Saturday 31 August 2013

Careers Case Study

I was recently asked by the University of Sheffield to be a case study for the Careers Service website. This involved writing a summary of what I do in my job and how I've got there. If you're interested in being a journalist it may be a useful read:

Case study: Broadcast Journalist

Personal details
DepartmentSociological Studies
Academic statusUndergraduate
Course titleSocial Policy and Sociology
Year of graduation2006

Employment details
Type of jobMedia, publishing and writing
Name of organisationBBC Radio Sheffield
What does my organisation do?BBC local radio
Main responsibilitiesI produce news and sport programmes and report live and make packages for our audience in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.
Typical dayIt depends on whether I'm reporting or producing.

On a day when I'm producing I will be assessing all the different stories on offer and selecting the stories which I think are the most important and will resonate with the listener. I'll then work out the best way of us telling those stories - this could be with an interview with an expert who can explain the significance of the story or a case study, or it could be a live interview with our reporter at the scene of the story.
In the programme I'm keen to include both serious hard news and more light-hearted items to provide variety for the listener.

When I'm reporting I will go out and record or report live on stories across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. This can be anything from a live at the scene of a house fire, an interview at a press conference at one of the six football teams we cover to vox popping people in the street about their pension.
What do I enjoy about my job?I love working with a team of people who are all passionate about making great radio on the area we cover. Every day we work together to put on a performance (i.e. a programme) and then breathe a sigh of relief when it's all gone well!
Challenging aspectsI work shifts and can be in the newsroom early in the morning or late at night which means you have to fit your social and family life around work.
Why did this area of work appeal to me?The job is incredibly varied. Every day is different whether I’m reporting or producing. It keeps you on your toes as you never quite know when the next big story is going to break.

The range of people you meet as a journalist is amazing. It's all about telling strong stories and I get to speak to people at the heart of those stories. I'm in the privileged position of being allowed to ask questions no one else could and to challenge people on why they believe what they do.
Skills/qualifications I use in my job?As well as an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Sheffield, I have a post graduate diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Cardiff University. The media law training I was given in Cardiff helps me make important editorial decisions.
Training I receive as part of my jobQuite a lot including social media, live reporter and Freedom of Information Act training.
Other information
Brief history since leaving UniversityJune 2006 – July 2007. Education Sabbatical Officer. University of Sheffield Students’ Union
2007 – 2008 Cardiff University. BJTC Postgraduate Diploma, Broadcast Journalism
October 2008 – July 2009. Journalism Trainee in Southampton. ITV News Group

July 2009 – July 2010. Journalist. ITV Yorkshire, Leeds, Calendar programme
July 2010 – Nov 2011. Broadcast Journalist. BBC Radio Derby
Nov 2011 – Present. Broadcast Journalist, News & Sport. BBC Radio Sheffield
My piece of advice to studentsSpend time working with the careers service to look at your options. Invest time in work experience to see which areas suit you before having to commit.