Brilliant BBC work PLACEMENT opportunity

Please read the detail of this BBC placement below.

If you would like some help applying Karen is happy to help – please come and see me with your CV and covering letter. 

Closing Date – 21st DECEMBER 2011


West Midlands 2012 BBC Work Experience Placement (unpaid) Opportunity

Based within the BBC, The Mailbox, Birmingham

3 x 3 Month Work Experience placements

There has never been a more exciting time to work on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the West Midlands. As the official broadcast partner for the 2012 Games, the BBC will play a pivotal role in telling the story of the London 2012 Games, not only during the Games itself but in the run up to it.

As part of your university course this West Midlands 2012 BBC Work Experience placement will be central to telling the 2012 story for the West Midlands, driving awareness and engagement with BBC programming across the West Midlands up to and including Games-time. In particular your role will be integral to identifying and telling the story of London 2012 hopefuls from across the West Midlands which are a key mechanism for how the BBC aims to engage and excite audiences from across the West Midlands in the build up to the Games.

You will have the opportunity develop skills and be responsible for researching and building a comprehensive picture of all London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls either based in or from the West Midlands and then developing editorial ideas and suggestions as to how feature them as part of the wider BBC coverage in the region. This opportunity will not only enable you to work on and support programming for this once in a lifetime event, but will also provide you with links and experience of working with a range of thematic and geographic areas, applying your energy, passion and drive for the London 2012 Games to identify and engage as many hopefuls as possible from across the West Midlands.

Your placement will provide you with the skills and development to play a role in supporting additional BBC London 2012 engagement programmes, including around key publicity milestones, Torch Relay planning, volunteering, Pre-Games Training Camps, Live Sites etc.

The placement will be based within the BBC and will provide you with contacts and experience across the BBC media platforms, but will also enable you to work and liaise with Sport bodies and partners, as well as Local Government and geographic 2012 leads.

As competition will be high for these placements we will be looking for students with exceptional creative and research ability demonstrated through previous research experience either within an academic or work setting and also have experience of working with a range of partners. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are also essential.

This is a work placement opportunity for 3 months, on a 1 day a week basis (flexible on times and dates). The 3 placement opportunities will be over the following periods:


  • January – March 2012
  • March – June 2012
  • June – September 2012

For an informal chat please contact Jenny Wilkes on 0121 567 6040 or email

To apply, please submit a CV and covering letter to

Closing date: Wednesday 21 December 2011

Interview date: Week beginning 9 January 2012


It’s not over yet…..

There are still 3 weeks of term left…So here is the plan;

Thursday 1st December – No classes.  Lecturers available. CW1 Hand-in via MOODLE before 11.30pm. Please look at Moodle for further instructions on how to submit a pdf of your blog via Moodle.

Assessment Week (5th-9th December).   No classes.  All students to find an audience for your broadcast work.  Look to distribute your work and get a following.  Use the internet and your contacts to get feedback. Design webpages and promotional material to put on your showreels. Prizes for the biggest audience/ highest ratings!


Thursday 15th December – SCREENING with Duncan Jones 0930 – ETB10

+ CWFeedback in Seminar Sessions

Lecture 7 – Working in TV and Radio

GOT THE BUG?  Want to work in TV or Radio……. Be prepared to be interviewed, and interviewed and interviewed (every few months for your whole career)

Start here. Skillset offers lots of useful information on getting into TV and freelancing.

Make sure you look at this website frequently for one-off one day opportunities.  A great way to make some contacts.

Apply for a BBC placement – for experience of completing the application form if nothing else!

Don’t forget the Indies – There are some big UK Independent TV companies who are constantly looking for people. Worth applying through the links and chasing up with a phone call.

 Endemol Talent

Birmingham based Indie, Maverick TV (Embarrassing Bodies).

Check out the listings of your favourite shows on the Radio Times website.  Here you will find the names of Producers/ Directors and Production Managers. Contact these people directly for a quicker response to work placement questions.  Start building your contact list before you leave Uni – this will really help you when you leave (I promise!)

