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Brighton Journalist Works alumnus Caroline Rundell

Brighton Journalist Works alumnus Caroline Rundell

After completing her fast-track NCTJ course at Brighton Journalist Works in May 2014, Caroline Rundell has spent the time working in radio and television.

We caught up with her to find out how she is getting on and how her course took her into the career of her dreams.

Where have you worked since finishing your NCTJ at Brighton Journalist Works?

I have worked as a journalist at Latest TVJuice 107.2 in Brighton and Spirit FM.

Describe your average day.

My average day at Latest TV involves putting together two video packages for the news show.

I have to research the stories given to me that day, source appropriate interviews, film interviews, vox pops, rushes and pieces to cameras.

I also need to write-up the scripts, record the voice overs and edit them into two-minute packages. One day is very intense!

My average day at Juice 107.2 will involve calling emergency services for any breaking news stories as well as checking various websites such as Sussex Police. I write up news stories based on what is going on.

I put together the bulletins each hour and then read them  live each hour on the hour.

There is also a lot of forward planning for the next day involved and updating social media.

What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you while working on a story?

I do not know if it is the strangest but something that springs to mind happened quite recently.

We were at the Latest TV studios editing news packages and we started to smell burning and saw smoke outside.

We realised a restaurant next door had caught fire and the building was being evacuated. Six fire engines turned up and a police cordon was put around the street.

As the equipment was all there we were able to cover it live which was pretty unusual to have breaking news happen on your doorstep.

What are your favourite stories you have worked on?

I suppose I like any story I have done which has been able to help someone in some way. Sometimes you are able to give people exposure for a good cause through the news and it’s always very rewarding to know that you made a difference.

What work are you particularly proud of?

I suppose recently I’ve been more proud of my work when I’ve had enough time to be creative with the stories.

Sometimes you’re doing well for time and you can put a lot of attention into the scripts and the editing and are very proud with the finished result.

Often you’re on such a tight timeline that you can’t be too fussy about details as it just needs to be done quickly and accurately.

What is your happiest memory at Brighton Journalist Works?

I did the fast track course which was very intense and I paid for it myself which felt very expensive!

So, as much as it is a cliché, my happiest moment was passing all my exams and knowing that all the hard work and money had paid off and I was a qualified journalist.

I had all the usual fears before I started the course that I may not be good enough or might not even pass and all that time and money would have been for nothing. I was very, very happy when I did.

What skills did you learn at BJW that you still use today?

Law! Having a good understanding of this is critical and you will have to think about it every day for every piece you do.

The consequences of not understanding it or forgetting are massive.

You are likely to lose your job and not be employed as a journalist again.

News writing as well is used every day. This becomes a bit like second nature after a while.

See some of Caroline’s news videos on her YouTube Channel.

What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?

Be prepared to work for free.

This may not apply to print but I wanted to go into broadcast and I could not have done it without interning and working for free.

I also did this for several months part-time while I did paid work the rest of the time to pay to live.

If it is what you want to do then you can do it but you need to be prepared to prove yourself and learn on a voluntary basis first.

I would also advise people to be brave and persistent when contacting the people you want to work for.

I hear a lot of people say they do not bother asking for work because they know competition is high so they do not even try.

I only got the jobs I have now as a result of sending emails asking for work experience.

When I did not get responses I kept writing until I did. You definitely will not get a job if you do not even try!

Caroline studied on the 16-week fast-track NCTJ course at Brighton Journalist Works, starting in January 2014.



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