This week was all set to be one of the most Exciting
Times in my whole JMU Journalism career.
I was promised backstage interview passes to get
exclusive access to the stars of the X Factor Live show in
Liverpool; a photographer's pass to stand in the pit in
front of the stage at the Echo Arena; and, most
importantly for me, it would earn me my first homepage lead story on this website.
However, I've just learned the hard way that a lot can go wrong in the space of 24 hours. Instead of getting up close and personal with 'Jedward' and co, I spent the night watching the Winter Olympics on TV.
Whilst there are many people out there who would love to spend a bit of one-to-one time with those stars of X Factor, for me the opportunity to interview the line-up posed more of a great journalistic opportunity than the chance to meet a group of celebrities that, in truth, I knew very little about.
Despite not being a fan of X Factor, I am not one to limit
myself to the comfortable and easy stories I have a lot of
prior knowledge about. I set out attempting to gain press
access to the opening of the X Factor Live Tour back in
November, before the show's winner or final line-up had
even been decided.
Happily, the press agency in charge of the X Factor Live
Tour were quick to respond to my request, were very
friendly, positive and willing to give me all the chances
and opportunities that I wanted.
However, like so many things, the best laid plans often
crumble at the last second. In this case, the day before the
show, my plans were changed when the interview pass
failed to materialise. No longer would I be able to talk to the
acts, all that remained was a photographer’s pass for the
pit at the front of the stage.
Although disappointed, not all was lost; there was still a
lot to salvage. Knowing that the live pictures would now
play the most important aspect of our coverage (until an
exclusive interview with Jedward emerged) it was time to
make a decision.
My thoughts turned to Vegard Grott, the site’s resident photo guru. Although I could have taken the opportunity to experience the excitement of photographing an event of such magnitude and been the envy of many of my female friends, the desire for first-class content and professional-looking pictures for the website greatly outweighed this.
Even though my lecturer told me that I deserved to keep the pass because I had been working for months to get the story, I still felt the best thing to do was to give it to Vegsy. His pictures from the event prove that I was right... I wouldn't have been able to do as well as that.
Had the photo pass been for a sporting event that I was desperate to attend, I can’t honestly say that my decision to hand over the pass to a better photographer would have been as easy, but sometimes a small personal sacrifice needs to be made for the best available content.
By Luke Johnson
JMU Journalism 'Hero of the Year'
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