My first news report: ‘Potter-ing around Gloucester Cathedral

In November, my first ever news report went out on national television on regional news.


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In what I can only describe as a stroke of luck or an absolute fluke – I managed to edit, script and broadcast my first ever news report for regional news.

When I asked my Editor if I could go along to Gloucester Cathedral’s opening of it’s new ‘Harry Potter’ themed tour – I was barely expecting a yes, let alone the fact he’d send a cameraman to come along with me.

There I was thinking I’d just be doing a sparkly web article for them!

I traipsed around the cloisters of the Cathedral half trying to pay attention to the tour guide (as any avid Potter fan would do) and half trying to think of different shots I could use in my package.

I interviewed a variant of people – including some adorable children who’s parents were kind enough to let me chat to them on camera. Everyone was in an excitable mood and many were happy to be filmed. There were also a lot of broomsticks and wands flying around too!

harry potter cathedral

Interviewing Potter fans at Glos Cathedral!

Thankfully the news feature I was to make, didn’t have a set TX date, so I didn’t have any significant time constraints, and I was left very much to my own devices to edit the piece together.

It was a funny feeling seeing the finished product in the Producer’s running order – I kept thinking it was going to get taken out. I had many colleagues coming up to me in the day expressing their congratulations and asking me how I felt, but truly, it hadn’t sunk in.

It was only as the presenters introduced the item and said the words “…Ashna Hurynag reports” was when finally it dawned on me what a big moment this was in my career. I’ll never forget it.

What an honour!

Here’s the accompanying article and report: Potter-ing around the Cathedral


Starting a New Job.

Over this Bank Holiday I’ve hopped, skipped and jumped from London into a new city – BRISTOL.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Yes, who would’ve thought the country bumpkin, who’s so close with her family and tight with her friendship groups would get up and leave it all behind. Well I always knew I would – the time has to come right? While I’ve got no commitments and no one holding me back, I was adamant that after finishing my MA, I would go and work anywhere. I would joke with friends that if roles came up in Grimsby, Saudi or Latvia – I’d take them in a heartbeat. What’s life without adventure? So even despite applying for jobs in Qatar, it seemed that life was a little kinder, and I’ve found a new home in Bristol!

Tomorrow the sightseeing must come to an end though, as I finally start my new job. I’m nervous and apprehensive about what’s to come, I have the jittery butterflies because, I just want to be good at it. Starting a new job is never going to be easy I’ve gathered, especially if this is your first ‘real-world’ position. Even the most confident people can crumble after accidentally calling their manager ‘mum’.

So in preparing myself for my first day, I’ve been asking for the advice of friends and family – for them to impart their wise words on me. I got some terrible, entertaining and wise pieces of advice with I felt a duty to share. Here’s some top tips on how to have a successful first week (and beyond).

1) Introduce yourself to everyone

“Ashna, be cool, but not too keen either – get like a balance of cool, ‘waddup’ friendly approachable-ness, shake hands and just be suave like George Clooney, but in a girl way”

This is a sound piece of advice, introducing myself has become second nature now that I’ve graduated as a journalist (it’s kind of part of the job), but I do struggle with matching names to faces, in my last role I kept on confusing an Emma and a Lucy because they were both brunette and Irish – terrible.

2) Find your go-to colleague

“Find that person that’s super nice and you just click with in the office, but don’t cling to them like a bad smell. Just try and see where they go for lunch, bond with them over a cup of tea etc, that way they can be your go-to person for awkward questions”

Hmm good point, often its easy to identify that person you click with when you meet them, the most approachable one who is ok with hanging out with the new girl for a bit. They’re your way in to the ‘cool’ socials..

3) Do accept their invitations to socials

“Don’t be your unsociable (AHEM!) -self and decline going to hang out with them in favour of you hanging out in bed watching Made in Chelsea – clear your diary of stuff over the next few weeks and just say yes to going to drinks and socials – it’ll make you seem cool (I AM COOL!)”

Diary cleared. After-work drinks on Friday? Heck yes. Although you want to make sure they want you to come along first, fingers crossed there’s an invite.

4) Make lots of drinks

“Make tea, like, all the time. Tea/coffee Sandra? It will make you so popular on the news desk but allows you to practice getting names right too. And who doesn’t love a free drink when you’ve got a package due in in half an hour.”

I swear by this one. Making tea and coffee goes a heck of a long way, it’s a small gesture that some may find demeaning, but I think the offer of good drink-making skills are fool proof. I always have a page in the back of my notepad with everyone’s name and how they like their tea – the fact that you’ll remember their ‘order’ will automatically put you in their good books.

5) Be the best dressed on your first day

“Go in super smart and stylish then judge the dress code for your self for the rest of the time.”

Ahh the what to wear conundrum. I agree, if you go in very smart on your first day, you’re dressing to impress and give off an air of professionalism – that you’re ready to work and do your best. Also, who doesn’t feel good in a suit? Ofcourse this depends on the role, but after the first day you can suss out the tone of the office-wear to go for.

I don’t think these dashings of advice weren’t so bad after all. I certainly feel much calmer going into tomorrow. Hope this post helps you out when starting a new job – remember, social anxiety can be quashed!


Live Reporting: City Radio

On Tuesday 26th May, the bank holiday weekend was firmly thrust aside as the two-week radio station simulation began at City University London.


My role for this particular day was to be a reporter!

I covered the story of Ryanair’s full-year results report that was published that morning – I attended a morning press conference and did some lives while at the scene, and also a wrap and two-ways once I’d gotten back to base.

