Blog 1 – 29/01/2018
Today, we decided we are making our pop up station about gaming. In the afternoon we decided what roles we wanted. I thought the ways we allocated roles was fair and organised. I went for news presenter because I wanted to present, however, I feel like to present I would have needed some knowledge of gaming. Whereas picking to be the news presenter, I can pre-record features and learn about specific gaming topics before recording.
Blog 2 – 05/02/2018
Today, we started working in the different groups. The news team (myself and Clare) sat with the talk show group as during their show we will have a ‘Newsbeat’ style segment. It is important that we don’t do the same features on the talk show as that would be repetitive. I have begun thinking of topic ideas based on the topic of the whole talk show. The final topics for the talk show are gaming culture being normalised, women in gaming, gaming addiction, and virtual reality. I have been planning some feature ideas (for example are virtual reality arcades the future?). Clare also game up with a good idea for a topic based on an article that said people who play Sims are happier and healthier, which would be good for the gaming addiction topic.
Blog 3 – 12/02/2018
This week I have contacted a number of people. I contacted people to try and get the script for the advert voiced. I had a few replies, one said he was unavailable. One said she would pass on the message to other people she knows that would be willing to voice the advert unpaid. I also had a reply which was very rude. However, in the situation when someone does reply in that way, it is important to act professionally and stay calm, even if you are feeling overwhelmed by a harsh response. I have contacted a number of people for the news packages for the talk show. For the virtual reality show, I have had a positive response and have replied to arrange an interview next week. If I have had no other responses by Monday, I will try my best to get in touch with people via the phone. I have also been looking at gaming news online to understand more about gaming and how I can get it across in news reporting.
Blog 4 – 19/02/2018
This week I have received the voice overs for the advert Insomnia Gaming Festival. I have ensured that I will make all of them a finished advert, even if we don’t use them for the station. Creating adverts are not something I consider to be perfect at, however, I feel like I have put in a lot of effort for the advert and I have put the adverts on the Google Drive for others to listen to and help me decide which one sounds best. I also recorded an interview with AbilityNet who use technology to enable disabled people to get the best out of school, work and at home. The interview went really well and I believe I asked the right questions. The interviewee was also really interested in what he does and covered every area of virtual/ augmented reality relating to disabled people. My main focus for this week now is on the package for gaming and violence. I have planned out the package so I know exactly what I need to do.
Blog 5 – 26/02/2018
Today was the pilot for the station. On the news side of things, it didn’t go as badly as I thought. The bulletins were good and the additional practice has helped prepare for next week. I had recorded vox-pops for the news package, however, although all the participants said their genuine opinions, a couple of them sounded scripted, even though it was their own opinion. For next week, I will need to make sure that people do not note down what they want to say before recording the vox pop. I have set myself some deadlines to ensure everything I need to do is done in time and that I stay organised.
Blog 6 – 05/03/2018
Today, Unlocked launched on Smoke Radio! I think many people have worked so hard and it all paid off in the shows. I arrived at uni at 8 am to further edit the news package for State of Play. I had completed it last Friday, however, did not receive any feedback until Sunday afternoon, when I was unable to make the changes straight away. I feel like there is a lack of communication at times. This is because I was unaware the talk show had an interview with David Zendle, even though I emailed him 3 weeks ago to get an interview for my package. I believe that news went really well, Clare delivered it professionally and did not panic when there were some minor issues. From now until next week, I will be practising reading the news for when I do it over the next 2 weeks. I have saved the bulletins we have done today so I can practice with the news bed. Towards the end of the final show, people gathered in the Sadie room. Clare and I had to remind everyone a few times to keep the noise down as we were still working on the news and needed to concentrate. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved by next week. I have offered to the whole group that I will be available if anyone needs help with anything to do with Unlocked. This is because I have a few weeks to edit a package together for week 4 (where I have already done a number of interviews), I only need to practice reading news over the next 2 weeks and I do not have a dissertation to do, which does mean I have a lot of free time to fill and I know that most people are stressed out with a lot of work to do.
Blog 7 – 12/03/2018
I believe that the shows and everything else went much better than last week. It was my turn to read the news this week and I wasn’t feeling nervous until it was one minute to go before each live bulletin. The very first bulletin had some issues and I believe it was because there was a lack of communication with who was controlling the output of the news as I thought it was my job. I also couldn’t hear anything in the headphones during the first bulletin so I could not hear if I was too loud or too quiet. In the studio there were people signally up which meant I was too quiet, however, this was quite offputting while I was reading the news. However, I am thankful the team was there to help me. The leading stories of the day were the Salisbury poisoning and the plane crash stories. I am happy there were some more gaming news stories that day as the week before we struggled to find gaming news (which we aim to have at least one gaming story on the station).
The most frustrating thing about the day was mainly towards the end. Most people would come into the Sadie room and use it to socialise and chat with other members of the group. This was very offputting as I was trying to write news and practise reading the news prior to going live, and Lucy had to come in a number of times to tell people to be quiet. People ignored this and continued to talk and sing to the songs which were playing out on Unlocked. I don’t mind people being quiet and doing work while having the station on in the background, but if people are going to chat about the weekend and sing out loud, I will have to say next week that I am not putting on the station in the Sadie room and people will have to find somewhere else to listen. This also happened in the first week, where people were told it is the newsroom so people need to be quiet.
