Experience with the BBC

Tomorrow is my last day of work experience at BBC Radio Newcastle and as my freshly-baked batch of ‘Thank You’ chocolate brownies cool off in the kitchen, I thought I’d take a moment to gather my thoughts and write about my experience. I have to say, I’m feeling a little sad about leaving. The past two weeks have gone by so quickly; I have done so much, yet I feel like there is still so much I could do there.

For the last few days, I’ve been working on the Jonathan Miles mid-morning show, which has been great fun. The style of the show has allowed me to be more creative than say working on the Drive-time show, which is very much an extended news programme. (And there’s nothing wrong with that!) And the team has so many amazing ideas for future shows that I really want to be a part of developing them and seeing them go out on air.

My first few days at the station were spent going through many online modules, teaching me all about editorial guidelines, health and safety and breach of confidentiality. In all honesty, I found it a bit tedious — it was pretty much everything I had learnt and revised to pass the NCTJ Essential Media Law exam in January — BUT, it was something I had to do before I could get out and do some real reporting…

After all that came the good stuff. I went up to Holy Island in Northumbria with one of the Breakfast show reporters, Fiona Marley Paterson, to see what residents and visitors thought of some big, electronic signs at either end of the causeway, displaying safe crossing times. I’ve done my fair share of gathering vox pops, too, on subjects such as the Olympics, plain cigarette packaging and children not playing outdoors enough in today’s world. I’ve also done a decent amount of phone-bashing; following up ideas for stories (some that worked and some that didn’t) and asking guests to come on the airwaves and speak with Alfie and Charlie, the lovely Breakfast show presenters.

And of course, I’ve met some truly lovely people at BBC Newcastle. People have gone out of their way to help me and make sure I’m coping with editing clips on RadioMan and not getting lost in the (at first) terribly confusing ENPS system! (I think I can consider getting used to ENPS one of my biggest achievements from my work placement!) I hope my chocolate brownies go some way to expressing my gratitude for all their help and I really hope I can stay in touch with everyone.

All in all, I have really enjoyed my time with BBC Radio Newcastle and I’m going to miss the buzz of being in a newsroom as breaking news stories come in, as people secure that all-important interview or as a whole day of phone-bashing and cutting audio pays off to form an interesting and entertaining news feature. My work placement with the Kentish Gazette cannot come round quickly enough.

Featured image courtesy of Thomas Wanhoff


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