As the title gives away, this is about my last two weeks at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.
Today I was integrated on the Annie Other production team, one I was familiar with from the first week. The first hour was finalising idea’s for the 9am show, which Anna said is always done on the day as things could change over night, which makes sense.
At 9am we sat and produced Annie show, again, I developed many of the skills obtained over the past few weeks and had unanswered questions answered. Anna was at a loss for something to talk about at 11:45am, she asked me to try to find a story that would fit in with the show, bearing in mind its early morning and they wanted to end the show on a light-hearted note. I found a story about a study showing over 60% of parents tell their children little white lies to make them perform certain tasks, for example, carrots make you see in the dark or broccoli is little tree’s. I suggested this to Anna and she loved it! We rang up a friend of the show, a psychologist who agreed to come down to the studio to give an interview, which was great!
After the show was finished at 12pm, and we had lunch, we returned and drafted up some ideas for tomorrows show. She asked me and another temp, Matt Jones to do some research for the show, however she warned us that most of tomorrow would be talking about the Women Bishops debate and the outcome.
As predicted, todays show revolved around the vote for Women Bishop outcome, which was declined. Annie had her full production team back today so we all frantically sat and worked on finding guests to come on that morning, ones who were for and against the vote. I passed on some contacts that I had made from the previous week when looking for the breakfast show, some of which were used. In the end we found three woman who were against the vote and a man who was for. This was a fiery debate, with the show being very entertaining.
After the show Anna asked me to do a VOX pop for her, finding out what people though the phrase ‘GWI’ meant…I got some very good weird, silly suggestions that made a nice fun VOX.
After editing it all together I was asked to do some more research on shows for the future. I found some that would fit in with the show nicely, for example, a woman who says she allergic to electricity. Anna and the team all made notes in the meeting and seemed very impressed!
Today in the morning meeting the team decided to cover the Women Bishop story slightly today as we had received so many emails about it over night. Yesterdays debate got people wanting to express their own opinion, which taught me the importance of having multiple strong opinions within a story.
Anna asked me to go through the messages and pick out ones that stood out, which I did, this gave me a chance to see how varied opinions from the public were.
At 9am I again watched the show go out, developing technical skills I wasnt too sure on. After this, we began preparing for tomorrows show. Anna asked me to research about new and wacky gadgets people had been buying, which I did. This boosted my research skills. She then asked me to write a cue as we could use this story for tomorrow, with her guidance and advice I wrote a catchy cue, one were I was thinking about language and wording.
By the end of the day, as there was now a full team of people working on Annie’s show, there was not much for me to do, so I began to do independently research for guests that could accompany the gadget feature.
Yesterday there was of ideas floating about what to cover today so in this mornings meeting we discussed whether we should touch on the Womens Bishop story. We decided not to as that was not ‘new’ news anymore and many listeners would not want to hear about it three days in a row, which was understandable. In these meeting’s I can observe/intricate as part of the team, bouncing ideas off one another and learning ways to work well with new people. I have learnt it is good to tell others your ideas as they can add to it with a fresh angle.
After watching the show go out Anna asked me to collect a VOX for the gadget story, which did not run today as we found another story that fit better with the show. I went out and collected many voices as possible and came back to edit them all together quite quickly. Collecting VOX’s helps me with my communication skills as I have to talk to new people on a daily basis, instantly building a rapport.
When I had finished this I gave Anna my guest for this sector of the show. She was extremely pleased that I used my initiative and asked me to phone him and confirm if he could appear on the show, wich he could.
I think working off of my own initiative is the best way to work, as the producer are so busy they maybe don’t have time to cover all areas which I was there to help with.
Today they ran my gadget story and used the guest/VOX. The guest was extremely talkative and had a lot of insight in to new gadgets which was great as it made for interesting listening.
As this was a Friday after the show went out the team sat and discussed what news may be covered over the weekend, Anna asked me to research any events that may be in the news so they had a kind of idea.
After this, I was free to go as there was not much to do! However, I decided to stay and talk to Rosie about production and how to get in to it.
This week has taught me the importance of human interest stories, which kind of stories the listener can connect to and the technical side to production.
NOW…THIS is where everything went downhill! At this point in my placement my and my family all conveniently came down with a bad case of the mumps! The doctor said I could not leave my house in case I spread it around. I was DEVASTATED! However, after calling up Lucy Winch she kindly said they’d be delighted if I could complete my last week at a later date, which was extremely kind of them!
SO, here is the final week…
WEEK 4 (Technically week 5 but hey)
Today I was put on to Rosie’s show, she expressed how happy she was to have me back on the team. After being off for a week I was cautious going back but eager at the same time. We had a morning meeting with Moira and she immediately asked me to work on a healthcare story as a local hospital was coming under fire for its poor treatment od patients. Rosie asked me to gather a list of local Patient Groups in the area, many were willing to talk so I passed the contacts on to Rosie. She then asked me to research the story and write a cue for it.
