This week was more of a refresher for me as we went over phrases and words related to Radio News and features for Radio news, such as packages and two-ways.
We were told to listen to Radio five live and TalkSport to give ourselves an idea into what Talk Radio is about. Listening to both of them i found i did enjoy Five Live more than TalkSport as i felt i could relate to the topics on that station where as TalkSport was very football heavy which didn’t interest me at all. However i did find it interesting how the presenters switched from in studio chat to pre recorded and live guests on the phone and as outside broadcaster.
This week we were put into our groups for the Talk Radio show we are to produce for our assignment. Once put in groups we had a task to create a news story using the different types of way to create a news bulletin. So as a group we came together and chose what story we would each report on and in what way. This was a good way to begin to mingle as a team and get to know what each other prefers. We briefly discussed roles for the assessment but nothing has been decided as of yet as we will see who prefers to do what and share the roles fairly.
Thursday 10th march:
First Production Day – Unfortunately this week I was not well, therefore didn’t attend the lecture. However I was on the group chat. We decided roles and began organising the group and ideas for what we would cover in our talk radio show. Ellie is our Executive Producer and to make things easier she has created a Google drive document for us all to post our work on for the show. My role at the moment is ‘runner/breaking news’. I am to be by the side of everyone and get anything they need on the day and also keep an eye on the breaking news, if anything occurs while we are on air or in the run up to our show I must be on top of it and create some copy to give to the producer and presenters.
I am looking forward to the pilot to see how it goes, I’m not too sure what to expect but the idea of my role sounds exciting.
Monday 13th March:
Today I caught up with listening’s that David set us. Doing these listening’s each week helps me to recognise the different styles of Talk Radio that there are and allows me to gain a knowledge on this side as I am more into Music radio. Listening to the structure and techniques used on these shows has helped me to understand the structure our talk radio will follow when the time comes to begi producing the show.
Thursday 16th March:
Today we met as a group and discussed our 8 final topics that we needed to pitch to Matthew and the way in which we would treat them. It began as a slight struggle but once we began finding ideas they just kept coming. We managed to get a range of ideas, we got some soft news some heavy news and even managed to decide on a few ideas for possible packages and our OB!
The pitch to Matthew went great, he liked all our ideas and helped us to expand on ideas and gave us different way to go about our ideas, which helped us to make the treatments more interesting.
After this we distributed each idea among ourselves to being researching and creating. Ellie and myself are going to be working on create a package for ‘Stress Awareness”.
Saturday 18th March:
Today I did some research into the idea for our stress awareness package. We are going to focus on Ruby Wax and her ‘Frazzled Café’s’ – it is a programme she is running alongside M&S providing space and a place to breathe for people the are feeling lonely stressed or confused. She wants to create a non-judgemental approachable environment for people that want to talk. We are waiting for an announcement for the date of the first event and hoping it will be in time for our show. We want to attend a meeting, talk to the people running it and find out what it involves and how much it helps, we will also include actuality in the package. We also want to get in touch with mindfulness coach to provide some professional information behind stress. Our next group meeting is Tuesday to catch up and see how far we have got with research into the topics we have bee distributed.
Tuesday 21st March:
Today we met as a group to have a catch up and see how everyone was getting on with planning the content for the show. Myself and Ellie have managed to secure an interview with a lady that runs a Stress Relief class. This is taking place on Monday. So this week we are going to do some research into what the lady does in her classes and create a list of questions to ask. Speaking to everyone else in the group it is clear that we all understand the direction we are heading for our show, pretty much everyone has something lined up to be ready for our first pilot next week – we want to have as much created as we can by the first pilot so we can get the most feedback from David and find points to improve on.
Thursday 23rd March:
In todays lesson we practised doing an OB, we sent Mark and James to Westminster Bridge to reports on the attacks that had taken place a day earlier. The task set was to create a 15 minute news show simply taking different angles and reporting on the attacks at Westminster. The rest of us that stayed in the studios and compiled stories for our studio reported Beth to read on air. We were all quite relaxed creating the stories and finding the content, however once we were on air it all turned into a bit of a disaster, maybe we just hadn’t communicated well enough as a team. We didn’t end up having enough stories to fill 15 minutes exactly so Beth had to fill at some points. So maybe next time we need to be a couple of steps ahead and ready. Even though this happened, the OB did actually go smoothly, we managed to get straight through to Mark and he and Beth were able to have the planned interview.
This practice was a big learning curve for us all, we all need to be on top of our roles and communicate constantly to prevent this happening again. After we did the run through we all felt a bit disheartened so had a group meeting and Ellie told us what she expected from us by next Thursday and that we all need to just take today as a learning curve and be positive.
Monday 27th March:
This evening Ellie and I went to Primrose Hill to meet with Beatrice Cetze, the lady who holds weekly ‘Stress Relief’ sessions. She was very willing to speak to us about the causes of stress, where it comes from and how she suggests people are able to prevent becoming stressed. It was a very good interview, she had a lot to speak about so we got a lot of good content, however she had a very strong French accent, therefore some of the interview may be difficult to understand – this may mean we will have to find another interviewee with a clearer accent so its not hard for listeners to understand on air.
