Media School US Election coverage wins award


Bournemouth University Media School students’ radio coverage of the US 2012 Presidential election has won a Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) award for best radio news day.

Media School students won the award for working through the night, broadcasting live on Hope FM and online, giving the latest news and results from the US 2012 Presidential election.

The radio coverage included hourly bulletins and news flashes throughout the night, along with live debates and guest speakers including Conor Burns MP.

The radio broadcast was only one strand of the US 2012 coverage as students were also tasked with producing a live television broadcast and a stream of online news coverage about the election.

Multimedia journalism students Beth Graham and Jodie Packwood both worked on the radio coverage as Editors and were in Coventry to receive the BJTC award. They said, “It feels really good as we put a lot of effort and time into this project. It’s the first time the radio side of the project has been recognised with a prize so it’s nice to know our coverage was award winning.

“We learnt that radio journalism takes a lot of pre-planning – you can’t just go on air and have a chat. We planned this right from the beginning of term. A highlight was when we called the result of Barack Obama winning, before the BBC.”

The students were also quick to thank the lecturers who made the radio broadcast possible, adding, “We would also like to thank the lecturers who helped out on the night and in the run up to the event – particularly Cat Greeves who helped us so much. And the project wouldn’t have even been possible without Mat Charles and Ann Luce who were the ‘big bosses’ of the event and put it all together.”

Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News gives masterclass at BU


The Deputy Editor of Channel 4 News visited Bournemouth University to give a media masterclass to students.

Felicity Spector, who has worked for the news organisation for the past 24 years, spoke to students about her experiences – particularly those covering US Presidential Elections.

Felicity is now Deputy Programme Editor for Channel 4 News, with responsibilities including writing the show’s script, but has also acted as a political correspondent on the programme, as well as writing for the website.

She said: “I went into journalism because I like writing people’s stories – there are so many people who have really great stories.

“I still get excited every day because it is a job where no two days are ever the same.”

Felicity added that she was in the USA during Barack Obama’s 2008 Election Campaign, and also dealt with coverage of his 2012 re-election.

She said: “It was the most astonishing election campaign. The whole atmosphere across the country was unprecedented really. People were partying in the streets in Washington – it was the most amazing feeling, it really felt like something had changed.

She added: “This election was not as exciting, as it was not as close, but it was really fascinating in terms of what it has shown about the system.”

David McQueen, course leader of the BA (Hons) Politics and Media course at BU, introduced Felicity.

He said: “It is a real privilege to be able to hear from someone working right at the heart of one of Britain’s biggest news providers.”

Felicity, who studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at university, joined Channel 4 News as a scriptwriter on a graduate training scheme and has been there ever since.

“I was very lucky that I stumbled into this job. I think now it is all about trying to get experience,” she said.

“Even if you can’t get a placement, have a blog and just be curious about what is going on.

“Just do something interesting and different to make yourself stand out. You just have to have the initiative to find something which you’re passionate about and badger people with it.”

Felicity said that she hoped students – who came from a diverse range of courses including journalism, politics and marketing to listen to her talk – would take away the realities of being a journalist.

“When you study media as an academic subject, it is quite different than when you actually work in it,” she said.

“I just wanted to talk about how you are always learning when you’re a journalist, and you never know it all.”