Week 1 live show review

I was particularly proud of how our first live show went. As director of the show and editor of my VT team, I took a very leading role this week and believe that my hard work paid off.

This week my VT team was assigned e-sports. I found a story about a new e-sports play coming to London and took the initiative to contact the director to ask if he would be interested in being interviewed and providing us with some exclusive rehearsal footage. Despite being very enthusiastic about being involved, the show was not coming to London until 13th February and therefore would not be available to be filmed.

Luckily Sam provided me with a story about real sports team owners investing in e-sports. He sent me an article to read on the subject and using that, and some related articles I found myself, I put together a research document that I sent to my team.

Along with the research document, I also attached a plan of what we needed to film, who we needed to talk to, and how the PTC should be filmed. As part of my planning, I had contacted several e-sports bars to try and get a filming location. Only one bar, Meltdown in Angel, gave us permission to film on their premises so this was our agreed filming location.

As it had already been decided that I would be the editor for the week I left the role decisions to the rest of the group so no one ended up in a role they didn’t feel comfortable with for the first week. In the end, Olivia was the presenter, Elle VT editor, and James camera operator.

I had instructed my team that I needed the voice-overs and PTC scripted and sent to me by Friday. Because our VT allowed for very limited interview opportunities I also wanted to include some graphs as an additional visual. Therefore, I asked VT editor Elle to start doing some research into e-sports investment and begin thinking about graphs that could be made. In the end, I had to script the PTC and voice-overs as our presenter said she didn’t understand the story despite reading through the research I provided. As the editor, I made the executive decision that I would rather script the VT myself and use accurate information than risk producing an inaccurate and vague VT.

We filmed the whole VT on Saturday afternoon as soon as the bar opened as this was the only time we were all available. The filming went rather well although it was slightly rushed. Because it was mid-afternoon, and the bar had just opened for the day, there were not many people in attendance, and therefore our GV’s of the bar juxtaposed our voice over which stated that e-sports was a growing industry. Additionally, we found it difficult to approach people to do vox pops as the people who were in the bar were very intent on playing their games rather than speaking to us. This being said, we did manage to interview the bartender who was incredibly helpful and provided us with some very good information.

We managed to salvage a good amount of footage from the bar including several good e-sports related GV’s and an entertaining PTC that included a good filming sequence. I was disappointed with our final edit as, despite me expressing my want, there were no graphs added to provide an additional visual element. However, the VT was still entertaining and informative.

The day of the live show was incredibly stressful for me. As director, I had a lot of ideas about how I wanted the show to look, however, I am not the most confident when it comes to using the technical equipment which put additional stress on me. As well as this, not only were we showing VT’s on the show but we also had a guest, on the sofa reporter, and a live Skype call, which had never been attempted before.

The week leading up to the live show I had re-watched the past live shows to see how previous directors had set up cameras, lighting, etc. I then began to write down how I would like to present the show, starting with placing the cameras in different positions for interviews, moving the bulletins to in front of the production desk, and using the bulletins light for social media. A lot of my ideas were influenced by what Delina did while she was the director.

After the morning meeting where we discussed how the weeks filming went and what order the VT’s were to be played in, my first job was to sort out how the beginning interview would be filmed. This required me to liaise with several members of the team- presenters Elle and Saf, editor and chief Nicola, assistant director Charlie who was looking after the guest, and Pascal who was producing the piece. I had provided some plastic bottles and a bag for life for the interview which provided the piece with a visual aid. I knew that I wanted a close up of the bottles, however, had to speak to the presenters first to establish when they were going to ask a question specifically related to the plastic so I knew when to cut. Once this had been established then I needed to set up my cameras.

Setting up my cameras was arguably the most difficult part of the day. Camera 1, which is attached to the autocue, cannot be moved and therefore provides the staple shot of the presenters. There is then a camera for social media and a second camera attached to autocue for the bulletins. There is only one other camera spare other than these which can be manipulated for different shots.

Because we had two separate occasions where there would be additional people on the sofa I wanted to use a camera for a three-person wide angle and another for close-up’s. My original idea was to use camera 2 for the three-person wide shot and to use the social media camera for the close up’s. This would have meant not only moving the social media camera in-between VT’s but also having to adjust the height of it as well. After careful consideration, I realised that this was an unrealistic expectation to have of my floor manager, George, and therefore would have to think of an alternative method to get close-up’s. Sam suggested that I use the presenter’s camera for close-up’s. I could adjust the camera on the vision board after the presenters had introduced the guest to adjust it from a two-shot to a close-up, and then cut to camera 2 to adjust the shot back to a two-shot. I decided that this was the best method to use, and could also be used for the on-the-sofa presenter should I want to use it.

