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EDUCATION Every Election Counts! by Charlie Watts “ We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.” - JF Kennedy This may seem slightly overblown, but that is how we face things here in the University of Portsmouth. It’s possibly because we have to try that little bit harder due to our location, but mainly because we love a challenge, and we want our students to get to a full-on and very real experience! Let me set the scene. In September 2014 we were contacted by ITV Meridian News and asked if we would be interested in helping film declarations from the Hampshire and Sussex constituencies. It was just before the start of the new academic year, and we figured, sure, that’s months away, why not! And so begun the slow build up to what we believe was a U.K first, with Meridian arranging to work with HE institutions in the South of the country to gather a wider and more comprehensive recording of election counts. So let me be blunt and completely upfront with you, this was going to be no easy task. Of course, delivering election content is an exciting prospect - and whilst the broadcast industry is well versed and can take it in their stride, as an Educational institution, there are many other layers of complexities and concerns! The reality of letting students work overnight on an event where their footage has to be good enough for TV broadcast was going to be a challenge. If you have extensive expertise in producing video content you’ll know how daunting and terrifying it is to go to a location you have never visited before, knowing you can’t mess up! Framing, rule of thirds, horizon, exposure, focus, etc, etc, are all incredibly important requirements for any video crew, and to throw students into this environment without a plan would have been foolhardy. Of all of my dealings with the film and TV industry, the Meridian News team rate up there with the very best; with 60 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 102 JUNE 2015