On my 20th birthday this year, I received one of the best presents I could have wished for, the chance to pitch to the top bodies in the Journalism industry. Choosing to take the broadcast option in my third year at university allowed me to narrow down who I wanted to pitch to in order to gain some experience in my chosen field.
I won two placements on that day, what a birthday! The first was to spend the day with the BBC North West Today/ North West Tonight team at Media City in Salford. I made the trip on May 29, my first trip to Media City and it did not disappoint. I cannot express the feeling you get when you walk towards the collection of buildings, absolutely breath-taking.
I was given the tour of the BBC building on arrival, work in full swing on every floor. I was surprised to see how small the TV studios where the news is filmed are, especially in comparison to the large packed newsrooms. It was good to see how close each section of the newsroom were to each other though, making it a good working relationship between i.e. the editors and reporters, where they are never too far away from each other.
For the first part of the day I shadowed one of the reporters, getting to see the hard work that goes in to putting the pieces together for the lunchtime news. It was a day when Jermaine Beckford replaced a shirt for a young Preston North End fan and Court reports came in from the Heysel stadium disaster. After seeing some of the packages being put together I then got to sit in the gallery to witness the dinnertime news be broadcast in the North West. It was not my first experience in a TV gallery but you forget how noisy it gets with the PA shouting numbers and the director shouting numbers over the top of that, you have to admire the presenter for being able to cut out the background noise.
The afternoon consisted of shadowing a video editor, I found this the most valuable part of the day and it was amazing to see how quickly and precisely she was able to edit a package together. I consider editing and vision mixing one of my stronger assets, with what I thought was a good hand at editing, but seeing the work of the editors in the business I got an insight of how far I still have to go. I think it was a good wake up call, however.
Overall, my day at BBC North West tonight absolutely flew by. It was a good experience though, seeing the pressures and hard work of the news room and the hectic nature of the gallery and the handiwork of the editors.