Radio- Hospital Radio/ Uni Radio – get experience now.  MOST radio people start in community based radio stations. They are a great place to learn the trade and get relevant experience on your CVs.

Work experience is a lot easier to get than a job.   Go grab your chance!


1. Research – know the programme or company, it’s target audience and it’s history

2.  Ideas – have an idea for the programme. Big or small it doesn’t matter but you will be asked for ideas.

3.  They want to know you as a professsional – you will be asked about your communication skills, organisation skills, time-management, resilience, and team working. You need to have an example/story of these areas up your sleeve that you can talk about when asked. The idea here is they use your past experience as indicative of your future performance.

4.  Smile!  Telly is a people business.  However tough the interview, keep smiling and demonstrate your people skills.

Lecture 6 – Distribution

Distribution – Transforming formats into successful worldwide programmes.

“If it doesn’t spread, it’s dead”  TV saying

TERRISTIAL TV – If you are a production company your format will be passed on to a business manager or exec producer who will either pitch the format to a commissioner or sell it via programme aquistitions departments of the big broadcasters.  These links are to BBC examples but all broadcasters will have these departments.

ONLINE TV – but you don’t have to worry about slowboat and heirarchial traditional commissioning for your ideas because there are many other exciting ways to broadcast your work….

LIVE BROADCASTING –  Your formats can go straight to air through broadcast platforms like Ustream and YouTube.

YouTube launched in 2005 (just 6 years ago but can you imagine life without it now?).  A simple platform for uploading videos has become something much more impressive.  And now “ordinary” people are making their names known and some are even making money.  The most watched video EVER; Charliebitmyfinger has been watched 386m times!  The family have made more than £100,000 from “Charlie” films to date. The money comes from a partnership with YouTube earning 60p for every 1000 views or per click on an ad.

Further reading on how to make money from YouTube –

It’s still early days but academic perspectives on YouTube are starting to come through. Ideas about the ideology and scope of YouTube are interesting Media specialists in 2 broad schools of thought – the technological – How is YouTube influencing how we consume Media? Will user generated content usurp TV? What does this mean for the future of advertising?
and the philosophical – What do YouTube videos say about our society? How is YouTube influencing our cultural progress. What are the consequences for privacy? Here is a list of books for further reading. YouTube reading list

BROADCAST THROUGH SOCIAL NETWORKING sites – Facebook (500m users)  and Twitter (200m users).  Increasingly a marketing tool on these sites you are just a click away from people who can recommend your work.  Recently press and academic concerns have been raised around the issues of surveillance, privacy and data collection.

Some further reading on this –

Get your stuff out there – you never know who might be watching!

CONVERGENCE.   As the internet continues to dominate our lives and our viewing habits the search is on for increased convergence.   There are issues for broadcasters around control (age appropriate especially) and copyright (broadcasting rights and royalties) are common – and decided in court (search internet tv court cases). Currently the internet is used for “catch-up tv” and as a place to offer programme support (extra information/ audience interaction) but more user friendly and quality Internet Television – it is not far away.

Examples –  No self-respecting format is not on the internet. So this is how the big guys do it – Deal or No Deal and I’m a Celebrity lead the way and so they should – they have all the dosh from those voting lines. And on radio be suitably impressed by the Radio stars Chris Evans and Heart FM’s Breakfast show.

Now you think well why should I bother with this? I’m not a multi millionaire broadcaster with a huge following and lots of time and money to put into this. Well of course even smallfry producers can distribute your work thanks to several easy-to-use platforms to exhibit your work (YouTube, Vimeo, Blogs, Social networks etc).  Your only problem is making your work distinctive enough to get an audience.

Well there are some realistic things you can do….

1. PRODUCE an interactive blog is a good example of how the producers are putting the audience first. There are lots of ways to make your format distinctive;

* Production News with clips and photos

* Opinion invites – asking audience what they think

* Programme material invites – asking audience for their ideas

* Links to Twitter, Facebook, Fansite – all broadcasting must-haves

* RSS feeds – keeping audience up-to-date

* External links – essential if you want to exploit potential revenue streams



Charlie news story.  What would you do?

