“Question Time” is a TV program made by BBC. As BBC says it’s “Topical debate, with political and media figures answering questions from the public”. It looks like this:
We do have a TV studio at the City University London where I study Journalism. And we do our own “Question Time” every Friday. Our studio looks like this when it’s busy:
And like this just today before we started (photo provided by Claudia Romeo)
Today was the first Question Time for me. A couple of days ago I’ve got an e-mail telling that I had to pick three currents news, one about politics in the UK, second one on International politics, and the rest one could be any.
I am not very good at politics, so just a couple of days before Question Time I grabbed a big pile of different newspapers and magazines to read. I didn’t limit myself only on politics but also spoilt myself with something I really enjoy doing, like Photography and art. Here’s my pile on the double-decker’s chair on my way back home.
I began reading the news knowing practically nothing about British political system but it was rather easy to figure out which party is where, who’s the leader and so on.
The next day several girls from my course and I gathered at the library and did some research. It was a great fun. There were some more papers in the library, though most of them were quite old. Fortunately, we had The Independent, The Guardian of that day and few wonderful news resources online, like BBC.
From the very start we felt the mood of the newspapers regarding what parties they support, though we also noticed that it’s not like they just write “good stuff” about one party and “bad stuff” about other. It’s just a very slight feeling that they sympathize someone way too much. At least that’s kind of feeling we’ve got for now.
I will just outline the news that we in our heads during this period.
1) UK Politics: Ed Miliband’s speech in Manchester
2) UK Politics: `off-payroll` tax arrangements
3) International Politics: Obama vs Romney debates
4) UK: A missing five-year-old April Jones
5) Facebook surpasses one billion users
We divided ourselves into groups of five people each. I’d like to point out that I always try to interact with as many different as possible during groups forming. What I mean is that most people I already know, and we spent quite of the time together, but I try to choose just random people. It’s nice to know more people and just to be able to work with anyone.
This time our team consisted of Andrea from Slovakia, Erik from Norway, Maria from Norway, Jack from England and me. I already used to do the Streetwise project with Jack. But I’ve never worked with others.
The Question Time usually have one person who is called The Chair, it’s the person who sits at the middle and he or she is a presented, introducing people, doing this kind of stuff. Other four people are answering questions from the auditorium. They can also debate with each other or with people from the auditorium. Besides those there’s a technical team, floor manager, other people who make this program possible and not visible on the screen. I will just mention that there’s a Floor Manager, a person who counts 5-4-3-2-1 when everything starts, and also gives microphone to people in the auditorium, also shows if the time is up and so on.
Andrea was the Chair, four of us were The Panel (people who were going to answer the questions). The thing is that The Chair has just 8 seconds to introduce every person from the Panel. So, it should be really brief. 24 words exactly! 3 words per second 🙂
So, we gathers information about our team, so Andrea could present us. Then we were told we should pick the news. We chose Ed Miliband’s speech. Most of us knew what it was about and by the end of our preparation time we told each other a lot about the whole thing.
Then almost at the end when other groups were showing their work I realised that we’ve got a problem. We have no “killer statistics”. Killer Statistics is numbers that make people “wow” and be interested in telling about it to other people. Like, “did you know that 80% of humanity lives on less than 10$ a day”. That’s killer statistics.. We didn’t have any statistics in any newspaper we had and we had something around 5 minutes before our “5-4-3-2-1”
I began to research right away. I couldn’t use any notes, so I could to remember all the numbers in my head. “The poll leaped from 18% to 34%.. One of three people changed their minds to vote for Miliband. He’s No10 in the list of possible Prime Ministers in 2015” Something like that. And that was our time..