Live Radio News Day with extra feedbackers

Today we were meant to do 3 radio news bulletins, five minutes long the first and last one and eight minutes for the middle one.

This time the team was Ziggy, Chris and me which I think, at the end, it worked pretty well.

The first bulletin caught us almost by surprise. We didn’t have enough time to prepare every story we had planed to include neither to prepare the pieces of audio we wanted to add to some of the stories. We didn’t even write a script to link the stories which i (presenter) didn’t have the time to read through before going live.

You can imagine by now how much of a disaster our first bulletin sounded like. I tried to read slowly as I was told on my voice workshop but as I started getting more and more nervous and tripping over the words my brain forgot about everything I learnt and made me rush to finish as soon as possible.

After receiving some feedback from that and talking through some changes for the next one I already felt much better about the day. The most difficult part was done.

The second bulletin went better. We added the stories we hadn’t have the time to prepare for the first one and we also added some audio to give more colour to the show.

Although, it wasn’t perfect yet. Some of the stories weren’t attractive enough and others were not told on the best way.

The last bulletin went better. We had some extra time to get ready so Chris and I went out to speak with people about the new pound coin, which was one of our weaker stories. We interviewed someone who had actually found a couple of them and who was quite excited about it. That gave more colour to our story for the last round.

As all the news stories and audio were ready, Ziggy could take the time to prepare a proper script which made the show sound ten times better.

In this last bulletin I was the producer so I was glad I made it to press the right bottoms at the right time.

Over all, I think the day went great, we got to experience the stress of an actual news room and It was really useful to have two experienced journalist giving us some extra feedback.

What I think I could have done better is definitely my presenting. I have to relax and think about the meaning of what I’m reading rather than about how nervous I am and how bad I sound . Also, I could have make a bigger effort and call for quotes rather than just getting them by email as a radio show sounds much better with recorded quotes.

Varsity’s big Wednesday LIVE !

Nothing was planned, almost everyone turned up late or to the wrong meeting place, mics wouldn’t work.. and still we ”absolutely bossed”.

If last week was the ”Big failure” this week was the ”Big success”. We were all over the media: Facebook, Twitter, snapchat, Instagram.. Everyone had its job clear in mind and was up to do it just right.

I assumed the role of ‘field reporter’, in charge, at first, of the women lacrosse game with Chris. We reported a brief half time update, and a then a full time one, including an interview with the vice-captain of the Marjon’s team.

I also managed to recruit a couple of guests for the Live Facebook program and performed as one my self to give my thoughts on the lacrosse game.

At the end, I got some footage from the football match which I had to quickly edit with iMovie to share it on time before the last Live Facebook Program. Thankfully me and Shannon had learnt to use it in the past.

Overall and particularly I think it was an excellent day when we all worked together proving to constitute a great team.

Viral video- Varsity promo

A viral video, unlike what I thought, is an engaging video that hides a message which is only revealed at the very end, or never. In this occasion, ‘Come to Varsity’ was the message we were meant to hide.

The team was formed by Amy, Shannon and me. We thought about recording our selves playing every sport that is in Varsity, but doing it in a ‘pathetic and funny’ way. Being realistic, we realized we had no basket ball, no hockey sticks, no volleyball net… so we decided to change the idea slightly.

The video was then composed by a serie of shots of us playing some of the sports in Varsity, with badminton rackets and shuttlecocks. The point was, there is no badminton in Varsity.

I believe we managed to make it funny and suitable for a ‘viral video’ as is not until the end of it that we reveal the hashtag “MarjonSportsThing.

As Sarah McAdam pointed out we could have explained better the point ‘Badminton is not in Varsity’, for example getting someone to tell us off and send us out the peach when we finally play actual badminton at the very end.

Live news feed – The big failure

Theresa May has triggered article 50, we have to contact people affected and panicking to gather their opinions. The only issue, she hasn’t.

Letting that aside, my idea was to examine how Brexit is going to affect international students from the EU studying in England. As it is my personal situation I thought i could do a good job with that. However, someone else claimed that topic before me so I ended up in charge of ‘how is Brexit going to affect tourism in Plymouth’, which I do found interesting, but at the same time, harder to get an expert to talk about it with me.

An other issue that made it difficult is that we had to find, written or record the information and share it, all within the day, 10am to 4pm, six hours in total.

I tried to contact the Tourism Information Centre, several hotels and even guest houses in Plymouth and none of them were up to to give me an appropriated quote. I also tried to get information from the internet: tweets, statistics, experts predictions… and I did not find a single useful thing that could be news worthy.

I felt really disappointed. I did not know what else could I do to save the situation. Publishing nothing after hours of work felt like the biggest failure of the course.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what could I have done that day to succeed. Hopefully, in the future, I will have more contacts that I can rely on when needing a quote.


Adventure in the great city !

Go out there, get a story and share it. Those were all the indications we got in the most remote classroom of Plymouth University.

The team, Shannon and me, the ideas, limited. We happened to be carrying a unicorn balloon which lead us to think of getting a children related story. On a Wednesday morning, in the city centre, the only place we thought we could find some children was the Public Library. Unfortunately, to interview children in there we should have asked for permission in advance. We got quite disappointed but I tried to bring the motivation back up, we had hours to go and there were millions of other things we could do our story about.

Shannon came up with the next idea, the poem written on the window of the closed BHS store. We are back on track! Although it wasn’t fresh – apparently it had been there for a couple of weeks- we considered that the debate between freedom of expression and anti-social behaviour is always fresh.

We decided to gather people’s opinion on that poem in particular and on freedom of expression in general. We started interviewing people walking pass the window, specially those who stopped to read it by their own choice. We also interviewed the manager of the restaurant opposite the BHS store who gave us some good quotes. However, by the time we finished doing that, we realized everyone we had interviewed so far had a similar opinion and that we needed to balance our story to make it impartial. We tried with a few more random people but none of them was against the poem or against people expressing them selves, as long as it wasn’t offensive.

An idea came to my head then. A police officer must be against anti-social behaviour, no matter what. We were lucky we found quite of a chatty policeman who was okay with being recorded by two journalism students talking about a poem he hadn’t even noticed. As sometimes happens, he gave as the better quotes once the iPod was turned off and into Shannon’s pocket. Still, we had an authority on camera and that already upgraded our story.

Next, the worse and most painful part of the day, editing the video in the tiny iPod’s screen using, for the first time, iMovie. As difficult as it was, I am glad we learnt to do it as it might be greatly useful in the future.

We then shared it on Facebook and Twitter and so far it has got an amount of views and likes that I am quite happy with.

Even so, there is a few issues I should try to manage better next time, starting by the sound. For some reason people tend to walk slightly away from a mic. I usually try to stretch my arm to the limit, but that is not good enough in some occasions. Maybe, the best way to do it is indicated to the person from the beginning how close to the mic they should be and if that doesn’t work then step forward with no fear, at the end of the day, what does it matter if they think you act weird?

An other thing I could improve next time is the variation of people interviewed. I will try to interview more people of different gender, age, background, etc. In this occasion, the video showed three middle-aged men and one middle-aged woman which did not showed any kind of diversity.