Blogs > News
30th November 2013
The internet is a funny thing. Anyone can post anything, and then EVERYONE ELSE can read it.
This is frustrating, because you can write an incredibly beautiful answer to the universe and it will remain unread for years. But you tweet about running over just ONE cyclist and it lands you in court with your name splashed all over the national newspapers. (This is a joke. Seriously, great big terrifying cycling lobby, please don’t hate me.)
It’s become a nightmare in recent years when it comes to process of law. Here in the UK we do not have the First Amendment, and when it comes to the courts, we most certainly do NOT have free speech.
Often, we’ll say that people involved in trials "cannot be named for legal reasons" but then people on the internet decide to go and do it anyway. “Name and shame the SICKOS who XYZ” groups pop up with claims that it’s media censorship, or human rights of paedophiles being put before British Justice.
It is not.
Here are some of the reasons and examples why people in court will not be named by the press and you shouldn’t name them either:
1. They are under 18.
A child will be given anonymity in most legal cases. Sometimes the judge will over turn that at the end of a trial if he thinks it is in the public interest.
2. They are victims of a sexual offence.
This is a STRICTLY enforced law. You cannot put any information about a victim of a sexual offence no matter their age. Sometimes one of the people on trial is a victim too.
3. Identifying the accused would identify the victim, or other children.
If a married man and woman sexually abuse their children then they will not be identified. This is because their name is the same as their victims.
If you hand your baby over to a man for abuse, simply because you like his band, you’re a pretty bad person. But if you name the woman who did this then you are further harming the child involved, whether you are famous or not.
4. They are being tried for other offences.
Sometimes people are tried for several things, and not all at the same time.
If a gang all accuse each other when it comes to someone they have killed then they must be tried separately. Each trial must stand alone on the evidence of witnesses, so you can’t name any of them until the trials all conclude.
If a person commits different types of crime, e.g. they deal drugs in Cambridgeshire, and attack several people in Manchester, they would be tried for both sets of crimes separately. But here in Cambridgeshire we would only report the drugs trial, and not name him so as not to prejudice a trial going on in Manchester.
But hang on I only have 8 followers on twitter, and 19 friends on facebook so surely it doesn’t matter?
You may only be a receptionist at a plumbers in Dudley, but it won’t just BE you will it? Your friends will think it’s ok, and their friends, and their friends.
Concepts like fairness, openness, justice - they are all just concepts. They are not solid or real. They only work if we all play along. They are a team game.
It may be tempting to fight the system if you feel you’re in the right, and I’m not saying the system is perfect, but for the most part it works.
Posted by Emily at 9:51pm
6th October 2013
These days any idiot with a blog can call themselves a journalist. But just because you write in a public place it doesn’t mean you’re qualified, or even any good.
Radio Journalism is different so you’ll need a few things to get into it. I’ve been through the application process, seen it happen, and looked for journalists myself.
I thought it might be helpful to let people looking for their first job to know how the system works and what you should be doing to maximise your chances of getting that interview.
A note on the BBC:
[I will try and do a post on this at some point.] The BBC has a complicated set of questions and answers for their online applications. Your best way in is to work for the BBC and get someone internally to read over your answers. Even the Beeb though, are now looking for decent voices so be aware of this too. They also mark you down if you don’t cheat… ahem, sorry research, and ring up to talk to as many senior staff at the station as possible. Ask what they are looking for and how to prepare for the interview (they call them boards) and what it will entail. Most BBC stations will have a number of freelancers and people on short contracts, so when a longer term contract comes up, all of those people will be going for it. It is very hard for an outsider to get in. If you want to get into the BBC then you need to do work experience, freelance work, and general hanging around. This is unfair to those who have jobs already, or who can’t afford to work for free, but that is unfortunately the way it works.
Here is what News Editors in Commercial Radio Stations look for when deciding who gets through to the interview stage:
Voice Voice Voice Voice Voice.
All adverts will ask for a CV and Demo. A demo is a recording of you, reading the news. If you have not worked before then get in a studio on work experience, borrow a bulletin and record yourself.