Since the show, the State of Play show team has said what research they want people to help out with. I found a gaming group on Facebook which I suggested someone from the show put a post in the group about gathering a database of callers/ potential guests. I am quite surprised this wasn’t done already even prior to the launch. One of the best ways to get listeners and guests is through social media, so one of the first things that came to my mind was find gaming groups online. I have requested to join the group and I am hoping the State of Play team have requested too, so when requests to join are approved a post can be sent to the group, hopefully sparking responses and a database of callers.
I have also given State of Play a guest for next week. I have a friend and he used to have a gaming addiction. I was told I would have some more details after Monday’s show, but it’s now Wednesday and after asking for details, I have been told it’s now an open discussion and debate. My friend has asked for me to be a main point of contact and I am waiting for details and questions to send to my friend to ensure everything is OK with him.
Blog 8 – 19/03/2018
Today was a very stressful day. I was nervous because last night (Sunday), my friend has to pull out of the State of Play round table debate as he had to work. I messaged the State of Play group to tell them as soon as Sam and I found out. The group went in to panic to try and find a replacement. This was irritating because some people were blaming me for my friend cancelling, however I did say a number of times to have a back-up plan in case Sam did have to pull out and they did not have a back-up plan in place. The way some of the team dealt with this issue was not professional.
With the news bulletins throughout the day, I presented again this week. The first 2 bulletins I was not very happy with because at one point I lost track of how much time I had, and at another point, a clip accidentally played early, so I had only read half of the story related to the clip. However, I remained calm and acted as if that hadn’t happened. We still have an issue with the clips playing in a higher pitch and faster, so for the final week next Monday, we are going to try and find clips where the people are not known to the audience. For example, we won’t play any clips of Theresa May speaking, unless it is absolutely necessary, because listeners will know what she sounds like, and would realise the clips are at a faster, higher pitch. For next week, instead of me pre-recording a wrap, I am going to join Clare live in the studio to read my wraps. This is again, because of an issue with clips.
Also next week, if there is a relevant story where I can do some vox pops within the University, I think that would be a good way to get a variety of audio. It would also test myself and Clare with what we can do further with the news. I hope that there will be a relevant story where I can do vox pops in University.
Blog 9 – 26/03/2018
The final day of the pop-up station! I have really enjoyed working on this module to put everything I have learnt over the past 3 years into practice. For the news bulletins, myself and Clare decided we would be in the booth together to, not solve the problem of the clips being played out in a higher pitch, but to work around the problem. A couple of minutes before we were going live, Myriad completely crashed and some people seemed to be in a panic. Clare and I remained calm in the studio and let some others try to fix it. I was also keeping the OB team updated as they were unaware of the situation. We managed to start at around 12:06 pm and the bulletin went well. The State Of Play team did seem stressed throughout their show, but that didn’t come across in what was going out on air. My friend Sam was able to do a live phone call this week, and I kept him updated with what time he was going on air.
Overall, I think the writing side of all the bulletins were really good, the stories we picked were suitable for the audience and delivering the bulletins went well most of the time, although sometimes I did speak too fast. Prior to reading all the bulletins, I was reading in weeks 2 and 3, I did practise a number of times within the 15 minutes before going live. This was to ensure I was going to be reading the bulletin within 2 minutes and to ensure I could pronounce different words and names.
Clare and I didn’t always get our news stories from Burli, we also used a range of gaming websites or websites that include gaming news (including gamespot.com/news/, theguardian.com/games, independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/gaming, buzzfeed.com/tech, bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22774341, rockstargames.com/newswire and pcgamer.com/). Some of the websites didn’t always have recent gaming news, but gamespot and pcgamer were my main source of gaming news as there was more recent gaming news. I also used the news app on my phone, where I get notifications of the big news stories. For example, when I was writing a news story for the Sailsburys poisoning, when it was announced Trump was expelling Russian diplomats, I first got that story from the news app on my phone, before it was reported on Burli. At some points throughout the 4 weeks, we also used Twitter to get up to date news stories and reactions from reliable Twitter users.
I have compiled a list of everything I have done over the past 4 weeks:
Wrote news bulletins
Read news bulletins
Researched gaming news and followed gaming social media pages to keep updated
Helped State Of Play get a live phone caller
Wrote a post on a big gaming Facebook group to get callers for State Of Play
Made 2 packages for State Of Play, week 1 which was about gaming and violence in real life, and week 4 which was about virtual/ augmented reality and disabilities.
For the week 1 package, I edited together a montage of clips, recorded and edited a number of vox-pops, wrote the cues/ back annos, the package structure and links for me to record myself saying.
For the week 4 package, I recorded 2 phone interviews, transcribed the interviews (both between 20 and 30 minutes long) to make it easier to pick out which parts of the interview were important to include, wrote the cues/ back annons, package structure and links to record myself saying.
Wrote a script for the Insomnia advert, contacted people to voice it and got 5 different voices for the advert
As a news team, we kept the communication log up to date and kept the news folders organised.
I feel like my package for week 4 was a lot stronger than week 1 because, although I had a range of voices for the week 1 package, the week 4 package had 2 very good interviewees and I believe the listeners learnt more from the week 4 package as not many gamers would know about VR outside of the gaming world, but would already know something about gaming sometimes being blamed for violence in real life.
Overall I think most people worked very well in this module. Clare and I made a great news team and we were organised and efficient throughout. All the shows improved more and more every week, and it was good to be able to have the show on in the newsroom to listen to all the work people have done to make it a success.