Thursday, 21 May 2015

Introduction To Broadcast Journalism, Radio and presenting course week 7 and 8 and 9 /12

With so much coming up within the next few weeks I completely forgot about keeping you all up to date with my 12 week course in broadcast journalism and presenting so here is a whopper of a three week course for you to catch up with what I've been up to.
The course all together is 12 weeks so I'm already half way through, with the leaving cert only two weeks away I'm getting extremely busy with assignments and studying but I'm still loving every minute of the course.

I'm heartbroken to say that I actually missed week 7, and I am gutted gutted BUT, it's with good reason that I did.. I promise!! 
Throughout the week working with interviews, interview questions, vox pops so I was kept alert and going through the week. Even though I wasn't at the course that week the work never stopped. 

Week 8 was held on May 11th and we were back out in my favourite place, the studio!! 
This week was up there with one of my favorite weeks so far! I loved every minute I was in there. This week was focused on features as well as getting talks from the head of music of both Beat and WLR.
Like usual we were divided into two groups and brought to the conference rooms first up we were introduced to Michael from WLR, to be totally honest with you I don’t really listen to WLR that often as I’m much more of a loyal Beat listener but I loved Michael.
He was absolutely fantastic and taught us so much, If only I paid as much attention in school I definitely wouldn’t be repeating my leaving cert but I did really enjoyed it.

One of the main things I learned from this week though is that radio DJ’s don’t pick the songs!!
I don’t know if that was common sense but for me I was flabbergasted.
The head of music chooses the playlist and then they run on that, I was shocked. I always thought the job of a ‘radio DJ’ was to ‘DJ’ but no!!

There’s three types of ‘playlist’ a DJ can have,
  1. Rigid - DJ has no say (7am-7pm)
  2. Part Playlist- Dj has some scope
  3. No Playlist- DJ has full scope (this would be in the likes of a specialised music show, which usually lasts about 2 hours, eg. Guaranteed Irish)
On WLR they must play 4 new songs a week.

Michael explained to us how radio presenters are ‘content fillers’ and they need to be able to come up with content and they also need us to be good storytellers.  Michael told us about how they run a ‘clock like’ hour in WLR where it starts on the hour with news and every quarter is a news break, so within those fifteen intervals there’s music but the presenter must have content. Each hour the presenter must prep 12 pieces of content. You also cannot have more than 10 minutes worth of news in any hour so every fifteen minutes there is a 2.5 minute news break.
It’s much more complex than when you’re just listening to the radio.

Michael then showed us the software the presenters use in the studio, I hate it already. By now you should know that when it comes to technology I’m about as good as a nine year old but Michael told us it was ‘foolproof’ yeah, we’ll see.
Michael really gave us a good insight into what it’s like to be a presenter, one thing I found really interesting was this idea that we give little nuggets before a song, for eg. Did you see the new video of Ed Sheeran busking in Galway… blah blah.. here’s thinking out loud.
We also discussed about making a demo and how it shouldn’t be anything over 3 minutes, the main thing Michael taught us was to make sure it isn't generic!! If it’s local radio be sure you have some sports in there too.

Next up was THE Mr Niall Power from Beat and I idolize Niall Power. He’s probably one of the first radio voices I heard growing up and I’ve always been a fan. As a matter of fact at 15 and  in Transition Year in school we were brought to the ploughing championships and I made it my mission to meet Niall (and Vinny and Mary) and get their autograph… and I did, and it’s still sitting upon my wall so to actually get a talk from Niall Power… kinda pinching myself and also urging myself not to bow down to the man when we walked into the room.
He’s actually one of the reasons why I fell in love with radio so I really was honoured to have a chat with Niall.

Niall told us about how presenters are really actors, you need to be able put on a show, people like presenters so it’s so important not to piss anyone off. You need to know your audience, know who you’re speaking too (What they want to hear, the time of the day, the time of the show)
It’s also so important to be able to sell the station, for example give a little bit of information like ‘coming up… we’ll talk to ...’ it’s also important to hook and tease!!
I’d never heard of hooking and teasing but when Niall explained it I realised it happens everyday and you hear it all the time, for a brief example: If Calvin Harris was devastated he didn't win a BAFTA last night, instead of saying ‘Scottish DJ Calvin Harris was devastated last night after he didn't win a BAFTA, we’ll tell you more after the break’ well that’s after giving away the whole story. Instead if you say ‘A DJ was devastated last night after losing out.. we'll reveal more after the break then you're more likely to keep a listener!! It’s real common sense but you wouldn't really pick it up until you were told.

When all that excitement was done we moved onto interviews. I brought my friend Carrie who's taking part in this years Clancy Brothers festival into studio and I did my first ever in studio interview. Take one was a disaster, I can truthfully say myself and Carrie didn't have a clue what we were at!! but with take 2 I think it went great and I was delighted with how it went.

Editing is still my biggest problem so far, after spending 1000,0000 hours attempting to download Adobe Audition to my chromebook I realised I’m not able to download it so that was a disaster!! But, I did manage to find my old laptop so I'm playing around with it on that all the time, the lads in the course are really helpful too, I really appreciate it but I can't wait to be done with this technology stuff. Even though I'm moving up in the world, the other day I put stuff onto my USB... BY MYSELF!!! - See, moving up in the world!!

And finally, I'm on to week 9!!
This week was full on technology mode so there's not much I can really tell you about but I'm finally done with all my editing and everything is submitted and done!!

Our next assignment was then disguised and this is on a new level, this assignment is a 45 minute show that we'll have to write, produce and present in groups of four. I'm ridiculously excited to start into it!!
I'll keep you all posted on how that goes, and I promise to keep on top of these posts! :)

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