Student production from the Public Oriented Journalism course, Windesheim, spring 2021
What was the project about?
In the province of Overijssel people cannot always call the emergency number (112) because the coverage of cell towers is less than 100%. In some areas of the province this is a problem, especially in case of emergency because people can be deprived of help. During the project the journalists, with the help of the audience/citizens, investigated the seriousness of the problem and which outskirts of the province were badly covered by the network. Citizens, experts and politicians were interviewed for the journalistic production which was published on a website called Publiekplein (public square) and some of the productions were published on the website of the media partner RTVOost.
Which dialogue methods were used?
The students investigated the experiences of the target audience with the problem using in depth interviews and a number of informal conversations on location.
They used polls to find out how many people were affected and posted calls (in cooperation with public libraries) to report problems so they could find out were the problems were located and to find people to interview. They started a popular style vox pop series called ”Tim at the square” (Tim op het plein) to gain attention to their productions. They posted promotion posts on facebook and instagram. Furthermore the students published an interactive map on which citizens could report the range of their mobile phone so others could see where the range was good or bad.
What were the outcomes?
The project resulted in a series of journalistic productions containing explainers, reports, background stories and the vox pops mentioned above. The ’grand finale’ of the project was an hour long radio show aired from a 147m high out-of-use television tower in which
politicians, experts and people from the industry were interviewed also using questions collected from the audience. Two members of the audience told their personal stories during the show on which the officials had to react.
Eventually the team created a fairly active community who subscribed to their newsletter and youtube channel.