Evaluation

Now that our radio news programme has been recorded, we can look back over the production phase and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the project.

This group exercise involved creating a radio programme that focused on current news stories. With that said, we quickly based our show around the General Election and the political aftermath resulting from it. As well as this, the top news stories of the week would be included as part of the headlines which would start the show. Assigning ourselves with roles within the group meant that these specific jobs benefited from the increased attention dedicated to them which would be evident in the final radio edit.

Tasked with writing the script for the show meant working closely with both Saskia and Adam who were responsible for the proposal and research for the show respectively; ensuring that our intended audience and the structure of the programme were captured through the script that was reinforced by Adam gathering research on the topics in which we wanted to discuss- both to prepare us and make our presenting style more authoritative. Charged with planning and providing the justification to our project, Ashley was another integral figure whose influence and repertoire of skills proved indispensable. As a group we all worked exceptionally well, with each person demonstrating the highest-most levels regarding the input they delivered into the making of the radio show.

Individually, we wanted to take inspiration from the structure of BBC Radio 5 Live in how they broadcast their news items. This consists of an opening, followed by the day’s news headlines which leads into the main body of the show. I feel this translated very well into our own script and served to communicate political issues to an audience who are usually not engaged with it, in a way they may find both appealing and informative. To further reach out to a younger audience, we took a classic radio feature and put a modern twist on it: Desert Island Discs, which seemed a light-hearted way to close the show.

In terms of recording the show, there were one or two mistakes in terms of delivering lines, but these were soon rectified or recorded again. In hindsight, it would have been good to have been able to perform the show in one take as would be the case in an actual studio environment, but editing the piece afterwards enabled it to be both seemless and professional.

Everyone in the group delivered their lines exceptionally well- and in particular, in the improvised sections where we collected our own views in relation to set questions. There was a great balance to the responses and fleshed out what we were conveying to the audience in greater detail. Personally, one moment which impressed me the most was how Saskia improvised to cue me in nicely to the next section relating to Nick Clegg, which helped to create a natural flow to the dialogue.

Other aspects which worked well were the inclusion of tweets and audience participation as part of the show. All these views or comments were sourced by ourselves and used to replicate the interaction between presenters and listeners. Another device that increased the production quality was using an opening jingle and then a piece of music to characterize our show ‘ASAP’ (The name taken from all our first initials). On the same note, creating a small ‘mixtape’ of our song choices for ‘Desert Island Discs’ allowed us to let the audience listen to them, but also demonstrate an integral part of radio, which is music.

An obstacle that we did face, of sorts, was in the editing stages. Not being able to edit our work to how we would have liked in GarageBand; mainly due to not being capable to fade out both our opening jingle and show theme, we exported it to iTunes and mastered it using iMovies. Being more comfortable with iTunes felt that the final piece produced was better than if it had been edited on GarageBand.

In conclusion, I believe we were successful in producing a radio programme that provided a young audience with important news stories delivered in a diverse way that would engage them. Over the course of just over a week, we have been able to plan, record and edit our radio show. Although the production window was small, this in no way inhibited the quality of our broadcast- thanks to a large degree by how well we all worked collectively together.

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