Monday 29 March 2010

My Top Podcasts - Part 1

BBC Radio Podcasts

I've been regularly listening to podcasts since I finally bought an iPod over a year ago. I think I've got my commitment to listening to radio programmes from my Dad - since I was a young lad I've seen him recording numerous radio programmes on cassette and then listening to them at his pleasure. And he still does so to this day. Podcasts are my equivalent.

I thought I'd pick out some of my favourite podcasts. The following are programmes on BBC Radio 4 that you can listen to as a podcast:

The Media Show - Covers the week's big media stories. Presented by Guardian Journalist Steve Hewlett who's very knowledgeable on the media but not a natural broadcaster, he often stumbling over his words! It tends to focus more on journalism than any other area of the media. Unsurprisingly it attracts some of the industries big hitters as guests e.g. BBC Director General Mark Thompson. A must listen for anyone in, or wanting to break into, the media.

From Our Own Correspondent - The BBC is the largest broadcasting organisation in the world and so it has an unparalleled network of journalists. This programme is made up of monologues by these correspondents on newsworthy events from the countries they're based in. I find the programme more hit than miss but it can be a little dry at times. It's at its best when the correspondents provide a personal insight into the news stories.

The Weekly Political Review - While Parliament is sitting, one of a number of leading political commentators reflect on the week's political events with MPs, Peers and others involved in politics. I prefer when the Parliament is in recess and the programme explores a political issue instead. They normally go out into the country (ie. out of London!) and speak to people affected by government policy. Well worth listening to if like me, politics is your thing.

Analysis - A topical question is posed at the start of the programme and then explored for thirty minutes. Brilliantly put together and very informative.

The Bottom Line - I'm not really into business news yet I always enjoy listening to this programme. Each week three leading businessmen/women from one industry are interviewed by Evan Davis. He (and his guests) always make what appear to be dry issues interesting.

Beyond Belief - The presenter Ernie Rea and three guests discuss the role religon plays in today's world. Rea's knowledge, ability to ask the right question and background (he grew up in Belfast and was a Presbyterian Minister on the Shankill Road) often makes it a very good listen.

Best of Today - Unlike the above this podcast isn't the full programme, but what the editor decides is the best interview/report from the day's Today programme. Probably my favourite podcast from the best programme on the radio.

You don't have to have an iPod to listen to podcasts, as you can do so on the relevant websites but it's easier with an iPod as you can listen on the move and they automatically upload to the iPod when you attach it to your computer. One day soon, I think my dad will make the move from recording his favourite programmes on cassette to downloading them on an iPod as there's no need to be around to press record!

I'll write another blog soon on my favourite podcasts that, unlike the above, are not broadcast on BBC radio.

Please add a comment to this blog with your favourite podcasts. I've found out about many of the above through recommendations from friends.

Monday 22 March 2010

A Little Star

I had the luxury of around 4 hours to put this report together. It allowed me to tell the story just as I wanted, using the natural sound of Lauren reading out the celebrities who had signed her certificate for example.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Footballers Visit

Before Christmas I put together this package on footballers in the Calendar region visiting children's wards. I used a 'dip to white' between each of the teams' visits to distinguish between them.

Saturday 6 March 2010

Blast Off

You will have heard that the BBC plans to close 6 Music and the Asian Network, but you may not know that BBC Blast is also going to go. Blast is/was about letting 13 to 19 year olds be creative in writing, film, music, dance, fashion and games. The project gave me one of my first breaks in the industry. I think it's a real shame that it'll soon be no more since it does give young people the chance to express themselves and be given coaching, mainly through the BBC Blast website.

I did a placement with BBC Blast in 2005 as an events coordinator. One of the highlights was taking all my disco equipment to the beach in Great Yarmouth and teaching young people how to DJ with my good friend Matt Willis.

And when I was 19 I was chosen to be the Blast reporter for BBC Oxford, covering youth arts in Oxforshire for the BBC Oxford website.

And this was my profile (which somehow, somewhere, still exists on the internet)!

Mark Ansell

Mark Ansell

Mark lives in Thame, Oxfordshire. He enjoys DJing, footy, and hanging out with friends - find out more about him here!

Over the next two months, Mark will be reporting on local events, bands and art events around Oxfordshire.

But before that happens, we decided to ask him a few personal questions!

Name: Mark (Thick-Boy, DJ, HB, Ansell)

Age: 19. A well-aged member of the Blast reporters!

Born and bred: Born in Amsterdam, bred in Thame. The perfect mix!

Interesting fact: I pronounce things wrongly! Mayonnaise is pronounced ‘my-onaise’ and margarine is ‘marg-arine’! It’s the Dutch in me!

Most embarrassing moment: Twas one day when I went to the library with my Dad. Book in hand, I went to the counter and asked the large lady serving me ‘Are you pregnant or do you just eat too much?’ Actually that’s probably my Dad’s most embarrassing moment!

Stuff I like: Most things in life. Firstly my family – couldn’t ask for more. Secondly, I love catching up with friends both young and old. I have a few very close mates dotted around the country who I don’t see enough. They’re very important to me – you know who you are. I really like meeting people. I get on well with pretty much everyone. I love DJing - Everyone going crazy to your mix is a truly amazing feeling.

Being at Uni in Sheffield chilling with friends over a continental beer is really cool. I love foreign languages and foreign ladies; it’s where speaking French comes in handy!

Lastly, I like Westwood cos he’s gangsta baby boy!

Stuff I hate: I hate to hate people…but I hate friends who you thought were your friends but who you realise couldn’t care less about you ie Betrayal. They’re not worth it. Wow that’s a bit deep!

Who would you date? I am very fussy. Brunettes tend to catch eye. Now, I know what I'm supposed to say here – a famous person who I’m never gunna get with. What’s the point? I’m good but I’m not gunna get with someone rich and famous! So, a girl I date has to be beautiful in appearance and in personality. And in the long term, someone who I can relax with and trust.

Who wouldn't you date? Margaret Thatcher.