Students visit top BBC sports team at Media City


UCLan Sports Journalism students at the BBC, Media City

A group of twenty Sports Journalism students from the University of Central Lancashire headed to Salford for a visit to BBC TV at Media City. The event was organised by the team behind Sports Personality of the Year, or SPOTY as it is known by the insiders, and gave students the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of one of the biggest BBC sports shows.

The day started with a talk from BBC Sport Outreach Manager Shelley Alexander while clips from last year’s Sports Personality programme were shown on televisions around the room. Next up on the schedule were talks
from SPOTY editor Carl Doran and producer John Nicholson who briefed students on their roles within the show, how both go about their jobs and where they started when getting into the industry. Attendees were given the opportunity to
hear how the ideas for the show came about and how they are developed by the team. A VT was played which had been shown on last year’s SPOTY as John Nicholson explained how the idea started, was developed and how it was received
by the public as well as the national media.

Then students were split into four groups to work with various members of the SPOTY team, Assistant Producer Gabby Cook, Producer John Nicholson, Assistant Editor Steve Lyle and Marc Vesty of SPOTY online. These group sessions were a great chance for students to pitch ideas to the organisers well as gaining invaluable advice and feedback.

Another interesting part of the day was a talk by Matt Visser and Nadia Haif who studied Film and Media and Broadcast Journalism respectively and now both hold successful jobs with the BBC at Media City. Both Matt and
Nadia told students how they got their jobs and gave tips for getting jobs in the future.

Finally, Shelley Alexander gave details of exclusive placement opportunities which give students the chance to work on Sports Personality of the Year itself as well as joining the BBC Celebrate Sport team.

The event gave students a great insight into the world of sports television production and how to get noticed for work within the BBC. UCLan student Hannah Whiteman-Turl said that the visit was “definitely a valuable experience” and
added: “Being able to see how real journalists put together television packages allows me to understand what it would be like to work for such a huge organisation and it has been amazing to see the state of the art facilities on offer at Media City.”

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