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28 October 2014

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You are in: Dorset > People > Your stories > BBC Blast reporter diary

James Tiller interviews WPNSA's Mark Stubbings

James Tiller interviews Mark Stubbings

BBC Blast reporter diary

As part of the BBC's Blast Reporter scheme, James Tiller from Bournemouth spent two months of summer 2007 working as a sports journalist for the BBC's Dorset and Hampshire websites. This is his diary of his time.

Week One – Dorchester

I began my placement on Tuesday 24 July and it started with an exciting trip to the seaside!

For the first week of the placement I will be working with the BBC Dorset team in Dorchester. I travelled up and met with my mentor Kevin, and he introduced me to the Dorset team. We were going to make a feature on the RNLI Lifeboat week that was taking place.

RNLI Lyme Regis

RNLI Lyme Regis

Once we arrived it was almost impossible to move as the small streets of Lyme Regis were crammed with tourists heading to the beach, hoping to catch some rare sunshine.

Parking was also an issue, but luckily a place had been reserved for us next to the RNLI offices. We were introduced to the press officer, who in turn introduced us to a lifeboat operator called Elliot who would show us around the boat.

Elliot would also become the first person to be interviewed by me, armed with a trusty Nagra [audio recording equipment] I ventured onto the boat where Elliot explained about the various parts and told me about his job.


That was only part one of the job though - we also had to speak to the people of Lyme Regis to find out what they 'loved' about the town so we could make a voxpop for a Why I Love…feature on the Dorset site.

I had never done anything like this before and found it quite embarrassing accosting random people on the street, but nevertheless it was still quite fun as we met some interesting characters, including Jimmy, the accordion man!

Lyme Regis' Jimmy played for James

Lyme Regis' Jimmy played for James

I came back on Thursday to write up the feature, I listened back to the audio clips and chose the quotes I wanted to use.

I was also shown how to edit the pictures down to the right size and level. The page was uploaded and I had my first by-line for the BBC.

Week Two – Southampton

I ventured up to Southampton for week two of my placement. I would be working with the Hampshire team this week.

Kevin took me on the tour of the building in Southampton, showing me the Radio Solent studios and the South Today television studio.

He also introduced me to various staff members at the centre, including Stephen who works on the Hampshire site.

Sailing and streetboarding

I then set about planning my week and the days ahead. Stephen had received an e-mail promoting the UK Streetboarding tour that was coming to Bournemouth. This was then assigned to me.

I rang Neil Thompson from UK Streetboards to find out a little more about what it was and what their plans in Bournemouth were. He then sent me some further information, including pictures that we could use for the site. I arranged a time for me to come down and do some interviews with him and his streetboarding team.

Tall ship Tenacious at Cowes Week, August 2007

Tall ship Tenacious at Cowes Week, 2007

The next job I went about organising was to visit the Jubilee Sailing Trust in Southampton.

Stephen arranged for a taxi to get me to the JST and when I got there I was met by Allistair Meharg, who I was to interview about the trust.

He gave me a tour of the boat Tenacious and explained how it has been adapted for people with disabilities. I was also introduced to various members of the crew including Graham the gallery manager, who informed me of the award he and his team have been nominated for, which made a nice alternative angle for my feature.

When I got back to the office I set about writing up my piece and editing the pictures I had taken, this was the first time I had been out on my own so their was no back-up if my stuff was rubbish!

Week Three – Bournemouth/Dorchester/Southampton/Cowes

Week three had been my busiest so far. Claire from the BBC Dorset website picked me up at 1pm on Wednesday before we headed to Kings Park in Bournemouth for the Streetboarding.

Receiving instructions from expert Neil Thompson

Instructions from expert Neil Thompson

Eventually after waiting nearly half an hour the streetboarders finally arrived (a full two hours after their scheduled arrival time!).

Wasting no time, Claire got the camera out and began filming as the streetboarders started skating around the park. I took the still camera and started snapping before being meeting the current streetboarding world champion Max Anderson. We did a short interview on camera with Max before he tried to show me how to streetboard, I got on a made a fool of myself, looking completely useless, all caught on camera of course!

We then did some interviews with Neil and Bournemouth boarder Dom Ebel before heading back to Dorchester to check out some of the footage.

Off to Cowes

Thursday saw me head out to Cowes with Stephen. We met in Southampton before catching the ferry to Cowes.

We eventually got over just in time for our arranged meeting with Oliver Clare from the Try Sailing stand on the parade. I interviewed Oliver and he spoke about what the Try Sailing stand was aiming to do and how they go about teaching novice sailors.

Try sailing at Cowes Week

Try sailing at Cowes Week

He took us down to decking where we met a family who had just been out and we were able to catch them for a quick sound bite before they headed back to dry land.

The next event we had to get to was a photo shoot at the try sailing stand where three members of the England Women’s football team were just about to go out. Stephen took the photos while I managed to have a quick chat with them before they went out to sea.

With our jobs now done we headed back to Southampton where I began to write up my feature on what was going on over at Cowes.

It was back to Southampton on Friday where Kevin showed me the edited streetboarding video which was now live on the Dorset site. I made some minor amendments to the piece, explaining my trials and tribulations while trying out the board. I also changed a few pictures about, adding some action shots from the tour.

I was then made a few changes to the Cowes piece and edited the pictures that I wanted to use.

I then was shown how to use the audio editing software so we could add some audio interviews to the page. I found this a little tricky to begin with but it became easier as I got used to the system. I edited my interviews with Oliver and the girls from the football team.

After I was finished with my editing Kevin helped my upload the audio onto the site and the item was now live.

It had been a busy week but one I really enjoyed, bring on week four!

last updated: 04/04/2008 at 10:29
created: 04/10/2007

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