Duncan Jones’ Visit

To give us some tips and pointers for the Radio element of our formats assignment, managing editor of BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, Duncan Jones came in to visit us.

Duncan has worked in radio for over 25 years, originally focusing on the sports genre, but then moving across to traditional local broadcasting. He has also worked in TV and is about to undertake a new role as producer in the BBC’s Late Kick Off show which focusses directly on local football.

Growing up, Radio was always the number 1 priority for me as a career. Every minute of the day was spent listening to local and national radio even having a small FM radio confiscated at school! I then decided to get involved in Internet radio streaming and particularly hosting my own shows on stations such as ‘Pulse.FM’ and ‘Zompie Radio’. I also hosted a sunday night show on perhaps the biggest online station in the UK, Habbo Hut Radio (which was linked to a site called Habbo Hotel). I knew that Duncan would have some valuable information for me so I was very alert during the talk!

The main points that I picked up during the talk were;

  • Get as much experience as possible. Get involved in any little projects going on to better your skills and ability. Sometimes better then having a degree.
  • Be persistant and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the roles that are available.
  • Get interested in the local area, listen in on shows and do your research!
  • Have a clear CV and a proposal when you are applying for a job

Afterwards we were set out brief for the radio part of our assignment.

“Make a 5-7 minute radio format that fits the station’s remit. You must demonstrate originality and quality”

“Your piece can be a quiz, a discussion or debate, an investigation or something else but it must tells us something “undiscovered” about Coventry and comply to current broadcast regulations. Your programme must include an intro and outro sequence and a 10-15″ trailer (advert) with your submission.”

My group may have a little advantage considering I was born and bred in the city and I have a few ideas that I would like to do some research on. I’m really happy with my group. I have my brother from another mother, Dan and Sara-Lee. I’ve worked with both before and we can all rely on each other! I am also going to be the presenter, Dan the producer and Sara the editor.

So more on the task, these are the pointers that were given;

  • What is the point of the story?
  • Who is our audience?
  • What will make it stand out?
  • Always choose natural sound over music.
Duncan also gave us some pointers;
  1. Find something to say that people will be surprised about.
  2. Be clear on the point of your story.  What do you want the listener to get out of it. What is your aim?
  3. Make it interesting – keeping a balance between the story and your creative ideas.
  4. Paint pictures with words.  There is no limit to the pictures you can create on radio.
  5. The intro should tease the listener.  The outro should point to further information (eg website, blog etc)
Overall, I really enjoyed the session and can’t wait to get started. I also must give a massive amount of credit to Duncan and I really appreciate him taking the time out to come in and speak to us.
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