Work in Local Radio – Work Experience

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.

General Information

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.

Monday

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.

 

Tuesday/Wednesday

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.

 

Thursday

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

Friday

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

 

 

 

 

Work Experience Update – KCFM

Great news on the work experience front, I have received confirmation from KCFM that I can spend a week with them in May.

The reason for the weight is due to them moving offices, but an email from Gemma Barber the stations lead journalist says they will be happy for me to spend time with them.

The date is to be confirmed nearer the time as I know there will be assignments due. The provisional date arranged is week beginning 3rd May.

Community Radio – West Hull Fm

There were plans for me to host my own show, unfortunate this never came to fruition.

Within the stations schedule there is a mix of local people producing content in the studio and syndicated shows produced elsewhere.

I did however spend many hours working behind the scenes helping plan and produce shows including the A to Z of music and All Number 1’s and All Number 2’s. I also drove the desk and 3 1 hour morning shows which went out live.

My roles included researching songs and compiling play lists. Getting the balance between the different decades where possible is key. Listeners very in age and taste so there needs to be balance.

It is important to get any info correct regarding songs, so time is spent making a few notes on each song.

The system used to produce the show is Myriad.

There is more to producing a show that just putting songs into the system. Within each hour there are certain things that need to be included. These include the news (this is taken form the national stations), the weather, sponsorship add’s and it is not essential but good practice to promote other shows.

Timing is key, ensuring the songs and other content fit within the time. Adds can be moved but the news is fixed. Crashing the news should not happen.

Editing is the key, fading songs in and out is a real skill. If a show is over in time it is the editing of the songs that can pull it back. Within the system each song shows the length of intro so as a producer or presenter you can clearly see the time you can speak before the lyrics kick in.

Over the weeks i’v spent in the studio must of the shows have been voice tracked, this is when a show is recorded then placed in the schedule at the correct time.

The live shows really scared me, being allowed to drive the desk, this meant that even though the songs and structure is in place, the transitions between the recorded material such as adds and music, and the live presenter output is done in real time.

I am unsure about presenting myself, but it is a possibility. I do however love being in a studio. There is something amazing about producing that is there for anyone to hear.

Up and coming work experience

I have recently been back in contact with a couple of work experience opportunities.

One is with KCFM radio station, where I am hoping to spend time with the news team, web team and production team to see exactly what goes into producing 24/7 content.

Having spent lots of time in a community station I cant wait to see how the professionals do it.

I am hoping the dates to be confirmed within the next week.

I have also re-emailed Hull Council with regard to spending time with the press team. The hope is to understand what goes into deciding what information is given to the press and what happens when information in requested from them.

Work Experience at Scarborough News

Over the course of two days work experience at Scarborough News I was able to see how a local news room is run, what goes into the production of the weekly papers.

During this time I was also able to see what happens during a visit form a government minister and Lord.

Scarborough News is owned by Johnston Press. It was also my local paper growing up, at the time a nightly paper.

There are several publications that are produced from the one office. The two primary papers are The Scarborough News and Bridlington Free Press, there is also Whitby Gazette ( there is a small office in Whitby, but final edition is produced in Scarborough), Malton and Pickering Mercury and Pocklington Post.

The morning of the first day was spent being introduced to the small team.

There is a dedicated team of two who work the East Yorkshire papers, this has recently become just one publication the Bridlington Free Press, one reporter for the Whitby Gazette, and a small team specialising in sport. There are another small team of approx 8 people to  report on the other areas which include Filey and all the villages. Within that team of 6 are 2 community reporters and 2 editors (they report events as well).

The most shocking thing is there is only one photographer to cover the entire region, he has to rely on the use of free lance photographers, the public and planning for large events.

Thursdays is also deadline day for the Whitby Gazette as it is published every Friday. This was interesting to watch as it really became a full team event. The dedicated Whitby journalist was not the only one involved, the community journalists, the editors and the entertainment lady were all writing up content.

One thing I had explained was the way in which copy for The Scarborough News is used across all the publications. The front pages are local to the specific area then it goes onto general material.

My first job was to scour the up and coming events across the region and write up NIBs these are used as fillers within the paper. I was told to find a selection of events for each of the areas including Filey, Whitby and Malton and Pickering. I was also asked to highlight the most interesting events as a base for a what not to miss over the next 6 months kind of feature where 1 event a month is picked for each location. The only thing to be mindful of was the larger events which would  be covered by the dedicated entertainment pull out.

The afternoon was completely different. Secretary of State Justine Greening was officially opening Scarborough University Technical College. She was accompanied by former Education Minster Lord Kenneth Baker. I was asked to go along to the opening, this allowed me to see what happens at such a big event without the pressure.

The running order we were given on arrival changed almost every 10 mins. It was great to be able to speak to the press team and get a grasp of what happens, and how they got to where they are.

The experience of seeing such a high profile figure up close was fascinating.

When it was time for the interview everything was prepared and in place. I observed the interview. There was only time for three questions to be asked in a time frame of 5 minutes.

Once the interview was complete it was a quick dash back to the office for the story to be written for online readers.

The following day I was asked to sit in and take notes for an interview with a gentleman who runs the local Children’s University. It was fascinating to see the difference between the two interviews. This was very relaxed, there was a definite structure but felt more free flowing. The interview lasted about 30 mins.

It was agreed that the photographer would arrange to take several shots of the children who attend, however as they are all minors permission must be gained from all the parents.

The job of writing the story was left to me. It was a feature news piece.

My next assignment was a book review.

The author was the Arch Bishop Of York who’s book contained short stories including two Scarborough residents.

I was tasked to read the book then give an overview of the book with focus on the local people.

The rest of the time was spent shadowing the editor prepare copy layout for submitted stories.

I was told at time my stories will be printed, however the timescale is unclear. The paper is only weekly therefore, news stories take president as space is limited.

Work Experience Confirmation 

Great news on the work experience front. After stressing about lack of confirmed work experience I have been offered 2 days at Scarborough News.

It’s a weekly publication that was one Scarborough Evening News.

As it’s my home town I know the patch really well.

The experience in a new room will be great

Dates are 19th and 20th Jan

Talk about Local Unconference

Birmingham City University Curzon Building was the venue for Talk about Local #TAL16.

The unconference was aimed at anyone involved with or who has an interest in Hyperlocal news.

There was no structure to the conference. At the start the group gathered in the main room. The floor was opened to people to come forward and make a suggestion for a topic they would like to discuss. If others show interest, a slot is designated.

Once all topics had been decided a time and room was designated.

I picked 3 groups to join.

The first was on Facebook news, whilst i thought the subject would be interesting as it turned out it was a man speaking about his PHD on the subject and his findings.

The second was to do with court reporting. This was really interesting discussion.

The group was only small and all aspects of court reporting was covered, including the possible developments in the future.

The third was the most interesting. It was on how virtual reality and 360 degree vids will change the face of journalism.

We spoke about the way in which when using 360 cameras the crew, instead of being behind the camera will be part of the story.

It was also discussed about the way in which people can receive news, examples of google glass was given.