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

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Filming with GirlsTalkLondon

On the first Saturday of February 2015, history was made for a start-up organisation that is all about connecting women with Senior and leading women in competitive & male dominated industries. Girls Talk London filmed a new panel web series aimed … Continue reading

Immune to fangirling

“Fangirling”, (v)

1. the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her “affection”. These reactions include shortness of breath, highpitched noises, shaking etc. 

2. a gathering of two or more fangirls in which they proceed to waste endless amounts of time ogling, discussing/arguing, stalking, etc. the object of their “affection”. 

See also: 
fangirl” or “groupie

When you’re accosted by celebrities and famous faces on a daily basis, meeting Meryl Streep or Tom Jones suddenly becomes the norm.

Isn’t that a bizarre concept to the outside world?

Working in commercial radio has taught me that celebrity world can be so fickle and transient.

Spending another two weeks with what has to be the most brilliant Entertainment team in Soho has taught me a great deal more about the movie & music industries.

Starting my very first day at the launch of a popular BBC primetime singing contest was nerve-wracking as heck. I found myself at a rooftop bar of a swanky 5* hotel on the Southbank, shmoozing with other journalists sent to cover the same event.

We were hoarded in a screening room where the press were allowed to view the first episode of the show alongside the celebrities who feature in it.

There I was, student reporter, baffled at how I had swung my way in to this situation. I had been sent there to cover the event and interview the elite famous faces on behalf of 70 radio stations and print magazines. Me.

Did the thought of fluffing up or not asking the right questions, or forgetting to press record on my marantz, or annoying the talent cross my mind – ohhhh yes. But I shoved down the nerves and waltzed in to the place just like every other journo there. I couldn’t even enjoy the copious amount of free food or champagne for fear of coming across like a bumbling idiot during the interviews.

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One thing I immediately disliked was the manner of which some journos introduced themselves to one another, it went along the lines of “Hi, I’m [enter full name] from [enter some publication or station I was supposed to be slyly impressed by or jealous of]”.

So entirely false and pretentious – it was really quite unnecessary, but I quickly learnt that the Entertainment world is like that. From PR, to journalism, it seemed the Entertainment sector is full of whimsical shrubbery. A friend told me to bare in mind the infamous saying ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ – and right he was. Thankfully though, not all were like that.

After the ‘mingling’ amongst the press, the talent did the rounds and conducted the interviews which we all had prepared our questions for. As part of the radio cluster, at 4’11 I didn’t have high hopes for squeezing some questions in there. But despite the best efforts of the journos either side of me to squish me out of the huddled cluster, it turns out my height came as a huge advantage – the talent felt sorry for me!

Take example one for instance, [WARNING: namedrop ahead] whilst suffocating in the cluster and suffering at severe elbow-bashing – singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur Will.I.Am takes note of me standing so off balance that he says ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so cute and small‘. To my delight and just as a knight in shining armour should, ushered me to the front of the cluster so I could breathe (and get a great position for the interview). THANKS WILL.I.AM, what a gent.

I got a great interview, and even the patronising remarks of some of the radio journos with me, ‘Ohh you’re tiny’, didn’t throw me off. Because I realised, at the end of the day, I was there to get great content and do a good job. Getting back to the office, my boss was delighted with what I’d produced, and the brands were happy.

Even though I may have been crushed and had some false friends for the day, it was all in a day’s work – and I got what I needed!

Ofcourse, it wasn’t until later when I was recounting the event to my mum, that I realised I had had an opportunity like no other.

I got to eat expensive food, be part of a selected private audience to view the esteemed show way before the public, interview ‘famous’ individuals and represent an accomplished and respected organisation!

I’m proud to have done it, and what an experience. I just hope I’ll be as immune to fangirling when interviewing Beyonce (one day).

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Work Experience Woes

So you’ve managed to bag yourself your dream work placement in a newsroom.

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Now it’s the day before, and your shaking in your boots fretting over not knowing what’s FTSE and who the President of Malawi is.

How are you going to make a great impression and leave them wanting to see more of you?

Let’s rundown how to make the best out of your one day/one week/fortnight of work experience:

1) Don’t be late.

I generally follow this rule in life anyway, but it’s definitely the number one rule for placements. Don’t stumble in a couple of minutes before or after you’re due to start.

Be prompt and be alert. Setting a good impression from the get-go will give you a great headstart. But – turning up an hour early is also not ideal.

I’d say,  if you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before, make sure you leave early to find the place in good time. Then, if you get there super early, just pop in to a coffee shop to pass some time.

Then rock up 15 minutes before your start time, fresh as a daisy and caffeine pumping through your veins.

2) Don’t wear new shoes on your first day.

Blisters and sores? No thank you. Squeezing your feet into some new loafers just aren’t worth the damage.

Plus, no one wants to see you sliding across the newsroom studio floors no matter how shiny and new your shoes may be!

That being said, don’t pull out your old tatty pair either – exercise some effort at least.

3) Carry spare batteries/charger.

The ‘vox-pop challenge’ is an editor favourite so I’ve been told. It’s the easiest task for them to set you and allows the station/channel to ‘understand their audience’.

They just want to see what you’re made of, and judge whether you’re a ‘people person’.

Getting sent out on a rainy, cold day isn’t the best thing in the world, but it’s twice the nightmare if you get to your destination, find a rare voxpopper who’s up for answering a couple of questions on a new housing development, you switch on your recorder and – BAM.

The low battery light flashes twice annnd…your all out. Great.

Grab a few AAs in your satchel, and job’s a good’un.

4) Always carry a notebook and pen.

