Week 5 live show evaluation

In the same manner as last week we started planning for the live shows on Monday with a meeting between all the VT teams. After a look at the news that day I found an article in the Evening Standard about a woman who eats with only £5 a week. She uses apps that offer discounted food from restaurants as well as food that is being given away for free from people in the local area. After discussing it with the rest of my VT team we agreed that this story would be interesting to pursue.

Our first task was deciding how we wanted to present the story to the audience. After much deliberation, we decided that there was little chance of an expert interview as the only person we could think of would be the woman in the article, so instead I would test the apps and be used as a case study. We decided to keep the same roles as last week- George as editor, myself as reporter and researcher, Barbra as camera operator, and James as VT editor.

Unlike last week not everyone was available to film straight away on the Monday, however George had booked out equipment for that day which I took to begin filming my trial of the app. My plan was to enlist the help of my flatmates to make sure the camera was correctly set up while they got shots of me browsing the app and potentially using it to get some food. This plan was unsuccessful. Unfortunately, none of my flatmates were available until late that night by which time the local offers had closed, and despite attempting to film alone I found it incredibly challenging to make sure the camera was in the right place and recording while also being in front of it. Instead I scripted and recorded our voice overs, as well as scripted the piece to camera and writing a brief outline of what needed to be recorded for the next day.

On Tuesday we spent the whole day recording. We successfully recorded 2 vox pops, my PTC, GV’s, and even managed to get some good footage of me successfully using the app to get food. We got all of our footage on that one day and handed the equipment over to James so he could edit it.

In terms of the success of our finished VT I think it was a great improvement on last week. Again, James did a very good job at editing our footage together to make an interesting package. Our sound was greatly improved from last week where it was incredibly distorted from the microphone being placed too close to my mouth when speaking. This week we used a lapel microphone for the PTC which made my speech clearer and not half as loud. For our vox pops I did still use a handheld microphone, however, after last week, I placed it further away from the interviewee so not to cause issues with the sound. I think we had a strong idea for our package, which was well executed, however I do think we should have explored more than one of the apps available for getting free food, and that we had discussed the negatives of the app in greater detail.

On Thursday, my role was on the day reporter again. While having our Thursday morning meeting a pre-arranged interview was mentioned as one of the stories that needed to be covered. It was about a discussion happening that night at LSBU about gentrification and regeneration in South London, and the interview was with one of the organisers, Dr Elena Marchevska. I was not immediately grasped by the story when it was mentioned as it wasn’t something I could see myself writing well- I personally feel my writing style is suited for lifestyle features and more light-hearted journalism. However, after the success of my article last week, Theo assigned me the piece.

I began by researching exactly what the discussion was going to be about as the brief was vague and used a lot of academic words I did not understand. My interview was at 11:30 which gave me an hour to research and generate some questions to ask. After researching I was still not 100% sure what the discussion was about and was feeling defeated as I wasn’t sure how I would be able to relate this article to students. I decided my best option was to out rightly ask as my first question what the discussion was about and what it’s aim was. I wrote several other open, yet generic, questions such as asking about why the discussion was important, how it would impact on the students at London South Bank, and how the panel was decided upon.

The interview itself went very well. Dr Elena Marchevska was a very open speaker and gave me lots of material to work with. Once she began talking about the event and what it was about it became easier for me to ask more specific questions about the event and it’s intended outcome. I voice recorded the whole interview using my phone so I could refer back to it for quotes whilst writing my article, and took Nick with me to take photos for the featured image. He managed to capture a couple of reasonably good shots of the interview that I eventually used in the article.

Despite feeling more optimistic about writing the article after my interview I still wasn’t entirely clear on the angle I wanted to write from, or even what to include. I decided the best option was to use the pyramid writing structure and include all the key information about the event at the beginning before going into more detail about the organisers and the outcome of the event in later paragraphs. I started strong with a quote and including who, what, where, when, and why. However, by 150 words I was running out of things to say and was running out of time to get my story uploaded to the JLDN website. I didn’t know how to finish the piece and needed to get it to at least 200 words before uploading. In a snap decision, I tried to relate the content to students and wrote some further details about future discussions on a similar topic to round it off. I uploaded the article to JLDN with a featured image, tags, and categories.  Although this piece was something outside of my comfort zone, and something I could have written better with more time for research and preparation, I enjoyed being pushed.

The actual live show on Thursday ran surprisingly smoothly. It seemed that after a successful morning meeting, where everyone confirmed they knew their roles, the whole show fell apart. People who were part of the production team were not always readily available in the newsroom when they were needed which meant the show couldn’t be set up properly, and certain people just seemed unfazed by the fact that the show was going live. Our show rehearsal was quite frankly a disaster. We never managed a full rehearsal with no interruptions as there were issues with the auto cue, the vision mixer, and again there were people absent.

Thankfully the actual live show was relatability smooth and a great improvement from last week. The presenters were a lot more relaxed and had a greater level of chemistry between them which seemed much more authentic, and all the VT packages were shown in full. I think the VT packages in themselves were also stronger this week as there were more interesting stories and the sound was a definite improvement.  I think the underlying problem of the show is people disappearing and missing the rehearsal. To fix this I think we need to devise a time for people to go on lunch breaks rather than letting everyone go whenever they want.

I am greatly looking forward to the next live show and to exploring a new role.  

Week 4- live show write up

I greatly enjoyed taking part in the first live show of the year. I found the whole process incredibly exciting, at the same time as being incredibly stressful.

