During a newsday for a Journalism Practice module I took at University I was assigned to one of the biggest stories of the day. A mother of two from Manchester had been missing for two days following her works Christmas party at Sugar Buddah on Deansgate Locks. Her family and friends had put out an urgent, desperate appeal on Facebook to help find her safe and well following her disappearance.
The behaviour was deemed ‘unlike Louise’ who was described as a ‘loving and committed mother’ which sparked high concern amongst those close to her. I traveled to the place she was last seen, Sugar Buddah to record an as live to raise awareness of her disappearance with the aim of interviewing the bar owners and also her family who were out looking for her on the day.
Once I was there I began to film my as live and my colleague went and spoke to her loved ones who were gathering outside the bar next door handing out leaflets and deciding on a plan of action to start their search party. They had stated to my colleague, they would be unable to give us an interview as they wanted to focus their attention on finding her and were also too emotional to speak about it on camera at the time.
Once we had began filming, a member of the search party, Louise’s family friend, Dominic Fleming, came over to us to ask what it was that we were filming. After explaining to him what we were doing he revealed to us, exclusively that Louise had returned home and she was currently on the phone to her sister. He explained they had no idea where she had been or in what state she was in just that she was home and alive.
We had to act quickly as we knew it would be a matter of time before larger press outlets found out she had been found so we called back into the newsroom and told the sub editor to get the information we had found online immediately. You can read the story here.
Following this we refilmed my as-live into a breaking news segment and recorded it once again on my mobile phone to send back to the newsdesk to be put into our 10am bullet in.
I am extremely proud of this piece of work as broadcast isn’t my chosen pathway and being on camera isn’t something I am overly confident with. (This might be obvious.) However we managed to get it done when time was of the essence and secured the breaking news ahead of the M.E.N.