As you’ve seen above, technology can fail us at the most poignant of times. To save yourself always carry a notebook and pen with you.

They say journalists are always skint, and I reckon it’s because roughly 73% of their entire salary is spent on notebooks! The size of the pad is up to you, but in my opinion a reporters A5 pad is best. Large enough to fit a decent amount of text on, but also small enough to take out on the job.

I can honestly say it’s got me out of a fair few sticky situations, so don’t roll your eyes at life before iPads.

5) Have some spare breakfast/snack bars in your bag.

Because you’ll thank yourself later.

6) Bring an umbrella.

Don’t think you’ll have a spare 30 minutes after your interviews to run back home, fix your barnet and run back to the office.

Such wishful musings aren’t welcome in the newsroom unfortunately.

Save yourself the bad hair day and pack an umbrella in your bag!

7) Learn names.

There’s something charming and professional about someone who remember’s everyone’s name.

The guy at security, the canteen lady, as well as everyone you meet in the newsroom.

It makes them feel good, and you feel professional (plus it’s great for networking).

8) If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Make the most of your placement.

Find that balance between not being a pest and carving out your own experience. If you finish the work you’ve been assigned, then ask for more.

People in the newsroom will often have a lot on their plate and may be happy to delegate some work to you, but may also think your being annoying.

Read your colleagues and make it known that you’re happy to get stuck in and help people out when needed.

But most of all, enjoy it.

– A

Hackney Dog Kennels

For this week’s newsday, my group and I went to investigate Hackney’s new dog kennels.

This week Hackney council opened ten new kennels, providing extra shelter for the borough’s stray and abandoned dogs this winter.

With spaces for up to two hundred and fifty dogs, this should make a real difference to our furry friends during the festive season.

Mollie Malone reports.

 

Reporter: Mollie Malone

Producers: Ashna Hurynag & Barnaby Fry

@CityNewsLDN

Reporting for City News

“Ashna Hurynag. City News”

As part of my journalism course, every Thursday we make an as-live news programme called ‘City News’.

Yesterday, I joined up with two other peers to form our mini news squad. Our task was to go out and fetch a story in order to build a television news package to fit into the live show.

Interviewing

Interviewing

We decided to pursue the story of Camden Council launching a new petition to get fairer compensation for residents of the Borough who’s housing will be affected by the new High Speed 2 railway line.

With some luck, raw journalistic talent and haphazard FCP editing skills, here’s what came of our newsgathering.

Enjoy!

Too nice to work in TV?

Next week I’m due to start a postgraduate course wherein I will be thrust into the world of Television and Radio Journalism. My naturally kind deposition has often been pointed out to me as a negative, hence my interest in this post. People in the industry have advised that I may need to ‘toughen up’ and shouldn’t ‘play nice’ in the journalistic field. Now, I know I may need to work hard and fight for opportunities as a young journalist breaking into a competitive field – but I really don’t see the need to be ruthless cow.

This blog is profound in it’s advice and wisdom, so thank you Simon Wright!

You'd better work

Have you ever been sat in a work meeting or in the process of employing someone when the phrase, ” but he/she is too nice” has been thrown out. When this is mentioned it usually means there will be a problem. Being “too nice” is seen particularly in television as a weakness. In order to succeed you need to be tough, ruthless and determined, but can’t you succeed and be a thoroughly nice decent human being too? Are they mutually exclusive? When people are “too nice” it’s often felt that they would be walked over, taken advantage of, not taken seriously. Well actually teams in my experience tend to respond better to honesty, kindness, openness and knowing what they can and can’t do. Being “too nice” doesn’t mean letting people run riot but actually pointing it out to them when they do and explaining how they will be perceived and…

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What has the entertainment industry done to us?

Food for thought

This time last week I spent the whole day giddy with excitement awaiting the MTV Video Music Awards 2014 – was that because I was attending the prolific event, ready to walk the red carpet and eagerly anticipating sitting in the grand Forum in Inglewood, CA rubbing shoulders with the likes of Nicki Minaj and Ed Sheeran?

No, no it wasn’t.

I was in fact just so overcome with excitement purely about watching the awards on television.

Shamefully, I squealed as Beyonce, Jay-Z popped onto the screen, and found myself taken in by the illustrious array of musical talent that was on display.

It was as if I was on a high from the moment it started till right at the end of the show and found my adrenaline furiously pumping – but why? It was bizarre, and from inspecting Twitter, it seems I was not alone.

We’ve turned into leeches feeding off the gossip, glamour and gaudiness of celebrity pop culture.

Why has celebrity culture involved us so? And why are we obsessed or addicted to their lives?

These are questions which have been asked again and again, and people are often quick to blame the media for over-advertising celebrities’ impossible ideals.

How has the world of celebrity become such an investment?

It sickens me to see the amount of money that has gone into surgery enhancements and beauty modifications.

But I’m a hypocrite.

I adore make-up just as much as the next ‘girly’ girl, and would love to have longer eyelashes and whiter teeth. However, I’m fully aware that I crave these adjustments to my appearance in an effort to look more ‘beautiful’ – just like these ‘beautiful’ celebrities we see on screen and in magazines.

There’s undoubtable pressure to look a certain way – this is wrong. But sadly we live in a fickle society of judgement. And despite Beyoncé’s attempt to tell me that ‘I’m beautiful the way I am‘, I can help watching her perform and like every other Yoncé fangirl wailing: ‘I just want to be her!’

If only I were 5 years old again, when I hadn’t a clue what mascara was, and when I would never think to put any pink gunk in my hair for added ‘volume’.

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