Friday, 12 February 2010

I'll get to the point eventually....

Journalism course today and with the week's events, haven't done my film review homework.

I come here. Stiggers has written a rubbish review or two. Take it, try and improve on it, before I hand it in.

I print out an old copy of an article I sent to the national press. Maybe my tutor can give me some helpful pointers as to where I'm going wrong, and where I could go right.

The class is visiting a local newspaper today; a Q&A session with the deputy. I'm going to be late. I jump on Zat and make my way there.

A few people on my course are standing outside. I'm not late; cool!

We go in and the editor welcomes us.

"Nick Clegg is supposed to be coming in today. You might get a chance to meet him."

"I wrote to him and asked if he would meet me," I say without thinking. "I haven't got a reply yet!"

"Oh you never know, you might get your chance," says the editor, or words to that effect.

I'm thinking oh my goodness. Angels, angels, I leave this up to you yes. If I meet him I meet him. If I don't, I don't.

The meeting starts with the deputy telling us about the paper, the sister papers. She's asked how she got into journalism.

A knock on the door and in walks the editor with Clegg and a few others and says something like:

"This girl here has a question for you!"

Clegg looks at me smiling. (He looks the same in real life as he does on telly, if you're wondering)

Do you know, I do not know exactly what I said. I did a charity walk, I asked that you sponsor me, I asked everybody, your camp got back saying you were committed to other charities but that's cool, I sent an email back asking if you would meet me because me and my son are being evicted and I haven't heard back yet.

He says he's sorry about that and he'll look into it and I say it's ok, I didn't expect a response. I carry on saying I feel bullied and threatened by the council to accept alternatives that do not benefit my child. I have written to the prime minister and he said it was up to the local authority and you are the local authority and your people say they can't help because they have no influence so a Tory is helping me at the moment and he's telling me to accept alternatives that aren't in the best interests of my child too.

He asked me for my email address and he would see what he can do.

I write my name and email and "is being evicted from her temporary acccommodation along with her son.... Thank you!" (Her? Am I talking about someone else?)

There's a mini photo shoot with all of us. He, the editor, their entourage, leave.

A few people say "well done" to me. I don't know what I'm thinking.

The meeting with the deputy reconvenes.

The editor comes back in and asks me if I will talk to a reporter afterwards.

I am reminded, if I had forgotten, that I am in the offices of a NEWSPAPER. This is a STORY. Clegg is in the CENTRE of it being caught off guard by ME.

Everyone is the room is very pleased with this. I bury my head in my arms and they laugh.

I think I looked attentive through out the rest of the meeting but I'll be honest with you, I didn't hear a thing. God knows where I was. God does know, I don't.

I'm gasping for Nicoteen. Absolutely gasping. My mouth is really dry. I've not had any breakfast.

The journalist says she'll talk to me outside and I'm really grateful for this. I'm talking what sounds to me like gobbledigoop, tripping over my sentences, running off at the mouth not wanting her to know why I'm so desperate. I tell her I'm a statistic, a stereotype, I fear a backlash, no don't say that, don't mention fear of backlash. Oh fuck what am I saying? She's taking it all down in shorthand.

"What's your name?"

"Oh god."

I don't want to give my name but I know I should because this is a story that has to be told only I was a journalist once and you know, you want to tell the story not be the story.

She understands this and says she'll let me think about it.

I'm thinking don't let me think about it, thank you for letting me think about it, There's a monumental problem happening, I shouldn't have to think about it. Did I tell her at any point in all my gobbledigoop that I write a 'secret' blog?

The editor comes out. It's an opportunity for me. He laughs saying he bets Clegg didn't expect that, probably thinks the paper set him up.

I didn't tell him I write a blog. I was tempted to, but not infront of everyone. My son my sun my son.

We chat, I tell him about others in the same situation, agree it's part of a much bigger story.

Oh my son my sun my son. Mummy finds herself in another storm, but is it in a thimble?

I can see the story. It's a good one. Any journalist can see that.

The point to my post?

Clegg caught off guard by mother facing eviction from temporary accommodation.

I still haven't eaten but I will roll myself another cigarette.


Jennysmith said...

Great, Stig, almost gripping. Good for you. You're really fighting for you and your boy.

I love the sound of your course.


Stigmum said...

Thanks Jen, about to post how I feel...Earlier didn't know, now know I do abit, tomorrow I don't know but the blog of course is about how I feel. I'm alone, my boy's not with me, can't escape from what's in my mind....Thank you for your comment xxx

A Modern Mother said...

This is far from boring what are you talking baout??? Did he ever email you back? Was it printed? If Cameron gives him a position I'd follow up.

Stigmum said...

Thanks Modern Mother, so much of what I write is so warbly! Clegg got his parliamentary candidate to help me, but he's lost the local seat so I don't know if his help will go with him, but if you have time, you can read down the 'newspaper' label and see where the story is heading!(I regretably didn't write how my meeting went with Clegg's pal but maybe one day!) If Clegg does get into bed with Cameron, that is an opportunity... Don't know how though, because what the nationals did print of mine has had no impact....
The editor of the local rag offered that I write a story though. He wants my photo (eek, I said no when they published their piece, which may be why that had little impact too...)
It's terrifying, all this in my little world, but what with our hung parliament, I am hoping, hoping so much, that everything can be resolved once and for all...!
Take care xxx

lunarossa said...

I'm so shocked, Stigmum, it's May now and your situation has not improved yet? I really hope that something is getting moving soon for you. I cannot see the Tories accepting the Lib Dems requests, but I think it IS down to the local authorities to help you whichever party they belong to. Keep strong and keep on fighting. Wish you all the best. A.

Stigmum said...

Thanks A, I've just written a comment about you cos I couldn't find this one!! You are right, Tories won't listen to Libdems, but our local coalition is now back to Labour and not Libdem/Tory like before, so I'm starting again and hope, hope, hope that mine and my son's luck changes, and indeed the borough's, where 18,000 are on waiting list... why the fight is such an incredibly tough one...
Take care x