British Sky Broadcasting placement report

                                              Overall Personal evaluation
My provisional research into BSkyB enhanced my performance during my placement as it gave me a prior knowledge on BSkyB as I researched relevant company information. This enabled me to understand how the company operated and the software they used. On the other hand, I feel that my research could have been improved, increasing my knowledge on weaker areas, which were identified throughout my placement.

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A familiarity with newsworthy individuals and BSkyB’s regular correspondents was something needed across all departments within BSkyB including Sky Sports Ingest where I needed an awareness of current sports games and sporting individuals. My specific task was to monitor live footage from the Olympic parade, identifying Olympic medallists and looking out for clips with the potential to be used later in Sky Sports News. My role enabled Sky Sports journalists to have the time codes for the potential clips to be used in news packages later in the day. Throughout this I gained an understanding of what makes newsworthy footage, a skill which enabled me to identify original clips which were later broadcasted. However, I feel that my performance could have been improved with a recognition of sportsmen and sportswomen, which would have improved my ability to identify individuals. By watching a variety of sporting games on BSkyB I intend to enhance my understanding of sports. I feel this awareness will make me become more employable to BSkyB as it shows I have an interest and knowledge in what they broadcast. I also feel that being aware of the company’s regular correspondents would have improved my performance in Sky News where I had to label recordings with the name of the correspondent reporting. This would have enabled me to perform quicker, something which is needed in News Ingest.

Sky News Ingest involves ingesting, QCing and playing videos to air and as Ingest Operator I was responsible for making sure that live feeds from outside broadcasts were being recorded into the appropriate format. This often meant multi-tasking between jobs as I had to answer the phones, record feeds and deal with problems which frequently arose in the news galleries. My role fitted into the organisation as it was my responsibility to ensure programmes were being recorded in the correct manner, in order for the content to be broadcasted successfully. During the fast paced nature of the news studios I learned to effectively develop my time management skills, understanding the need to stay ahead of the programmes schedule, a skill which I adapted from colleagues who focused on the importance of planning. However, working under pressure is a skill that I feel I need to develop, as no amount of planning could prepare for the mistakes which frequently arose. I intend to develop my ability to work under pressure by taking on more responsibility in everyday life, as seen through my recent role as chief editor for my journalism student newspaper. I am hoping that by applying for a position with a lot of responsibility it will enable me to become more confident when working under pressure. I feel that the skills learnt in News Ingest have provided me with an initial understanding of the operations within television news production whilst equipping me with the basic skills needed for my potential future career in broadcast. This is demonstrated through my ability to confidently use the computer software in the galleries which enabled me to work individually, operating the phones, dealing with problems, ingesting feeds and using ‘The Broadcasting Support System.

Working in an office environment in Programme Traffic helped me to develop my team work ability whilst furthering my communication skills. As a Media Co-ordinator it was my responsibility to communicate with different departments across BSkyB in order to deal with problems and requests in regards to SKY footage. This meant regular communication with colleagues was needed in order to inform them of the requests I was currently dealing with on the department email, as failure to communicate often caused unnecessary confusion. I found that many of the problems I dealt with in this department were solved by creating programme ID’s. This enabled the footage to be identified by other departments as I was effectively assisting the journalists and producers in locating material for broadcasting. I understood the importance of communication throughout my placement and often asked frequent questions about BSkyB and my set tasks. This demonstrated my curiosity and inclination to understand more about the industry, whilst searching for further advice on my given work. It was the realisation of my weakness in retaining information which saw me use note taking and questioning to ensure I understood what was being asked of me demonstrating my ability to work within a team.

I feel I performed to a high standard during my placement, applying myself to every given opportunity whilst demonstrating confidence and a willingness to learn. However, with the value of hindsight there are numerous things that I would have done differently in both my preparation for the placement and during my time at BSkyB which would have facilitated further contribution to my work.

                                    Reflections on the ‘world of work’
Throughout my placement I gained an appreciation for how much time and work broadcasting a single programme requires, understanding what measures and precautions are taken by leading industries to ensure their content is to a high standard. It was this unawareness which brought to my attention the variety of jobs leading broadcasting companies like BSkyB offer. This exposed me to the opportunities within the broadcast industry, giving me the chance to experience and understand the different roles available at BSkyB.

I feel that my Media and Communication course only added to my knowledge of the media industry during my placement as it enabled theory work to be put into practice in a professional media environment. During my time in Programme Traffic I learned how to use and apply relevant broadcast media terminology, learnt during my television module, which enabled me to understand and assist requests from other departments. This was necessary when locating programmes as I had to know what type of feed the programme was recorded in.

Furthermore the placement enhanced my prior knowledge of the media industry which was aided through my course and my first year module in Television broadcasting, as I was able to apply some of the practical skills gained in my studies to the real ‘world of work’. My first year group assignment prepared me for my time in the news galleries as I found that I was already familiar with the roles and equipment. This enabled me to understand how professionals perform, enabling me to evaluate how I could have improved in my role during my course assessment.

The placement has developed my professional skills which therefore increase my chances of employability in the media industry. I have utilised important lessons learned during my professional studies module, in particular, understanding the need to make professional contacts within the industry. I feel I have increased my chances of becoming employed by BSkyB by gathering relevant emails and keeping in regular contact with industry professionals which will enable me to pursue further work placement opportunities. I feel that the placement has enhanced my professional approach to the ‘world of work’ whilst developing my personal skills.

Living in London for two weeks has made me more confident and driven as this was something which was previously out of my comfort zone. I now feel more self-assured of where and what I want to be doing after university as the placement revealed my passion for the broadcast media industry. I feel I have also become more confident in myself which has led me to approaching industry professionals asking for their advice and guidance on working within television broadcast, something which before I was quite hesitant in doing. I have taken on board the advice from industry professionals and I have since expanded my professional network by creating a LinkedIn account, a social networking website for professionals. This has enabled me to keep in touch with my connections from BSkyB whilst also widening my contacts as I am keen to keep developing my professional skills. BSkyB also taught me the need to have a Curriculum Vitae which demonstrates a keen interest in broadcast media as experience and demonstrating an interest in television is vital to becoming successful. Since this I have looked into attending relevant television festivals, such as The Media Guardian’s Edinburgh Television Festival, which was advised by industry professionals to be a recommended experience.

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