MA Broadcast Journalism: the 6 month landmark

It’s the last day of March and the end of our pre-summer heat wave. Today I anticipated sitting in my garden reading Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress (I implore you to read this if you haven’t, I only started it 3 days ago and I’m already two thirds in) however the sun has gone, the temperature has dropped and after a week of wearing shorts and sunglasses I’m back in the knitwear.

It is the perfect weather for blogging.

And there’s lots to blog about.

It’s been almost 6  months, 6 months, since we started our MA in Multimedia Broadcasting, which certainly warrants a blog post and I can’t help but reflect on the time with a sense of nostalgia. I sit and consider the truth in the phrase tempis fugit and feel slightly overwhelmed at how much I’ve learnt within such a small time period. I’ve a wealth of journalistic knowledge at my fingertips and now I’m supposed to go out and use it!

If someone had told me a year ago that in 12 months time I would be able to script write for radio, produce TV bulletins, talk ‘funny’ like the presenters on TV (though I’m not all the way there yet..), work a big, complicated (or to be more technical P2) camera, TX (if you don’t know don’t ask), interview strangers on the street with a microphone, film, edit and encode video footage, self-op my own radio bulletins, use the phrase ‘what’s the angle on this?’ without referring to trigonometry and run around a building with a USB stick like it’s a matter of life or death, I would have said ‘shaa’ uuupppp‘.

When I think of how my life was a year ago, well.. not only academically and professionally but emotionally I’m in a much better place. I have more friends, more aspirations and am one year wiser! If only I wasn’t so lazy.

Equally I am regretful that I haven’t made more of the opportunities that have been presented to me. I procrastinate about procrastinating and I kick myself for not working harder. There are so many opportunities out there if you’re willing to stick your neck out.

However all is not lost, there’s plenty of time to catch-up and I feel like I’m making progress. One of my new year’s resolutions this year (and every year) was to be more productive. Perhaps I’ve not succeeded as well as I would have hoped, but I feel my productivity levels have improved somewhat!

It sounds really lame but I’ve learnt a lot about myself these past 6 months. Being thrown into a group of over 2o people you’ve never met before who you’re required to spend 8 hours a day with 5 days a week forces you to accept some things about yourself.

The most important: being late, talking about clothes and laughing at everything really loudly will automatically make people assume you don’t do any work.

Since beginning this course I’ve had to make some pretty big changes. Getting up at 7:30/8 every day was one of them. I went from a job where I was working until 10:30 most evenings and going to the gym afterwards until half 11 and eating my dinner as late as midnight to disciplining myself to going to sleep at midnight (and failing). I still can’t manage to have my dinner any time before 9pm.

It took me a long while to adjust – I remember the first few weeks being a struggle! The biggest change though has been how I view and utilise my time. Before this course I used to have all the time in the world. I never had to be anywhere or work to any deadlines excluding those at work and if we didn’t get things done on time we just over-ran. Now time seems to be all I can think about. I’m constantly working around it, towards it, trying to fit things in. I used to be one of the people in a queue that didn’t mind waiting, now I’m the impatient one wondering whether I’ll have time to make it to the next shop before the next train, so I get home in time to make dinner and clean my room and blog and do all the other things I need to do before I go to bed!!

But it’s what I’ve learnt that’s been really important. I came onto this course not really sure of what I wanted to do – other than be a Radio 1 presenter; oh hapless dreams. I was always open-minded about doing other things, but now I feel as though I know where I realistically want to be and sort of how to get there, or at least make a start. I’ve discovered that I do love radio, I love music and there’s something about relying solely upon sound that really appeals to me; rich voices, vox pops, dry humour, sing-alongs whilst baking in the kitchen, Desert Island Discs and Radio 4. But equally I love being behind the camera. I love being active, out and about, visiting different places and meeting new people. Sitting down for hours really doesn’t suit me – I’m like those jumping beans!

All the things I’m passionate about and enjoy: literature, art, photography, fashion, music. There’s a way to fuel all of this into something by being creative. This is what I am now striving to do. Next work experience placement applications: NME Magazine and The Culture Show. I haven’t got lucky yet but one day I believe I will. You’ve got to, right?

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