I’m an Expert! (Well not really)

Interning for the BBC for two weeks teaches you a lot of things, you start to pick up on certain aspects of the job. When you’re shadowing a certain position more than once you start to pick up on more details every time. One position I’d like to highlight at the BBC is the Video journalist. Video journalists are responsible for the stories people see on the BBC’s television broadcast.

(Me) shadowing a video journalist during live coverage of a show

I had the opportunity to shadow a video broadcast journalist during my experience with the BBC Southeast. It’s more than just picking a story and reporting the news. The job of a video journalist is a lonely one at times, had it not been for me, they would be driving to these destinations by themselves to shoot footage with their partner. Video journalist and their partners must first find who they’re supposed to interview if it has been scheduled, if not then they must do “vox pops” which are basically random street interviews with people they think will have some connection to the story. After they film the vox pops they must film the scene so to speak. This means filming the location and if it’s a crowded area maybe the feet of people walking by.

Broadstair Harbour, where we shot extra footage for an unrelated story

Once the filming is done we head to the satellite van and start to edit the shots together on the scene to make a “package.” A package is basically all of your shots and maybe some footage from the BBC archive put together as a trailer of some sorts for the television broadcast. There is a deadline that must be met because this footage will be on live television soon. Once the editing is done, the video journalist does a voice over explaining what’s happening in the Package. Because the van’s have wifi video journalists can send the package back to the office to have finishing touches out on it for television. After the package is sent the satellite is powered on so the Video journalist and their partner can do live coverage from the scene. Once that’s done we head back and the day is done.

The day of video journalist can be long. You may leave the office at 9am and return back at 8pm. Although the work is long there seems to be a rewarding aspect to it. For example we got to visit the beach one time, and another we received free strawberries from a farm. There  is also the idea of creating a story from top to bottom. There are several phone calls that are made before hand to set up a video journalists story but it all seems to come together in a pleasing way. You never know where you’ll end up but you are sure to see many parts of England that usually go unnoticed.


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