- 08/03/2016 - Local News
In early March, the Newsnugget editorial team made a very special visit: to the BBC Broadcasting house in the centre of London. If a picture says a thousand words, then a real-life experience says millions.
The group had a chance to see the gigantic BBC newsroom in action, where 300 people work to turn breaking news items that arrive on a "landing strip" in the middle of the room, into actual content for TV, radio, and the internet. They also walked around the new and old buildings, accompanied by a guide's anecdotes and information about broadcasting history. The highlight, however, came at the end of the tour, when they got to try out news-reading, weather reporting, and radio drama - for real. A truly inspiring day for budding journalists. Below you can read some of their individual accounts, and see great photos.
Newsnuggets' reporters arrive in the BBC Piazza
On Friday the 4th of March, our news reporters made a trip to the BBC. We took a bus, then a train and then we walked a bit and arrived at the BBC. When we arrived, had a snack and from the gallery where we sat, we could a look at Europe's largest news broadcasting studio.
Afterwards we had a tour of the building. First we went to The One Show studio. The One Show is broadcasted 250 days of the year from this studio, or just outside on the Piazza, where we are standing in the photo above. The cafe on the Piazza (which you can see from the studio window) is not allowed to have a sign up with its name (but now we know it is a Cafe Nero!), because it would be free advertising. BBC does not earn money from ads but from a License Fee that all viewers pay.
In my opinion, the best studio throughout all of the BBC would definitely be The One Show. We saw that the studio itself is tiny, but the way the camera shoots the pictures makes the studio look so big when you watch the program on TV. Another one of my favorite studios was Studio E. While you are watching the screen, you can actually see the person further back in the studio. I also found out that the BBC was bombed three times during world war 2. While on show, a bomb went off, but the broadcaster just kept on going. That was amazing! After learning about this, we went to a different floor to try out broadcasting ourselves.
In the One Show studio
The BBC is a massive media company - 6000 people work there! We got to visit, and it was a great experience. One thing that I really liked doing was acting as a news reader. I got to sit in a chair with a microphone and read from an auto cue (a screen where the lines I should say roll by). Noam got to be the weather man. To be honest, I never new that the weather readers improvise from notes! They also don't always have a picture of the weather map behind them when they are pointing to it, but it looks like it on the TV screen at home because a computer adds it later.
Reading the news
Emma & Cassia
In World War 2, the BBC was bombed by the Nazis and seven people died. Whilst this was all happening, a man was reporting the news. Then, in the middle of it, the bomb exploded and you can hear it on the news! (Our guide played the tape for us.) Because the broadcast was world-wide, everyone was watching it, including the Nazis. If the news reader had not stayed so calm, the Nazis would have known that the bomb had hit the BBC, and they would drop more bombs on the building. This would have been bad because each and every coded message was read in the BBC. Good job he stayed calm!
This picture below shows the BBC being bombed. We loved the visit!
The BBC is a big place, that broadcasts to many countries. It isn't just about news, but also radio drama, etc. Newsnuggets went on a tour to find out about what the BBC does and its history.
Here is the BBC building on Regent Street in London.
On our tour of the BBC, we got the chance to act out three different roles:
Becoming a Reporter: Newsnuggets learnt that not only do you have a script to read, but there is also an automatic reader to tell you what to say, called an auto cue. We found this fun and experimented with the microphone.
Being a weatherman: When you are a weatherman, instead of having a script you have to explain what you see. Challenging himself, Noam - one of our reporters - gave it a go and excelled. Noam enjoyed himself doing his new job.
Radio Drama: Acting out what they do for Radio Four was fun and straight forward. Luckily, as an actor, you do not have to learn the script because nobody sees you - you just read it! Sound effects are made by doing things in the background that sound similar to what is said, just simpler. For example, I made the sound effects of someone walking by putting my hands in a pair of shoes and walking them on the table close to the microphone. It was explained easily in the script and it was extremely fun.
Akash & Ed
On Friday the 4th of March, members of the Newsnugget club went on an exclusive tour of the BBC Broadcasting House. Our favourite part of the tour was when we got to act out a scene from a story as if on BBC radio 4. There were five volunteers from the group who spoke lines out of a script into microphones. Then there was one volunteer who played some sound effects while the others spoke (for example a knock on a door, or a bell ringing).
Recording radio drama
This Friday, the Newsnuggets made a trip to the BBC studios. The day was an action packed funfair with the children participating in some cool events like being weathermen, or recording radio drama. In short, they had a great day.
In my opinion, the best part was when we got to go into the One Show room. We sat on the green sofa that many celebrities have sat on.
Everybody found the studios massive; it is clearly called the second biggest broadcasting cooperation in the world for a reason. There are over 6000 employees! After all the fun we had to go back to the cafe for lunch. Luckily, I had packed some snacks on my own, because this time there was no flapjack in the school's packed lunch.
Something I haven't told you about is how well-behaved they were on the way to the studios. Everyone was talking quietly and did not do anything out of control. Hopefully some good comments will reach Mrs Jepson.
Unfortunately, the year 5 children had to miss swimming because we came back so late, but it was totally worth it. The day had turned out to be a great day, even though the trip was only half a day.
Scruffy studio backgrounds cannot be seen on TV
We had the privilege to go the world's 2nd biggest news broadcasting studios in the world, the BBC.
When we arrived, we walked into the real The One Show studio, which was really fun because we got to sit in their sofa where famous people would have sat before us. Next, we went to the old part of the house were the Radio headquarters are held. We were lucky enough to be allowed to act out a Radio 4 drama production (it wasn't actually on air, which was lucky since it was our first time).
Next, we acted out the weather forecast in a rehearsal room and Hugo got the chance to try being a real news reader. Noam had a hard job with the weather because he could only see the weather on the camera but not were he was standing.
Green screen and no script for the weather man
We had so much fun in that section, but sadly we had to go back for lunch and say bye to the British Broadcast Co-operation and go back to school.
Overall, I liked the Radio drama the best because it was extremely funny and Milo, one of the other Newsnugget reporters, did his extra evil laugh into a microphone, which nearly deafened me.
The Newsnuggets made a trip to the BBC... and boy was it fascinating! One particular section was the apple of my eye, and that was the Radio Drama section. Here is the cast in our own drama:
Announcer/ Butler: Milo
Alex: Me, Loulou
I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY enjoyed my part in the Radio Drama, and I think when I'm older I would definitely think of having that as a career! In addition, I think it's just like acting on a stage, except not exactly on the stage, more like behind a curtain, or wall. I used to think Radio Drama was weird, but now, having done it, I really enjoy it!
We acted out a horror story where some people get stranded in the country side when their car breaks down. They seek shelter in what turns out to be the home of a vampire (or something...)
Butler: The guests are just "hanging around" upstairs...
Jo: What exactly are we having for dinner?
Butler: YOUWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!! MAW HA HA!!!