At the beginning of this year I spent a week with Radio Plymouth covering a variety of roles.
The station, which is based in the coastal city of Plymouth, has an audience of over 50,000 listeners. I had the opportunity to work directly with the News Editor, Karl Simmonds, for the week, this was an experience I did not expect to have and I’m very grateful I had it.
I expected to just be handed work to get on with, but I was able to shadow Karl and was treated as an equal member of the team. During my time at the station, I was entrusted with conducting important interviews with local politicians regarding city events and the funding Plymouth would receive for this event to run.
I was also able to run the station’s Twitter feed to cover a story about unexplored World War Two grenades found underneath a main road in Plymouth. I was allowed to control what information we shared and could take photos which I though were appropriate for the story. This was a great experience as we were able to access the site as soon as the story broke due to it being to local to us.
I was also given the responsibility to source news stories from a variety of different platforms. When I arrived at the office in the morning I would look through the day’s newspapers and check emergency services’ websites as well as social media sites to source news stories for the day. We would also receive press releases from which I would pitch story ideas to Karl.
Working for Radio Plymouth has also helped improve how I work when completing radio assignments at university. Whilst at the station, Karl took time between his own bulletins to give me lessons on how to properly present news bulletins to a radio station standard. I had the chance to voice bulletin scripts which I had wrote earlier in the day and to I have transferred these skills into my university work and have seen a great improvement on how I read scripts for bulletins and packages.
At first I found it difficult to write short radio bulletin scripts as I was more used to writing for newspapers or larger radio package scripts. Finding ways to fit all the important information into a short clip was a challenge, but I enjoyed overcoming it with the support from the team around me. Although I haven’t been able to transfer this skill into my university work as of yet, I hope that my bulletins will improve this coming year since having this experience.
From my work experience, I am now certain that I want a future career in broadcasting. I was able to speak to some very interesting people and was able to develop my skills in using different recording equipment to produce our content.
Since completing my first week of work experience with Radio Plymouth, I have been back again. I have also confirmed that once I graduate, I will be placed on their list of freelancing journalists.