Author Archives: Jason Craig

Journalism student tries high-speed live reporting at Chinese Grand Prix

The past two weeks have seen staff and students from Coventry University discovering the sights and sounds of the People’s Republic of China. Among the group here on an exchange programme organised by the university and its Chinese partner, Zhejiang University of Media and Communications (ZUMC), are 11 journalism students who have been reporting online at – a blog started in March 2008 that has so far generated 60,000-plus hits.

Last week I attended the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit in order to produce a live report for the blog. I was there as a guest of the BMW Sauber Team and despite a disappointing turn of events for the Swiss competitors the day was a great opportunity for me.

I was unsure how best to approach the live feed at first. I am familiar with the workings of hard news reporting and feature writing, but I’ve never had to produce a blow-by-blow account of a live event. I decided to adopt a relaxed, conversational approach, but also make every effort to post relevant information for the readers’ benefit.

Vikki Howe, a final year journalism student at Coventry University, continually monitored the TV screens and live timing feeds in the BMW Sauber hospitality suite. This allowed me to focus entirely on my short, concise post entries. BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website turned out to be very useful sources for fact checking.

It was an interesting experience, and the reaction from readers was favourable, with a number of people sending me emails of congratulations and, more importantly, recommending the blog to others.

Live reporting, I found out, is fast. At times I felt like the speed of my reporting needed to match the speeds being set on the track. Well, perhaps not quite that fast, but you get the idea.

NOTW’s reporting on Max Mosley was out of context and unethical, says undercover reporter

Undercover journalism has no role in reporting on meetings – in private or public places – between people in power and celebrities or individuals known to have vast wealth or power, investigative journalist Tessa Mayes told journalism students at Coventry University at last week.

Probably best known for ‘Sleepers: undercover in the sex trade‘ broadcast on Channel 4 in 2001 (when she worked as a receptionist to investigate the conditions endured by many illegal sex workers in the UK), Mayes told students at the ‘Coventry Conversations’ session that ‘investigative journalism has in recent times been branded “dead” by many in the world’s media, but that was far from the truth’.

The News of the World’s Nazi sex expose of FIA president, Max Mosley, was unethical and in bad taste, Mayes said. That type of exposure was ‘just the beginning of the investigative process’, she said.

“These are people caught up in a private moment, caught during free speech. You have to approach investigative journalism in context because it is an intrusive form of gathering information.

“I think you have to look long and hard if you want to do this at the way we present the evidence. We have to get answers for the right reasons, even though objectivity has been heavily criticised in recent years,” she added.