As a student in the second year of my degree one of the scariest pieces of work we were told about at the start of the year was our dissertation statement of intent.
The word ‘dissertation’ is enough to scare the daylights out of most people and quite rightly so, its the single biggest piece of work that any of us will do.
When I started thinking about it, it was a pure rabbit in the headlights moment.
The first thing I did was go online and using everyone’s best friend Google I entered in Journalism Dissertation Topics. A list of sites appeared and feeling quite optimistic I began looking through the list.
The first that came up was Dissertation Monster it offered a list of 20 varied suggestions which include:
- Will journalism a largely freelance industry in the near future
- What is the future of newspapers
- Is the nightly news relevant
- Is the internet more important in terms of mass communication that the invention of the printing press
Though all the questions listed have importance and relevance, non really shouted at me. One thing which stuck in my head was that it needs to be something that interests me enough to keep me ploughing through the hours of research that will be needed to do a decent job.
The answer for me actually came on the back of another piece of work.
We had been set a research assignment which was to be hand after the Christmas holidays.
We were given a list of seven questions, told to pick on and answer it.
The questions covered things like:
- freedom of information requests,
- the relationship between the press and emergency services,
- or do we really have a free press
- English and Welsh Court systems.
The decision was easy,. Court reporting has always interested me . There was lots to learn between the two court systems. Criminal Court is quite easy to understand but Civil Court, that’s a beast on its own.
I realised this was a subject which I not only found fascinating, but I enjoyed spending the time doing the research.
After a few tweaks I’ve finally come up with a working title:
The Decline of Court Reporting in England and Wales: ‘Justice Must Be Seen To Be Done’ But is it? and if not why?
Let the research begin.