I have wanted to work in media for as long as I can remember but was focused on landing a paid job and progressing quickly. I would often look at job boards and sign up for websites alerting you to new jobs but found I was always under qualified as I had no media experience. The familiar ‘it’s who you know’ seemed to be very true.
I first heard about London360 in 2015 and had planned to apply for their next series. I was in an office with a good salary and decided that it was too risky to do as it was unpaid. One year later I turned 24 and looked again at the opportunity: ‘open to 18-25 year olds’ I suddenly realized that this was my last opportunity to apply. I received a call the next day asking if I could come in for an interview the next day and accepted and have not looked back since.
London360 is a truly fantastic program that I feel extremely privileged to have been part of. I have learnt so much during my time here; shooting, editing, researching, interview techniques, how to spot a news story among many other skills. I also improved my organization and time management skills but the most important thing I have taken away is confidence. I never would have voiced my opinion on politics or social issues outside of my family and friends as I was worried people would not care what I had to say. Since being part of the London360 team I have set up my own website where I post blogs on current affairs, technology and much more.
Some of the high points of this 6 month course has been the masterclasses that we had every day during the first month. We learnt a lot about media and breaking news stories from Vivian Morgan and digital marketing tricks from Andrew Davies. We also had branding exercises which helped me to understand that I can write about most things – if I am able to connect the dots and find something new and interesting that connects me to a story I am set.
Once the master classes had finished the team and I were thrown onto the deep end. We each pitched a show and my general interest in technology led me to pitching content for a special in this field. My previous work was in FinTech and, therefore, I felt that I had enough knowledge in the field. As we progressed I also realised this was my nieche and I have now reflected that looking at technology in media would be a great way to integrate both of my passions: media and technology. This has led me to discuss experience with people from my favourite show, BBC Click.
As the presenter and co-producer for the Technology Special the team and I decided to explore the history, present and future of technology in the capital. We interviewed incredible talent from Anne-Marie Imfaidon MBE the co-founder of STEMettes, Giles Ellis who has been working in the control room at Tower Bridge for over 20 years and many more including Camden Councillor Theo Blackwell. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence was something we wanted to explore as there is a genuine fear that people will lose their jobs to a machine. The general consensus is that people do not need to worry just yet about a robot takeover however, it is something to keep in mind if you are working in a repetitive labour job. I am passionate about technology and personally believe that many incredible innovations will continue to bring us closer globally.
After technology we embarked on a Religion Special. This was a great learning curve for me as I was put to the test as the producer of the panel package. This entailed organisaing a location for free, scheduling an Imam, Priest and Rabbi to meet together at the same time as well as getting these religious figures on board when, more often than not, these leaders are skeptical of their media portayal. I did, however, with determination and great power to access, manage to organise the discussion. It was incredibly succesful and the team and I learned so much about the relations between the Abrahamic religions. I also walked away with the empowerment of knowing that I could organise such an interesting shoot.
Our thrid and final show is about the Knife Crime Epidemic in London. Initially it was difficult to know what we wanted to explore as it is an issue that many media outlets, journalists and government are already speaking about. As the producer for the show I along with the London360 team decided that we needed to focus on hidden communities; therefore, we spoke to people who are not in the limelight but are seeking to make a change. I went to the music video shoot for the song ‘They Don’t Wanna Listen’ by Predz UK and Mel Darg. The song was inspired by the fatal stabbing of 15 year old Quamari Barnes outside of his school gates earlier this year. The title of the song represents how young people, old people, authoritative figures, fellow musicians and many more do not want to listen to the realities of knife crime. I am so happy we were allowed to film the making of their music video as it does show viewers that people who you may not have heard of, that are not part of a social action group or policy making body are taking social issues into their own hands.
Saying goodbye to Jasmine and Reshma is incredibly sad as I have looked on them both as my mentors but I am confident that I can contact them easily whenever I may need help navigating the media industry. Being part of series 12 of London360 is something I will always cherish as without tihs opportunity I most likely would have never of had the confidence to go into media. I definitely would not have had the skills to break in and I would probably be at the same desk I was last year hoping something would happen for me. Without London360 I would never have been able to reach for my dreams so I very grateful and feel extremely privillaged ot have had this unique opportunity.