My name is Dhara, I’m currently studying MSc Marketing Management at De Montfort University. As a community reporter, my role involves interacting with people in Leicester asking them about their thoughts on the Census and their experiences of being part of the Leicester community. In my opinion the most exciting aspect of community media is that it allows a diversity of experiences to be represented in a way that is not always seen in mass media, and given the multiculturalism Leicester is known for, it is important these voices are heard.
Having lived in Leicester for most of my life, the past few weeks of community reporting has exposed me to a side of this city I was not familiar with. I was surprised by how informed people are about the census, with many viewing it as a civic duty to take pride in and not just as a formality. From the various interactions we had it would not be inaccurate to say people liken the census to a photo album that captures the evolution of the city through periodic snapshots taken every ten years; from this observation we can say that the Leicester community takes great interest in the continual improvement of the city and its services.
In such a short span of time I have seen a huge change in my confidence levels and ability to interact with people from different walks of life. I have learnt as long as you are honest and show a genuine interest in people’s views, both of which are key to building trust, they will more often than not reciprocate with truthful answers.