I've been studying Journalism at Lincoln Uni for three years now, and I have to say radio has remained my favourite module throughout. In first year going out to vox pop people in the street was terrifying, now...I don't even think twice about it.
I've always been a pretty outgoing and confident person and this course has emphasised that. Although there's been aspects of the course I've really not liked (or seen much point in), I have enjoyed it and it hasn't put me off a career in journalism...in fact it's cemented my ambitions.
This year, we were able to put our skills as broadcast journalists really to the test. Every other Friday we produce a one hour news show called 'CityVibe @ 5' on our local community station Siren FM.
We swap roles every show so we all get a chance at the different responsibilities involved.
I was editor for our first live show (scary)! I was quite worried about it beforehand because you are essentially responsible for the whole show when it is on air. However, I strangely enjoyed it. I kept checking up on everyone throughout the day so I knew if there were any problems. I created a running order and time slots for everyone's packages. You really have to keep your eye on the clock when you're editor because if something overruns or doesn't play, you need to make executive decisions there and then. I didn't mind the role and could've happily done it again.
On our second show I joined up with Tash to create a long package about bonfire and fireworks night. We spoke to Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire and Safety, Lincolnshire Showground and Lincolnshire RSPCA. I enjoyed making this package as we got to go out and about to talk to the interviewees. It was interesting as we covered the subject with a range of angles. I feel myself and Tash work well together because we're focused on getting the job done and making it different, that's why I liked the outcome of this piece.
I covered two roles in our third show by contributing a story for the LSJ website and covered a story on a campaign called 'Reach the Children'. This interview was recorded on the wednesday before our show and I particularly enjoyed taking this on as the two women I spoke to were doing interviews all morning with radio stations across the UK, so I was really pleased I got the opportunity to interview them for Siren.
One of my favourite shows (although I spent most of the day freezing for it) was the Christmas show. I covered the Christmas Market and spoke to a range of people working on the various stalls. I thought I would try and make it a bit more original and interesting by really getting involved in what was going on. I got to try cheese (worth standing in the cold for), experiment with some home made hand cream and interviewed stall owners, some of which had travelled miles for the event. I received good feedback about my interviewing techniques and I agree that I have got much more confident and ask slightly different and more challenging questions now than I would have done before.
For our next show I was a reporter again and worked on a story about an offshore windfarm in Skegness. I spoke to the Regional Media Officer for National Grid conducted an interview with the chairman of Lincolnshire County Council Environmental Scrutiny Commission. Although this wasn't the most exciting of topics to cover, I think I researched the story well and could therefore write an informed voice piece to go before the interview.
The next show was also one of my favourites as I was entertainment reporter. I love all things showbiz and celebrity so this role was perfect for me. I got vox pops about people's favourite 'feel good' songs to go alongside the story about Queen- Don't Stop Me Now being voted the East Midlands favourite. I structured the format into a 'top 5' biggest stories because Radio 1 do this as I think it works really well.
Next up I was bulletin editor. I was quite worried about taking this on as it's quite a large role for one person. You have to deal with local and national news of the day, decide on the news agenda, alter the stories for each bulletin and make clips appropriate for the news from other people's audio. Although it was fairly challenging, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I enjoyed reading the news live on air and didn't stumble over complicated names! I think I've definitely improved by using a strong, authoritative voice for news whereas before I would use the same tone as I use in packages or light-hearted pieces.
Last week I had quite a sensitive topic. I dealt with the news story that babies born after 37 weeks can still have the same health problems as premature babies. I spoke to someone involved in the new study, a local lady who had set up her own charity after having a premature baby and a spokesperson from the premature baby charity, Bliss. I was really happy with the range of people I spoke to about this but unfortunately none of the interviews were in-quality. The only one that could have been was the lady from the local charity but she was working and could only spare ten minutes. Despite this, I still think the package was powerful and I was pleased with the result.
Next week is our final show...I can't believe it. Me and Tash will be presenting so make sure you listen online, or if you live in Lincolnshire...tune in to 107.3. I'll keep you posted on how it went.