The first thing I do when an application comes in is double click the demo. I don’t care if you’ve just come from CNN, I don’t care if you’ve won a Pulitzer, I don’t care what your name is, I just want to know if you can read news.
Do not send me a presenter demo. This tells me you don’t care about news, you just want in so you can spend your time chatting up the programme controller. Not going to happen.
Reading news is an art. I will blog about voice training and presenting a bulletin at some point but for now I will just say to practice and get as much feedback as you can.
The sad truth is that in the end it’s just like modelling. I usually reject within the first 20” of hearing you if I’m going to. You can’t take this personally. I’ve got jobs on the basis of my voice, I’ve also been rejected because I wasn’t the sound they were looking for. That didn’t mean I wasn’t good enough, it just meant I wasn’t right.
Do you know your Law?
If you’re working in a newspaper, there are subs and editors looking over your shoulder to make sure that you are not committing libel, contempt of court, or anything else you shouldn’t be. In radio, there is quite often no one else. You need to be able to write up breaking news about crime, politics, and do it RIGHT, first time and under pressure at 10 to the hour with the phone ringing.
If I like your demo (and only IF) then I will open your CV and what I will be looking for is a recognisable qualification.
These usually come from the NCTJ. Many people, like me, did the law exams as part of their University course. But you can do them as a Masters course, or on their own directly.
Where have you worked before? Relevance is the name of the game here. I want to see that you have spent time in a commercial radio newsroom. You need to tell me you know how a shift works, how to find the news, how to write it up, how to do interviews and edit audio.
Ideas are also gold. What have you come up with that’s made it to air? How did you find it?
Work experience is key. It doesn’t have to be a 6 month internship at LBC. A few days over the holidays at your local radio station can be enough if you have worked hard, asked lots of questions, and learned a lot.
I don’t really care if you did admin work to pay your way through uni. However, I do like to know you have been out in the real world and you understand how our listeners think. Connecting with our target audience is a big part of what we do, so be proud of your stint in Tesco, and write about it in a way that tells me what you learned as a journalist, not your ability to scan 28 items a minute.
If you’ve got all of the above then you’ve got a good chance of getting to interview. All interviews are different so I’m not even going to try and tell you what to do there. Research the company, and its values, and be yourself!
A final note on finding work.
Freelancing is a great way to get paid work, and more importantly great stuff to put on your CV. Some stations will advertise, but there’s no need to wait for that to happen. If you are ready, if your Demo is great, and you are prepared then call up your local station and say hi. Send the news editor an email. Apply! What’s the worst that can happen?
Posted by Emily at 11:06am
4th March 2013
Are you an aspiring Broadcast Journalist? Do you fancy some experience at West Norfolk’s number one radio newsroom?
KLFM are looking for people to come in and learn about what we do for the other 57 minutes an hour when we aren’t reading the news.
This won’t be your standard “Work Experience Placement” and you won’t be photocopying and making tea… Well you might make some tea.
You’ll be finding stories, doing interviews, writing them up, and hearing them go out to 1 in 3 people in the area.
Don’t worry about CV’s. Just tell us:
5 things you can offer: (Are you a creative writer? got a great voice? have you already got work experience? can you edit audio? do you really really really want to be a journalist?) Impress us!
1 thing you want to get out of your time with us: (Want to work on your voice? got a great story? want something for your UCAS form?)
Email them, your contact details, and when you want to come in, to our News Editor Emily Bull at email@example.com and we will be in touch.
Posted by Emily at 4:14pm
21st February 2013
I thought I'd take a bit of time to say hello.
I'm Emily Bull. I'm the voice that reads the news at the top of the hour. I'll be using this blog to talk a little more about the news stories that we cover and asking what you think about it all too.
As I'm new to the job I thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit about how we do things here at KLFM News.
There are two of us in the newsroom, myself and Jake who reads the news for Adam Newstead in the morning.
Between us we come up with all the local news you hear. We find the stories, do the interviews, and write it all up to go out on the radio.
But we do this best with the help of YOU our listeners.
If you've got a story, a problem, an issue, then please get in touch with us. We may not always be able to help. We may also take a few days to get it right. But we always want to hear about what's happening in your world.
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Emily at 1:14pm