School Reporters enjoy BBC MediaCityUK tour
Listening is the key to a good radio interview, we were told on our visit to the BBC at MediaCityUK in Salford on Practice News Day.
We got the opportunity to put some questions to Becky Want, who presents BBC Radio Manchester's afternoon programme.
She said it was very easy to just go through your list of questions, but the trick was to listen to what the person you are interviewing is actually saying and to respond to that, though it's not an easy thing to do.
First of all when we arrived at the BBC, we were each given notebooks to record our findings. We then discussed news values and looked at various newspapers.
Some of the headlines included Oscar Pistorius weeping in court as he was charged with murder and the meteor strike injuring hundreds of people in central Russia.
After that we went to where North West Tonight and BBC Breakfast are filmed. Some surprising things that we found out were that there are screens hidden in the desk, the cameras are robotic and that there are printers behind the couch in case the computers in the desk stop working!
Next, we got involved in the BBC Radio Manchester news planning meeting. There we discussed what stories were going to make the news. The main story today was about a fire in Rochdale.
We talked about how you must have someone to be a witness to a story before it can be classed as true. We also discussed some of our news report ideas like having a gap in the market for a news show for teenagers, having to wear a school uniform and the leaked storyline about the upcoming fire in Coronation Street.
Then we went to see the radio presenter Matt White and asked him questions while he was recording a show for the weekend.
Some of the questions included:
• Where do the songs come from? Answer: They are all set up already from a system
• What's the TV in the studio for? To be updated on the breaking news
• Have you ever messed up? A couple of times I left my phone on but nothing too big
Later we visited the BBC Sport studio where the sports news bulletins are broadcast. We were all very impressed with the technology around, including the cameras which are controlled from a separate gallery. Each day the studio is used for up to 18 hours!
It can also be used to film Match of the Day if the usual studio is unavailable. There is also a smaller studio round the back to be used for special occasions like the Australian Open tennis and Formula 1!
The students were not the only ones to enjoy the trip to the BBC. We asked our two teachers what they had particularly liked about the day.
Miss Aplin said: "My favourite part of the day was visiting the North West Tonight studio. I was surprised at how small and enclosed it was. It also shocked me that most of the cameras were robotic."
Mr Peters said: "I enjoyed the interview with Becky Want as I thought the children's questions and behaviour were very professional."
We think it has been a great experience and would recommend School Report because it's fun and something everyone should get involved in.