Module Reflection

What I have enjoyed

  • During this Module I have enjoyed experimenting with different illustration techniques. This is not something I have done previously so I found it interesting to develop new skills other than photoshopping photographs.
  • I have also enjoyed researching the topic of data protection and cyber crime. The more I researched, the more I became interested in the subject. I had little knowledge of the subject before this module, apart from what I had heard and read on news websites previously, but these news stories offered little detail into internet groups and the deep web.

What I have found difficult

  • The most difficult part of this module was finding somebody to interview that had first hand experience of cyber crime and the deep web. The whole point of a hacker and internet groups is that they are anonymous, so it would be difficult to get to talk to somebody. This made me realise that I needed to talk to somebody who had knowledge of these topics and represented the legal side, the side protecting the public against cyber criminals. I had heard about Gary Hibberd from somebody who attended a talk he presented on data protection.

What I have gotten better at

  • Even though I have always enjoyed writing, I’ve been aware throughout university that my photography is stronger than my journalistic writing. However this module has given me the opportunity to improve my journalism skills, this is the first time that I have researched a topic in such depth and conducted professional interviews with somebody that I did not have prior knowledge of or already know.
  • As I said before, the use of illustration in my articles has enabled me to try new things creatively. I shall continue to experiment with digital illustration in the future.

If I were to do this module again

  • If I were to re sit this module I would spend more time on the planning stage of my artefact. I now realise that I was too confident at first about the my article, I had not given enough thought into how the two topics of my 5000 word article would combine to create something that flowed and didn’t seem too cut and stuck together. If I had spent more time researching before writing I think I would of been able to spot my mistakes early on.

Presentation Reflection

I had my final presentation today and I am happy with how it went. Although even though I went through the presentation countless times, in the moment I forgot what I had planned to say during some slides and was forced to come up with something on the spot. I think this may have effected the professionalism of my presentation slightly as it may of seemed as though I was unprepared for some aspects of my presentation where as I had in truth been over it many times and worked out what I wanted to say.

Overall though I think the presentation went well. I had answers for all the questions my tutors asked, and I think I answered in enough detail.

Chris asked me if I had any problems with creating a magazine suitable for iPad. I answered that I wanted to make something that looked like it belonged on a tablet screen but it would obviously have to be able to be printed at the same time for marking reasons. This meant that I could not make use of interactive elements such as galleries and animations that online magazines make use of. I had to create something that looked like it belonged both on paper and on screen.

If I were to do the presentation again, I would perhaps have a card with me at the front with reminders of what I had planned to say during each slide.

Final Presentation

Slide 1

Introducing my proposed online magazine, Online Matters.  Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.00

Slide 2

The closest existing publication to Online Matters is Vice Magazine. Largest amount of audience are between the ages of 26 and 30. This falls directly into the largest group of iPad owners in the UK, this is predicted to be the most common age of iPad owners up until 2017 according to eMarketer.Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.10

Slide 3

I have written 2 articles for the first issue of the magazine. Swimming In Dark Waters and Anonymous, A Force for Good Or Evil?

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.18Slide 4

My articles are suitable for publication as is evidenced in these articles that have been recently written for Vice Magazine. The subject of hacking and data protection is of huge interest right now as it is becoming more of a regular news item.Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.28

Slide 5

 I chose to combine traditional photographs with digital illustration. I did this to tackle the issue of photographing a digital subject, I did not want to have lots of images of somebody using a computer, or the typical padlock on the keyboard representing security. So I decided to experiment with digital illustration to try and create some images that represent what I was writing about but also were more interesting.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.38

Slide 6

 As evidence of illustration being used in similar publications, here are some used in recent articles by Vice

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.46

Slide 7

I wanted to speak to somebody who had an expert opinion on hacking and data protection, and somebody who could give me and insight into the word of the deep web. I emailed Gary Hibberd, managing director of Agenci Information Security and spoke to him regarding my topics. We exchanged a number of emails and he gave me the perfect insider perspective that I was looking for.

 Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.00.52

Slide 8

 Here is the statistics from my project gantt chart.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.01.02

Slide 9

 The main problem I encountered during the module was the original plan I had for my article. I originally was planning on writing a 5000 word article on data protection, and also talking about internet groups such as Anonymous. However I realised I had some very strong ideas in terms of photography and it would be a mistake to limit these to just 5 images. So I reduced the word count from 5000 to 3500 and upped the amount of photographs from 5 to 15. I also split the article into two separate pieces, meaning I could get more into detail about each subject without having to make them fit into the same article.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.01.11

Slide 10

 The other problem I had this semester was the purchasing of the Anonymous mask. I bought one on the 2nd of February but it did not arrive until late March, meaning I had to reschedule my studio photo shoot from mid March to the 1st of April. I made accounts for this in my project plan and worked around it to make sure it did not affect my deadline.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.01.19

Slide 11

It was through documenting my progress through this module that I realised where I was going wrong. This enabled me to change and adapt my plan without making life too difficult in terms of rushing at the end. Reflecting on each choice I made this semester made me see the problems before they became too much of a hindrance to my articles.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.01.27 

Slide 12

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 12.01.34

Changes to my article

During the writing of my article, I began to notice that there were two different stories going on. One was that of data protection and ways to combat cyber crime, and the other was that of Anonymous, and similar internet groups. I was finding it difficult to link the two parts of the article together so I decided to split the article into two separate articles instead.

The first article will be titled Swimming In Dark Waters, and will contain an interview with Gary Hibbard about the dangers ofcyber crime and the deep web.


The second article will focus on the rise of Anonymous and will contain the publics comments in form of reddit comments on a question I posted, it will also contains Gary Hibbard’s view on internet groups like Anonymous.

who is anonymous

I feel that splitting the article will stop my writing from jumping around too much, and will mean that I won’t have to force two different stories together into the same piece.

Interview reflection

Today I received a reply from Gary Hibbard, my interview source. Over the last week he has been writing up answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of impact can Anonymous have on our society? (are they the ‘digital Robin Hoods’ and ‘freedom fighters’ their supporters hail them to be, or the ‘cyber lynch mob’ and ‘terrorists’ their critics label them as?)
  • What does the future hold for digital security? Cyber crime is something most people know nothing about, what can the average person do to protect their data and privacy from hackers?
  • Is it feasible to combat cyber criminals in our current situation (budget issues and lack of public knowledge)
  • What kind of legality surround sites like ‘SilkRoad’ and navigating the deep web using tools such as ‘TOR’?

What I received from Gary exceeded what I had expected. I was expecting 300 or 400 words, but received over 1,600 words. He has more than supplied me with the information I need to have an ‘insiders’ perspective on cyber crime and data protection and given me a much more in-depth article than it was previously.

I knew that the interview was key for the article to have its own journalistic merit, and now I am confident I can deliver a informative and entertaining article that will be of genuine interest.

Article Scope Change

The problem I have had with this module is that the topic is so vast, I was struggling to find a specific area to focus intently on, without making it too remote from my work from last semester. I feel that I have now sorted this problem after speaking to my interview source. My initial ideas for the article was going to be that it would be an ethical question of censorship, however it seems obvious now that this just is not specific enough for a genuine magazine article. I need to write something that informs and still entertains. I have no doubts that my focus are now can do that.

The subject of data protection is something that the average person knows nothing about. It sounds boring and uninteresting but this subject opens the door to a different world. The world of the deep web. I want to take my readers on a journey through this world, and I feel that my interviewee is the key to this, speaking to somebody who has an expert professional knowledge and a passion for the topic means that I have a brilliant insight, which in turn means my readers have the same.

My article will still touch on the ethical question of censorship, but the major focus will be on informing the reader about the real online world. A world where they feel they might not be as secure as they had hoped.

