Technical Broadcast Assistant


Hello, my name is Sonja Cooper. I’m a Technical Broadcast
Assistant for The Archers. [Music] My job as a Technical Broadcast
Assistant covers quite a large area. I do the sound editing
of the programme. So anything that comes out
of the studio, I put together and produce that for my editor. And then I’m responsible for
playing out those programmes. Playing out being I have
to listen to everything and check it off against
a script, and then I have to then schedule it onto VCS,
which is our server for Radio 4, under the radio programmes. And so there’s quite a lot of
responsibility in that respect, and I’m the very final pair
of ears to any programme of The Archers that
goes out on air. So the responsibility
is quite large. I’m also responsible
for going out and recording the
external sound effects. So it kind of splits
up into two. Oh, Kenton….Hey Oh…Hi, yeah. Just a quick one. I wondered… This is SADIE. It’s our editing
system that we use for radio drama and The Archers. It’s a good tool because it
has lots of stereo streams, so it’s really good for
laying lots and lots of sound effects onto. So with SADIE, what’s quite
nice is you can actually edit it as you’re playing it, or you
can take it and remove it from where it is and have
a really good look at it, and have a look at the
waveforms and decide where things are going
to pose a problem. So I can do that, and I can
look at it very specifically, or I can edit it on the page. My tip for trying to get into
radio drama would definitely be to get some work experience. We do get a lot of people that
come in to do work experience to see what it’s like,
because you don’t know until you go in there. And once you’re in, then
see what’s going on. Investigate things. Talk to people. That’s where you’ll find where
you want to lie within the BBC. And then apply for
jobs when they come up. Right. Now I’d like to begin
with a full… I have very odd working hours. I live in Rutland, so there’s
quite a long journey into work. My children are one and seven. So I have one at
school, one in nursery. And I do two days at home, during which time I
normally would go out and record sound effects,
do editing at home. I’ve got the option
to be able to do that. And there’s an awful lot of
paperwork that goes with my job. So that can all be done at home. That means that then, when I’m
in the studio or in the office, I can be very much studio-based and can get the programmes
out on air. I work very early
hours, because I’ve found that when I worked nine to five, I wasn’t going home till
seven o’clock at night. I was leaving at seven
o’clock in the morning. And to be honest with you, my
children mean more than anything to me, even more than the
BBC, and so I wouldn’t want to work those hours
and not see them. And so the BBC kindly have said,
or my managers kindly said, that I can work from four
o’clock in the morning until 12. And people go, “Oh my goodness! How can you possibly do that?” It’s because I love the job,
I think, that I can do it. It is hard, and it was
very hard this morning, when I had to skate my
way out of the village. But it very…it means that I can
get on with the job. I have nobody to disturb me between the hours
of four and nine. And I can crack on. I can get programmes loaded. Nobody’s clogging
up the podcasts, because they’re all trying to get everything
loaded really quickly. So I can just carry on
in my own sweet way, and it works perfectly for me.

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