After setting up the sofa cameras my next task was to set up the social media and bulletins cameras. The bulletins camera was fairly easy to set up as I already knew that I wanted to change its position. The only issue I had with it was adjusting the height for it as I needed Delina, the bulletins presenter, for height reference. The social media set-up was slightly harder. I knew that I wanted to use the bulletins light to eliminate glare on the social media screen, however, this was a lot harder than I first expected it to be. I had to first move the light several times so that it wasn’t blocking the camera and was also no causing more glare. I then had to adjust the intensity of the light to ensure that it wasn’t causing a glare and was also not blinding the presenter. This took several different adjustments and a lot of trial and error. In the end, I managed to create an image that I wasn’t entirely happy with, but that was suitable for the show.

Once I had led the afternoon production meeting which outlined the running of the show I was eager to do a full rehearsal, complete with a stand-in guest. Annoyingly, the scripts were late to be printed so this delayed our rehearsal slightly. Once we began, the rehearsal was awful. It was the first time I had used the vision board fully to vision mix a full show and I was really struggling to both follow the script, cut on time, and adjust the cameras. The presenters were doing incredibly well at reading their script, and the VT’s ran smoothly, however, I felt like my role as director went horribly wrong. This did not give me much hope for the live show, however I still insisted on changing the angle of camera 1 for the interview.

I was incredibly nervous just before we went live, however, once I heard the JLDN intro music I found myself in full director mode, with my full attention focused on smoothly running the live show. Despite a couple of mistakes where I cut to VT’s too early, the show was very efficient. The close-up shots worked well, all the interviews ran smoothly, and luckily the skype call worked incredibly well.

Despite being stressful and sometimes frustrating, I was incredibly proud of how the live show went and believe that it is my greatest achievement to date.

Live show notes week 7

Live show opening week 7

This week I personally found the live shows quite difficult. Admittedly this is down to me being absent from the Monday briefing due to illness, and this therefore made the rest of the week harder for me to catch up with.

Due to me, and 2 other members of my VT team, being ill for the Monday briefing my team had no equipment booked out for filming. Despite me messaging them via slack regarding what out VT story was, who was taking on each role, and when we were filming, I got little to no response, expect from James who informed me that we were commenting on the Westminster sexual abuse scandal.  I, therefore, took the initiative to assign myself as editor, book out equipment, research the story, and arrange to meet my team on Wednesday at 2pm once I had collected our kit.  

When Wednesday arrived, I collected the equipment needed for filming and waited half an hour for my team to show up. I had slacked them several times to no response and was losing hope. Thankfully James arrived and we decided to travel to Westminster together to begin filming and the rest of our team could meet us there. In the short amount of time we had to film, as I had to leave for work that night, we managed to film a PTC and 2 GV’s. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to be recorded discussing the scandal that is Westminster and therefore out attempts to find vox pops were futile. In the end me and James had to admit defeat and come to terms with the fact that we couldn’t present a VT to the class on Thursday despite our best attempts.

This week has taught me that I am the organiser within my VT team who does the research each week and books out equipment. It would also appear that there is a lack of communication that needs to be fixed. Nevertheless I also realise that I need to prioritise university work before my part-time work as, had it not been for having to leave the shoot early, myself and James could have presented a VT. This upcoming week I plan to be a lot more organised with my team, and ensure that all of our filming has been completed by Tuesday for editing on Wednesday.

I was the assistant news editor this week which I found an exciting role. The previous two live shows I have been an on the day reporter which was a role I felt comfortable doing as it was simply writing a news story for the website. However, I have had no experience at being an assistant news editor and so felt like this role was pushing me to try something different.

Despite not being in on Monday’s lesson to write up notes from the VT meeting I was ready to throw myself into the role come Thursday. I began by looking on PA and in the news for any breaking news stories that we could report on that day before the VT meeting begun. At the meeting, my role was to write down notes, making sure to gather information about each VT, including the length of it. After the meeting, my job was to work closely with the editor of the week (Alice Heather) to make sure the show would run smoothly.

I focused a lot on working with Inception this week to make sure our auto cue was accurately set up for the presenters. Previous to Thursday, besides a one hour training session, I had never used Inception and was nervous to attempt to use it. Despite my nerves, and with the help of Alice, we managed to schedule in the show with all the auto cues and timings successfully. Besides working on scheduling the show I also helped Jacob with his social media content, looking at what was trending, and what would be of interest to our audience.

