Staff Pick: After Shock

It was 11.56am on April 25, 2015 when everything started shaking. A devastating earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Nepal. Five hours later and thousands of miles away in Hampshire, the UK’s largest Nepalese community began to rally support. 

Written by Joshua Smith



Q+A with the writer

For our latest Staff Pick we are excited to be spotlighting, After Shock. Written by One World Media Fellow, Joshua Smith, the report tells the story of how the UK’s largest Nepalese community mobilised to help in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

We spoke to Joshua about his experience writing the article, the One World Media Fellowship, and his plans for what’s next in his career!


Why did you choose the story for your project?

I wanted to visit Nepal to find out how the money that was raised by the UK’s largest Nepalese community, based around Aldershot, has been spent following the 2015 earthquake. I also wanted to show how the country was rebuilding since the disaster by sharing the stories of people affected by the earthquake. People have been forced to change professions to earn a living, many becoming labourers to clear the rubble. I wanted to speak to them about their work and the rebuilding of their own homes and lives.


What was the most valuable thing you learned during the process?

It was brilliant to build my confidence, and I feel much more capable of tackling big and more complex stories now. Planning a trip like this and now knowing what goes in to doing this was also fantastic. Putting together a long-form piece was great for me, since working in local news doesn’t often offer the opportunity to do this. Then putting the whole online feature together using Shorthand was another brilliant experience.


What was the most challenging aspect of writing your article?

I was let down by some of my contacts while out there and so was unable to visit certain things that I had originally planned to. But I would say that the overall feature didn’t really suffer because of this.


To what extent has receiving a grant from One World Media encouraged you to pursue a career in journalism?

A great deal. Ultimately, I still really want to progress into doing more long-form pieces so this has really encouraged me to pursue that still.

Since I’ve got back from Nepal, my current employers have moved me on to covering a bigger patch in my newsroom and I definitely think the One World Media Fellowship, and piece that I produced with it, had a big part to play in that – by impressing the right people in my newsroom who make those decisions. I’m going to now work on getting my NCTJ senior exams completed and then think about my next moves.


The charities whose work Joshua went to visit have received further donations following publication of the article on Surrey Live.


View more projects on OWM Presents.


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