Look North VJ is best in Europe

Nicola Rees Nicola Rees researches, films, scripts and edits her daily news pieces

Wetherby bus wars helped clinch European honours for Nicola Rees, who was voted best regional video journalist this week.

Look North's Rees topped the prestigious Prix Circom VJ category for the second year running with an entry that included a piece about two Wetherby bus companies that went head to head on the same route.

'It was confusing passengers,' attests Rees, 'two buses going to the same place, turning up at the same time. The piece sees me hopping on and off buses, but at the same time I was getting the shots and the stories. I was doing this as a one man band, and I guess I was judged on that basis.'

Jobs of three people

The keen stills photographer was previously a producer/presenter on Inside Out, working on longer form investigations and features. 'Inevitably, you start to pick up a camera, film a bit when you can't get a crew out or things have overrun. I really enjoyed it.'

Start Quote

Basically I do the jobs of three people. I film, report and edit”

End Quote Nicola Rees Look North Video Journalist

So when a VJ job came up in Yorkshire's TV newsroom, she went for it. 'Basically I do the jobs of three people,' she explains. 'I film, report and edit. It's really varied - you have to be prepared for anything.'

It's taken Rees and her Sony Z5 camera to the Falkland Islands with Yorkshire soldiers preparing for duty in Afghanistan and to the middle of a snow drift with a mountain rescue team. She recently shared a van with a Siberian tiger on its way to Doncaster wildlife park. 'It was unique access,' she tells Ariel. 'I got some great pictures of it roaring into the camera.'

Good multi-tasker

But what sets her apart from the rest of Europe?

'I'm a good multi-tasker, I suppose,' she laughs. 'You're thinking, have I got the wide shots, is the light fading, is the sound OK, will the battery run out? But at the same time you can't let the journalism slide. You have to ask the right questions and hold people to account.'

Jessica Ennis Sheffield's Jessica Ennis hopes to improve on her silver at the 2011 World Championships

She also believes the production skills and values she learnt at Inside Out have improved her work in daily news. 'I still care about what things look like,' she explains. 'I take my time over the edit.'

Rees will be joined at the gala awards show in Malmo, Sweden later this month by Yorkshire colleague Ian Bucknell.

The producer won the regional sport Prix Circom for his Olympic Dreams programme for BBC Yorkshire.

Bucknell's half-hour film featured five Olympic hopefuls and went behind the scenes at Sheffield heptathlete Jessica Ennis' training camp. The half hour programme, presented by Tanya Arnold, also looked at how Tae Kwon do champion Sarah Stevenson was coping with preparations for the Games in a year in which she lost both parents.

Bucknell and Rees, who triumphed over entries from 23 countries across Europe, are now both in contention for the Grand Prix - a single winner chosen by the panel of senior European tv execs and producers from across all categories.


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