I believe that as a class we are getting better at the live shows. Our VT’s contain better content which address a greater range of topics, and are generally shot better. The actual day of the live shows runs a lot smoother now also with our presenters being a lot calmer and more charismatic on the sofa, and the director really leading the rest of the class on what needs to be done and by when. I would say that there is still an issue with sound in our VT packages, however believe that with more practice using the various different microphones this issue can be fixed.


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.  







Using photos in a profile interview

  • Photos are used in a profile to show who the person is and how they fit into their environment.
  • The camera is used to bridge the gap between people.
  • The brain recognises patterns so when taking a photo focus on the patterns surrounding the person and use different angles to make an interesting photo.
  •  Use back lighting and shadows for a more dramatic effect
  • Leading lines guide the eyes to look around an image
  • Creatively framing an image makes it more interesting so try and show different points of view rather than just straight on
  • Find a distance and decide how to use the space in the frame- use active space
  • Rule of thirds- placing points of interest at various intersections to make a balanced photo
  • Lighting shouldn’t be overly exposed or overly dark
  • The background mustn’t be overly busy and take attention away from the subject
  • The camera must be steady and focused before taking a picture
  • Shooting from behind or behind glass can make a messy photo as the camera and photographer can be seen in the glass and their tends to be no one subject to focus on
  • Avoid cutting out the subjects body parts
  • Sometimes these rules can be broken however only in aid of creating a good photo

Portraits of reconciliation- Jean Pierre Karenzi and Viviane Nyiramana


This portrait of Jean Pierre Karenzi (the perpetrator) and Viviane Nyiramana (the survivor) is shot in what seems to

be an abandoned building which is suggested by the concrete wall they are stood in front of. The bleak background is synonymous with the desperate past of the two people in the frame, however allows Nyiramana’s green dress to appear even more vivid and hopeful in what is otherwise a very depressing looking picture.

In regards to the rule of thirds there are two key points of the picture at vital intersections. Firstly the eyes of Karenzi are in the first third of the image which emphasises the look of regret and sympathy in his eyes. This is reflected in his interview as he states “so far, we are on good terms.” This is a tentative statement which implies he hopes that things between himself and Nyiramana continue to improve in their relationship as is reflected in his eyes. Secondly Nyiramana has her hand gently resting on Karenzi’s shoulder in the centre third of the frame as if to reassure him that he is forgiven. This is again reflected in her statement “now I have granted him pardon” as she is reassuring him that he is forgiven for what he has done to her.

Had I not had the context behind this picture I think that a similar story could be inferred. The use of lighting is particularly effective in this image as background lighting has illuminated Nyiramana and made her look more vivid than Karenzi, who still has beams of light reflected across his body, however is not as illuminated. This infers that Karenzi has done something to make his character darker than Nyiramana’s , however it was in the past due to the hand she has gently placed on his shoulder telling him that it’s alright, and almost dragging him back into the light.

Jean Pierre Karenzi and Viviane Nyiramana portrait- portrait by Pieter Hugo
Jean Pierre Karenzi and Viviane Nyiramana portrait- portrait by Pieter Hugo


There was no ballsing up this jive- Ed Balls Strictly Come Dancing Review

There was no ballsing up this jive- Ed Balls Strictly Come Dancing Review

Ed Balls is stepping out of the shadow (cabinet) and into the (spot) light as his Korean jive takes him to Blackpool.

By Isla Russell, journalism student at LSBU

Just when you think that the world can’t get any worse with Brexit in full force and Donald Trump being elected the new American president something worse has occurred- Ed Balls jiving to PSY’s Gangnam Style. Dancing on BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing former labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Ball’s has truly disgraced a nation as they were left cringing over the embarrassingly cheesy dad dancing, reminiscent of a drunk father-of-the bride, that shockingly won him a place to dance in Blackpool next week.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Why is SEO important to journalists?

SEO is important for journalists as it is the way that they will gain the most views on their articles. Search engines are what most people who are online use to look things up, so the more visible journalists are on them the better chance they have of people clicking on their link and reading their articles.

3 things to do to optimise a WordPress post:

Use short permalinks including key words to make the post easier to recognise for google and give immediate information on what your post is about. 

Promote your posts using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc) but also use your social media to promote other peoples posts so that they will repay the favour.

Chose a key phrase and repeat it within your post as well as in the post title and tags.

How can you SEO an image?

