Monthly Archives: November 2011

Running a radio news day with first year students.

I’ve still got a buzz from spending the day with first year students running a radio newsroom.  They were brilliant!  They got stuck in straight away, showed great teamwork, ambition, enthusiasm and every single bulletin went on air on time and (almost) all of them came out on time too.

I was impressed with how many ideas they came up with at the editorial meetings.  Some were day old stories from newspapers which isn’t ideal but you can get away with that as a first year, I guess.  Some students found ways to move yesterday’s story forward for today which was great to see.

Neil Salmon was brilliant guiding the students through the technical requirements of the day (I need to find time to get familiar with the equipment) and they obviously appreciated his reassuring presence in the studio when they went on air.

And, best of all, we’ve converted some radio sceptics into radio enthusiasts!  Yay!!  Job done.

The news day definitely enabled people to shine and really show what they could do.  What I’d love to do is to incorporate some scaled-down, simplified version of a news day into the first lecture of the module.  It would help generate some much-needed love for the medium at the outset and then they could see the context for the rest of the lectures.  Hmmm, something to think about.

Midway through the first term…

Six lectures down so I thought I’d step aside and jot down a few thoughts about my transition form the world of journalism practice to the world of journalism teaching.

The first thing to say is that it’s much less about me teaching and much, much more about me learning.  And I love that.  Writing my lectures takes me on a journey through all sorts of previously unexplored avenues as I try to question why we do things the way we do in Newsrooms (and often, why we shouldn’t).  I’ve discovered so many interesting writers and commentators in all parts of the world.  It’s like having a whole new lease of life tapping into this area of knowledge.

This is a period of dynamic change in the way we do journalism that challenges the established newsroom system.  I sometimes wonder if we’re doing enough to prepare our students for that.

Cycling to MediaCity from Piccadilly is great and a million times better than hanging around for the tram.  BUT, it would be nice to have facilities in the building to help cyclists eg showers.  But whizzing along the canal watching the rowers straining at the oars is a good way to start the day.

And finally, I love all the connections – both real and virtual – that I’m making with people at the university.  Thanks for saying hello and sharing your amazing work.

University of Salford BELIEVE

  1. As a very small cog in the teaching establishment at the University, I’d been looking for an opportunity to show off the new facilities to my family.  BELIEVE looked like the kind of event that would appeal to the whole gang – from my four year old youngest daughter to my seventy-two year old mother-in-law.  
  2. Just arrived with the family at #Believe @mediacityuk. Wow! Don’t know where to start.
  3. The big attraction for my daughters was being filmed with the BBC’s animated dinosaurs. How cool is that?
  4. #uosbelieve dinosaurs in minutes. Queue getting excited.
  5. The first lot of time slots have already gone so we’re told to come back at 1.15.  No problem.  Plenty more going on.
  6. The Digital Performance Lab was incredible and I bet the students have a ball playing with this.  We loved Picnic in the park!  The children sat on the picnic blanket and were miraculously joined by strange guests from another world (well, another room in the building, I guess!  But which one?)  Holding up the black and white cards brought animated birds, insects and plates of buns into the picture too.
  7. Oh my god this is geek heaven :) #UoSBelieve
  8. And plenty of people are having a great time creating their personal walk with the dinosaurs.
  9. But then…..
  10. Disaster! No more tickets left for Walking with Dinosaurs at #uosBelieve. Who’s going to break the news to my daughters?
  11. “@Floweries1: @LizHannaford Dinos open to everyone from 4 #uosbelieve” But have you seen the queues?!!!!
  12. The queues were snaking right round the Egg.  No way we were going to get to see dinosaurs.  Very disappointing but the girls were brave.  And there’s more to art than dinosaurs, right?  And the interactive tables are pretty cool although they seemed to take it for granted that you could manipulate text with your fingers on a screen….
  13. BELIEVE also gave people a chance to hear talks by both BBC and University specialists – creative writing, how Walking with Dinosaurs was made, technical careers in the media.
  14. Just heading home from #uosbelieve had a great time. Listened to some really good talks and saw some great @SalfordUni student work
  15. Really enjoyed my day & night out at #UoSBelieve – chatted with great lecturers, talented students & lovely people enjoying the event. 5* s!
  16. But spare a thought for Craig Campbell, creative technical demonstrator at the University, who had to upload all the dinosaur videos onto YouTube.
  17. Thank god for Compressor youtube upload, flying through the Planet Dinosaur green screen uploads for @UOSMediaCity
  18. Sixty 30 second Planet Dinosaur re-edited files uploaded to youtube for #UoSBelieve long day but hopefully everyone enjoys!
  19. Helen Keegan’s (@Heloukee) always a great person to follow for fantastic photos and videos from the University.  This is an extract from a piece of animation by Mat Lloyd and Matt Frodsham that she captured.
  20. Extract from ‘Two Inches to the Right"
  21. Absolutely lovin’ schoolkids rap @ #uosbelieve watched it twice in a row
  22. Shame I can’t find a video clip of that.  It was a piece by Joe Chambers working with pupils from Salford’s Albion High School.  At least you can hear it in the background of this video of the interactive table.
  23. Interactive table jazz hands
  24. Wow. Amazing day @UOSMediaCity #UoSBelieve event – so many people of all ages! Loved seeing the digital performance lab in action :)
  25. But when you’re still only four and six all that digital technology is a bit boring after a while and it’s so much more fun being outside the building than in it, creating your own dynamic art!
  26. Meanwhile…..
  27. Well after being full of munchkins @UOSMediaCity is going to feel very quiet on Monday! Brilliant atmosphere here at #UoSBelieve #buzzing
  28. But you can always relive the whole event in 60″, Helen, if you need a bit of a lift on Monday! 
  29. University of Salford – Believe Event Highlights