Pitch One – Research

Primary sources

Primary contacts:

West Lancashire council


Richmondshire council – 01748829100

Friends of the earth
0113 242 8150

Interview questions:

(West Lancashire Borough Council representative)

  1. Why do you think more boroughs in the south introducing charges
  2. How will introducing charges affect the environment and land fill?
  3. Do you think the charges will change residents’ opinion of recycling?
  4. Why do you think charges are being introduced now an haven’t before?
  5. Why do charges vary on different councils?

(Richmondshire council representative)

  1. How have the charges on waste disposal affected the area?
  2. Have people’s attitudes towards recycling changed?
  3. Do you feel it has had a possitive or negative response?

(Residents of the West Lancashire area)

  1. How do you feel about the introduction of charges on waste disposal?
  2. Would you recycle less if there was a cost?

(‘Friends of the earth’ representative)

  1. What impact will imposing these charges have on the environment?
  2. How will the charges have an impact on landfill?
  3. Why do you believe the charges are being imposed?

Online survey

I will construct an online survey as a way of gathering statistics to use in my article. I will use surveymonkey.com as this is an easy and reliable website. To keep it short and easy for the public, I will only include two questions.
1. How often do you garden?
2. Would charges on green waste put you off recycling?

The results will be presented in a graph that I can use in my article.

Secondary sources

Comparison of other charges
(Taken from online)

Kingston upon Thames: £69
Sheffield: £57.60
Gateshead: £20
Richmondshire: £17
Birmingham: £35
Scarborough: £38 (from next year)


Pitch 1 – Charges on recycling in West Lancs

I am Catherine Skelton, a first year journalism student at Leeds Beckett University. I am writing a short feature that I think will interest you.


More and more areas of the county, especially in the south, have began to introduce a charge for the collection of green compostable material, which is currently a free service. I am going to write on how various counties have began to charge for the disposal of green waste, in particular West Lancashire, Commenting on how this will affect residents as well as council costs.

Within the article I will look at how these charges compare to others in the county, why councils have enforced charges and how this will affect residents behaviour to recycling. I will be interviewing people at West Lancashire Borough Council to find out why they are charging for green waste disposal as well as other councils that already charge to find out how it has affected the council and residents.

I will include a small table containing the charges on waste disposal for various areas of the country. This information will be taken from reliable sources on the internet (mainly council websites).

I will also speak to the residents of the West Lancashire area to get their views on the upcoming costs.  I will look at the environmental impacts and funding of the council. I will include my own basic photographs related to the top of green bins or compost disposal. I propose the article will be approximately 800 words; 100 words of introduction and 700 words of body of text.


Catherine Skelton


Reflection Five

After missing last weeks workshop on sub-editing, due to illness, I was unable to sub-edit someone else’s work and have them sub-edit mine. I have therefore since re-read and edited my own article, a common occurrence in modern journalism today.
This process has ensured that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes and that what I have written makes full sense. It is also a good way to reduce the word count as you realise a lot of smaller words are not necessary.
It is important, when editing someone else’s work, to ensure you don’t change their writing style or destroy their work. I used the 5 reads when editing my own work and found this made my sub-editing thorough and reliable.

I inserted an appropriate image into the sub-edited article using the ‘Add Media’ button. I prefer to centre images as I feel this appears more appealing to the eye without looking cluttered. It also separates the text from media, making it easier to read.  When selecting an image off the internet, it is important to use only those ‘labelled for non commercial reuse with modification’ under the user rights tab. You are then able to save the image into your own file and insert it into a post.

JPEG (joint photographic expert’s group) supports 16.7 million colours per image. It is accepted as the default format for photos on the web because it has small compression/file size and it is supported in all web browsers. Majority of cameras write to JPEG, making it a compatible and universal file type to use online.

Sub-edit Task – Leeds Students Find Finances More Stressful Than Academic Work

University is the best three years of your life; making friends, drinking and partying, with the occasional lecture. However, many students feel stressed over how they can financially fund the university lifestyle, often causing isolation and depression.

Fourth year student at Leeds Beckett Emily, works in Wetherspoons part time and feels this is necessary to fund life at university. “If I didn’t have the support of my parents, I would worry about money and it would stop me doing things I would normally do”.


