I’m interested in writing a news feature about the impact of lockdown on mental health of young people. The news feature will focus on how different lockdown measures and restrictions affect their mental health. I want to include interviews with people from three countries with different lockdown measures.
In these unprecedented times when COVID-19 completely changed the world we knew before, how young people cope with different way of life that pandemic imposed? A life without bars, cinemas or socialization with friends. A life in which you can receive a fine for going to the nearby park. Psychologists warn coronavirus can have severe impact on mental health, especially on those ones with existing mental problems. In response to this, Australian government is providing extra mental support by opening dedicated coronavirus digital resources and phone counselling services.
The article targets young adults, especially those aged 18-28 as lockdown measures have a big impact on their way of life. Even in normal circumstances, more and more young people experience mental health problems, while many of them develop issues before the age of 25. Strict lockdown restrictions have increased the percentage of young people suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. As many of them are now forced to live isolated from their family of friends, their mental health deteriorates. My interviewees will be young adults aged 18-28 and I believe young readers could identify themselves with the interviewees and with the problem.
My chosen publication are newspapers that attract large younger audience such as The Guardian. According to The Guardian’s media kit, they attract 6.5 million monthly readers in Australia; largest percentage of them are 16-34 years old. In the past, they published an article on mental health issues among young people and have recently published an article about coronavirus and young people’s mental health. As they have previously covered similar topic and have different sections, such as Health or Relationships, I believe my article could be suitable for this newspaper.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
For my story, I will interview three young adults from three countries with different lockdown measures. Ideally, my interviewees will be in different stages of young adulthood.
I would also like to interview a psychologist who would provide an explanation why lockdown has such a detrimental effect on mental health and propose recommendations on how to deal with problems in isolation. I will use some online sources for gathering information on mental health issues such as academic papers on mental health, WHO or Australian Department of Health.
MULTIMEDIA, INTERACTIVITY & INTERACTIVITY
The article will include photos that stir up negative emotions like solitude, depression or anxiety. I want to include some photos sent from my interviewees, such as photos of a place where they spend most of their time or activity/hobby they like to do during lockdown. I will include video or audio interviews with my interviewees. I want to enhance interactivity by creating a poll and infographics for representation of any statistics. I will include embedded links of online sources used for the article.
Your proposal is interesting, newsworthy and extremely timely. I think that it is appropriate for The Guardian, and that it is applicable for the desired target audience. I love the idea of getting interviews from people around the globe and think that the images will be authentic and hard-hitting. I would like to suggest that the images have commonality, such as a view from which the camera is positioned (out the window, a selfie, etc) so that there is a sense of togetherness portrayed.
I would also like to ask if you are set on investigating the mental health of just young people? I think it could be interesting to find how mental health is not only affecting you people, but those of all ages.
Hi Georgia, thank you for your comment!
That’s a really interesting suggestion and I would definitely try to get such photos – I agree it portrays a sense of togetherness and I really like the idea!
At first, I wanted to write about the mental health of all ages, but then decided to focus on young adults as I think pandemic has had more impact on their lifestyle than for example seniors. So yes, I will focus on young people, but I agree it would be interesting to see how coronavirus situation affects other generations as well.