RSPB & Cairngorms Nature Young Presenter Competition 2016

In October 2016, I entered a competition run by the RSPB and Cairngorms Nature which was a young presenter competition. This is my film

I wanted to be different from the usual films on badgers and foxes and also wanted to do something educational about birds. When 24 rare Great White Egrets turned up at my local patch Chew Valley Lake, I had a perfect choice.  For me, that was more important than choosing something that would be popular with the general public.

On the day I was filming, all my ideas for camera angles and heights I was going to stand, sit and crouch at had to be forgotten. We managed to find a tiny spot in an enclosed area where I could stand with the lake behind. I had the microphone tucked under my coat but you could still hear the wind blowing. It was only after I borrowed my Dad’s scarf and put that over the microphone that we could do any filming.  By this point we’re starting to lose light, so we didn’t have long to get the filming done.  I learnt a lot from the experience and in a way was glad that we didn’t do lots of takes as I’m sure the professional nature TV presenters don’t have that luxury and it makes you more able to speak on live TV.

I watched lots of the other videos only after mine was done, as I didn’t want to be influenced by others. It was a real shame that I was the only ethnic minority young person to enter, especially as lots I know are into film-making. I will be contacting Cairngorms Nature and RSPB about the competition after the result as I think that they need to advertise and promote the competition where Minority Ethnic young people will see it and then encourage them to enter. When the results recently came out I was delighted to be in the final eight but was disappointed that there was only myself and one other girl in the final eight. I did not understand this as I saw some excellent girls who entered. It would be interesting to know whether there were more men than women on the judging panel, as people tend to like kids like themselves.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

It was interesting because the voting for this competition is meant to be about who will inspire young people to like nature. I think that this should be someone who will inspire boys and girls and all ethnicities. However, by having a winner chosen by public vote only, where most birders are men who are likely to choose a boy who reminds them of themselves as a child or of the male presenters already on TV, I wonder if we’ll ever get a girl winning. I am certainly interested in how myself and the other girl will do, though unless one of us wins, we’ll never know how we got on.

One option for next year might be to have a public vote but then for the judging panel (made up of men, women and Minority Ethnic people) to choose the winner from the top 3 voted by the public. So long as they chose who would inspire everyone this would overcome the problems and ensure a fairer and more diverse outcome.

Thank you to Alice Owen, Omar Badr, Nardine Groch & Olivia Frost from the UWE MA Wildlife Film-making Course for their help with the filming.

Vote for me if you think I will mot inspire the widest range of young people.

Thank you.

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