Live from the BBC

20 January, 2016

Day 14 in London

So, if you know anything about Britain, you know that there’s this woman who rules the country called the Queen of England and then this organization that does a thing where it covers the news called the British Broadcasting Corporation.

If you know anything, you should know those two things. And if you didn’t already, well, now you do.

My only class on Tuesdays is Media in Britain, and luckily, I don’t have it until six o’clock each day. But this Tuesday was particularly special because our teacher was taking us to the BBC studios for a short tour and then to see one of their shows produced live.

The BBC Broadcasting House serves as the worldwide headquarters for the BBC and is located in the heart of London just a couple minutes walk from the Oxford Circus tube stop.

Our class met in the coffee shop inside the BBC center and then made our way to the main building and through the doors under the large, lit up letters that spelled out B B C.

Once inside the building, we went through airport-esque security and then collected our visitors badges and wristbands for the live taping of the BBC One Show. After going through security, there was another coffee bar and gift shop. I bought a BBC Radio 1 mug (I love Radio 1, its great) to add to my collection of mugs for coffee that I do not drink…hah

In the coffee bar area, there is a counter that has windows overlooking the large, fantastic, amazing newsroom of the BBC. Our guide told us that the BBC prides themselves in having the largest newsroom in the world (besides China, but that is only because they won’t share information about how large their newsrooms are, so we will let the BBC call themselves the largest newsroom in the world).

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Before going to the studio where the BBC One Show is filmed, we were taken down the twisting stairs to the main floor of the newsroom. The 6 p.m. news was currently broadcasting live, and while we snaked through the newsroom, those watching the news were probably able to see us in the background!

We were then taken downstairs to see where the producers directed and produced the shows. That was really cool to see as well.

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Next, we went back upstairs and then outside into the main courtyard area. There was a gated area surrounding the entrance to the One Show and we put our bags in a locked locker outside then were ushered into the studio. It was a really small studio and we had to stand for the entire thirty minute show. The time flew by though because the BBC is a public broadcasting service and therefore does not have commercials. A big difference between the U.K.’s media system and that of the U.S.’s.

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The show was an interesting mix of entertainment and some soft news. The guest on the show was Sanjeev Bhaskar, a British comedian, actor and broadcaster. He was pretty funny and got along well the hosts  Matt Baker and Michelle Ackerley. It was really interesting to see how they interacted between the pre-recorded clips that played during the show.

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When the show was over, we took a photo with both of the hosts and then picked up our things out of the locker outside. Overall, it was a really amazing experience. My favorite part though would have to be when we walked through the newsroom. It was gigantic and the atmosphere was so cool just because people were working everywhere plus you could see the live broadcast of the news going on and wow just wow. Such an amazing experience!

Nondrinkers on Campus

www.nondrinkersoncampus.wordpress.com

Over the fall semester in my journalism class at UW-Madison, I was able to explore a topic I have always been incredibly passionate about: the choice to  drink and what it is like to be a non-drinker at a school that celebrates alcohol culture.

We were allowed to choose any topic that was in some way connected to UW-Madison and investigate and learn more about. And for me, this topic was a no-brainer. While I spent many long hours working on this project, interviewing people, writing stories and working with different storytelling mediums, I ultimately produced a final website that I am incredibly proud of that encapsulates my entire project.

As a nondrinker myself, I don’t know many other people that choose not to drink at UW-Madison as well. This project pushed me to reach out to others that I didn’t know beforehand who also don’t drink. Learning about why they each made the decision not to drink was very eye-opening, as each person had their own reasons as to why they don’t drink. I had amazing conversations with each individual featured on my website and really do not feel that I had enough space to tell their stories. This was one project where I really hated having word limits as not only could those who I interviewed talk about this subject forever, but so can I.

I have always felt that many stories written about UW-Madison’s drinking culture focus on those who choose to drink and UW’s draw as the top party school in the country (thank you Princeton Review), and seem to leave out another population of students: those who choose not to drink.

Last semester, I ran across two articles also written by students attending UW-Madison who wrote about being non-drinking students at Wisconsin. I loved both pieces written by Jonah Beleckis and Jenny Recktenwald and was able to talk with both of them for my story. I encourage you to read both of their great columns here:

Jonah Beleckis: Letter to the editor: UW-Madison’s alcohol culture alienates non-drinkers

Jenny Recktenwald: Believe it or not, I don’t need alcohol to have fun

I really hope you take the time to look through my website and hear more about their stories, as well as the other individuals’ incredible stories that I was able to learn more about, as this is something that I’m really proud of and invested a lot of time in this past semester. I love talking about this topic (as you will probably see) so feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk further about it!

You can find my website at www.nondrinkersoncampus.wordpress.com