Hello, lovely readers of Bristol24/7!
My name is Vedrana. I’m an MA Journalism student at UWE. Last week I did my work experience at your favourite local news portal! Bristol24/7 host work experience placements every week and anyone can apply.
If you are wondering what goes on behind the scenes of Bristol24/7, this is a great way to find out and I am super excited to tell you all about it.
I was pretty nervous on my first day. I arrived in the morning at Future Leap, an eco-friendly co-working space on Gloucester Road where the team are based two days a week. The first friendly face that greeted me was Editorial Assistant Mia Vines Booth.
Mia showed me around the office and gave me access to all the accounts I needed. The team made me feel welcome straight away! I met Meg Houghton-Gilmour, Community & Memberships Manager, and Maddie Clarke-Newell, a UWE Media Communications student who is currently interning at Bristol24/7.
The amount of work and dedication applied to their craft by these young women was amazing to see and made me feel inspired during my placement. I could see that hours of hard work and organisation go into the stories that are just a few minutes read by you or me. I was struck by how such a small group of people were so efficient.
Having been given all the log ins I might need to publish work, Mia and I discussed my story ideas.
When you enter the world of journalism, you realise that stories are everywhere. I started writing about The Slavery Abolition Act as it was the 188th anniversary that day. With the support of the team, I spent most of the day tracking people down to talk to. Some of them got back to me, however they usually recommended talking to someone else. Turns out it’s hard to speak to people on the day!
Later I met six inspiring deaf men who had just completed a cycling challenge from John O’Groats to Land’s End. My favourite thing about journalism is the opportunity to meet interesting people and hear their stories.
On Tuesday morning, I met the team back at the office. The day flew by so quickly! In the morning, I met Ellie Pipe, Deputy Editor at Bristol24/7. She is so lush and supportive! The team meet every morning to discuss the day’s stories and plans. After the meeting, I began to write up my interview with the cyclists and organise a few things for the accompanying video I was making.
On Wednesday, I worked from home, focusing on my video again. I was also still working on with my feature on Slavery Abolition and finding some good interviewees that could tell me more about the history and give the story a bit more depth. Research helps you prepare the questions and understand the story better.
On Thursday morning, I finished the video I had been working on and sent it to the editorial team to check. I then had a phone interview set for 11am.
After a short phone call with Lawrence Hoo, poet and one of the directors of CARGO, we decided it would be better to meet in person. Shortly after I was on my way to Stokes Croft to meet him and gather more details for my story.
Whilst out working on stories I was always trying to gather as much content as possible. Photos and videos are often just as important as words!
As I woke up on Friday morning, I suddenly realised my last day at Bristol24/7 had already arrived. The week had flown by so quickly.
On Friday morning, Bristol24/7 Editor Martin Booth suggested another story for me to cover. I was off to St Nicks to talk to entrepreneurs from IntoUniversity. I left the scene with a new tote bag made by IntoUniversity students, and of course, another story to share with you.
I sat at the Arnolfini and spent the afternoon putting the story together. After I finished, I did a quick preview of the solidarity protest for Kill the Bill prisoners and ran off to meet Ellie for a professional development hour.
Ellie and I reviewed my week and talked about my future. It felt great to hear the positive review and learn from people with deep knowledge, experience, and understanding of journalism.
During my time at Bristol24/7, I learned a lot about myself and journalism.
My final words: FIVE STARS TEAM BRISTOL24/7!
There is a lack of diversity in journalism which is not only unfair on those who seek opportunities in media but also because of the influence that journalists have and thus the biases that they can perpetuate.
One of the reasons for this is that traditional routes into journalism have been through either knowing people in the industry or having the time to write as a hobby – something which is not available to those who must work to support families or have other commitments.
Bristol24/7 want to change this. As well as our paid Community Reporter initiative we run a work experience programme almost every week of the year, for anyone that is interested in journalism and work with community organisations, including Babbasa, across the city to ensure that these opportunities are open to all. In the programme we offer dedicated professional development time and we publish people’s work on our site and social media channels.
Bristol24/7 need support to keep our journalism independent and to continue our work to build a better Bristol. Support us by becoming a member.
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