Category Archives: Portfolio

Learning to talk again

Some stories it’s clear what the news story is and how you want to tell it to others, sometimes you have to spend a little longer thinking about it.

The other week I was sent to a music workshop for people who’ve had strokes, it’s a new approach helping people in Lincolnshire learn how to speak again. I was introduced to the Sound Lincs group in Navenby while they were still happily singing pop songs. While one of the staff told me about some of the stories behind the people there. I came to realise that all the families had been through a lot.

One of the problems was that people were incredibly keen to share their stories but as they struggled with their speech it was hard for me to include them in my radio package. In fact I spent about an hour talking to all the people in the group and knew I was going to have to cherry pick all the best bits to get the greatest impact.

In a brief amount of time I found out how people coped with learning to speak again, from the sad moments to the everyday moments. For some it meant bringing music into their lives for the first time, and for others it was a good way to bring back something normal back into their lives that they loved before having a stroke.

I also wanted to make sure that someone explained just how people could sing 80s ballads word perfect while still stuggling to talk. It’s all quite complex, but put simply it seems another part of the brain is responsible for singing and another part is used for speech.

It was quite daunting to think that this encounter needed to be summed up to a listener in around about a minute long package. Also people had trusted me with their stories and I wanted to be able to tell them authentically. On top of that I didn’t want it to be gloomy, it is of course a serious subject but the people I’d met where optimistic.

To help make the piece more upbeat I used recordings of the group singing. I always knew I wanted to end with them singing The Proclaimers, as it’s the group’s favourite. I also used the singing as a chance to introduce some of the serious things the group members were explaining about having a stroke. Hopefully this made it both an interesting start to the package but also allowed the listener to reflect on some of the serious aspects of it too.

Basically it was a great opportunity where others were eager to tell me about what they’d been through, and I saw it as a chance to best tell even more people about this remarkable group.

Here’s the package that went out in the Lincs FM news bulletins.

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Princess Anne in Lincoln

It’s a big year for Lincoln as the city celebrates 800 years of the Magna Carta. It’s important for the area as the Cathedral has one of four remaining copies of the historical document. Until recently it was just displayed in part of the castle but a decision was made to invest in these beautiful parts of Lincoln and so started 10 years of work.

There’s now a dedicated vault in the castle grounds for the Magna Carta which opened earlier this year. Then to mark the occaision it was officially opened a few months later by Princess Anne.


As well as being a chance to show the best of Lincolnshire to royalty it was also a chance for lots of people to come together and celebrate the area.

We covered the event throughout the day on our news bulletins on Lincs FM. We started off by having some copy in our bulletins but once I was in the castle grounds recorded a voicer on my smartphone which I sent back to the office. This was then used in the bulletins to help give listeners an idea of how the event was building up.

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I only had about an hour to interview lots of people before the Princess arrived in the grounds and security protocols kicked in. I used this time to vox plenty of people who were at the event to find out the local reaction.

I then spoke to lots of people who had been involved in the project as well as local dignatries. All of these were sent back so the team had lots of different interviews to use and reflect how the event was moving on. I was also making sure to record lots of sounds, clapping and speeches so I had lots of bits of audio to play with to make a package.

Then I had a chance to just enjoy the event and the excitement of Princess Anne arriving. At this point I made sure to take plenty of photos and also tweet the news on the station’s Twitter account.

Then as they were enjoying their tour of the castle I went back to the office to assemble my package. I looked up what the team had already used of my audio. I then built a simple story that I wanted to tell in my package, only using the best bits of my interviews and recordings.

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It was really interesting to cover this event, not only was it an important day for Lincoln it was also a chance to be creative. More importantly it was good to work with the rest of the team, providing them with good quality interviews to help them out with news bulletins whilst out reporting. It was also great to think of the story beyond just what was going out on the station and remember the importance of social media too.

VE Day anniversary bulletin on Lincs FM

In amongst the news of the results of the 2015 General Election the country paid their respects to the end of World War Two.

A two minute silence was held across the nation at 3 o’clock. We observed this across Lincs FM, Compass FM and Rutland Radio as part of our news bulletin.

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Celebrations at Siren 107.3FM

Siren FM recently celebrated winning the title of East Midlands Station of the Year. The Radio Academy Award was part of their Nations and Regions awards which celebrates local programming.

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It’s fantastic for Siren to win this award and have the hard work of all the volunteers appreciated. We found out about the win at the station back in December but it was great to have an evening dedicated to receiving the award.

The accolade was awarded to Lincoln’s first community radio station because:

“Siren FM is a really ambitious and creatively interesting station. They’re doing something different but in their own way and are firmly rooted in their community. A mix of local experiences and stories with global themes – relating the world to Lincolnshire and vice versa.

“This entry displayed a great range of voices and topics on air as well as a great mix of youth, heritage, diversity and local history. A student station that demonstrates good engagement with both students and the wider listener. The schedule was eclectic and the station sounded good and fresh.”

Our winning entry included lots of clips from a variety of Siren shows, and I am happy to say that my radio documentary following the Burton Road Chippy was included.

Here’s some photos from the night.

Carnaby Christmas Lights switch on

In November 2013 it was part of my job as a Social Media Executive for Sister to update the Carnaby Facebook page on the day of the Carnaby Christmas lights switch on. The role involved posting a variety of pictures, videos and status updates to let people know what was happening on Carnaby throughout the day.

Below is a selection of the posts I made which covered the festive Carnaby shopping party, the countdown to the switch on and the big reveal of the Christmas lights.

Regent Street Christmas lights switch on

On the day of the Regent Street Christmas lights switch on in November 2013 I ran the Regent Street Facebook page. This involved posting updates and pictures from the day as well as responding to comments left on the Facebook page.

The point was to promote Regent Street for Christmas shopping and to let people know what was happening on the London street for the switch on of the Christmas lights.

Here’s a selection of the Facebook posts from the day demonstrating the use of photos, the countdown to the reveal of the Christmas lights and shows engagement with customers, artists and musicians performing on the day and Regent Street stores.

Behind the Headlines

Last Friday I was a guest on Peter Smith’s Behind the Headlines on Siren FM. His show looks at what’s in the papers as well as looking at the ways the papers cover the news.

On the show we discussed the latest in the Edward Snowden story, the missing Doctor Who episodes and possible changes to driving licences for those aged under 18-years-old.

It was fantastic to talk about news on the radio and analyse the stories, as well as accidentally teaching the host and the other guests the phrase ‘tramp stamp’. Honestly it was relevant, as you will find out if you listen to the Behind the Headlines podcast.