London reporting for LBC and Global Radio national brands.

View from Global Radio HQ

View from Global Radio HQ

Last week I took on the scary role of afternoon reporter for London’s newsroom.

All I could think of while packing for the three days in the big smoke was how I likely was it that I could mess up reporting for our national brands, or live on LBC while trying to make a good impression with the big bosses

I’d pestered a few journos around the group to try prepare what was waiting for me at Leicester Square – which was just as useful for practical advice like getting in the building as other newsy tips. Here in Bristol’s newsroom, and I expect the other regionals, you’re obviously reporting on things as they happen but because Wiltshire for instance doesn’t always have an exciting story every single day I’m forward planning as much as I am reacting to what’s going on in the South West. And that was the big difference between the two newsrooms. My hours for the three days all started at ten but on both Tuesday and Wednesday it took until 2pm before anything interesting started happening – and up until then I felt a bit useless. I’m not used to just sitting still at a desk for that long so it was a relief when things did start to kick it up a gear. I may have regretted thinking that when Wednesday – my last day – didn’t have me leaving London until 11pm because of this fire in Holborn.

I’ve pulled out two clips from the work I did to basically show what were my two main reporting roles.

Lives into programmes…

And ‘almost’ lives into bulletins…

Hopefully I’ll be invited back to do it again at some point but for now… finishing shifts nearer to dinner time suits me pretty nicely.

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My first (published) LBC report

This isn’t the first time I reported for LBC. No, the first time I reported there was some technical difficulties which led to Nick Ferrari making a comment about a flag pole falling on my head.

I’ve been waiting to find something I would want people to associate with my work so why not the time I was invited inside one of Britian’s most secretive spy agencies –  GCHQ.

Sadly it’s not a story about phone tapping but one about a giant poppy inside the Cheltenham donut building.

Here’s the package
[mixcloud http://www.mixcloud.com/charlottegay/gchq-poppy-appeal-report-on-lbc/ width=660 height=208 hide_cover=1 hide_tracklist=1]

And here’s what it looked like:

Three Months At Heart

Bristol Balloon Fiesta

So a quarter of the year has passed since I started working at Heart. Phew those three months didn’t feel that long.

I realised this bank holiday weekend I’d spent far too much time flicking through different mixclouds, soundclouds and blogs to not prompt myself to do a bit of a recap on how things were going.

On Friday I presented and produced my first Nightly News programme for Heart Cornwall which was exciting but stressful. I accidently missed lunch during my shift because I wanted to make sure the programme all came together ok while doing bulletins every half hour.

I reckon it’s pretty decent for a first attempt. Admittedly I had some help with pre-planned packages and there are some things I would have liked to have tidied up in editing had it not been for me cutting it so fine.

As part of my roundup I’ve stitched together my best reporting bits from June to August, so these are the more substantial stories that have been made into packages rather than just cut twice for the bulletins.

 

New job. A ‘real’ one.

Global_heart header

Wow. I am about to start an actual real* job.

As of the beginning of June I will be a broadcast journalist for Heart’s Bristol newsroom hub! This means I’ll be mostly driving around Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall –  only now I’ll be in a company car which means pulling into a fuel station would not teeter me into a spiral of depression with the price of fuel.

I’m fortunate enough to have a few friends knocking about in Bristol, and now with my home and family included in the patch, it should be a much more steady place to bed down and actually get to properly get to know the area I am reporting on properly.

It’s looking like I will be mainly be doing the reporter role, getting me out and about a lot, but also room for shift switching doing some bulletin reading, plus something I am particularly excited about… Heart Cornwall’s new evening news programme. I will hopefully explain more of this in due course.

This all said I am going to miss living in Bournemouth, the friends who will still be here, and some of the places I have worked. The last four years have been spent living on the gorgeous south coast but I’m not down for settling just yet so this time was always going to come.

For now I am doing my last freelance shifts, and saying my goodbyes – but don’t worry I’m going to be back for BU’s  Summer Ball!

 

*Full time. I say real because the amount of times people would look at me like I was living on the dole when I told them I was a freelancer was getting tiring.

Freelancing: feast versus famine.

freelance blog post

It’s coming up to roughly a year since I started freelancing as a radio person* and I have truly discovered what people mean when they describe it as feast or famine. Fortunately when I started I was still studying so money wasn’t so much an issue, but soon after moving into a new flat and for once being truly self-sustaining I did have a panic that I wasn’t going to earn enough and started working some part-time jobs in waiting and bar work just to top up the rent money. Summer suddenly became quite manic, it slowed down a lot again around Christmas, but throughout February I have been working double shifts.

I wanted to write a quick post about how I both love and hate freelancing at the same time. On the one hand it’s great, I get to work with a variety of stations, and do so many different things each day and I can never complain of getting bored or finding myself typecast to one role when I am still working out what I am best at. However, I would love to be able to feel a lot more secure in what work I am doing, when I am next getting paid and when my car decides to breakdown at 5am on a dual carriageway on my way to work I know that I’m not going to look unreliable.

What really spurred this blog post though is the fact that today I got my first pass to Radio Solent, and I am starting to work on a lot more of their programmes – so I feel like I am making progress. Unfortunately now I just have to be able to control my habit of saying yes to everything to make sure, like my car, I don’t conk out at 5am on the roadside.

*Mainly as a broadcast journalist, but now as a voice coach, broadcast assistant, and social media manager.

Freelance roster

Who I am working with LEFT TO RIGHT: Bournemouth University, voice coach; Wessex FM, broadcast journalist; Jack FM, broadcast journalist; Hot Radio, presenter and broadcast journalist; Approved Family Friendly, social media manager, BBC Radio Solent, broadcast assistant; Fire Radio, broadcast journalist; Spire FM, broadcast journalist; and The Breeze, broadcast journalist.

The Breeze Sample Bulletin

Over September and October I have freelanced with Celador, working on their Breeze bulletins for Southampton, Portsmouth, East Hampshire and Winchester, and Jack FM. I was generally fulfilling a reporter role until a permanent member of staff was appointed, but did get the chance to do a couple of bulletins.
Below is a sample bulletin from The Breeze Southampton‘s news.

The Breeze News Southampton

The Breeze News Bulletin by Charlotte Gay on Mixcloud

Fire Radio – Freelance Broadcast Journalist

I’ve also been freelancing with Fire Radio for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch so here’s a sample news bulletin.

Fire Radio News

Sample Fire Radio News – August 2013 by Charlotte Gay on Mixcloud

Hot Radio – Freelance Broadcast Journalist

Here’s a record of a sample bulletin from my fortnight covering local news for Poole and Bournemouth at Hot Radio.

Hot 102.8

Sample Hot Radio Bulletin by Charlotte Gay on Mixcloud

Wessex FM – Freelance Broadcast Journalist

I started my freelance training with UKRD group station Wessex FM. I interned once a week on the news desk for twelve months before taking on my first freelance shifts in May 2013.

Wessex FM covers largely south Dorset with towns like Weymouth, Dorchester, Bridport and Portland. Here’s a sample of one of my news bulletins from roughly May 2013.

WSX news bulletin

 

Bangin’ News

This our pilot youth show aimed for those aged between 16-24. Filmed around Bournemouth and Birmingham NEC Clothes Show Live 2011.

It was so much fun to film, it didn’t feel like we were actually doing work.