Radio with pictures. Doesn’t that defeat radio’s purpose?  Arguably there is no place for radio on the internet – other than as a player.  What’s the need for all the pictures and webcams etc?  Radio is flirting with pictures, it’s not sure if it likes them or not. It’s trying ideas out on the audience and will respond if the audiences likes it.  (Although BBC is spending less online and less interested in testing out new ideas).  However some radio ideas are crossing the boundaries like this;

Danny Robin’s Music Therapy



So we’ve asked you to put your programmes up on Vimeo
All Formats to be uploade on Vimeo – 

This is a good start but it needs to look more professional and a lot more interesting….

Have a look at these showreel examples

Adam Swords – former MP student. Graduated last year! Commercial Photographer.  

Ross Rawlings – another former MP student. Documentary Photographer.

Joe Shaw – director. This page is more informative and interactive. But most posts are old – you must keep maintain your webpage to make you sound like you are approachable and contactable

Nick Harris – TV studio director.  This is a conventional professional website, a bit corporate but it charts his career well and contains everything you need to know to be convinced of his skills and ability.
Now you should also be thinking about creating your own personal website – this is crucial if you want to work in the Media seriously once you leave. You will need a web address to send out (much more effective than your CV..)

And don’t forget University based websites to give your work professional appeal.

Shelly’s student website –

CUTV – University TV channel that’s getting lots of notice.

See Pete Woodbridge for how to get your stuff on –

And don’t forget the University radio – you should be talking to these guys to get your ideas on air now Source Radio. 

Context 2 – Save Local Radio!

So who or what is going to save Local Radio….

Consider that UK radio listening is on at a high why is local radio facing such huge cuts (in hours of output and staff numbers)?

– 90.7% of the population (47.1 million adults 15+*), listened to radio during the third quarter of 2011,

– The total number of radio listening hours has also increased year on year to 1,076 million hours per week or 22.8 hours per listener

– In addition, listening hours via a digitally enabled receiver has broken through the 300 million mark for the first time to reach

304 million listening hours per week. 

Source: Rajar

BBC is going through a period of review following a series of licence fee freezes. It’s latest report on the future of the BBC can be found here; 

The radio headlines of this report are;

Changes to the BBC’s radio stations:

  • Protecting Radio 4 by keeping its underlying budget stable, excluding the impact of productivity savings;
  • Greater sharing of news bulletins between Radio 2 and 6 Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and Radio 3 and 4;
  • Reducing the amount of original drama, live music and specially recorded concerts at lunchtime on Radio 3, and reviewing the BBC’s orchestras and singers;
  • Reinvestment in the Proms to maintain quality;
  • Focusing Radio 5 Live on core output of news and sport;
  • A new more focused Asian Network with a 34 per cent reduction in its content spend; and
  • Making savings in radio distribution costs through long term changes to Medium Wave and Long Wave.

Changes to programming and services in the nations and regions:

  • For nations radio, reducing investment in non-news programming and focusing on peak-time; and
  • For English local radio, focusing spend on peak-time programmes, but with increased sharing across regions in off-peak slots.

Current Opinion about threat to local radio;

So what is the solution for local radio?

– Shut them all down? Who listens anyway…

Look at how local and commercial radio listening figures compare.

Look at the growth in internet radio stations.  From hiphop to reggae there is a station devoted to your favourite music.  You can even set up your own through websites like and software like shoutcast.

– Create a hybrid station –  some local at peak times (breakfast and drivetime), some radio5live.  Listeners can use radioplayer to hear local content they want.

– Outsource production to commercial radio – TV is made by independents compliant to BBC regulations so why not radio too?

WHAT would YOU do if you were Director General of the BBC?

Context 1 – TV Formats rule the world!

Still not convinced about the power of TV Formats? Well consider then the impact of Simon Cowell.  And then the transformation of a little TV quiz show, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire into a global phenomenon and Oscar winning film “Slumdog Millionaire.”  Keep the formatting faith, it could be you next!


