced them to walk because they were in a hurry.

During the 45 minutes he played only 6 persons stopped by and stayed a while, 20 gave him some money and carry on walking. He received 32 dollars overall. When he finished to play nobody noticed and there was no standing ovation. In fact this musician playing anonymously was  Joshua Bell,one of the best violinist in the world    and the violin he was playing on was nothing but a stradivarius (a very rare violin worthing 3,5 millions of dollar) . Two days before he was to playing  to a full house and the ticked were sold out for 100 dollars.

These surprising stories raises concern about people view on art in general and about how our world is evolving. Nowadays things are going faster and faster, and people don’t take necessarily take the  time to appreciate what is going on around them.In the recent  years, the world witness a fresh outbreak  of  lack of time that transformed our lifestyles. Fast food, frozen food sales  have significantly increased. Because of the social networks we don’t take time to call or to drop a line to a friend anymore. New technologies (smartphones, tablet, laptop) are ruling our lives we became a connected society. Though all this thriving inventions  helped  us to improve our everyday life it,  tends to make us miss the essential of what living is. What is the point of having everything if we can’t take advantage of it.

Art is everywhere, even though we don’t always pay attention we are surrounded by it. If we don’t see the music of one of the best musician on this globe what else are we missing? Can we recognize the talent by itself, for it’s own value? For what it really is ?

If we were a little bit less selfish and sensitive to the world we are living in, I’m sure we’ll be overwhelmed by the all beauty we can find on earth.

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