Fleeing from speechlessness

I was shocked at the arrests on the Coronation day. I thought the UK has much better free speech than my country, Japan

I was shocked at the controversial arrests during the Coronation day. I thought the UK has much better free speech than my country, Japan. The eastern country does not allow public officers to join strikes and culturally finches from protests, unlike the UK.

Having looked for the news topic, I came across the advertisement for the protest, Not My Bill. I assumed that it should be a hot and important issue in the UK and cover nationwide audiences and all generations because it is a matter of basic human rights for human beings.

During researching relevant news articles, I found much criticism over the policing laws which contributed to the arrests on the Coronation. In other words, a feature merely focusing on the laws and its problems would be what someone has already done. Then, I shifted to focus on free speech in the UK which can be threatened by the bills. So, I made the title by using a royal reference, “the crown” to imply that the feature discusses free speech while referring to the arrests on the Coronation.

After research including the interview with Prof. Eric Heinze, I went to London to film the protest, Not My Bill. Thanks to a member of the anti-monarchy group Republic who I kept in touch with, I could talk with Graham Smith, the leader of Republic as well as the arrested person who should add drama to the feature. Based on his episode, I begin the feature by his quotation lead and describe the overview of arrests on the event, and the laws. Next, the focus changed to another protest on the 27th. The short clips inserted in the feature can get the audience immersed in the topic. Their genuine facial expressions can let the descriptions carry more weight.

It was a shame that I could not gain interviewees who support the police or even have neutral views on this case although I sent a load of emails to many people including former police officers or lawyers. So, I collected vox pop to get a balance of interviewees’ genders, nationalities, ages and thoughts.This is because the feature is made to bring light onto free speech, not for criticism over the laws.A wide range of voices was essential. As there were many tourists in London, I went to Bournemouth Garden early Sunday to obtain opinions from local people.

Through vox pop, I found out that everybody defines free speech as a fundamental right. Then, the feature discussed the significance of free speech. Despite being important, it turned out that the limitation of free speech can loom given the present political situation as I deeply researched. The quotation of Prof. Heinze would give reliability to my insight.

Again, I wanted those living in the UK who all have the right to free speech to notice that free speech is being in danger although it is evident that this right is significantly crucial for us. I believe that my feature would be a good opportunity to take the important topic seriously. So, I cast some sentences in the last paragraph which could work as someone’s trigger to consider the matter no matter how views they have.

The short movie also has the same structure as the feature begun by the Not My Bill protest and arrest on the Coronation, and suggested perspectives from who actually got arrested and the academic field. Finally, I asked some questions the audience which answers can be found in my feature.

When it comes to AI-assisted technology, those were very effective to cover abstract concepts just like this topic. Without it, I would be struggling with finding a proper feature image. As the title relates to free speech and the Coronation, I created the brilliant image by inputting “Loudspeaker, Goddess, Impressionism” on DALL-E. Even though some interviewees prefer not to take their photos, the AI-generated image can work as a supplementary technique to picture who and how they are. Furthermore, Chat-GPT contributed to summarising the abstract concept of free speech and its role. The suggestion was well organised from various aspects of free speech which many websites and academics mention.

All in all, I am confident that I was able to cover the hard but important issues. However, I could not be done without a lot of help from those who kindly joined my interview. A few of the interviewees asked me to send the feature after the publication. This made me pleased as a journalist and encouraged me to seek high quality which would be worth their expectation and cooperation. Then, I am keenly aware that journalists should research thoroughly and pay attention to every single piece not only for making the work itself better but also to turn support into the best shape.

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