Coventry Conversations – Tamara Abood

Last week I went to another Coventry Conversation which was put on by the University. This time it was the turn of Tamara Abood, the commissioning editor for Channel 4. This was one of the talks I was really looking forward to as it is one of the roles that I would love to take on further in my career.

There was alot of key points that Tamara raised upon, some I knew of, and some that were of a surprise.

  • They try to cover other news stories that other channels do not including most of their news being 35% international based.
  • They don’t actually create the programmes themselves, instead they commission independent production companies to create the programmes.
  • Following on from the last point, Channel 4 at times offer development money to the production company if they have an idea that isnt quite fully developed.
  • They like ideas that are not fully complete but are fresh. This is because most ‘complete’ ideas have a biased view attached and Channel 4 like to investigate ideas themselves aswell.
  • When filming undercover, they complete it in two stages. The first is where they need to find some firm evidence for them to have reason to undertake secret filming. They ask themselves questions such as, do they need to film, does the public interest out way the privacy of those their investigating and have they gathered enough evidence to transmit? The second part is a rigorous editing procedure which can include lots of lawyers. This can include editing everything from numberplates to phone numbers for people and organisations showing in the background.

I thought the points that she brought up really enlightened me in how silly mistakes can be very costly leading from anything to a fine, or even getting sacked from your position. Overall I thought the talk was very enjoyable and once again fuelled the fire in my ambition to be in the media business.

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