Week 1 : This week we got put into our groups and we pretty much immediately decided that we wanted to do a Soul/Funk show, as Eliza and Simon have quite an extended knowledge on this kind of music and also it would be a challenge for the rest of us. We spent a bit of time listening to the kinds of music that would be included and I was fairly surprised at how much of it I recognised without realising that it fell under this genre. It also helped that Eliza made a playlist straight away so we could all listen and get to grips with it. We then had a think on some roles, I wanted to do advertising mainly, but the team was getting too big.

Week 2: This week we really had to narrow down our specific roles within the group as it was all a bit messy, with people not sure what their main roles were. It was decided that I would mainly be doing the news but also helping produce some of the adverts as well. The news team is myself and Abbi and the main adverts team consists of Iona and Bernice so I’ll just be helping them out on the run up to the show as it has the main bulk of work before the live show. Now that we know what we are doing, we are deciding what sort of companies we should advertise for. Seeing as our show is aimed at 35-65 year olds, I was thinking of more family based so maybe Aldi (for money saving) and maybe TomTom the satnav as it is coming towards Christmas and its a family based bit of technology.

In regards to the news, I’ve been listening a lot to Mi-Soul Radio, which we are basing our show off of, and I’ve noticed that they don’t actually include news stories just travel and traffic information. I have spoken to Simon and Eliza about this as we will be including news, so Simon recommended that I listen to Solar Radio which does include news and is targeted at the same audience with a soul genre of music. I’ve just been listening to it to get a feel for the way that they phrase what they are saying and also the types of stories that they have chosen specific to the station and the audience.

I also helped out a little bit with music. I was looking at things to put on the website and found some websites that showed the upcoming soul and funk events across London which I sent to Dan and Phoebe to put on the website but I also found an artist which I saw in Bristol earlier that week. Nao is a new generation of funk (which I didn’t realise) so I showed Simon her song “Fool to Love” which has been featured on major radio stations and it went straight on the playlist.

Later in the week, we all met up again and split off into our little teams to discuss. So for me that was advertising and between myself, Iona, Bernice and Abbi we came up with 15-20 different companies that the show will advertise and we divided them between the group, so I’m coming up with adverts for Aldi, TomTom, Eurostar, Nao (album intro) and Ronnie Scotts bar.

Week 3: This week, I’ve been creating the scripts for some adverts. The Aldi advert was easy as we all had a similar idea as to what it should sound like and be based around when we were talking last week and it’s going to be the idea of a family and a family member being shocked at how much you can get for such a low price. Eurostar I had a bit of trouble thinking what to do as I wanted it to be scenario based but I didn’t want to use a lot of voices, thinking that it would be more like an inner monologue to advertise to the older audience. I decided on basing it on a date night situation and how difficult and expensive it can be whereas for the same amount you can get on a train to Paris. Thinking of the advert for Nao was quite easy as I am already a fan of her music so picking out the sections to show her off best but to target the funk listeners was a quick process. I am still thinking about the other two adverts but I feel that I should make at least one Christmas based advert as it will be so close to it when we broadcast.

I am still listening to both Mi-Soul Radio and Solar Radio and I am getting to grips more and more with the kind of news that they use for that audience. What I’ve gathered so far is that they tend to only talk about the big issues, so at the moment it’s the lead up to the US Presidential Election. I’ve also noticed that Mi-Soul do include the weather as well, all be it very briefly. I have come up with a news draft and that consists of 3 main news stories, the weather and traffic and travel but looking at the clocks that have been done, the travel will probably go as it is being updated by the presenters throughout the show leaving more room for other news stories.

Week 4: Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend any of the sessions with the group this week but I have been looking more into my adverts and thinking about who I think would be right to voice them so that they are appropriate for the station. I am also starting to look at the different sound effects that would be needed. I am looking into finalising my advert briefs to send to Eliza as well so she can finalise my ideas.

For news I am still listening to both Mi-Soul and Solar Radio and I am keen to start getting some practice in with Burli, so next week I am planning to come in and just write some news scripts for the top of the hour in the time limit so that I can get some practice in and refresh my memory in Burli.

