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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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

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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

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

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!

Fair Skin Obsession

‘Be brown and be proud’

BBC Asian Network’s Nihal has dedicated 6 minutes of his show to a public phone-in regarding the matter of the fair skinned obsession of the Asian community.

I makes for a interesting listen, these ideologies are hundreds and thousands of years old, yet affluence, beauty and education is still associated with the skin tone of one’s skin.

Click here for the ‘Fair skin obsession’ radio package.

For more on the topic of Shadeism, visit:

The Shady Minority‘ & ‘Shadeism. An Update

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Student Media Summit 2014: Day Two

Bleary eyed and a little windswept, I arrived at the Amnesty building on Friday morning raring to go for the second day of the, so far, brilliant summit. Despite having a hectic journey into London due to industrial strike action … Continue reading

University, done. Now what?

As seen on Girls Talk London (https://www.girlstalklondon.com/university-done-now-what/). Published 19th August 2014.

While you’re rigorously studying for a Shakespeare exam, life after university and the working world seem so far away that you need not worry about them. But suddenly before you have time to even consider the future – your life is thrust into your hands and you find yourself with a degree and your whole life ahead of you. ashgrad

I find myself in this exact position. Except, unlike many of my fellow graduates, I had resourcefully managed to tailor every part of my university student experience to what I wanted to do when I left. That’s my top tip for you university students, plan ahead. You may not know what exactly you want to do as a job, but you need to have an idea of the industry you want to enter – is it Finance, Media, Law or? For me, I was intent on a career in the Media. Whilst at university I ensured every activity and project I undertook outside my studies was purely Media related. I knew I needed extra-curricular activities that had a media thread running through them, because in the industry I wanted to flourish in, an English Literature degree just wasn’t going to make me stand out from the crowd.

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It’s daunting, stepping out into this ‘world of work’ that old people speak of. I always imagined it as an ominous world filled with businessmen and women dressed in sharp suits from M&S and dapper shoes from Clarks. It seemed like a whole new universe of dreary routine and misery. But positivity is paramount in climbing the career ladder and it is with an open mind that I enter the next chapter of my profession.

There are so many paths available to you once the university portal closes. You can apply for a graduate trainee scheme, find a graduate job or continue with education. These are easier said than done, and all require a significant amount of time and effort. For many jobs and postgraduate courses you need to apply for these prior to graduating, this may add another level of stress to exam period but believe me it’s worth it. Some of my lucky friends had job offers before they even sat their first exam!

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Contrary to popular belief the job market is dense, if you look in the right places and make yourself out to be the hottest candidate on the market. Sell yourself and don’t sell yourself short. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished at university! It’s made you who you are today, and three years of independence has allowed you to blossom into a young, employable person.

For me, I’ve chosen to commit to one more year in education. I’ve been itching to dive into this particular Masters course since I started my Bachelor degree. I’ve always known I’d want to become a Broadcast Journalist and the Postgraduate course I am starting in September I hope will fulfil that ambition. Continuing with education may not be for everyone, but my chosen course balances vocational, practical elements with theory and law – so I hope it will facilitate me to become an ethical, competent Asian, female journalist who is proud of her working class background.

I’m nervous and excited to start this new journey, but turning my back on university hasn’t been easy. I’ve often been guilty of looking back at photos from Fresher’s Week and of Googling the university name in an effort to reconnect with the place I loved so dearly for three years. Letting go is tough, and I feel some pressure to suddenly be a grown up. My life has spread it’s self out before me like a blank canvas and it’s time for me to pick up the paintbrush and start mapping out my journey.

Good luck to you all, and as Walt Disney once said – if you can dream it, you can do it.

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