Following my coverage of the BCCA occupation, I tried to get my article into the Bournemouth University newspaper, ‘The Rock’. Unfortunately, before the paper was due to be printed, new developments meant that my article was pushed aside. Members of the Occupy movement had ‘occupied’ Bournemouth University’s pedestrian entrance. They wished to speak with the university’s Chancellor, who is also the President of the UK Supreme Court. Naturally, this development so close to the campus took precedence, and my article was not published.
The Occupy development gave me a window of opportunity, however. Continuing from the patch reporting, and the subsequent unpublished BCCA article, I was keen to gain more real journalistic experience. I felt more confident about tracking down and speaking to sources, and with finding ‘news-worthy’ events to report on, and despite my article remaining unpublished, I still felt keen to write for the newspaper. As such, when The Rock approached me to report on the occupancy of Bournemouth University, I agreed. I would be able to incorporate some of my previous reporting on the BCCA site, as well as report ‘from the inside’ of the university occupiers. I felt that this would give me valuable experience, and I was keen to learn more of the wider Occupy movement.
I spoke at length with the occupiers, finding out their aims and goals. My reporting led me to court, where the occupiers were on trial. Talbot Village Trust, the owners of the land that the occupiers are camping on, were seeking to evict the occupiers. In this, they were successful, with the judge issuing an “order of possession forthwith.” My first time in court was an unforgettable and valuable experience, and I was glad I was able to follow the Occupy members into court. Afterwards, I caught up with Gary, one of the representatives of the encampment, and we headed for a ‘debriefing’.
Overall, my journalistic reporting led me to new and valuable experiences. My article was eventually published in The Rock, and I feel that I gained useful experiences in journalism. I was also pleased that I managed to understand and gain insight into the Occupy movement first-hand, speaking to several members and understanding more about the group’s aims and goals.