Here’s a rough package edit of some of my content:


Bleaching in Paradise

My final project for my Masters course required me to make a 15-minute radio documentary on any subject of interest. I chose the subject of skin-whitening. 


The Ivory Coast has just become the third African country to ban skin-whitening creams, following in the footsteps of Senegal and South Africa.

But despite the ban, some dangerous, and even deadly, skin lightening agents are still openly sold into the UK. In Nigeria, up to 77% of women have admitted to using skin bleach.

This year according to ONS predictions, the island of Mauritius is expected to match Nigeria as one of the biggest exporters and importers of these creams.

Ashna Hurynag, has been to find out more.

For more on the topic of Shadeism, visit:

The Shady Minority‘ & ‘Shadeism. An Update


Getting to know: ‘Zumba Jess’

I caught up with Jessica Lutchmaya (my Zumba instructor!) for an interview, for altFit London. Check out the full chat below.

altFit London

She’s taking over the South East of the country with her energetic, lease-for-life classes, so altFit decided to catch-up for a quick chat with one of the best Zumba instructor’s around.

Name: Jessica Lutchmaya

Location: South East


What do you do?

I’m a Zumba Instructor as well as a professional dancer. I started dancing at the age of 5, in Mauritius where I grew up. I was surrounded by a lot of different cultures and so was able to experience a variety of dance styles.

When I discovered the Zumba dance craze – a dance inspired by aerobics, drawing from many different styles of dance, with the majority being Latin such as salsa, cha cha and samba etc – I fell in love with the whole concept of helping people become fit and healthy through dance and having fun.


How did you first discover it?

I first discovered Zumba whilst I was on…

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Meeting The Editors

Here’s the lowdown on the nation’s biggest and most influential news broadcasters – straight from the big dogs themselves.


Francesca Unsworth, BBC World Service Group Director 

Ms Unsworth has overall editorial and managerial responsibility for the BBC World Service, the BBC World News Television Channel and the BBC’s international facing online news services in English.

She ensures the output covers the BBC’s values of independence, impartiality and fairness in their international services, and is also the first female director in its 82-year history. Broadcasting in 28 languages, the BBC World Service attracts a weekly global audience of 191 million people who regard it as the most objective voice in international news. Ms Unsworth says that the World Service are currently developing their digital branch following the success of their WhatsApp news service during the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa. They are particularly interested in the rise of smartphones in Asia and Africa, and are attempting to find ways to provide content for China and North Korea.



Geoff Hill, Editor of ITV News 

Geoff Hill is the Editor of ITV Network News. He is responsible for all of ITV’s national news programmes, as well as the London News, Tonight and the website. As ITV is “free” from the pressure of 24-hour rolling news, the channel focuses on producing high quality, people-focused news packages. Mr Hill argues that long-form journalism is still “active and wanted” and a scheduled news programme such as ITV News, allows viewers to grasp more complex stories in a manageable 30-minute time slot. Flagship programme ITV News attracts six to ten million viewers per day. Their audience base is predominantly the over 50s, and is mostly female. They don’t aim to attract certain demographics, but do “stand up for the stories they believe in”. Their programmes focus on human-interest and are loaded with eyewitness accounts and case studies.



Ben de Pear, Editor of Channel 4 News

Mr de Pear oversees the running of the channel’s flagship news programme, which aims to appeal to “everyone in Britain”. The programme tries to not only provide a summary of the day’s top stories, but aims to have a “wider vision”, delivering in-depth reports and carrying out original investigative journalism. Channel 4 News also endeavours to hold public figures to account, particularly on incidents of injustice in public life. By his own admission, Mr de Pear admits that whilst their content is often very “bleak”, the channel does try to maintain a sense of “mischief” in their style. Mr de Pear says correspondents are “let off the leash” and are given the chance to be more opinionated than is typical. Mr de Pear feels “7pm is a rubbish time to be on” and thinks the ideal time for their programme and target audience would be 9 or 10pm.



Cristina Nicolotti Squires, Editor of Channel 5 News

ITN’s 5 News “reaches audiences that others don’t”. Broadcasting at 5pm, viewers are typically retired or not at work. The programme is aimed at people that typically “dislike the news”. Their audience is predominantly older, with 53% being female, and a high percentage of their demographic identifying as BME. Admittedly Ms Squires says 5 News are “distinctly lagging behind” in technology compared to other outlets. But despite having a zero budget for marketing and digital media, she still manages to keep their Facebook and Twitter feeds active. Being a small team, 5 News rely upon agency feeds for their core newsgathering, but the perks of being part of the ITN family, means they also have access to content from ITV’s lunchtime bulletins too. 5 News like to “have fun” with their programme, particularly by using a lighter story to end the show.



John Ryley, Head of Sky News

John Ryley is responsible for “everything that you see, hear and read” at Sky News. As a 24-hour rolling news channel, the pressure to deliver high quality content is constant. Sky considers the BBC their biggest rivals, but Mr Ryley sees Sky as a “harder-news broadcaster”. They possess the ability to go into extraordinary depth on stories, and delve into complex issues in ways that other broadcasters are unable to do. They strive to be more distinct, different and “ambitious” in their output. For example, their most recent digital venture sees them taking on Snapchat for instantaneous, short, snappy news directly to smartphones. Whilst their Snapchat target audience is young teenagers, Sky’s 24-hour rolling news service and radio bulletins pull in a predominantly male, “well-educated”, over 45s spectatorship who are interested in current affairs.