My Experience of being a part of the BBC School Report Sports Reporter

In October I applied to do work experience with the BBC as a Junior Sports Reporter, in aspiration of becoming one step closer in becoming a broadcast journalist.

In December I received an email saying I had been chosen to take on the work experience role. By February I was in Hull and had met my mentor Chloe who was going to guide me through creating my story and filming it.

The first day was very much chatting and narrowing down my idea, I learnt very quickly that even if you’re passionate about a story it might not always work and therefore you need to refine and have a strong lead. So my story developed from being about the lack of sport facilities in rural areas to looking at how rural communities have encouraged sport and fitness despite budget cuts, as there was a far more positive response to my new story and actually a lot to look at from that.

Whilst researching my story I was in the newsroom amongst the action as the other reporters were organising interviews and piecing stories together. I got a look around the main news room where they present their news shows and I had a sit at the news desk and had a go at reading that day’s news, it was a bit intense, but I must admit I did quite enjoy it. From there I watched the lunch time news programme go out from the gallery, there I saw all the background work that goes into just a fifteen minute news show. I then spoke to the presenter of the show and she told me that, although it can be nerve wracking, as long as they work as a team and communicate with one and other it all runs smoothly.

I returned a few days later to progress with my story, we began to look at how the story will stand up, unfortunately due to the small time constraints we couldn’t get the statistics and exact break down of things like funding for our region. So we focused on a case study of a village that had managed to make the most out of what they had, this meant I had a tight focus. From there spoke to some people within the newsroom and heard about a village that had in affect had a health and fitness makeover. Later I did some work in the radio studio where Chloe showed me how the equipment works and is broadcasted. That evening we went to the gallery to watch the 18:30 show, this one was the important one as it went out to the largest audience, far more people were involved in it and the preparation that went into this was far greater. It was really refreshing that the gallery was an all-female one, proving that women play an instrumental role in broadcasting.

After a lot of rearranging and problems with scheduling due to bad weather, the night had finally come to start filming. I was at a ‘Street Sport’ club. Although the nerves had almost completely taken over me, I was joined by Chloe, as my producer, and a cameraman - who both reassured me. It was what’s called a ‘smash and grab’ where we have a strict time limit and just try and get as much content as possible so they have greater freedom when it comes to editing.

For my first interview I was behind the camera so I could calm down a bit more, and thankfully, the mum I interviewed was just as nervous as me so I could play down the nerves. For a bit the camera was still picking up some shots to be used, so we used that time to go over the script. Then came for the challenging part where I had to get ten eight year old boys to sit and be quiet, as I interviewed their friends. It’s safe to say they all had that they wanted to share. As the temperature plummeted I had to do my final piece to camera, I stood there in front of the camera, not sure if my hands were shaking from the cold or the nerves (I’ll pretend it’s the cold but I’m pretty sure it’s the latter). After a fair few run through I managed to get a couple of usable sign offs. After a few more interviews we were done. Although I was freezing, I left reaffirmed in my head that being a journalist it was what I want to do in the future.

My penultimate day was far calmer, it was a Saturday so no main shows had to go out, and there was probably 5 people in the newsroom having to find stories for the 5 minute bulletins. I did some voice over work learning how to convey excitement into what I’m saying. I did an exercise about how to firstly be more confident but also ‘fill’ which I would use in a live piece if there was time that needed to be filled. I sat in a room and tried to talk for two minutes, it was harder than I thought, yet I babbled my way through. I practiced interview skills making it more fluid and working with more difficult interviewees. All this was done in preparation for my final day of filming.

Before I even knew it my final day had crept up on me, I spoke to a woman from the village I based my report on who had headed a campaign to get outdoor sports equipment in the village, her answers hit on all the aspects I needed which was perfect and led to a speedy interview. The end was where I did a second piece to camera, this one was a bit more stressful at the end I was encouraged to jump on the park zip wire. I wasn’t a fan. However like all good journalists I had a go and did the job. All the filming was done we did some voice over work and that was the end of the hard work. When we got back it was a lot calmer, again being a Sunday the news room was almost silent with just some people frantically finding footage for tonight’s bulleting. After a discussion about everything that had happened, Chloe invited me to sit in on her radio show. It was great to see the show go live and all the technology be put together.

My time participating in the project was amazing, it allowed me to gain an insight on a career that I’ve wanted to do since I was young. The people around me were so supportive especially my mentor, Chloe, matched if not exceeded my enthusiasm allowing me to have a varied insight into the profession working across various forms of media. I have gained so many skills and learnt about so many things that I would never have been able to do without this opportunity.

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