UPDATED: Trinity graduates tell of challenges of reporting Brexit and Jo Cox killing


By Oliver Lines

No two days in radio are ever the same, says a producer for BBC Radio Leeds.

Charlotte Swift, a former student at Leeds Trinity University, spoke about the challenges she faces on a regular basis and how to deal with them when she returned for the annual Journalism Week event.

“I went into the office the morning after the Brexit vote and, like a lot of other people, I assumed we would have stayed in.

“But when it came out that we had voted to leave, we had to change all our scripts from what we had prepared the night before.

“Then when we thought we had got through it all, David Cameron resigned and we had to do it all over again, so I was ringing round MPs trying to get interviews together for the next bulletin,” she said.

She added that doing an outside broadcast in Batley the day after Jo Cox was killed was a huge test, too.

“The scripts were written the day before but we had about three hours of air to fill, so I was just grabbing people off the street and asking them to come speak to us,” she said.

“It’s something university can’t really prepare you for but it was a great experience.”

Karen Liu, a broadcast assistant for Star Radio, also spoke about her experiences on air – including when she pronounced the name of a band wrong.

“I once pronounced Bros wrong and pronounced it Bro’s,” she said.

“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!”

Both Charlotte and Karen both got their starts through work experience during their degrees, which they were keen to highlight.

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

“I was introduced to a producer at university and did some work experience, which led to paid shifts.”

Charlotte added: “I shadowed a producer on a breakfast shift and I probably bugged them with the amount of questions I asked!

“That is my one tip when you go anywhere on work experience – ask questions.”


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