As part of my role of a radio reporter, I was to pitch stories and source appropriate interviewees. I pitched a story about the Kent mutated strain of COVID-19, then I tried to get an interview with an expert on epidemiology and with someone who lives in Kent who has had coronavirus. After many emails, calls and tweets, I was unable to get an academic or a Kent resident to shed light on the Kent variant. If I was to do this Newsday again, I would try contacting people who weren’t from SAGE, as when I was calling these people, they were on BBC being interviewed. Getting interviewees who are not in high demand would be a better approach so that I can still get an expert’s opinion.
I changed my idea after failing to secure an interviewee for my first idea. I chose to report on dogs and the effects lockdown has on behaviour as I found a recent survey from the pet company, Itch. The survey found that 1 in 3 dogs bought over lockdown hasn’t been to a park due to lockdown. I contacted a dog behaviour specialist based in London to shed some light on the problems lockdown creates. Ewan Mackintosh, from Dog Behaviourist London, interviewed a phone call. In hindsight, I should have asked for a zoom interview as the signal wasn’t very good, meaning that the audio quality wasn’t as clear as I would have liked it to be. If I was to do this again, I would make sure that my interview is done via zoom, ensuring that the audio is of high quality.
I wanted a case study to illustrate what it is like to have a puppy during the lockdown, so I found a woman who bought a puppy during the pandemic. She was good to talk to and gave some insight into how she has tackled the issue of separation anxiety with her dog. If I was to do this Newsday again, I would try to get a case-study interviewee who is based in London, as Meg is from Leicester which is not as relevant as a London interviewee would be to our City Radio audience.
I sat with a blanket over me as I used my iPhone and headphones to record my VoiceOver to reduce the background noise. Since I live next to a busy road and used amateur recording equipment, the audio was of satisfactory quality. I was not completely happy with my VoiceOver so if I was to do this role again, I would invest in a microphone to ensure that my recordings sound professional.
I edited my package on Audition, adding in creative use of sound of puppies to set the scene. Due to the fast turnaround, I edited my audio quickly which is evident from my final package which has some errors. My edits overall were good but has some mistakes. I would take more time to cut the audio and even out the volume levels if given another attempt to make this package. I would also try to prepare for the Newsday the day before, by researching stories to give me more time to edit my audio together.
Once I finished my package, I liaised with Ilham who put my package into Burli. I also wrote a cue for the presenters and put this into our shared Google Docs. I asked other people in my group if they needed any assistance so that I could support other members of my team.