Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Getting “in Touch”

Posted in Uncategorized by Adam Westbrook on December 18, 2006

Or so the pun goes.

I’ve spent the last week on my first ever bit of paid freelance for Touch FM in Banbury, North Oxfordshire.

It’s a small station on a small patch, but it was cool to be covering it all by myself like grown up journalists do.

Touch is one of a growing number of radio stations that use a ‘news-hub’ system…that is to say several stations are branded with the same name, and the news is produced and read from a central newsroom, which can be miles away from the patch itself.

So although I was reporting, writing and filing from Banbury, the bulletins were read by someone else from Statford-upon-Avon.  It’s a very cost-effective way of producing news as you can hire one newsreader to cover as many as three different stations every hour.

But it does mean some bulletins are recorded in advance (about 30 minutes) before being  FTP’d or even emailed to the individual stations.

So being a reporter for Touch is a bit different to most other places. As the Banbury reporter I was in charge of almost all the content from Banbury – this means filing 2 stories with audio and another 6 copy stories (just a script for the newsreader to read).

And on Fridays you’ve got to file Saturday, Sunday and Monday content.

So it means you don’t get to go out as much on stories and have to rewrite press releases a lot of the time.  But it’s still interesting and brilliant copy writing practice.

If only stuff happens in Banbury!

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