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.


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).


Work Experience Woes

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


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

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

Student Media Summit 2014: Day One

I am writing this post on a wobbly train from London. It’s just gone 7pm, and I’m exhausted from a busy day at the Student Media Summit 2014. It’s been a whole year since my last visit to this two-day conference in London. Ever since the last one ended, I have been incredibly eager to return to the event I adored so much last year.

The media summit is hosted by the NUS and Amnesty International. It brings together aspiring journalists who volunteer in student media and successful working media-professionals. The NUS and Amnesty are renowned for arranging great speakers for the summit, and both organisations cherish the strong relationships they have with student media across the nation and big news corporations.


If you’re part of student media at your university, each outlet is entitled to two tickets to the event. Therefore, having attended the event in 2013 as part of ‘rhubarbTV’, I was very excited to return this year – this time as a Postgraduate-to-be and as a freelance journalist. NUS_CMYK-01

Many of this year’s delegates were undergraduate and most were part of their university’s student media outlets. I met wonderful attendees from Leeds, York, and Warwick – students had really made the effort to come down to London for the event.

The first of the weekend Summit, involved a Welcome Speech given by Lewis Cooper (NUS Public Affairs Manager) and Tim Hancock (Amnesty’s Director of the Chief Executive’s Office). Afterwards we were directed to our relevant sessions for which we had signed up for that morning. The sessions and lectures ranged from: Sub-Editing, Investigative Journalism, to Presenting skills and Making the perfect website. The range and variety of each session made me wish I could attend them all – especially considering the extraordinarily high calibre of the speakers.

For my first workshop I attended ‘Feature Writing’ with bubbly Zoe Beaty (@zoe_beaty) from Grazia Magazine. Zoe came across as incredibly down to earth and as someone who really knows her field. I had read many of her articles prior to meeting her, and wasn’t disappointed by the woman behind the excellent stories.

Buzzing from the first of three sessions of the day, I ran along to the second workshop on ‘Interview Skills’ with Sky News’ political correspondent Anushka Asthana (@SkyAnushka). Anushka was equally as fascinating, she was fiercely intelligent and was brimming with funny stories about her encounters with politicians. Her tales captured the group, we learnt about her experience doing ‘Death Knocks’ and everyone in the room was in awe of her career and her resilience. I was also pleased to discover that she studied for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. I could do a lot worse than emulate her career in journalism that’s for sure!


Lastly, I chose to attend the session on ‘Newsgathering’ held by BBC London reporter, Tarah Welsh (@Tarahwelsh). As well as being the friendliest, most real and kind journalist I’d ever met, I was enthralled by Tarah’s tenacity and journey from small time PR girl to fierce reporter at the Beeb. She was a great speaker and I think everyone in the room resonated with her because she was so amiable. Tarah seemed like she genuinely wanted to help and was intrigued in our journeys too – she wanted to know the routes we planned to take, and advised us accordingly. Tarah was a lucky one though; she had managed to secure herself a place on the BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme – giving her perfect leverage into the industry. But it was reassuring to hear Tarah say that people can get into the news organisation through a variety of routes, and that there is generally no direct path into working for the BBC.

So, that’s my report from Day One! I’m looking forward to tomorrow after a great, informative day today. I just hope the train journey is a little less manic in the morning.

In the meantime, follow the summit trend at #studentmedia2014 to see what the delegates are up to throughout the conference!


Interning: Videos of Monkey’s Taking ‘Selfies’

Today was my last day working at a video-licensing agency.

It’s goodbye to all lovely ten members of the company, toodles to the 4.45am early starts and a ta-rah to hunting for videos of farting giraffes.

Interning at a licensing agency opened my eyes to another side of journalism.

5.30am Train Station Selfie

5.30am Train Station Selfie

The world of User Generated Content is huge in today’s media, and is still an up and coming type of journalism that news organisations and broadcasters are still trying to get their heads around. UGC or ‘crowdsourcing’, basically means videos that have been filmed by ordinary members of the public on their phones/tablets or personal camcorders.

UGC allows citizens to bypass mainstream media entirely and produce content and communicate directly with others through their own videos. Some people call this ‘citizen journalism’. It’s a fascinating trade, and can lead to some big bucks if the video is interesting and if the clients like what they see.

This Summer I went from showbiz television journalism, directly into this new age of interactive/digital journalism, and it wasn’t long after starting at the agency before I caught the bug for finding great videos.

The Newsdesk

The Newsdesk

There is something addictive about scouring Reddit and Say OMG for interesting, funny, bizarre and extraordinary clips. I enjoyed the searching, but also liked the buzz of knowing a video you sourced had been sold.

Overall, my four-month internship was a brilliant experience. I not only learnt how to improve my writing style, confidently communicate with clients, but I also observed how news broadcasters would vary between buying a video of a monkey taking a selfie for £300, to buying a video of a man being trampled by a bull for £100.

The news will never cease to amaze me.

Thanks for having me team!



Isle of Wight Festival 2014 – Day Two

On Day Two we awoke bright and early considering the late night, and after a lovely breakfast in the hotel we prepared ourselves for the day ahead.

Camera equipment (and the all important card reader) in hand we left for the festival site, armed with killer interview questions and a restored energy.

Katy B

Katy B


Free drinks!

Throughout the day we interviewed The Vamps, Tom Odell, John Newman, Clean Bandit, Katy B, Cher Lloyd, Passenger and many others – I even managed to get a cheeky snap of some of them!

I was the video producer of the team – the other two members did the reporting and interviewing, as well as taking audio cuts, whilst I focused on the filming and video editing.

It was a close-knit team, and we were succinct in getting content filmed and out on time. It was surreal seeing my content used by all of Bauer’s 80 brands – Kerrang, Kiss FM, Magic FM, Planet Rock and HeatWorld to name but a few.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit

Evening came round quickly, and that night’s entertainment on the main stage were, The 1975, John Newman, Tom Odell, The Specials and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Everyone was excited and keen to make it to the end of the night since it was our last full day at the festival, before having to make the journey home on Sunday afternoon.

The Vamps

The Vamps

Nabbing our food from the Absolute VIP area, we mingled with famous faces and I reconnected with the people I’d been introduced to on Friday (networking with cocktails in hand!).

I was surrounded by (sloshed) MD’s, DJ’s, famed hip journalists and just all round ‘cool’ people, and as we all stood watching the Red Hot Chili Peppers own the stage – I had to take a moment to breathe it all in.

Watching thousands of people jump around in sync to the music was incroyable. 

Passenger (Mike)

Passenger (Mike)

I truly felt lucky to be there – and I know I’ve made it sound like a holiday but it really wasn’t.

I was running around working my bottom off to try ad get the content together on time.

There was the Monday 9am deadline and with 21 videos to edit together, it was a mean task – but one that had me fretting on Sunday night, especially when we encountered sound problems on the footage.

Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd

But seeing my content go up online made it all worth it.

I don’t know what the future holds, but if I ever got the opportunity to cover a festival again, I definitely wouldn’t say no – even the possibility of camping doesn’t scare me anymore.

I’m so delighted to have experienced the festival life, even if it was more ‘glamping’ rather than slumming it hardcore in Strawberry Fields.

One for the memory book!



Isle of Wight Festival 2014 – Day One

This month I was kindly invited to join the Bauer Media Entertainments Team at the Isle of Wight Festival 2014. The adventure was eye-opening and incredible – I’ve never felt so lucky. I had never been to a festival before, … Continue reading