The Exclusives

The Exclusives – week 4.

As promised…

This week it seemed to be BOYS vs. GIRLS. Well, maybe not vs. but the tasks were definitely split up until the end. I did think it was interesting putting them in FHM magazine, I always wondered if only male journalists work at men’s magazines as obviously they have to connect with their audience in that ‘laddish’ way, and I’m not sure I’d be able to do that as a girl… They were asked to design their first ever solo feature which I thought seemed scary, as being imaginative is one of the most important things they need to do, which must be hard under pressure. The mentor herself said they set them challenging tasks on purpose as it shows who comes out on top.


Seeing as it was both the boys who won this task (funny that Stuart and Felix both came up with fashion ideas and the girls didn’t) and Felix’s last minute ‘pet’ idea managed to grab him a win. Felix was very much clutching at straws the whole way, finding a guinea pig, thinking up the feature, photoshooting with the Olympic Hurdler Andy… he seemed to have a lot of luck this episode, even after his awkward interviewing skills (again). He said he preferred working on his own which is very much my mind set too but I think he does have to learn that journalism will require a lot of team work. Stuart worked hard for it and you could tell he was putting his all into the task; the photoshoot seemed very professional and seeing as they had a lot of responsibility for this task, I think they both handled it well and didn’t buckle under pressure.

The one thing that got to me was the issue of ‘writing’ that came up. The whole “writing isn’t your best talent but we can work on that…” Really? Like Stu said, how did he get that far into the competition if his writing wasn’t up to scratch? Isn’t that a huge part of journalism, to be able to write? The finished product and all that research comes down to an article so it really is important. I don’t understand why people would have been chosen if they didn’t think their writing was up to scratch. I do know, especially from this programme that it isn’t the main thing, research, confidence, determination etc etc etcccccc BUT writing isn’t something that should be missed.


The girls were asked to devote a lot of their time this week to interviewing celebrities, which showed the opposite side of journalism to what the boys were doing. This was more about research and less about the finished product. Again, scary thought that they have to be in the mindset of BLOKES, which BLOKEY QUESTIONS and BLOKEY BANTER. It’s not just an interview and asking questions, it’s asking questions that they think the readers will be interesting in knowing the answers too and I think it is a lot more difficult than it’s made out to be. And Hayley, again I do think stood out for me, she was confident, she seemed to ask the right questions and was interested in their answers. When it came to asking people in the street their opinion on sex and relationships, she was the one getting all the interviews and it was Ellie this time that wasn’t. I did feel sorry for her as most of her work on the tasks has been good so far and I think she is the type of person to be effected by having a ‘bad day’, as I would too. The final remaining girl Sonny didn’t impress me. She hasn’t really stood out throughout the four weeks and she moans. A lot. When interviewing the celebrities she was late so she could have her piercing out, she didn’t try hard, she doesn’t seem that interested and I WISH I COULD TAKE HER PLACE!


Was all about designing. This is something I haven’t really had much experience of at all in journalism and something that I find quite exciting. The journalism experience I have is all about the writing and the researching and the whole ‘layout’ is put down to the editors really. Design here, was the key part of the task and the thing that they were judged on and it surprised me how one article feature (Sonny’s) I thought looked good and they seemed to slate it, making me realize that this is another key part. Why write an amazing article if the layout and design make it dull to read? I did think Ellie’s idea of the polaroids was good, and wondered if this was something she might have learnt as part of her journalism degree. I hope it is something I’ll learn on the NCTJ! After all, adding pretty hearts and colours (not for FHM magazine of course) is always going to be exciting… The programme managed to spice it up a bit by getting them to try chillies/photograph pigs which is always great for entertainment our end!

What did I learn? Tolerance is needed, as Stu said after working on a task with Felix, it’s needed to work as part of a team. As usual it is not just about writing (although that’s important) but design came out to be something crucial this week. TARGET AUDIENCE IS VERY VERY IMPORTANT and that being miserable and not putting everything into it will not get you anywhere (ahem Sonny).

Next week: looks like a LOT of drama, arguments, pressure, a rookie leaving AND lots more celebrities.


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