Part 1: Choosing the topic and identifying the audience
Selecting a topic was my initial hurdle for this assignment. Inspired by the heated debate surrounding the controversial boxing match between Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko, I delved into the persistent issue of scoring in the sport. I also had a key personal interest in the matter and extensive research led me to uncover the complexities of the issue at hand.
Personally, I had no particular trouble identifying the target audience for my feature. The primary audience for the feature is the boxing community and the secondary audience is the general sporting world at large.
The boxing world erupted in discussion over a hotly debated result. Supporters of Devin Haney clashed with advocates for justice for Lomachenko, while others were stunned by the dubious decision. This long-awaited fight had fans on edge, and its aftermath drew attention from across the sports landscape. Past instances of judging errors were pointed out, fueling the growing call for scoring reforms. The topic of fixing scoring in boxing was picking pace and I felt that this was the right time to put this feature together.
Part 2: Editorial approach
While formulating an initial structure for my feature, I faced a monumental task, to make it different from existing articles and stories about scoring in boxing. Major sports networks have already done extensive pieces on this topic, but all of them followed a common pattern – it was the opinion of one or two famed journalists or boxing promoters. The feelings of fans, and the perspective of fighters, I found these two to be lacking from all these stories and that was a major point of focus for me.
In my pursuit of truth in boxing’s scoring saga, I aimed to secure four interviews: two journalists, a fan, and, if fortune favored, a fighter. Within a remarkable five-day span, I successfully obtained interviews with the journalists and the fan. However, the last interview posed a formidable challenge. Despite reaching out to countless amateur and professional fighters, my efforts proved futile. These trying days provided both hardship and self-reflection. I realized the essence of patience, understanding that anxiety and frustration would only hinder my progress. Surprisingly, each rejection fueled my determination, empowering me to cold call and reach out randomly. After multiple failed attempts, I achieved an extraordinary breakthrough—an interview with a current English and former World Champion, perhaps the pinnacle of my quest.
Preparing interview questions posed its own challenges. Delving into stories by Bleacher Report, ESPN, DAZN, The Telegraph, BoxingNewsOnline, and more provided valuable insights into past opinions and key aspects to explore in the story. This expanded my knowledge about scoring in boxing and also about topics such as open scoring and instant replay, which helped me carry out an informed interview session with my leads.
The word limit posed a formidable challenge to my feature. Trimming down the extensive content from my interviews proved difficult, and even now, I feel a hint of dissatisfaction, knowing there is much more to explore. However, this experience strengthens me for the future, as I learn to navigate constraints and strive for concise clarity. The lack of gender representation and equality in my story also bothered me and is something that I have to work on.
Part 3: Use of AI
AI has been used in my story, but only to generate an image. With my story being one that was compiled remotely, I lacked photographic resources. I used Playground AI and with the help of a reference image, created a suitable picture that could be used for my story. It did take multiple attempts and also the exploration of numerous software such as Dall-E 2 and Stable Diffusion before I could get a satisfactory result.
Part 4: Creating the Social media video
Producing a concise video proved challenging without original video and photo assets. In a last-ditch effort to avoid a plain video of myself discussing the topic, I sought assistance from mixkit.com and pexels.com, utilizing royalty-free videos. This video serves as a complement to my feature, generating anticipation and inviting readers with its captivating visuals.
Part 5: Learning outcome
From being inspired by a conversation with a friend about a boxing match, to facing constant rejections – I learned quite a few things as I completed this assignment. I realized that ideas can sprout from random situations and that we need to keep ourselves open to using them. I also learned the importance of royalty-free assets and how they are a lifeline for journalists. Scoring in boxing is a topic that I’d definitely like to explore in the future, but on a bigger scale with more interviews, a wider perspective, and maybe even solid solutions.