Review on Current Affairs
|Support & Guidance|
|Environment & Location|
|How Rewarding Was It?|
My task was to assist in the production of the Current Affairs programme that ran daily. This included podcasting and uploading the morning's episode onto the BFM website. I would also assist in research and setting up interviews. I was also allowed to pitch my own episode ideas or produce my own episodes. This would require me to research a given topic, set up and conduct interviews, record voiceovers and edit the entire audio package for air. I did episodes on both local and international stories ranging from the TPP Agreement and the MH17 Tribunal to bauxite mining and Orang Asli children. I was able to interview a whole host of people for my reports include topic experts, academics and politicians. Topics and editing would be overseen by my supervisor who gave feedback for each episode I did. However, besides a few pointers I was allowed to work almost independently. The final report, uploaded to the BFM website, is credited to me.
It was a basic interview over Skype. Questions centred on my past work experience that I'd listed in my application and around which programmes I hope to work on. Didn't require much prior knowledge but an understanding of the station and its programming was key.
I learnt quite a bit of interview skills and approaches in setting up interviews. In particular, dealing with government agencies and politicians required me to understand how go about arranging for interviews and verifying information before airing a piece. The learning curve can be quite daunting at first especially when you're tasked with interviewing experts so you have to be prepared with good research. Researching topics thought me how to find relevant information quickly as I was mostly working on a deadline. It also taught me a lot about how to frame stories to the audience. I also learnt a fair bit about how the station works as a whole including a bit of the technical aspects of the station.
A lot of the initial support was provided by the more senior interns. This included things like workflow ideas, technical help working with recordings and podcasting. However, my supervisor did keep checking if I was working on something or not. If I was having trouble with a report, my supervisor was always open to discussing it and providing possible solutions including leads and contacts for interviews.
If there's one thing lacking it could be the slight lack of structure within the programme. Though it's not honestly a big deal and it does help give a truer feel of the work culture for individual programmes. Due to the independent nature of a lot of my work, it was really self-discipline that pushed me to do a good job rather than my supervisor. So it really comes down to your own initiative to do a good job.
Really understand the station's programming and apply for a programme that you're interested in. If you don't have an interest in the content of that programme it will affect how motivated you feel throughout your internship. Be prepared to be thrown straight into the job so you have to be confident with yourself especially when making calls and interviews. Don't be afraid to throw your ideas forward, it could actually go through and that's an amazing experience.