Week 5: Once again I was unable to attend the meeting on Monday morning, but I was caught up on everything that has been happening and what it was that I needed to do. This week for adverts, I needed to have my final scripts ready and up on the google drive and I need to record them as Eliza is planning on doing a pre-pilot next week, which I think is a really good idea considering that otherwise we would only have one run through where, if there were things wrong, we really wouldn’t have much time to fix/change anything.

I finished my ad scripts and put them up for people to have a look over and I was pretty happy with them – some of them are very simple, but that’s how I wanted them to be. The only issue that I had was figuring out whose voice to use for what advert as in my head when I was planning them I had a specific tone in and accent in mind which I am trying to emulate. On Thursday I started by recording my Eurostar advert. Unfortunately, this took a little longer than expected as myself, Simon and Eliza kept tweaking the script just to make it a bit snappier and make sure that it would fit in the thirty seconds that we had. I ended up using Joe and Eliza to voice this and in the end it does sound good and the suggestions that were made for the edit were definitely the right ones. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that when I have an idea in my head I want to stick to it and I can be quite stubborn when it comes to it! For the Aldi advert, I used Fay and Matt as I wanted a more Northern sounding voice as it’s just a bit friendlier. However, when I got home to edit it and listened to the audio there was a horrible buzzing the background so I wasn’t able to edit it. And finally for my Nao advert, I’ve had some trouble finding the right voice to use for it. I found some voice artists online that I thought would be perfect for it and I gave them a call but unfortunately I’ve got nothing back from them, so I asked my sister to record it for me which isn’t what I’d planned, but it’s alright – not what I wanted it to sound like but I’m running out of time.

News, however, has gone a little bit better this week. Myself and Abbi had a go at doing a top of the hour news segment using Burli which went well. Eliza and Mark came and sat in the studio with us and it sounded good, but we need to work on our ‘news tone’ and making sure we come in at exactly the right point (something for next week). We also had a look at the clocks and adjusted the news draft accordingly. As we don’t have to include travel and traffic information in our news seeing as it’s being updated throughout the show, we have more time to include more news stories which sounds a lot better than what it would’ve to begin with. We have still decided to keep in the sport and weather however. We have both also been added to The Groove’s website and we are adding news stories to it so we can build it up. Simon posted on our group chat about the soul singer Sharon Jones passing so I have made  a short post about her.

Week 6: This week I have continued to listen to news on stations that are targeted at the same demographic as The Groove is and I’ve also been working on my adverts throughout the week.

For my news, I have specifically been listening to Radio 2 as it is one of the most popular stations in the country. I was listening to the Breakfast show with Chris Evans – an overall very positive and jolly show full of music, just as we want ours to be, but still giving the upmost importance and seriousness to the news that it deserves. The main thing I noticed about the news on Radio 2 was the lack of bed that was used as there wasn’t one – a stark contrast to the remainder of the show. The tone of voice used throughout the news was also very different but suitable for the style of show – very professional, full pronunciations and a very RP style of accent. The only section of the news that was slightly more relaxed was the weather where the news reader would have a more upbeat and friendly tone as it isn’t as serious and just more of an add on. I also noticed that they would be telling the audience when they would next be able to hear the news – something that I think is very important as, for the target audience, it may be more important to know what is going on in the world and have updates about more important things – something that I think we should include in our segment, and also it makes it sound like we are doing it for the audience, not because we have to. Myself and Abbi have also done a lot of run throughs now in the time space that we will have for the real thing. Our group did a full run through on Thursday afternoon (2-4) and we had the news planned for 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5pm, so we definitely know exactly what we need to do. It was also good for us because it gave us a refresher on how to do small things on Burli such as edit longer clips. I think that Abbi and I work well together as we ask each other to critique our work and make sure that it sounds appropriate for the show and we also continue to divide the work up evenly. It has been decided that one of us will read the news twice throughout the show and the other once as we can not have two newsreaders, especially both female.