Interview With Gary Hibberd

One of the problems I faced writing this article was the issue of speaking with somebody who had knowledge of the topics I am writing about. I managed to get in contact with Gary Hibberd, Managing director of Agenci Information Security. The following is taken from the Agenci website;

”Gary was appointed as Managing Director of Agenci Information Security in 2012. He has led the company through an extensive period of growth in revenue and profits. He is an experienced and qualified business continuity professional, author, speaker and regular contributor to government initiatives on cyber security and counter terrorism.”

I was told about Gary by somebody who went to one of his talks on data protection, they spoke very highly of him and told me that he could be just the person I needed to speak to.

I emailed Gary about a possible interview for my article. I am really looking forward to hearing what he has to say about the topics of my article.

Below is our conversation so far (I have highlighted Gary’s emails in bold)


Sent: 26 March 2014 15:27

Hello Gary,

I believe you talked to Julie Smith about a possible interview for the magazine article I am writing.

I read the paper you sent and really found it interesting, I would love to have a talk with you.
The article I am writing is focused on matters including protection of data and internet groups such as Anonymous so it would be great to talk to somebody who has an expert opinion on this.
We can either talk via email or set up a face to face at a time and place suitable to you, whichever you would prefer.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking soon.

Jordan Smith


Hi Jordan

Apologies for the delay in responding. I’ve been a little busy of late.

Why don’t we arrange a telephone interview rather than drag you to our offices? Alternatively if you have a series of questions you need answering you can just email them over and I’ll answer as fully as I can. Let me know your preference (it’s your paper after all 🙂 )

My details are below.

Kind regards



Hi Gary

Thank you for your reply

Perhaps email would be the better option as I have studio photo shoots over the next few days during working hours and I don’t mean to make it an inconvenience for you.

What I am wanting to talk about is the internet that most people do not know about, the Deep web and the DarkNet you write about in your white paper. I have researched these areas but found it difficult to find an explanation in layman’s terms that I can transfer to my audience. One key area I am interested in is SilkRoad, something that I have read about never visited (not knowing if I should show caution).

The other main topic is Anonymous. I’ll list the questions I would like to ask below.


What kind of impact can Anonymous have on our society? (are they the ‘digital Robin Hoods’ and ‘freedom fighters’ their supporters hail them to be, or the ‘cyber lynch mob’ and ‘terrorists’ their critics label them as?)
What does the future hold for digital security? Cyber crime is something most people know nothing about, what can the average person do to protect their data and privacy from hackers?
Is it feasible to combat cyber criminals in our current situation (budget issues and lack of public knowledge)
What kind of legality surround sites like ‘SilkRoad’ and navigating the deep web using tools such as ‘TOR’?
Also, I would like to know your opinion on the matter of internet censorship. David Cameron has unveiled ‘opt in’ plan for adult content, some people argue that such censorship doesn’t just block harmful sites, but educational sexual health websites and even sites tailored for helping people cope with mental health and abuse. Do you think this is a step in the right direction or a step closer to restricting the public’s access to information. China famously has the firewall dubbed ‘The great Firewall of China’, this is obviously on the other end of the censorship scale to the laws in place in the UK but I would like to know your opinion on the ethics of having such a restrict information access.

Lastly would you have any objection to being named in my article? The article itself will not be published, it is being submitted for university marking only.

Thank you for your time Gary and I greatly appreciate any help you can give me.

Kind regards,

Jordan Smith


Hi Jordan,

These look like great questions! Wow… where do I start!! Lol..

Do you have a deadline I need to hit? I’ll put some thought into these questions and give you as full an answer to each so you can craft it into a suitable format for your paper.

I have no problem in your using my name in your paper and to be honest, the answers may be quite detailed and may end up being published as a paper anyway!

Let me know about the deadline and I’ll set to work to hit it for you.




Hi Gary,

As for a deadline I don’t mean to make it difficult but really the sooner the better, I am writing the article now and shall craft it in a way where I can add the interview at a later date. Any time within the next two weeks will give me enough time to write it up and tailor my article before my deadline. I hope this is okay with you, if you have any problems then let me know and we can sort something out.

Thank you

Jordan Smith