After this, there was nothing more for me to work on as the show was properly prepared! Kevin Reid, the man from Midlands Today, invited to out with him to do some TV work.
He reports for BBC Midlands today but he works at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire newsroom, filming, editing and writing during the day and sending it over to BBC Midlands for 6pm. We went out with a camera and mic, he told me to ask the questions whilst he filmed. Kevin gave me loads of tips, for example, when the person is standing on the left of the screen then must talk to the right, our position was crucial. We had to keep switching sides as th said it makes more interesting TV when the person appears on opposite sides of the camera. He also said to get in to people’s faces, be very assertive and don’t ask people is you can ask them a question, ask them regardless! I wanted to impress Kevin and I got some really good answers, many of which he used on the TV package.
When we returned to the newsroom he said I could sit and watch him edit it all together, giving me tips and advice along the way. As we were making TV packages at University at the time it was extremely useful to get an inside view on how they are done. He didn’t use too many images, making sure they were relevant. The lighting was perfect and the story made sense.
By the end of today I felt very accomplished, making sure I did the best in everything I did.
As I learnt a lot with Kevin Reid yesterday I volunteered to go and help him again today, as there was not anything for me to do in the newsroom.
We went out and got people’s opinions about job cuts and how they affected the people of the city. I took in all the advice he had given me yesterday and made sure I got as many good VOX’s as possible, which he seemed pleased with.
After this we returned to the newsroom and I was asked by Rosie to go and get an audio VOX for her on the same issue.
After doing the television one I compared this to the radio one and came to the conclusion that I like television more. This placement has helped me narrow down my thoughts and indecisive nature when it came to picking a career path.
I edited all the audio together and sent it to Rosie and she seemed pleased, after I sat with Kevin again and watched him edit, picking up skills along the way.
As I had not worked on Vic’s show much, and Simon produced it alone I asked if I could shadow him for a day, which I did. This helped me as to see the amount of work he has to do encouraged me to do the same. I asked him questions about how to got this job and if he likes producing it alone.
I feel today was the last day to really get involved with the technical sides of things, it helped as in the future I can take these skills elsewhere and grasp software quicker.
This was my second from last day, I was asked to prepare for tomorrows 6am Shane O’Connor breakfast show with Alec. As this show usually has a full team of people working for it, its difficult for them to find anything for me to do! However, Rosie stepped in and gave me some tasks.
Firstly, I had to ‘bid’ for a Lord Digby Jones interview. Bidding is when a person will be giving multiple interviews to multiple BBC stations across England in one day, it was our job to secure the time slot we needed. I was asked to this, and Rosie was very happy when I did! It was a lot of pressure as he was an important guest that they needed for that show.
When speaking with the lady on the phone she asked if I wanted her to take Lord Digby Jones to the Milbank studio so they could use the high quality ISND lines, (much better than a phone line) for the interview. I said yes and promptly booked a studio at Milbank for his arrival. I told Rosie and she seemed over joyed!
Rupert, the stations executive producer, then asked me to find a guest for the show. This again, felt like a lot of pressure as he was one of the top people in the newsroom. The story he wanted it for was a sensitive one, one about child abuse. I rang a company he suggested and they said that they will definitely give me someone, but to call back later today or they would call us. Rupert seemed pleased.
By the end of the day I was doing some light research for tomorrows show. Rosie then invited me to watch her produce Phil Upton’s show, which she does by herself. I sat with her for an hour and a half whilst she worked, one of the only shows I had not seen! It was much more new based, no music to fill the gaps. This made her job more difficult. I again seen how timing was crucial, how she had to get the guests ready on time and in order.
Today I again learned a lot of technical skills, as well as research.
Today was my official last day of the placement and I had to be in for 6am to see the breakfast show go out! Shane O’Connor, she presenter, offered me to go in and sit with him whilst he was presenting, which was great! I got to see things from his side, which was completely different to the producers. He explained all the different buttons, some of which I remembered from working with Marcus a few weeks earlier. He refered to me on his show and it made me feel a part of the team.
After that all the breakfast team went out for lunch, after we returned I was invited to sit in the meeting room, one I’d never formally been in to. They all discussed the show, good points and bad points and went over ideas for the following day.
I spoke to a girl called Andrea Howard she had just graduated from Coventry University doing Journalism and Media. She told he her story and how she got to become a producer at such a young age! Like me, she started from work experience, they then asked her to come back and trained her up more. She then got a full-time job, which was amazing!
After out chat she asked me to put the days show in to the archives, which I did. We then had another meeting whereby we discussed more ideas for the up coming show.