Week One | 29th Jan 2018
This week we decided on a pop-up station genre/topic after four pitches following last weeks brainstorm. I was in a group with six others pitching the idea of a women’s issues station. We pitched the idea of having a station that discusses issues such as Period Poverty, #MeToo, and #TimesUp. Considering we had an hour to plan a pitch, I think that we panicked and threw in too many ideas and forgot to focus the pitch on one topic which let us down during the votes for which station we would go ahead with.
We then all reconvened and pitched our station ideas. Afterwards, we all voted, ending in Gaming being our topic for our station and then we decided to dish out the roles. I knew I wanted to somehow be involved in the news side of the station whether that be writer or presenter. In the end, I was given the role of Senior Broadcast Journalist.
Week Two | 5th Feb 2018
Over the past week prior to our meeting, I began creating a news diary with important dates in the months of February and March as well as some in April that could be possible news stories. I struggled with finding online news diaries which didn’t require internal access from a journalism company or news desk. Because of this, the news diary is currently quite sparse but can be updated as we go ahead with events that are announced etc.
This week in lesson, myself and Bernice sat and discussed the current news diary before meeting with the speech show, State of Play, and discussing a newsbeat-style show about topics relating to gaming that link with the topic they are discussing in that weeks show.
We also confirmed that because of us creating a 5/10 min package each week that we would keep the news bulletins at two minutes on the hour.
Regarding the news packages, Bernice and I are using this week to plan potential features and put some feelers out, gather contacts and potential contributors before meeting again next week to solidify our ideas, updating the communications log on the google drive when we do.
Week Three | 12th Feb 2018
Over the past week, I have created the news policy for our station, looking at previous years’ policies for inspiration, defined my ideas about the newsbeat-style packages and begun researching into gaming to gain a better understanding and knowledge of the topic.
I have begun researching more into the YouTube side of gaming as that is the topic for the first week of the speech show which the news team will be creating a package for including looking into agencies that represent YouTubers to begin compiling possible contacts for the packages.
This Monday we need to decide on a name for our news feature, solidify who is doing which package for the news feature (we will most likely take it turns so that it gives each of us a fair amount of time to create said packages) and also practice writing news bulletins on Burli so that we are up to scratch with how to use the software properly and to our advantage.
On Monday we decided that our news segment would be called ‘Update’ to tie in with the gaming theme and the premise of what news is meant to do, update people. I also delegated the four packages between myself and Bernice, with the both of us taking on the pilot package between us.
I will be creating packages for week two and three, on women in gaming and gaming addiction. I have begun to create a contacts list to coincide with our packages after researching potential interviewees and contributors so that both Bernice and I have access to their emails if we need to follow up or chase certain people. This coincides with our communications log as well so that we both keep track of who we have contacted and who has replied/confirmed interviews with us.
Week Four | 19th Feb 2018
This week I continued researching into contributors for the two packages I am creating, one for Women in Gaming and another for Gaming Addiction. I mainly looked at articles written by outlets such as the BBC, Vice and the Guardian. From these articles, I followed hyperlinks to research and websites of those that had been interviewed.
From this, I found people’s contact details and emailed asking about possible interviews for our speech show, State of Play. These emails have all been logged onto the communication log in the shared folder so that I can see clearly what responses I have and how long it has been since I have emailed people so that I can chase up people later on.
This week I was also allocated an advert to script, record voices for and to edit together. I was given the advert for Menkind, a male-oriented gadgets and games shop which is online and in-store. I researched past tv adverts that they had as well as what they offer on their website.
From there I began scripting, with the idea of a man looking for a birthday present for his brother after being reminded by his wife that his birthday is tomorrow. This was to highlight the fact that Menkind does next-day delivery and the range of gifts that they offer. I then approached some voice actors online with the script and asked for it to be recorded in their home studios. I approached actors with their own recording equipment purely for ease of not having to get them into the studios in Harrow and that taking up more time. The actors had all sent over their recordings by Friday so I began editing it together that evening.