The process began on Monday when we had our first meeting to discuss VT packages and begin researching and planning our filming. Myself and my team firstly decided on which roles we would like to take on. George was editor, Barbara was camera woman, James was VT editor, and I was researcher and reporter. The next step was to decide on a story. George came up with the idea of work load at university, targeting freshers in particular, and comparing the workload now to what it was at the beginning of the year. We agreed on this idea and began researching who we would talk to, what statistics to use, where we would film, and I scripted my PTC and voice overs.

I had booked out equipment to be picked up on Monday prior to the day which meant we went out and filmed straight away. We had secured an interview with the student union president for that Monday so headed straight to the SU. We began with our interview, getting some good GV’s whilst in the student’s union, before filming our PTC outside the building. The interview ran fairly smoothly as I had pre-prepared questions to ask, and had a good idea as to where I wanted to conduct the interview and how I wanted the camera set up. Myself and George both assisted Barbara with the camera work regarding setting up the tripod, angling the camera, and assuring that all the shots were nicely framed, but ultimately, she had the final say.

In regard to difficulties within our group they were purely technical. Each member worked hard on the VT and, although we did dip into one another’s roles, each person was successful in their job. We did have some issues with the sound on our VT which I take responsibility for as the reporter. We used a hand-held microphone as I had booked out the wrong camera, and was holding the microphone too close to my mouth which made the audio distorted and too loud in certain parts of the VT. James tried his best whilst editing the VT to lower the sound levels and did the best he could, however it still sounded harsh when shown on the live show. Additionally, I had difficulties remembering my PTC and it took multiple attempts get a successful take.

As ever vox pops were difficult to find as nobody wanted to be filmed on camera, however we did manage to get 3 decent voxs- 2 third years and a first year. This gave our VT a good balance as we got a view of workload, and dealing with workload, from a university beginner, and 2 students coming to the end of their university life.

My role in the Thursday live show was on the day reporter. I was required to find an international news story, localise it, and write it up to go on the Journalism London site. I began my process by doing some research regarding what was in the news that day. I found an article about International Gin and Tonic Day and, since the live show was quite heavy, decided to write my story about it.

The article was about how Gin drinkers had the same tendencies as psychopaths, so I did a little research into the article and the research used in it, and then planned out some questions for vox pops. Rather than asking boring straight forward questions I devised a ‘psychopath test’ as part of my vox’s to add some fun into it. I found it difficult to find people to actually take part in my survey though as it was 12pm in the afternoon when I went to collect my vox pops and there weren’t that many students frequenting the SU. I managed to get three people to take the test, one of which was particularly enthusiastic. While getting my vox’s I got a featured image for my article which was taken by Nick. It was a close up shot of myself poring some tonic water into a glass of gin, and a secondary image of myself from a side angle sipping my gin and tonic.

I returned to the classroom, wrote up my article, and had it posted on the Journalism London website by 3pm when the show went live. I decided to use the close up of my G+T as my featured image as I thought it visually showed more clearly what my article was about rather than my secondary image. I found the writing and uploading process fairly easy as writing is what I would term my ‘comfort zone’. However, after receiving feedback on Monday, I do think I need to spend more time researching my stories as it was revealed that the Guardian had written an article discrediting the research mentioned in my primary article. On reflection, I would definitely have done more research into my article, and added more of myself into it to add to the fun of the piece.

In regard to my thoughts on the actual live show I was lucky enough to be more of an observer as my role was completed by the time we went live. Overall, I think the show went very well for a first attempt. The presenters did very well for their first time and, although beginning slightly awkwardly, by the end of the show had relaxed into their roles and were delivering the auto cue with minimal stumbles. Despite their being a curse word said when introducing a VT with no auto cue, the presenters recovered particularly well when a VT cut half way through, immediately apologising and swiftly moving onto bulletins and social media. Both presenters of bulletins and social media did particularly well, with James delivering the bulletins in a very calm and well-spoken manner.

Despite some of the VT’s not playing at the correct time I think the show was run smoothly and any issues were well recovered from. Issues to beware of this week would include audio on VT’s, headroom in the sofa shots, getting more accurate stills for the bulletins, and leaving a few seconds at the beginning and end of each VT to give the vision mixer time to switch between the studio and VT’s.  







A Party Ending with Employment

A Party Ending with Employment

Are you ready for a job? Copyright to Nicholas Newton 

Can university students really have it all? It seems like at London South Bank University they can, Isla Russell reports  

The perfect university experience would feature an excellent education, paired with an equally eccentric lifestyle, and a job at the end of it all. Student’s at London South Bank University now have a greater chance at this harmonious life as LSBU creeps into the top 20 universities for graduate employability according to The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

It comes as no surprise that students and staff alike are thrilled with this recognition. Third-year student at London South Bank University, Sam Doggs, called it “encouraging, considering how much money we are spending”. With the raise of tuition fees to £9,250 this year it’s no wonder that the optimism that comes with being in the top 20 universities for graduate employability is putting student’s minds at rest.

However, being 20th is not enough. LSBU’s careers adviser Keisha Roy-Johnson says, “we need to get higher”. With the Job Shop, located on the ground floor of the Student Centre, offering one-to-one mock interviews, advice on CV’s, and help securing jobs, it seems like it won’t be long until London South Bank University will be topping the charts.

Students of South Bank can limit their stressing and continue the party as it seems like their money will be getting them something other than debt in the end. Just don’t go overboard.