For adverts, I have really struggled with these. For my Nao album advert I contacted someone online and they said they would voice it, which is great, but they took so long to get back to me that I had to ask someone else to do it and edit it with the hope that she would still do it. On Thursday morning however, she finally sent it to me and I pieced it together and it worked so well with the style of music and I’m really happy with how it sounds. The other adverts however really haven’t gone as well as I planned and now that it’s getting closer to the actual show I’m trying to concentrate more on news as that’s my main role, but I don’t want to let the ads team down. The Aldi advert has been scrapped and I still need to redo along with the Eurostar advert – but I really don’t know what to do for them, so now it’s just a case of trying to knuckle down and get those done quickly.

Week 7: This week we started with another run through on the Tuesday which went well! I felt like me and Abbi have really got to grips with the news and what we need it to sound like. We’ve made adjustments constantly to the news draft and we’ve realised that we don’t need to strictly stick to the 20-25 seconds for each story and that we don’t need to include 2 entertainment pieces if the information isn’t there as it would just be wasting the space. At the moment, we are taking it in turns reading the news alternately as we are struggling to figure out how to share the workload as evenly as possible.

Once again adverts have been an absolute nightmare – I’ve been busy and completely forgot to redo them so the pressure is really on now. I’ve decided to completely scrap the Eurostar one as I now know I won’t be able to get it to sound exactly how I want it to in the time left which is really frustrating, as I had a really good idea for it that, if I had allowed myself the time to execute it properly, would’ve sounded so good and fit the station demographic really well.

We also had our pilot this week, which wasn’t as stressful as we thought it would be. Overall, I do think that it went well, but our feedback gave us a lot to think about. For myself and Abbi we had a lot to think about and our feedback was really helpful. It was said that Callum shouldn’t read travel because he didn’t fit the role properly and that we should really cut that back. Also, it was suggested that we should just have one person reading the news and one doing travel or have one person read the opening news and the other person doing the other two as in real stations on air, the news readers work in shifts and wouldn’t be swapping around which made sense. Our script was a bit samey as well so our feedback said that we should include a wrap somewhere in the show which is a good idea, but my initial thought is that we have 2 minutes to do the news, sport and weather so I’m not too sure where we’ll fit it in, and if we do, it’ll have to be really short. It was also suggested that our news was a bit all over the place and we weren’t really following what was going on – there were no updates, just new stories which we hadn’t thought about as I think we both saw it as a music show, but nonetheless it was good feedback and something for us to work on.

Week 8: SHOW WEEK! I’m a bit nervous about it, but excited to hear it all come together (and to get it over with). The adverts have been done – very simple, but I feel like they’re quite effective as I’ve found really good voice over artists to do them. I’ve redone my Aldi advert and I’ve written a Ronnie Scott’s advert and I’m really happy with them! I played the Ronnie Scotts advert to Eliza on Tuesday and she said it sounded great! On reflection, I feel that with all my adverts originally, I was too ambitious, they didn’t need to be so complicated to be effective and I need to remember that for the future. The Aldi one stressed me out as no one replied to me about doing the voice over until late Wednesday night. Turned out the woman was perfect and she made it so easy for me to edit together. The only thing that was tricky was editing the music. I wanted it to sound like a proper Aldi advert, so I found the track they use and edited it together the way they would – which is a look harder than you’d think! But it sounded great.

On the day of the actual show, I was pretty calm really. The only thing that was stressing me out was the fact that me and Abbi still hadn’t been told what was going on with the travel news i.e. was it still happening, if so when etc. Turns out it was so between us we decided that Abbi would read the news and I would do the travel. I was worried that it would look like we had an unfair work load between us, but it turned out alright. I did a lot of the clips and the wrap (which we included in the 2nd bulletin – very short, but it was needed) whilst she did the reading and other stories, so we were both just as busy as the other. How to read the travel news was thrown on me, but I feel like I handled it really well – I wish I’d just been a bit more lively with it to fit the style of the rest of the show, however, saying that, I think I did well and got out everything that needed to be said. The main issue that I had was trying to find someone to voice the wrap as pretty much everyone had been in an advert so we couldn’t use them. It did get to the point that I started the think that we wouldn’t be able to include it but luckily Ellie said that she hadn’t voiced anything so she very kindly did it for me. Ideally though, I would’ve liked a male voice to break up Abbi.

Overall, I feel like it went really well considering everything that could’ve happened.

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