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Reflecting on a group project…

As part of my Multimedia Journalism masters, we have recently created an online website as a group. Once we were assigned certain groups, and decided on what questions we were going to focus on, we began creating the project.

In order to diverge the work between each individual, we decided on two separate groups to investigate the two stores; David, Danella and Stephanie were to do the ‘Coalition government’ question, and Ashleigh and I were focusing on question two; ‘How will the steep rise in university fees next year hinder the North West’s standard of education?’ David volunteered to use his website template from the previous assignment so we had a HTML product to send everything to.

It was ideal that Ashleigh and I were working on a subject based around tuition fees, as it ran parallel with a similar project we were working on as part of the Broadcast unit. We decided together who we needed to speak to and how we were to find the information.

In order to meet all the requirements set by the assessment criteria, we had to make sure we included interviews, vox pops, data journalism, audio/video/pictures for the media aspects of the site, and of course a strong and fluent article.

Ashleigh and I decided that in order to have a fluent argument, it was necessary to meet up regularly to compare results. I rang Manchester Metropolitan University, UCAS, Manchester City Council and contacted local MP’s in order to ensure a balanced argument throughout the article. We both filmed a vox pop with current students to ask how they felt about the rise in tuition fees and whether they believe that this rise will affect the standard of education in North West. We also believed it was relevant to get the opinion of perspective students in order to find out whether the rise will affect the opinion of future students.

The data we found supported our argument; the rise in tuition fees puts perspective students off higher education through the fear of daunting debt. We understood that some students were still planning to attend university, but the tuition fees caused them more concern. We also found a counter argument that if students are paying more money, the education they receive should improve. However, if less people are going to university, as the figures show, the North West will be less educated; therefore the standard of education will be affected. We understand that the rise only takes action in September, therefore it is difficult to give a definite answer, however we predict that it will have a negative effect.

We also found that members of the university admission departments were happy to assist with our investigation, however, local MP’s and members of the council were not as cooperative.

Overall, I feel the project has been a success. I believe the only negative aspect of this assignment has been organising everybody’s role. As masters students, we all work and live in different areas, however I understand this is realistic to real life work therefore I am happy with our outcome.

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