LIVE: Laughter the best medicine after boy band mistake live on air says Trinity broadcast graduate

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By Oliver Lines

A recent journalism graduate has told students about how to get over making errors live on radio – including pronouncing the name of 80s boy band Bros wrong – by turning it into a joke.

Karen Liu has come back to Leeds Trinity University to speak to students for Journalism Week about her experiences as a freelance broadcast journalist at Star Radio in Darlington.

She explained how she sometimes struggles with pronouncing names of sports people, place names and once an international band.

“I once pronounced Bros wrong and pronounced it Bro’s.

“The presenter left my mic on and we had a laugh about it, he said I wasn’t born when they were gigging, that was the excuse we used so that was interesting!”

Karen got her start at Star Radio when a producer and managing director came into Trinity and tutor Richard Horsman introduced them to her.

She said: “Keeping in contact with whoever you meet is crucial.”

Karen kept in contact with the producer and did work experience before getting paid shifts there.

The skills Karen learnt at university are transferable because on a normal day she has to arrange and conduct interviews whilst also writing and reading an hourly news bulletin.

Karen has to decide whether to lead with a national or local story and what order to put news in.

“The skills you pick up here are vital and you can use it to transfer to whatever job you have,” she said.

Karen was joined by fellow broadcast graduate Charlotte Swift who is know working for BBC Radio Leeds.

Charlotte says her biggest challenge was an outside broadcast the day Jo Cox was murdered.

“The day after Jo Cox was killed, we decided to do an outside broadcast in Batley where she was MP for. The scripts were written the day before but we basically had about three hours of air to fill, so my job was grabbing anyone on the street and asking if they’d say a few words about her on air. It’s something uni can’t prepare you for but it was such a great experience,” said Charlotte.

 

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