29.1.2021: Role: Bulletin editor for City Radio


As part of my role as bulletin editor, I was in charge of creating a bulletin that was informative, clear and relevant to the City Radio audience. I began the night before by sourcing the most important stories and following the latest developments closely across different news sites. I wrote the most important stories into bite-sized, understandable chunks and put them into Burli, along with appropriate soundbites embedded to guide the listener. I liaised with Akshay, our editor and with the tech and production team to create a cohesive bulletin.

After listening to the previous bulletin, I had an idea of the sort of bulletin I needed to make. I decided on 8 stories, 4 copy-stories and 4 with soundbites, adding some extra information. This amount of stories would be around 3 mins long, the length of the bulletin I needed to make. In addition to the bulletin, I also wrote the headlines that would be read by the presenters, I was mindful of keeping a London story in the headlines to give the audience a well-rounded account of the top stories of the day in their area.

I worked with the bulletin reader, Kani, making sure she was comfortable with the copy I was writing, as she would be reading it. I was keen on making sure that throughout the bulletin, there was a conversational style that reflected the target audience and what they like to listen to. During our debrief, the group was praised on their use of conversational language.

The stories that featured in the bulletin included: Novavax vaccine, UEA travel ban, NHS mental health beds being full, WHO investigating COVID origin, a study showing inequalities in health, Gamestop shares, murder in Islington and Black MPs encouraging people to get the vaccine. I put them into different running orders so I could see which ones were most newsworthy.

During the hour before we were on air, there were some new developments with stories that featured in the bulletin. I was quick at changing some of the details and updating the bulletin so that it was as accurate and timely as possible. I featured a story about the new vaccine by Johnson and Johnson but found that under very strict time pressures, that it was difficult to communicate an entire story in 20 words. I realised during the show that the wording of that story was not as good as I hoped it would be. I noticed that I had said that the vaccine was ‘100% effective’, this was inaccurate as the vaccine was only 100% effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19. I realised that this was misleading and not something that should have featured in the show. If I was to do this again, I would ask for help from the producers, so that they could have a look through my copy before it was put into Burli and help me to produce copy under strict time constraints.

During the show, there were breaking stories that needed coverage. I was responsible for sourcing these new stories and putting them appropriately into the headlines and bulletins. Due to some issues (live interviewees cancelling), I was told that 5 minutes was needing to be filled in the show so that it wasn’t short. I added in news stories to the 3:30 pm headlines to help to fill in this spare time. By aiding my team, we were only 20s short of time, which overall, was successful.

Once I was finished with my bulletin, I asked the editorial team if they needed any assistance. I helped Amy by communicating with the presenters and explaining some details to them whilst Amy was busy.

If given the chance to do this role again, I would make more use of Kani as the bulletin reader so that I could have more support in creating stories in a short space of time.


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