Week Five | 23rd Feb 2018
Today was the pilot and it gave me and Bernice a chance to practice writing to time with a quick turnaround. The night before I gave Bernice a deadline of 10 am to have her package done by however it got to 10:30/11 am and it still wasn’t. This was causing a lot of stress for the speech show and for myself as we needed to have a bulletin together by 11:55 am.
At this point, I had already begun writing stories and finding the audio to match and Bernice joined in when she had finished her news package.
I wasn’t too worried about the news bulletins as it is consistent content, there is never no news but today was a ‘slow news day’ for our station. Finding news stories that would appeal to our audience was difficult, with most of the day’s news coming from Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit speeches and opposition. There were a few sports stories that broke throughout the day too but still didn’t fit entirely.
12 pm rolled around and I was in the booth ready to start the news with Tony driving the desk in studio 6. We decided that I would self-op Burli from the booth so that I could go at my own pace and play clips when needed. The main difficulty was working with the news bed, It had a station ident at the beginning and end and because I am in the booth I didn’t know when these were coming in. I believe Matt is going to change the bed for the first show and also create a stab that we can insert between stories that do not flow well together eg. a death story and a light story.
The bulletin went well and after I headed back into the Sadie room to start on the bulletin for 1 pm. Once again the news was difficult to choose from to create a bulletin that would be exciting for our listeners. This is something that I anticipated to be picked up on in the debrief, which it was.
The second bulletin went well but we needed more audio. Again we struggled due to the lack of news coming into Burli but next week we know to look on external sites and to record in Burli instead. The only downside is that I am unable to voice wraps as I am the one reading the bulletin for this week. So I gave Bernice the chance to create a wrap for the next bulletin.
The 2 pm bulletin was our last as we believed the station ‘ends’ at 3 pm so a fourth wouldn’t be needed however this isn’t the case for the live shows. There will be four bulletins which is not a problem at all but I think what we need to make clear to everyone else is that Bernice and I are using the Sadie room as a newsroom and it will be one until 3 pm, not a place for people to sit and chat after their shows have finished as this week I tried to work on other things in Sadie and couldn’t because of the noise.
The debrief notes were what I expected. There needs to be a bigger sense of who our audience is. At the moment the bulletins would fit well on Heart or LBC, they need to be younger, more like BBCR1/1xtra. I found that there needs to be more equality in the writing of stories too, as I found I was writing most of the stories but this will be easier to work on next week. Another tip from Matthew was to have more audio and not just copy. This is easily doable and will be put in place for next week and all other live shows.
REST OF WEEK:
The rest of this week has been mostly following up emails and organising interviews for my news packages for weeks two and three. I did have an interview for Friday organised but due to weather myself and Issy (interviewee) decided next Wednesday would be a lot better. I know this will make it tight for the deadline but I think that I am in a good place where I will have enough time set aside to create the package in full.
I also came into uni on Friday to have another practice using shortcuts in Burli but unfortunately, the license had expired so I wasn’t able to use it but used this time to script my links for the package and record them instead.
Week Six | 5th March 2018
We had all decided to come to uni for 8 am so that we all had plenty of time to rectify any issues that we faced before the live shows. Personally, I needed to check to see if Burli was still playing up and didn’t have the license, which it didn’t. I had emailed Tim to let him know about this and as soon as he arrived at uni I got him to sort out the situation so Bernice and I could begin looking at the expected news bulletins that come through on Burli at the beginning of the day.
In the run-up to the first bulletin, everything was calm for the news team. As Bernice’s package was being played out I was the one reading the bulletins for the day, and she was voicing the wraps in the bulletins.
The first bulletin came around and everything went fine, apart from the clips from Burli playing out at a higher pitch, which we couldn’t figure out as they were playing fine when we were creating the news bulletins in the Sadie room.
This week the first years were also using the booth in the studios which was stressful as they were in there very close to when the second bulletin was meant to go live. Eliza spoke to Charles and he said that it was only for this week. I found this all very distracting and didn’t allow me enough time to read through the bulletin in full, causing me to slip up on a few words.