Television viewing  show no sign of dwindling.

“Viewers around the world will watch 140 billion more hours of television, revenues from pay TV in the BRIC2countries will rise by 20 percent3; worldwide TV advertising will increase by $10 billion, and 40 million new viewers will be added; TV chefs will sell tens of millions more cookbooks than their non-televised peers4; TV shows will be the most common conversation topic around the world and the subject of more than a billion tweets5. In short, television will likely continue to command a growing share of the world’s attention and pocketbooks.”

Source: Deloitte

For facts and stats on the global format market.  Look at BARB, Broadcast, Rajar and and MIPblog

Global TV trading and most successful TV formats worldwide

The international format trade has seen enormous growth and acceleration over the past few years. While the traditional players are engaging in this gamechanging process by breathtaking M&A activity, newcomers are scrambling to claim some share of the approximately 3bn Euros up for grabs each year.

The FRAPA Report 2009 – TV Formats to the world traces the changes in the format business between 2006 and 2008 and sheds light on the industry’s response to the global economic downturn during the first months of 2009.

International TV Format Trading (2006-2008)
Statistic on the number of exported and imported TV formats (country by country)

Source: Frapa Report 2009

The number of traded formats has substantially increased. During our research period, a total of 445 original formats found their way to foreign screens. In the first FRAPA study on the format trade covering the years 2002 – 2004, there were 259.

The production volume generated by traded formats has grown from €6.4bn for the years 2002 – 2004 to approximately €9.3bn for the years 2006 – 2008.

The UK is still leading in the number of exported formats, followed by the USA, The Netherlands and Argentina, in that order.

Countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy, which were not particularly proactive in format exports, meanwhile jumped on the bandwagon and are now keen to improve their format business with promising results already in evidence. Even Japan, a self-sufficient giant, is showing a growing interest in the format trade.

TOP 10 TV Formats around the world
The most successful TV formats around the world (2006-2008)

Source: Frapa Report 2009

Format global heavyweights such as Endemol and Fremantle face growing competition from many new players; most recently several US studios invested heavily in local production abroad as well as in their format distribution businesses.

Talent shows, studio game and quiz shows are the top earning genres, along with makeover/coaching shows. The sales in such scripted formats as dramas and telenovelas are growing.


TV bods around the world are all chasing the dream – THE NEXT BIG WORLDWIDE FORMAT….

Current trends in Format ideas –

“Action, moral tests and attractiveness are the hottest trends right now”, says global TV observatory.

Source: MIPblog –

Endemol are the biggest UK producer of formats. But there are many other companies out there from giants like Fremantle (X Factor) to smaller companies like


Scandanavian Production company.  Sold formats such as Gay Army, Bingo Banko and

to the US.

The biggest problem facing all FORMAT producers in the market is COPYRIGHT. How to protect your golden idea?

DID you know? TV formats are not protected under copyright law.

Remember Pop Idol and American Idol? They were made by Fremantle.  Then along came the X Factor made by Simco (Simon Cowell’s company). So Fremantle threatened court proceedings for copyright infringement.  Case settled out of court so the law wasn’t tested.

“Television formats are vulnerable to plagiarism since it is widely presumed that they are not protected by existing copyright legislation. The courts have generally taken the view that formats are merely generic programme ‘ideas’, as opposed to creative works in their own right, and have consistently maintained that mere ideas cannot be protected by copyright law. One reason may well be that to do otherwise would give rise to the bigger media players grabbing a monopoly of the simple ideas, which would result in an injustice to the smaller players. So, although there is a growing format industry in which programme formats are licensed around the world, creating significant revenues, the lack of legal protection has led to the risk of ‘format theft’.”

Source: Legal 500

There is plenty of advice out there. Organisations like FRAPA  are fighting for producer rights to protect their work as well as Bournemouth University’s current research project, Exploitation of TV Formats.  Questions about copyright have been comprehensively answered by WIPO.

