Some people think to work as a radio presenter all you need to do is turn up, talk a bit and play some songs, and news readers acquire reports from the likes of Sky or the BBC.
On both counts this couldn’t be further from the truth.
For the past week I have had the pleasure of spending time with the news team at KCFM. This is my local commercial station.
The reason for this was to gain work experience in a broadcast media environment, and see what goes into producing news content for its bulletin’s.
Even though I have spent time over the past 18 months in and around community stations, working with presenters I have never seen the professionals in action.
The news team is made up of Gemma – senior reporter and Dominic and Danny.
The news teams work Monday to Friday on three shift rotations 5.30 – 13.30 9.00 – 17.00 and 10.30 – 18.30
Live bulletins begin at 6am and the last live is 6pm. They are broadcast on the hour in the morning every half hour through the afternoon.
The first assignment I was taken to was the unvailing of the two new police cars ahead of the first UK Pride celebration.
The cars were decorated with a rainbow.
Gemma interviewed Andy Train a local LGBT campaigner and a member of the police.
I was introduced to both interviewees. Whilst the unvailing was taking place I took some photo’s, one of which was used on the website as the cover image for the printed story.
Once we were back at the station it was interesting to watch and listen to the way in which the team work together.
I was shown the different software. Miriad News is used to produce bulletins. News feeds are generated automatically, copy for bulletins can be written and stored with the relevant audio carts attached. Audio can be edited through Miriad however the chosen software of choice is Cool Edit Pro ( a version of Adobe Audition). The stations website is run through a site called Aiir.com
Once the team had edited and produced the news content for the unvailing, I was asked to produce copy for the website and transcribe the selected audio edits and upload to the website.
Through Aiir.com posts can be produced in advance and embargoed until the required time and day.
Both days were spent in the office.
Over the course of the two days I was allowed to practice reading bulletins.
I have gained a new appreciation for how technical reading the news is.
There is a strict time limit of 2 mins, and in that there must be on average 4 stories with 2 pieces of audio which last between 6 and 16 seconds.
The copy must be read at a steady pace which is clear and easy to understand. Then there is the tone, this must bring the story to life yet be easy on the ears.
The attempts were recorded then feedback was given.
On Tuesday I was asked to produce my first edited clip. I was asked to select two clips with a maximum length of 16 seconds and edit them as I felt appropriate.
This was done with relative ease. I picked the most relevant statements/answers and removed any gaps or erms and breaths from the recording.
To my delight they were received well and I was told they were good enough for broadcast.
I also added stories and transcribed audio for the website.
I conducted as my first phone interview on the subject of the Beverley Bike race.
This was then edited and copy written for both the bulletin and web.
My first Rugby press call.
Gemma took me to the weekly press briefing of Hull FC rugby team.
It took place at the training pitch and was attended by several media outlets including Hull Daily Mail (they had a reporter and videographer) and Estuary TV news.
The Head coach sat at the front and ran through injuries and team news before opening up to questions.
I interviewed someone from the RNLI over the phone regarding the lifeguards returning to Hornsea and Withernsea beaches
The rest of the day was spent editing audio for up coming story and writing copy and practicing reading bulletings
The day began with an unexpected press release from the Hull and Humberside Chamber of Commerce. A story had been played earlier on BBC regarding the tolls ending on the Seven Crossing and the forecast for increased earnings for South Wales.
The press released from the office of Dr Ian Kelly called for the same to happen for the Humber Bridge.
Gemma was able to secure an interview with Dr Kelly and took me along.
The next interview was almost straight after with the Head Coach of Hulls other rugby team Hull Kingston Rovers.
Earlier in the morning I had prepared questions based on speaking to the men in the office and reading online.
This differed from the previous day as the interviews were one to one rather than as a group.
The interview went well and all the required information was used for the sports report.
The rest of the day was used helping the team and bulletin practice.
It was very sad to be leaving, however I will be returning for another week in September. I was asked if I would be willing to, when needed cover stories and help with editing as a free lancer