Apart from this, the second bulletin was the same regarding the clips from Burli and we made a note to let Tim know as soon as we could. During the time between the second and third bulletin, the Sadie room began to get louder and more disruptive and considering that it was acting as a newsroom for myself and Bernice we were having to ask people to leave. This was slightly annoying but easily rectified.
It then came round to the third bulletin which is just before Callum’s show. For some reason, the news bed wasn’t in the log for 2 pm so it started playing Kasabian instead, so Callum started his show then let me know via talkback that we would go straight into the news after the song finished. I found that both Callum and I were very calm in this situation and dealt with it well.
We had the issue of the newsroom being loud again before the 3 pm bulletin as a lot of people had finished their shows and use it as a room to chill out in after however Bernice and I are still working, and so we had to ask people to leave again. Eliza stepped in and told people to leave also.
The final bulletin went well and this week’s shows were done. Overall I thought they went well and it was mainly just the Burli clips that we needed to sort out.
REST OF WEEK:
The rest of the week as focused on finishing the package I was creating for next week’s talk show surrounding Women in Gaming. I had only one contributor confirmed and was supposed to interview her last Friday but due to the snow, she couldn’t make it in so we rescheduled for Wednesday. Unfortunately, on Wednesday morning, she emailed to say that she was ill and unable to come in. However, she was able to record her answers at the studios at her uni. I agreed to this but the next day Eliza messaged me to say that she was meeting up with Issy and could record the interview and send it over. This worked perfectly and so I rewrote the script to fit in with how the answers were recorded.
I edited the interview that she did with Eliza, clipping up some key answers and voiced my links and put the package together. There was a lot of great answers that Issy gave but Phoebe and Ellen wanted the package to be 4 minutes so I only used the answers that were good for the package.
Another thing that needed sorting this week was the Burli issue so I emailed Tim to let him know and we discussed over email what it could be.
WEEK SEVEN | 12th March 2018
This week I was just writing the news and creating wraps while Bernice was reading the news. Following last week, Lucy made it clear at the beginning of the day that the Sadie room was the acting newsroom again and for it to be treated as such.
The day began at 8 am again and I used the extra couple of hours to read up on new gaming news and to also get in contact with more people about next week’s package about gaming addiction. This package is proving more difficult than the other as fewer people are willing to be contributors. Due to this, I have now decided to create a presenter-led piece that looks at how gaming addiction has become a thing and looking at opinions online. This also allows it to not cross over with what the speech show will be discussing but allows them to use it as a discussion point at the beginning of the show too.
The first bulletin came around and Burli was playing out the clips fine but there was a slight issue technically which was soon rectified with the microphones being used in the booth for Bernice.
The newsroom was much calmer this week and easier to work in, and it seemed like everything across the board was calmer.
The second bulletin came around and it was all going smoothly until one of the wraps I had made for the bulletin was playing out at a higher pitch again. This was frustrating as we’d tested it earlier in the morning and it had worked fine, and also in the first bulletin so there wasn’t really much we could do while the bulletins were going out.
We tried another wrap in the third bulletin and the same thing happened again so decided against one in the final bulletin. I grabbed Tim at the end of the day to explain what had happened and he seemed a little bemused so fingers crossed by Monday we can have it sorted.
In our feedback, Tom mentioned using the speech show’s topics to create original news stories, so for next week we will try to do that and have someone who isn’t doing anything during the shows to clip up pieces while we’re writing for us to use.
REST OF WEEK:
During the week I used my time to finish creating the package for next weeks show on gaming addiction. From listening to the speech team during feedback a lot of what they were going to cover next week overlapped with what I was going to create a package about. I wanted to avoid this so chose to create a package focusing on the response to the World Health Organisation classifying gaming addiction as a medical condition.
WEEK EIGHT | 19th March 2018
As per each week, I arrived at 8 am to begin reading up on today’s news and to look at the prospective news on Burli ahead of our bulletins as well as searching through Twitter for new stories and angles on topics as well.
