I managed to get a day’s work experience with BBC Radio Merseyside by chance, a day before I receive my A-Level results which determine my choice of university.
In the morning, I attended a suspected arson in Warrington with reporter Jessica Robbins in the radio van. Jessica did various live hits into the Breakfast programme, and also into Radio Manchester’s Breakfast programme.
We returned back to the newsroom, where we used Audacity – which I am already well aware of and regularly use for messing round with sounds and TV news themes – to edit vox pops from the scene of the arson. I helped Jessica trim down the clips to use in news bulletins for the rest of the day. I also sat in a live news bulletin at the top of the hour, watching the journalist control the desk and mix in her clips.
I assisted the Breakfast programme’s production as they prepared the following day’s programme on A-Level results – a coincidence or what?! I managed to put them in contact with a friend from school who is going down the vocational route by embarking on an apprenticeship in electrical engineering. This was an angle that both they and I were keen to push, as news of just A-Levels isn’t giving a full picture of results day.
My knowledge of the university application process meant that I could tap into this easily within the contexts of producing a programme for the following morning, after having sat through an informal editorial meeting discussing the day’s news agenda. After leaving at around 2pm, I maintained contact with the newsroom to arrange further plans for their guest on the Breakfast programme.
What was the most surprising and scary was that I arranged with one of the producers for reporter Jessica Robbins to visit my house – for me to reveal my A-level results live on air!!
Jessica arrived at 7 in the morning to greet me, my dad and my dog with a microphone. The good news was that I had attained my required grades to study French and Spanish at the University of Cambridge. Not only could I share my proud and very nervous moment of the culmination of 2 years of hard work with my family, but also all of Radio Merseyside’s listeners.
Here is a clip of the outside broadcast on the morning I received my results!