HSBC highstreet Shaftesbury, Creative Commons – Elliot Brown


Despite this, some students want to be independent and feel reluctant to ask parents for support. Luke, a student at Leeds Trinity, says he “feels cheeky asking for money from parents all the time”.

However, most students are unaware of the financial help that universities offer to struggling students.
Alexander Sheckleton at Leeds Beckett student hub provides information on hardship funds and emergency loans. “Loans and grants can be given to students in emergencies depending on their circumstances. The university don’t want to see anyone struggle or unable to support themselves”.
These awards  can be applied for through most university support teams.

Mixing with people from different backgrounds at university puts struggling students under pressure, often feeling left out and inadequate.

Amy, studying sports therapy at Leeds Beckett, missed out on the ‘fresher experience’ after not receiving her student loan. ‘I struggled to mix with other students and make friends as everything involved spending money. I stayed in my flat instead of going out, feeling lonely and depressed. Since receiving my loan and getting a job I’ve felt happier as I can eat better and socialise with friends”.

However not all students have time in their hectic schedule to think about their bank balance. Isaac Nelson, 19, first year student at Leeds Beckett, thinks life is too short to think about money. “Socially, I have done whatever I want since being in Leeds and I am not going to let money stop me. If I come to struggle, I will face that at the time”.

Reflection Four

Secondary and primary sources

primary source is material that you gather yourself. It is an original source of research e.g. Quoting an interview you conducted with someone yourself. Talking to people and interviewing is the main way of gathering information via primary source, both on and off the record.

secondary source is an article, document or report that is used as source material for another article e.g. Quoting another article, journal or book to support an argument. It is a secondary source if the content is gathered or produced by someone else.

Why are primary sources important in journalism?

Using primary sources ensures the content is reliable and more authentic. The reader is more likely to trust the source if it is original and knows where it came from.

Interview Tips

The main thing I took away from the interview tips given in Karl’s lecture was how to act when conducting an interview. It is important to have a non-aggressive style and to be polite, empathetic and charming.

You also need to ensure you turn up equipped . Prep is key. Take the appropriate tools and have questions (open ended) ready.

Ensure that you listen as this is the vital key to gathering content from an interview. Always remain professional but relaxed enough to make the interviewee feel comfortable.

Reflection Three

Differences between traditional, printed content and online content

Traditional and printed content is restricted, with less space to play with. Therefore the layout is generally more compact and less spacious, making it less appealing to the eye and often harder to read. Paragraphs of online content can be shorter as there is often limitless space, making it less challenging for the reader compared to printed content.

Images are more accessible online as there is more space and it is often easier to avoid copyright rules compared to when physically printing image.

Online, links to further pages can be used to give extra information or advertise, whereas printed content has restricted advertisement space and can’t lead the reader to an alternative source.

Websites sub-editors may find useful?

Journalism.co.uk: This journalism website has a specific online catalogue of terms that would be useful to anyone working in field, especially a sub editor.

Although sub editors have their own ways of checking pieces of writing for plagiarism, this website is a quick and easy way to ensure no copyright laws are being broken as well as highlighting any major grammatical errors.  

Jakob Neilsen suggests that around 79% of web users simply scan content..

Large bulks of text are harder to read and are often skim read to save time. Short, sharp sentences help readers scan the text for the necessary information.

Sub headings and images may catch the readers attention, keep them engaged and make them want to read the article. On the other hand some readers may get a story by only looking at the images and headings without reading any of the text.

Neilson is suggesting that writers need to take this into consideration when writing, making it engaging and easy to read.

Reflection Two

Being new to WordPress, I struggled to get used to the layout of the site. At first I found it hard to add categories to my blog. However, after asking my module tutor, Katie, for help, it seemed fairly simple. I feel this is necessary as it organises my blog, making it easier for the reader to navigate.

I found it complicated to change the layout and themes on WordPress as the dashboard was complicated to use. However after finding an alternative way to access the dashboard, I felt it was much more user-friendly. I used trial and error experimenting with different themes, before deciding which style I liked. I chose an appropriate header,  a vibrant photograph I took in summer in Burano, Italy.

I changed the font styles and sizes from the defaults to make text appear clearer and more professional.

I took away from Karl’s lecture the basic rules of copyright. I now know you need permission to use someone else’s images, which is why I used an original photograph taken by myself as the header for my blog. Considering my love for photography, I intend to use only my own images on my blog or grant permission and state their source if this is not always possible.