Bernice and I then began writing the first bulletin around 10:45 am/ 11 am so that it was fresh and new, updating it if need be. Most of the news, like the past two weeks, has been focused on Brexit and the Russian involvement with the poisoning in Salisbury. Obviously, these stories are very important and crucial to the news but need to be made relevant to our younger audience so proves difficult each week to make it exciting, and less LBC-like.
I believe that each of the bulletins went well, each had a good range of stories, clips and gaming news related to our stations. I feel that Bernice and I have found a good way of writing that isn’t too dumbed down or high brow for our audience. The only let down is the technical issue with Burli playing out pre-recorded voices at a higher pitch. We discussed this after the shows today and decided that next week Bernice will join me in the studio to do a live wrap instead of a pre-record so that it is at the correct pitch for the final show.
In regards to applying last week’s comments to the bulletins, I think Bernice and I did a good job. The advice was to use content from the speech show in our bulletins for an original story. Luckily there was a story come through about gambling this morning and the speech show was discussing in-app purchasing and gaming on their show so we knew there would be some crossover. Beth was also taking notes of potential points of conversation from the OB and letting us know after the OB finished. We experienced some difficulty with getting the audio into Burli but that was soon rectified. The use of our own content really gelled the news into the station as sometimes I feel like it sticks out a little from the shows.
REST OF WEEK:
During the week I was finalising all admin for both News and for myself, eg. role description, advert info (VOs etc.) and checking the group to do list. The main concern was to make sure our News folder was organised in a clear easy to read way so that when it came round to Natalie compiling all the files together it wouldn’t take her long.
The rest of the week was quiet for the news team as there wasn’t much else to do in the run-up to the final show for myself. I did get in contact with Eliza about the high pitched playout out of pre-recorded links as this has been a constant point in our feedback to deal with and even though we’ve mentioned it to Tim each week it still hasn’t been fixed so I messaged Eliza to voice my concern about the news team being scrutinised about this as it is out of our control. I did, however, think that to overcome this issue in the final live show, both Bernice and I will go into the booth and Bernice will read out her package links live so that we are cutting out the middleman.
WEEK NINE | 26th March 2018
Like each week, I came in at 8 am to read up on the news that had been reported overnight and to read the prospects on Burli sent early in the morning to think about how we can construct news stories relevant to the station. It’s also handy to think about what potential topics from the speech show, State of Play we can clip up and use in the bulletins to make the news fit in better with the station.
This week was by far the most enjoyable of the five weeks. I felt that all of us were a lot more relaxed and had finally found our station sound! Bernice and I decided that for our live bulletins, Bernice would come into the booth with me to read her wraps live as the past few weeks Burli has played up and made the pre-recorded voices squeaky. We went into the booth at 11:50 am to set up the studio and to give Callum the chance to check our levels. Stupidly, we didn’t check the clips we took from Burli and typically, this week the clips from Burli became squeaky! This was extremely frustrating as we had both gone into the booth to try and stop this from happening!
Before the news went out at 12 pm, Myriad crashed in studio 6 four minutes before the show was supposed to go live. This caused panic in studio 6 and Bernice and I were left in the booth with no idea what was happening. We weren’ t given any information from the shows’ producers, it was actually Callum and Tony who told us what was going on while the rest of the team were running between studios to try and sort the issue. This left us a little frazzled when it came to doing the news when they finally managed to reboot Myriad and the studio was up and running.
The rest of the bulletins went smoothly and working in Sadie this week was a lot easier due to the fact I had messaged Lucy earlier in the week to ask her to make it clear that Sadie is acting as a newsroom and that if people are wanting to use it they need to be using it for work and not for a social area or a break room as it is unfair on Bernice and I. Luckily the message got through this week and it was a much more enjoyable working environment, we only had to ask one person to be quieter.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being SBJ for Unlocked and it has made me reconsider going into the news side of radio. I did think about it in first year after the News Radio module but now, actually putting what we learnt into a real life situation has made me realise that I would want to keep this up after graduating.