The image needs to have the same subject included in it as the article, and when naming the image it needs to be fully and simply described as search engines also use image files to look for keywords.

Reducing the file size of images will make the page load faster and therefore people are more likely to read the post

Use Google sitemaps to give more information on images used in a post and by tagging the images it makes Google more likely to find the post.

‘Live blogging and social media curation by Einar Thorsen’ summary

Thorsen is essentially showing a debate between whether live blogging and the use of social media can be classed as journalism in this article.

To begin with a brief overview is outlined as to how journalists use social media and live blogging alongside facts such as the internet ‘becoming the most popular source of news for UK 16-24 year olds’. The importance of social media in sharing news is outlined through the figure of one in five people coming across news stories through social media.

The facts outlined in the first part of the paper lead on to the first of two case studies looking into how journalists have successfully used social media and live blogging to present news. The study is on Andrew Sparrow who live blogged the 2010 general elections on The Guardian website. He used live blogging as well as his own analysis and commentary and news reports, blogs, and social media links in order to provide a news commentary of the event as it unfolded in real-time. Although this allowed the general public to be updated on the general election as it happened there was opposition to his live blogging. John Symes, a journalist and blogger, commented that live blogging was ‘the death of journalism’. He was of the opinion that live blogging was no different than being in a room full of people all shouting their opinion for the camera rather than an organised source of news. However the conclusion I drew from this was that live blogging may sometimes encounter issues, such as too much news being told at once and a lack of order, however it allows the public to be given news as it happens rather than wait for an organised report to be published in a paper or online. It also allows a neutral tone to be given to a news story as information and facts are shown visually as they happen rather than a journalist writing their own interpretation of a story, which allows the public to digest the news given to them and form their own opinions.

The second case study used is about senior digital strategist at the US National Public Radio Andy Carvin and his prolific use of Twitter. He used Twitter extensively to report on the Arab Spring event in 2011, and by using information from Facebook, YouTube, and the internet, mixed with his own eye witness accounts, he provided an online real-time news story for the world that detailed the events happening. He described his use of Twitter to report as ‘observing an oral history in real time’ as he could tell people across the world what was happening as it was occurring. He used hashtags to identify sources he could use and follow that were relevant to the story he was telling which was useful in getting more information than eye-witness accounts can provide, however this caused scepticism from other journalists who saw this as finding information from unreliable sources. It can be concluded that using tweets from anyone to find information is dangerous as there is no telling whether the information being given is fact or rumour. Nevertheless using Twitter to live report is a useful tool for commenting on eye-witness accounts and giving information on a news story as it happens.

To conclude Thorsen’s article shows both the positives and negatives of live blogging with the general conclusion I draw from it being that live blogging and social media are great tools for journalists to use when breaking news as it happens.

Using quotes

  • Anything in quotation marks has to be exactly what a person said with only minor editing, such as removing ‘um’, allowed.
  • Avoid repeating quotes
  • Only use quotes to add thrust to a story rather than using them to decorate it
  • Don’t selectively use quotes to argue one side of a story but use them to show a non-biased view
  • Fragmented quotes should only be used if words are unusual, contentious, or colourful
  • Use a separate paragraph or brackets to explain a quote
  • If more than one quote from a person is being used their full name does not have to be used every time they are quoted
  • Avoid using colloquial language in quotes but if it is used then make sure to explain what it means

Writing a review

A good review includes…

  • A headline
  • A Stand first
  • A photo and caption with copyright details
  • A by-line
  • A star rating
  • Details on where the reader can experience what it is you’re reviewing
  • A compelling opening paragraph with basic information on what it is you’re reviewing and your first impressions
  • Original opinions

Example review showing a headline, stand first, star rating, and opening paragraph for Lloyds 250 year anniversary advert:

Dark horse rises from recession

Everyone’s favourite horse bank icon will cameo in Lloyds 250 year anniversary advert for the first time in 9 years.

By Isla Russell, first year journalism student at LSBU.

Finally everyone’s favourite horse is putting back on the four shoes that were hung up so long ago and is back on our small screens to celebrate 250 years of horsing around at Lloyds TSB bank. The infamous black horse that has served as the loyal mascot of the bank for 250 years is making a much anticipated cameo in the advert that will begin the next 250 years of Lloyds bank. We watch with bated breath as the young fowl, turned war hero, turned milk man, turned carriage drawer, to name just a few of this multitasking mascots jobs, touches the hearts of the nation with a journey that represents the growth of not just a horse but a warm, friendly, and undeniably loyal bank.