Senior Broadcast Journalist

Senior Broadcast Journalist


Hi, My name is Layla Painter. I’m a Senior Broadcast
Journalist here at BBC Radio Leeds. I come in after the
show’s finished, so the first thing I do is
catch up with the presenters and the producer
who’ve been working on the show during the day. And we look through what
stories we’ve got coming up, so what the reporters
are already looking into. We look through the planning
grids that we’ve already set up so we know what’s
going on during the day. And we also look through
the national planning grids so we can see what’s happening on other radio stations
and elsewhere. And we just prioritise
what we think it is we want to be working on and how we
want to be working on it. So the first thing is
that meeting’s really key to setting ourselves up. Obviously, things can
change during the day, but it gets us off to a running
start with what we want to do. And then it’s just a case
of making sure, really, that the reporters know
where they’re going and what they’re doing,
providing support for them, and calling people up,
asking them what they think about whatever it is
we’re talking about, trying to make sure that we’ve
got the right guests coming in for the next day’s programme. And then, more towards
the end of the day, it’s more about writing
the cues, making sure that everything
is ready for the presenters and the producer to come
in the next morning. When they come in, they’re
using this list, and they can go through each item and
find out what’s going on. My career started working on computer software,
and then on websites. So I did not necessarily
the technical stuff, more the content
of those things. So when a job came up at the
BBC, on the local websites, writing for the BBC
websites, I took that. And that’s kind of my
door into the BBC, really. So I started off working on the
local website here in Leeds, did that for quite
a number of years, and just showed an
interest, really. I think that’s the great
thing about working at the BBC is there’s so many
opportunities that you can look at somebody else’s job and sort
of go, “I fancy a bit of that,” and ask if you can spend
some time with them. So, from working on the
website, I got an interest in working with the radio team. I did some reporting on the
radio, and eventually moved over to work more on the
radio, pick up those skills, and then eventually to
producing on the radio. So to do my role, working
as a breakfast producer, I think you need to be very
well organised and you need to be a very good
planner, and you need to have a clear direction
of where that programme should be going and what you should
be doing with it. I think you need to have
really good people skills. You’ll sometimes have to
persuade people who are nervous to take part in an interview, or somebody that you
know you’re going to be asking difficult
questions to. So you have to have good
communications skills. You have to make sure that your
guests are briefed correctly, that your presenters
are briefed correctly, that your reporters
are briefed correctly. You can get a call at, more or
less, any time of day or night, saying that something big
happened and we need some cover. So, you’re never
really off-duty. Even when you’re off work,
you’re at home listening to the radio or keeping up with
the news and thinking of things. You’re never really
completely off-duty. It demands a lot of dedication.

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