Newsday 7: Trump and TPP

On November 21, President-elect Donald Trump officially addressed the nation for the first time since his election success. I was sat in my living room with my housemates when the BBC news notification came through; letting me know of the video he posted online, in which he outlined plans for immigration, visa law, energy production, and most importantly, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Throughout the election Mr Trump revealed his opposition to the TPP, claiming that leaving President Obama’s proposed trade deal will bring more jobs to “American shores”. I didn’t know too much about the logistics of the TPP, but I knew that it was a similar partnership that was being built with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, therefore this story enticed me.

The next morning I went into my radio workshop with a brief knowledge on both the TPP and the TTIP. Andrew, the tutor for the workshop, and I spoke about the angle I could use to apply the story to the UK, and if possible, to Lincoln. I decided that I would lead the story with the headline of the TPP, and then relate it to the UK by interviewing someone about the likelihood, and resulting impact for the UK if Donald Trump were to also withdraw from TTIP.

But I had to be careful and avoid speculation. News has to be impartial, and if I, a journalist, was caught applying my own theories and opinions to a story, it would be unethical. Therefore, I wrote brief pieces of news copy for the ten and eleven o’clock bulletins, which just read the news of the TPP. I also found a short clip from IRN which was cut from the video, and submitted that along with the copy.

I found the details for the Head of International Partnerships at the University of Lincoln School of Business, Ian Barnes, and scheduled an interview for eleven, which I then prepared for. My aim was to ask him about the impact of Donald Trump withdrawing from the TTIP on the UK, but I also wanted to see if he knew of any way that it would also affect the lives of the people in Lincoln. When I met him, we spoke briefly about the TPP and what Donald Trump’s move will mean to the partnership. He gave me some insight into the field of international politics, and said some interesting things about the state of the US and China, and what he believes might happen in the future. I used this knowledge, not for the piece I was working on, but for my own personal understanding of the international partnerships at play at this current time.

Then I moved on, and we spoke about the TTIP. From my reading, I learnt about the aims of the partnership, who was involved, and who opposed it. However, I hadn’t thought about the aftermath is the US were to withdraw. I turned on my recording equipment, and asked what Mr Barnes thought would happen. After asking all the relevant questions, and following up on his answers, I had a solid eight minutes of audio, which I took back to the newsroom to edit.

From the eight minutes I was able to find several clips which I could use, however they were all around 45 seconds long. Taking care, to avoid paraphrasing or creating a different meaning, I clipped out all of the hesitations and stutters in his speech, to cut down the time, however I was still stuck with clips which were just a tad too long. So I approached Emma, the editor, and Andrew to see what they would say.

Due to the weight of the story, and the slow news day which we were experiencing, I was granted a pardon, and was able to play a clip which was around 30 seconds, rather than the required 15 to 20. I chose the quote from Mr Barnes which briefly summarised the aftermath of Mr Trump potentially leaving the TTIP, and had the least amount of commentary and opinion. This way, I was again able to avoid impartial reporting, and stuck to the facts and presumptions of a professional. I would have liked to include what Mr Barnes had to say about the effect of the US withdrawing from the TTIP would have on Lincoln, but I felt that it was far too broad, and essentially mirrored what he had to say the effect would be on the UK as a whole. Rather, I stuck to the clip which I felt had the greatest importance and character.

I was able to submit my clip, with a decent cue, on to Burli at around ten-to-eleven for it to be read on the midday bulletin. Once I received feedback for the story, I pushed on, and began working on wrapping it up for the final newsroom bulletin at two-twenty. However, I took two minutes to produce a NIB line, which I gave to Emma for the one o’clock Siren FM bulletin, which was read live on air. For this, I chose to focus on the news of the US withdraw from TPP, since I couldn’t include my interview and therefore the speculation around TTIP. Because of this, I believe that my line was dropped from the scripts, since the story failed to localise.

However I did not mind. I began working on a wrap which I believed qualified to lead the twenty-past-two news roundup. The cue announced the plan for the US to leave the TPP, and briefly outlined why that would be important to the UK. I then cut to the end of Donald Trump’s speech, and then elaborated further on the TTIP, using Professor Barnes’ expertise, through the use of a clip, to legitimise the story and provide a expert view.

When the bulletin was ready, I found that my story fell second on the running list, since it had been overtaken by a breaking-story on housing and UK politics. I thought that was fair enough, and was still pleased with the piece of work that I had produced.

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