Behind the scenes of the workie at the BBC

Day five at the BBC and I think I have topped my favourite place to intern at. I have had an incredible week shadowing BJ’s (broadcast journalists), editors, directors and PA’s at BBC South Today, my local regional news channel and I have a newly found love and respect for TV broadcast journalism.

Reham Khan reporting on an OB (Outside Broadcast) outside Winchester Cathedral for BBC South Today

I am excited about my final afternoon as I prepare to go out on an OB (Outside Broadcast) to Winchester with Reham Khan, our local weather girl, Pete Doherty, a rather lovely and energetic producer and the brilliant cameraman Trevor.

As we drive to location, Pete, the producer updates me on the story and the plan, which is to interview a young actor and the director of ‘the Chronicles of Light’, a colourful performance of light and sound telling the history of the Cathedral and it’s people through the ages over 15 performances.

The OB BBC South Today truck outside Winchester Cathedral

This he explains is more of a newsy feature and entertainment piece than really a hard news story. He says it has taken him 15 -20 years to get here and be able to freely shoot these features which I find a little dis-comforting but I remind myself of the realities of getting into such a competitive industry.

Most professional journalists I came into contact with this week, said that they got into radio before TV and often that this is the way to do it. Pete says it can be easier to get a gig with a radio station but much more challenging for TV.

This doesn’t put me off, as I say, “Well someone has to do it, so why can’t it be me.” I think he likes this attitude, however, I secretly think that I have to make myself stand out in this industry and that can be very challenging, but by no means impossible.

The hub where all the footage gets ingested ready for live bulletins on air

I have seen the illusion of the newsroom unfold this week as I discovered how much work goes into producing two minute packages and five minute bulletins. It is pretty crazy the amount of preparation that goes into TV, more so than print and radio.

I fancy myself a producer or perhaps even a presenter in years to come after this weeks placement. It has really given me confidence, shadowing professional presenters such as the lovely Dani Sinha and great producers like Richard Spalding to propel myself forward in the industry and become the best of what I can be and achieve.

I really appreciate good journalism and great journalists when I see them and I have marvelled at Giles Goodman’s editing skills this week and Alex Forsyth’s breaking news reports. It gives me hope that real journalism still exists thanks to the hard work of a team in a sometimes difficult industry.

See BBC South Today for more info and episodes


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About hannahsmithson

Hi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...

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