Your blogs – some help


Remember your blogs are an important part of your individual Coursework submission and should evidence your critical thinking about radio and TV formats.
Here are some guidelines to help you;
1. Don’t write a diary.  Your blog should be reflective and evaluative not a simple record of what you did each session. So each post should consider your own development and your team development identifying areas that are going well and those that need further work.
2. Do research.  Your blog should evidence your further reading and research into TV and radio formats.  For example regularly read Media Guardian, Broadcast, DigitalSpy,  BARB and RAJAR websites to improve your understanding of current broadcasting. Remember Harvard style referencing for any quotes or sources you use.
3. Do offer your critical opinion.  Why are TV and radio formats so dominant in our schedules?  What do you think audiences like about formats? What do you think the future is for formats and how will can they develop to ensure they remain successful?  Your opinion must evidence the relevants stats, facts and quotes to support your claims.
4.  Context  and Distribution – Show your understanding of your media practice.  Take your TV and radio formats and analyse their place in the current broadcasting world. What is the hook that will keep audiences coming back to them? What “stable” or  category of existing similar and successful formats does your format fit and why? Consider the scope of your formats – where (terristial, digital, web channels) could they realistically play? What adaptations/suggestions do you have for their longetivity? And what is the future local radio?
5.  DON”T FORGET TO Write a conclusion!- You haven’t finished your blog until you’ve offered a thought-through conclusion that sums up your research, analysis and reflections.
Recommended Reading;
RAJAR – radio audience research. Good for stat, facts and trends
BARB – tv audience research. Good for stats, facts and trends
Broadcast –  Industry revered paper with all the latest news and opinions.  Web format is subscription only but a Paper copy  (and backcopies) is available to read in the  CU library.
Digital Spy – more gossipy opinion on current broadcasting
Media Guardian – broadsheet views on UK Media

Lecture 4 – Tricks of the Trade

This week we are considering tips to improve your TV and Radio format programme making skills.

1. To be a Formats Producer – “You need to be very creative, dogged, passionate”

Look how well you are doing!

BBC Development Executive video from BBC College of Production website

Also recommend you watch

TV studio director video, vision mixing, lighting, etc


– Telly relies on its looks.  So  pay attention to Set design and lighting. How you present the studio is really important. It tells the audience everything they need to know about the tone and intended audience of the programme.

To appreciate the craft that goes into making a TV studio programme WATCH TV with the sound off.

Look for

  • How often the shot changes
  • What type of shot (wide shot, medium shot or close up) is used
  • How often the camera moves within a shot
  • What visual clues are included in the shot
  • What the lighting is like
  • How graphics (words on the screen) interact with the rest of the visuals

– Radio relies on words to paint the pictures.

Making a radio package video explains how to set the scene and engage your audience.

1. Work out what the story is? And be clear on this.

2. Who are you going to talk to?  You will need a range of voices from experts and public opinions

3. Choose a location carefully.  EG Market gives your piece some good background noises.

4. Check your kit before you go out.

5. Remember the people who speak to you the most passionately

6. Record wildtrack.  That’s background sound to cover the edits.

Listen to as much speech radio as you can to deepen your understanding of the medium.  The more you listen the better your scriptwriting and presentation will become.  Get yourself out of your Chris Moyles comfort zone – hunt around the BBC radio website for some real gems.  Use your practice session to get your Presenters talking in pictures.

3. Find good contributors. Formats eat contributors.

There is a constant need for members of the public to take part in shows. Finding “good people” will make your programmes work. And good contributors are not necessarily the loudest or most extrovert;

Contributor Research video

Casting contributor takes time. The longer and harder you take to cast the better the results.

You don’t want a load of TV wannabees. You want a good ethnic mix.

You don’t always want loud, brash, noisy people. You need people who hold attention, have a strong presence and something about them that audiences will relate to.

Don’t cast individuals, cast the team – people who will work well together or not (as the format determines).

Audition and screen test your shortlist is the next stage in the process.

BE HONEST about your show. You don’t want anyone to pull out at the  last minute. Prepare contributors for the  media exposure they might get.

