Assessment Nov 4th (3)

POST INTERVIEW

✎ Another mistake was my questions. A couple of them, listening back, were empty questions
which I needn’t have asked and which, other than one sentence, I took no audio from for my clips. Using The Empty Property Strategy as guidance for my questions, I addressed both the strategy and the issue of second homes (which to be fair is addressed within the document).

However, I found that whilst doing my editing- I couldn’t fit both of these topics into one clip, or one 2 minute piece. What is it George said? Figure out your Top Line first. I’d started editing and putting together clips about second homes, but I’d only actually asked two questions about second homes and I didn’t have enough material to cover second homes in my 2 minute 45 second clip. Therefore when it came to writing my cue, I couldn’t do it. If I made it entirely about second homes that would make part of my clip (that covered TEPS) irrelevant. So, I had to do it solely on TEPS as I had much more material on it, but that made the second homes stuff useless *breathe*.

✎ As I’ve mentioned, editing was a bit of an issue. I spent far too long faffing and changing things (I must have changed my audio clips so many times, cutting out pieces and pasting in other pieces here and there repeatedly). I am starting to get better at being more brutal with editing thogh- as in choosing particular clips and disregarding others.

It wasn’t all bad- I did manage to correct some things. Certain things I caught myself doing in time to correct myself, like using elaborate language in my cue, e.g the word depleting. I was so proud of myself having had such a word pop into my head. Brilliant I thought! I realised a couple of minutes later that that’s exactly the kind of language I shouldn’t be using! Then I got over zealous and changed ‘to ensure that more’ to ‘in order to  make more.’ I kept it in though…

I still have a lot, a load, a ton, a mountain, an Everest worthy amount of things to learn. And I admit it is quite surreal and … well, odd, coming from an English  Literature specialised background where you’re required to use as sophisticated vocabulary as possible to this, where you’re required to drop every clever word you’ve ever learned! (joke) Both my mum and brother read a lot and like to throw around fancy words in their conversation- my dad is also ridiculously clever (he gets nearly every answer correct on University Challenge) so I get supremely praised (albeit condescendingly) when I use words like castigated in every day conversation.

And now I am to forget all of that and adopt the simplistic approach, or at least switch it off when needed. It’s quite a change, it’s a profound new skill- but I’m embracing it!

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Assessment Nov 4th (2)

THE INTERVIEW

Generally the interview went just fine- Mark Kaczmarek was of course very professional and incredibly nice. Naturally though mistakes were made..

✎  Despite having had good levels for previous interviews, I seem to struggle with the quiet ones.. my levels are fine because I have a very loud and high voice. However in my interview in the workplace, the sound coming from my interviewee was a bit too quiet as she was a soft speaker; similarly I found this to be a problem with Mr. Kaczmarek. Despite turning the levels up and being in a quiet location and holding the microphone in the right place, his levels were far too low. I could tell straight away that he was a quiet speaker however I wasn’t prepared for him to sound quite as quiet as he does on the actual audio. In retrospect I should have sat closer to him. There is a distinct hiss on his speaking clips… and this is if I could turn back time moment number one.

✎ One thing in particular, which has stuck in my mind quite prominently out of all the information George, Charlotte and many others have overloaded my brain with these past weeks, was George saying:

❝You need to listen

If you don’t listen to your interviewee’s answers, you may miss something really important because you were too worried about asking your set questions. I’ve applied this to my interviews as much as possible; however I still made a bit of an error when it came to my listening skills… Mark Kaczmarek’s answers were very long winded and drawn out therefore it was quite easy to lose sense of what I had asked him.

I asked whether the majority of the restored houses were going to go back onto the housing market which he never actually answered- as in yes or no.  Ironic seeing as my question was a closed one and he didn’t give a closed answer (something which I also might add, we’re not actually supposed to do). But then, in certain instances yes or no is the answer you want, which I guess applied to me in this case. I never actually got a definitive answer (and I didn’t try to get one because I failed to spot that).

It’s quite disconcerting how much you notice sat on your computer chair with your headphones on, that is completely oblivious to you during the actual interview. Mainly because you realise how many mistakes you’ve made!!

✎ The interview was conducted in a sort of large communal area (which was mostly empty when we began the interview). For the most part it was quiet, however there were moments where people were laughing in the background and doors were shutting. Fortunately this didn’t happen very often. There is one swoosh of the door at one point in the clip, though I hope it’s not obviously noticable. As I’ve already mentioned Mr. Kaczmarek was ever the professional- and before I could ask him to repeat part of his answer at the point when the laughter rang out from behind us, he was already stopping and waiting for them to stop making so much noise, before repeating his answer for me.

Assertive
In control
(if Tim Hubbard had seen him stop the interview for me, oh how disappointed he would have been!)

How hard it seems to be aware of yourself, your questions, their answers and the background noise! All in time though right?!

Assessment Nov 4th (1)

EMPTY HOMES/KACZMAREK

So, this week was our first assessment. It’s been a bit of a challenge if I’m honest. Not in regards to the actual interview itself- that was pretty simple- but from trying to prevent the task from consuming my entire being! Way more hours have been spent in the MA Newsroom editing than they should have been. The problem with doing your interview 4 days before submittance is that though it gives you plenty of time to finish, it also gives you plenty of time to read your cue over and over again and listen to your audio again and again.. (and again).

Rule number 1 regarding this type of assessment: fastidiousness, meticulousness and perfectionism is just crazy.

My opinion of my work definitely improved as I was editing it. I was initially passionately despondent about my interview for several reasons. I am still immensely disatisifed with it; c’est la vie. Let me explain:

ⓅⓇⒺ ⒾⓃⓉⒺⓇⓋⒾⒺⓌ

I initially emailed Cornwall Council which was an incredibly foolish idea; they took 4 days, I think it was, to get back to me. I really don’t know why I emailed and didn’t just ring straight off! In the mean time I rang Devon and Cornwall Housing based at Penwith and spoke to Richard Turner who referred me to somebody else because he dealt more with Devon housing (rather than Cornwall). The lady I needed to speak to wasn’t at the office that day though so that’s when I rang Cornwall Council.

I’d left my phone number with Richard Turner, who said the lady in question would call me back the next day, however after ringing the council I managed to secure an interview with the housing cabinet minister Mark Kaczmarek (which I later had to reschedule!

After having a heavy Google sesh using the tips Charlotte had given us about how to use search engines adaquately I found a story in The Guardian online about the council introducing interest free loans and compulsory purchase orders regarding unused houses in




Cornwall which led me to discover the council’s Empty Property Strategy. Rather than concentrate on second homes- which I knew a lot of other people would be covering, I decided to do my interview around this.

And so I went to researching!