Sunday, 8 January 2012

International news channel debut after a busy start to 2012

As the chimes of Big Ben echoed around the South Bank in London and fireworks lit up the night sky with an array of colours to officially welcome 2012, little did I know of the rather eventful week in store for me culminating in an appearance on an international news channel.

The first week of any New Year is traditionally difficult for news so as I checked my e-mails the night before returning to work after being off between Christmas and New Year, I didn't hold out much hope of there being any major breaking news stories.

But just as I was about to put my phone away, a new e-mail popped into my inbox which would shape my upcoming working week. It was a Google news alert of a story my paper, the Eastern Daily Press, had just put online with the e-mail subject which simply read: "Human remains found in Norfolk woodland near royal estate at Sandringham".

On arriving at work on Tuesday morning, I was sent straight up to Sandringham where I was joined by local, national and international media trying to get as much as information about this discovery as we could. The weather wasn't really helping us though with gale force winds and heavy rain driving many of us media folk back to the comfort and dry of our cars. As the rain ceased and the wind died ever so slightly, we were joined by  Det Chief Insp Jes Fry, who is leading the investigation into the case, who updated us on the murder inquiry before answering our questions.

Right from the launch of the murder investigation, the possibility the body could be of Alisa Dmitrijeva was not ruled out by police which sparked fierce international speculation over the next few days that the body belonged to the 17-year-old. With the identification process taking longer than usual, the coverage of the case from all corners of the globe maintained its velocity and kept me very busy.

After a couple of days of covering the murder investigation, I received an e-mail from Iranian news channel Press TV asking if I would be happy to talk about the discovery the following day and I (obviously) jumped at the chance to be interviewed. I wasn't nervous at all driving up to the Royal Estate and I think that was down to the fact I had spent the last week absorbing everything to do with this investigation so felt confident in being able to answer the Press TV reporter's questions.
Picture taken by @ LynnNewsTibbsy
I thought the reporter Roshan Muhammed Salih and his cameraman were very friendly and keen to absorb as much as they could about this investigation. I felt I interviewed well and after leaving them to capture general views around the estate, I headed back to the office excited to watch the video later. I managed to watch it in full on Saturday morning and here it is:

It was great to see how the report was pieced together and although I thought I looked a bit serious, I felt I came across well and have had positive things said about my debut performance on an international news channel. I did, however, have some reservations about the reporter's inaccurate suggestion that the Royal family might become suspects in the murder investigation.

This weekend I was at work and the Sandringham body find continued to heavily influence my news agenda. I put up a few stories online about the investigation and speculation on who the murder victim is before writing a story for Monday's paper after Norfolk Police confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the indentity of the body as that of missing teenager 17-year-old Alisa Dmitrijeva. Miss Dmitrijeva had been reported missing on September 6 and was last seen getting into a car on August 31. It must have been a terribly distressing time for her family waiting to hear if the body was of Miss Dmitrijeva and throughout the past week, my thoughts and prayers went out to the family of this young girl.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the murder investigation over the upcoming week. Will anyone be arrested?


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