Recording vox pops

1. Smile!

2. Learn to take rejection

3. Listen…. people will surprise you with what they tell you!

4. Ask open questions – that start with why or how or what to avoid yes or no answers.

5. Speak to a variety of people to get different opinions and perspectives.

Tips on how to get the best vox pops

4.  “Pictures are secondary, sound comes first”. Pay attention to the SOUND recording too.

Voice is everything – looks mean nothing! Both television and radio are about words.   Use your practice sessions to sharpen up your script writing skills (everyone can help out with this) and make sure your presenters practice “talking”.  Give them random subjects to talk about during the studio setting up time to get them used to this.  The more you practice, the better you will get.

Voice video.  Tips include Talk to your listener, Uses pauses and Listen back (to appraise your performance) and Dress the part (feel like the professional you want to be).

Graham Norton video offer tips on how to best record sound on an improvised studio programme.  Sound is as important as pictures in a TV show.  Rehearse moves around the studio so that sound recordist can cover the action. Remember protocol in a studio team and who is allowed to speak, when.  Sound technology is a skill that takes time to learn.

5. Communication, Communication, Communication.

Would you describe yourself as a good communicator?  Well how do you know you are? Well to be a good TV communicator you need to be good at;  persuading, negotiating, putting people at their ease, public speaking, and probably most importantly trusted.

Kate Humble’s video explains the directors/presenter.

– Make sure everyone knows who everyone is and care about your team. Remember to give the team a break.

– Tell the team what you want to achieve

– Presenters are isolated from the action, they want to know what’s going on

– Tell the presenter what type of shot you are using so they know what the audience is seeing

– Make sure the presenter knows the tone of the item/programme

– Do say “action” and “cut”!

Chris Evans and his Producer explain how important this relationship is in radio.  Look out for each other. Give each other space. Don’t make any fallings out about the programme personal.


Making programmes should be fun.  This is the main reason people who work in telly work in telly.  These clever, articulate, creative people have chosen a profession that at it’s core is about promoting happiness. Leave the stress at the studio door – You can’t make good telly stressed!

Mid-term reflection

Where we are at:

There are

3 weeks to the recording sessions for your TV and Radio formats

4 weeks to Hand-in

To do this week

– Work on your set design. Rehearse your format.  Finalize the content ideas and research. Book any contributors.

– Make a final decision on the format for your Radio piece.  Research the content and book your contributors. Practice in your radio roles.

– Write running orders and scripts for both artefacts

And remember this is TEAM work. You need to work together (whatever your role) to get all this done in the time.

AND DON”T FORGET your BLOGS. Your blogs need to evidence your research, analysis and evaluations of TV and radio formats. Also include evidence of how you have developed in your role and been a good team member. Remember to keep reflecting on the week so that you get a clearer picture of what work you still need to do and to ponder on what you have learnt so far….

BBC radio tours – Thursday 27th October and Thursday 3rd November

Ok folks the next two Thursdays are going to run slightly differently to normal to allow for the
BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio tours that we have organised for you.  Remember to bring your cameras with you – there will be plenty of opportunity to take some pictures of your visit.  Duncan Jones will also be around to answer any questions you have about the station or your Undiscovered Coventry ideas.
So the timetable for this week (Thursday 27th October)is;
0930-1030 Lecture ETB10 – ALL to attend
1030-1200 – TV team 1 – BBC Coventry and Warwickshire tour
1030-1200 – Radio Workshops 1-4 with Paul ETG20
1200-1330 – TV team 2 studio practice
1330-1500 – Seminar TV team 2/ Radio workshops 5-8
1500-1700 – TV team 1 studio practice (including Format ideas workshop for first hour in the TV studio)
And the timetable for next week (Thursday 3rd November)
0930-1030 Lecture ETB10 – ALL to attend
1030-1200 – TV team 2 – BBC Coventry and Warwickshire tour
1030-1200 – Radio Workshops 5-8 with Paul ETG20
1200-1330 – TV team 1 studio practice
1330-1500 – Seminar TV team 1/ Radio workshops 1-4
1500-1700 – TV team 2 studio practice (including Format ideas workshop for first hour in the TV studio)