A Day in the Life

Local Radio Producer/Reporter

Day in the life of David Holloway, reporter, BBC Local Radio 07:30
Arrive at desk, battle with coffee machine and begin sifting through emails and then looking through the wires service to see what's going on 08:00
Meet the morning news producer and talk about the day. If it's a busy one, the stories might be obvious, it's then about deciding which ones matter most to our audience and how we should cover them. If it's quiet, well, that can be even more of a challenge! Thankfully, it's not quiet that often. 08:20
Grab breakfast and another coffee. Chat with fellow reporters. I'm on bulletins this morning and then out on the road this afternoon, so need to co-ordinate our efforts 08:30
I'm reading the bulletins this morning, so on the hour and half past the hour, I make my way to the NCA (News Casting Area) and do my bit. I'm responsible for playing in the pre-recorded features and reading the cues copy. In between bulletins, my time is spent compiling the next read, making sure the stories are up to date and keeping an eye on developing stories. 09:05
After reading the 09:00 bulletin, I'll join the morning meeting. This is attended by all news reporters and producers, as well as representatives from the Breakfast, Mid-morning, Afternoon and Drivetime programmes. We share and develop ideas, decide how to folow up stories and where they're best covered on air. This is a chance to show what you're made of, or make a complete arse of yourself! Always best to have a couple of ideas up your sleeve for the morning meeting, I find. 12:30
Read my last bulletin and then get ready to head off and cover whatever story has been assigned me for the afternoon. It might be at the courts, at a house fire, a factory, anything at all. I'm responsible for taking my sound recording kit with me, recording interviews with relevant people, returning with the audio and compiling a feature report for the evening news hour. Alternatively, I might file the story syraight from location with the radio car. Often live, often under pressure from tight deadlines, this is exciting, challenging, sometimes annoying, but always rewarding. I am my own researcher, reporter, technical support and driver. Hard to get more responsiblity in a news environment really! 16:30
I'm ususally, though by no means always, back at the station by now and have, hopefully, completed and filed my feature for the news hour. It pays to spend a bit of time before I go home taking a look at what's already coming up for tomorrow. Best be ready with some ideas for the morning meeting anyway, doesn't do to sit there with nothing to say!

What you do: The range of the job?

As a Reporter, you might be 'on the road', reporting on local news issues and events or based at the station writing and presenting news bulletins. In both instances you will work under the guidance of the News Editor. You will be expected to know or learn how to use portable audio recording equipment and computer-based editing equipment to produce 'packages' (news reports) for broadcast.

Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?

Diligence and understanding as a journalist, a thorough knowledge of local, national and international news and current affairs, strong interpersonal skills

Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?

Career development usually follows one of two paths: NEWS - starting as a Reporter, moving on to become News Editor. PROGRAMMES - starting perhaps as a Researcher, and then becoming a Producer, Presenter or both. From there, many people move into management, or perhaps on to a role in a larger station. Local radio is still seen as an excellent training ground for those wanting to move eventually into television - though radio can still provide an interesting, exciting and rewarding career in its own right.

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