In late February to early March 2014, I was offered a two week work experience placement at CBBC Newsround.
The whole experience was fantastic and a real confidence boost for me. From day one, I really tried to get stuck in with the team and showed my enthusiasm to work in the news industry. I put forward ideas for potential stories every morning in editorial meetings, researched news stories, organised location shootings and interviewees, carried out several runner jobs and more.
Although the whole two weeks was exciting, my main highlight was when I controlled the autocue for a live TV bulletin. This may be one of the simplest tasks in TV production, but the pressure of knowing that I could have jeopardised live television was really nerve-wracking. I had to focus on positioning the white line of the autocue with the exact time the presenter spoke words and make sure I did not move the autocue too fast or slow. It was fair to say I was relieved when the bulletin had finished!
Not only did I help with the live bulletins, I also wrote articles for the website. Receiving feedback from members of the online team was really useful. I was pleased to receive praises, while I took any alterations they made on my news stories as a learning curve.
Read my articles which were published on the Newsround website.
What I found really interesting is understanding how news is produced professionally and treated for children. During my time at Newsround, tensions between Ukraine and Crimea were top stories in the news, so it was vital we didn’t upset the children, but at the same time explain to them what is going on in the simplest way possible. For example, one of the reporters did a piece on ‘Who is Vladamir Putin?’, giving children information about the Russian President’s background and his relevance for being in the news.
Another highlight was discovering that one of my stories I pitched in a meeting about a Jack Russell pup surviving after getting stuck in a car bonnet, became their most viewed story of the week on the website.
I enjoyed visiting primary schools while out filming news reports. I liked helping the presenter think of ideas for effective camera shots and coordinating the children who were participating in the story. I learnt how important it was to interview a child who is confident and willing to talk in front of the camera, as if you do not receive sufficient answers from them, it could cause a great story to be dropped from the bulletin. Unfortunately sometimes this is the luck of the draw when selecting which school to visit.
As well as Newsround, I helped out at Match of the Day Kickabout – a children’s football show and a spin-off from the Match of the Day programme. Here, I really enjoyed watching the prerecordings of the show, helping set up the studio for filming and talking to the presenter Radzi. I also went out on a film shoot where I interviewed a spokesperson from Kick It Out and watched the Kickabout team interview England and Manchester City striker Toni Duggan.
Overall, my time at Newsround was a fantastic experience. The team were really friendly and welcoming and I learnt so much to benefit my journalism career. It just goes to show that hard work does get rewarded.