Tuesday 28th March:
We had another catch up with the group today and spoke about where everyone is up to. Having spoken to the group we all feel more comfortable after the practise 15 min show last week and are pretty sure that the majority of the interviews we are doing for the show will be done by the end of this week!
By Thursday Ellie wants us to be deep into production with our interviews and have some ready to use in the 30 minute show. Ellie has told us that on Thursday we will be working on a running order for the show. She has put a file on Google Drive in which we are to each fill out depending on our pieces – this will make it clear what everyone is working on throughout the entire project.
Thursday 30th March:
Today we had a ‘pilot of the pilot’ show, it was our first 30 minute run through using items that we have been working on for our final show. We also mocked up a few stories just to fill as we hadn’t mastered all packages and features just yet. We all had something to contribute and managed to create some back-up copy just in case we were running short. Also James and Callum made branding for the show in the morning.
The run through went considerably well considering we hadn’t practiced anything before. We met with David after for a debrief and the feedback was very useful, some things said where things we were aware of but David helps us develop the ideas we had had for some things in the show and make them better. One of the main things David pointed out was communication through the team, we needed to have communicated before the run through to make sure everyone was clear on exactly what they were doing and also during but this would have been down to not setting roles at the beginning.
After the feedback we had a group meeting and set targets for next Tuesday as we plan to have a practise before the pilot. Ellie has uploaded a document on the Google Drive so we all know exactly what is expected of us by Tuesday.
Tuesday 4th April:
Today we met as a group and were meant to have a run through to prepare for the pilot. However not everyone had finished what was due, therefore we just had another meeting and Ellie told us to have everything absolutely ready by Wednesday evening so it could all be checked, listened to and read through by herself and Beth. This is a good idea so then it stops any big mess ups on the day of the pilot.
Thursday 6th April:
Today was our Pilot show, everything went so much better than we all anticipated. From 10am we were all in polishing up any scripts that needed and making sure audio edits were perfect.
We began the run through at 2pm and during everything seemed very calm, we had a couple of live phone ins which were at points hard to cut off on time, but this was a challenge and Tony (Desk Op) and Beth (presenter) handled it well, the communication was much better than last week and we had running orders to time and scripts, which probably helped with keeping everyone calm in the control room. The OB also was very successful and James and Callum managed to quickly cut parts out during the broadcast so we ran to time, but as a listener this didn’t sound obvious. the show ‘goodbyes’ ended exactly at 2:30 with our last sting taking it to 2:30:17 which wasn’t too bad considering our phone ins were difficult to keep to time when live.
After this run through we had a debrief again with David. The feedback was so positive and we had made so many improvements since last week. David was very positive towards the standard of the show we had just done, which made all the hard work feel worth it. We also explained that a few things would be changing in the order and the fact that we will be dropping a package and changing to a live interview. David also gave us a few ways in which we would be able to make it less stressful for ourselves on the live show by not overloading the show with too many live calls and to add the stings into the running order.
We are going to have another run through on Tuesday to make sure everything is perfect for Thursday.
Tuesday 11th April:
So today we were wanting to have a run through of the whole show with everything finished to make sure it was all perfect for Thursday… however as usual not everyone had finished everything ready for today, therefore we had a meeting for a final update from one another and Ellie set us the deadline for Wednesday evening for everything to be on the Google Drive. Leaving more than enough time for last minute edits before the final show. Today i reviewed the email from our live Stress phone in and came up with questions for Beth to ask in the interview. This was pretty easy as the lady had outlined what she did and didn’t want to talk about. So i did this and uploaded to the Google Drive.
Thursday 13th April:
Final show day!
Today the whole group came in for 10am even though our show was not until 2pm. We all reviewed the scripts and looked at everything on the Google Drive making sure it was all ready for Tony to put into Myriad ready for broadcast. Myself and Mark were in charge of writing the script for a topical two-way for the show today. We initially struggled with the as the most important story was slightly confusing, however we managed to pull it together and get it submitted on the drive by 1pm. Throughout the morning Ellie read through scripts and polished the running order, making sure Beth – our presenter was happy with everything she was about to present.
So 2 o’clock came… the show started right on time and began really well, we managed to take time off where needed and add where needed really smoothly, i think this was mainly down to our improvement on communication and Beth having real good initiative. So the show was going great and then we approached the disco between Beth, a financial supervisor and another caller – so there were two people on the phones and Beth in the studio, we had issues linking both phones therefore had to use Skype for one of the callers… Initially this connected fine, but of course on the live show in the control room we began having issues. We could not hear our Skype caller and were under the impression they could not hear us, Tony was trying to tell Beth to cut the interview with the second caller, however talk back didn’t work for us and she had no clue what was going on… the control room froze as she continued the conversation with the first caller, she moved on to talk to the second – the control room froze, thinking there was going to be no response.. but… HE CAME THROUGH! – the reaction in the control room was the biggest relief! This was our biggest hurdle on our show and created a huge challenge but it all came together and pull through! the relief that with 3 way call worked was amazing.
This disco ended the show, and Beth signed off with her goodbyes. The show went so well, yes it was one of the most stressful runs we have had with it but we all came together and personally i think we did a better job than all expected! We had a debrief and were all very impressed with each other and proud as a team!