When I received the call that I would be a reporter for series 7 of London 360, a tonne of emotions ran through my mind; excitement, joy, nervousness, self-assurance and elation. I had been counting down the days until I started my journey as a news reporter. This past Monday, that journey finally begun.
The team spent the first day of the six month journey in the boardroom with our Executive Producer and Manager of London 360, Jasmine Dotiwala. We enjoyed a day mixed with fun ice-breakers so everyone could get to know each-other better along with journalistic and observational activities to get a feel for interviewing people.
In between this, we met Alex from the Community Channel who gave us a bit more information about the Channel that we will be providing a whole series of television content for. Alex gave us some valuable tips about what sort of stories he felt worked best on the Channel. Possibly most importantly, Jasmine laid out her expectations and the team revealed what we wanted to get out of the next six months here at Media Trust.
We were warned about the level of multi-tasking we would be experiencing as we will be excitingly creating content for TV, radio, print press and online. On Monday I left the office with a level of motivation I had not experienced in quite a while and thus headed towards the 220 bus stop with a spring in my step.
On Tuesday, Series 7 were treated to a masterclass with renowned journalist Vivian Morgan entitled ‘What is News?’ This was one of the most informative and useful workshops I have been involved in as Vivian taught us so much about what makes a good news story and also the technical aspects of shooting and editing.
The varied amount of shots which can be used has made me watch the news differently as I now understand incorporating different technical shots makes for a more interesting feature. Vivian then taught us about how to go about pitching an idea for a news feature and stressed the importance of a top line to encapsulate why the public should care about the story. I found the class so useful that I will be working on the story that Vivian helped me with for a future London 360 feature; keep your eyes peeled!
Wednesday was more of a technology, online based day where we received system logins and passwords which made me really feel a part of the Media Trust family. In between this, the team were given some tasks to get along with during the day such as preparing for this blog and coming up with potential feature ideas.
On Thursday, former head of social media at MySpace, Andrew Davis came in to provide the team with a social media workshop. This was a very informative session where Andrew taught us that the context behind social media posts is just as vital as the actual content itself. Andrew told us where he thought the whole social media game was heading and pointed out live marketing as one of the most important aspects to capitalise on moving forward. One of my highlights was Andrew telling us that he felt understanding people and the way they use social media is just as, or even more important than understanding the technology itself.
In the afternoon, we then had a Vlogging class with London 360 alumni Tayana Simons. We learnt about what made a good Vlog and were then issued a challenge to come up with our very own Vlogs. I capitalised on our office location and as soon as I heard rapper J Cole announced he was performing for just one pound at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, I rushed down to film the thousands queuing and recorded my Vlog!
The week ended with another busy day as we sat down with members of the Community Channel on Friday for a compliance session. The team was made aware of the various laws that we are subject to and the meeting was vital as it will help us avoid being dragged into a law suit! Our busy first week culminated on Friday afternoon with a PR masterclass from Elizabeth Bananuka where she provided us with her five fantastic tips. Although in hindsight it may have been obvious, I learnt just how many stories in the news come via a PR company which showed the team the importance of maximising the use of effective PR. We will aim to work closely with Elizabeth on some of our features in order to gain exposure for London 360 programming.
That brought an end to our first week as London 360 reporters; and what a week it was. I probably learnt more about the media industry in one week than I have previously known altogether. On top of gaining invaluable knowledge, mentally I ended the week feeling intensely motivated, sensing that there was no limit to what I could achieve alongside my team here at London 360.