Monthly Archives: March 2012

TJ’s reunion gig Newport


(Broadcast 9th March)

Bands in Newport say they have nowhere to perform ever since popular music venue TJ’s closed two years ago.

The venue was forced to shut after owner John Sicolo died.

But as Bethan Muxworthy  reports, bands were given another chance to take to the stage at last weekend’s reunion gig.

(First interviewee- Steve Jenkins, a musician.)

(Second interviewee- James Andrews, Busker.)

Produced and written by Bethan Muxworthy and Kelly Bradnick

Top journalistic tips


It’s been almost 6 months since the beginning of my course and I’m pleased to say I have definitely learnt a great deal.

Me and Colin- driving the radio desk, early days!

Me and Colin- driving the radio desk, early days!

In the first few months I remember when we were given our first assessment, a ‘link and clip,’ which was 25-30 seconds of copy and  a short 20-25 second clip from a relevant interviewee. We were all  panicking and spent hours re-phrasing sentences, editing one clip and ‘faffing’ around the newsroom. Six months down the line and we’re out filming 3 minute television packages, leading a team, producing hour and a half breakfast shows, conducting full interviews, writing online content, producing radio packages etc.

Throughout the course we’ve also been lucky enough to have some excellent guest speakers from the industry giving us some top tips e.g. Jonathan Hill (ITV,) Charles Reiss, London Evening Standard’s former Political Editor , Mark Brayne, former BBC Correspondent, Peter Preston, former editor of The Guardian, John Ryan, Managing editor for BBC radio Manchester, Bill Turnbull (BBC,) to name just a few. Our lecturers, Colin Larcombe, Emma Gilliam and Tony O’shaughnessy have also been preparing us for the scary world of work by teaching us all their knowledge and assessing our performance on production days. Here’s a list of some of the tips I’ve picked up on my exciting journalistic journey so far…


  1. Be clear, concise and accurate
  2. ALWAYS answer the following: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

    Practicing our Breakfast show

    Me and Karen, practicing for the Breakfast show!

  3. Make sure the story is current, why does anyone care?
  4. Check the source
  5. Always have ideas for different treatments of a story
  6. Use conversational writing
  7. Don’t use too many statistics in a bulletin, the listener will switch off
  8. Think why you are using a certain interviewee, what do they have to add to the story?
  9. CHECK the Audio levels, make sure the audio is not distorted or too quiet
  10. When doing a package, think carefully about wild-track and structure
  11. Record links on location (sounds far more interesting)
  12. Make the most of your toolbox:  voicer, two-way, illustrated two-way, wrap, package, link and clip, copy (which one is more appropriate for the story you’re trying to tell)
  13. Be organised
  14. Don’t let the adrenalin take over (journalism is exciting but you must not let the adrenalin distract you from the job)
  15. Always lead into a clip by introducing the voice that the listener is about to hear


  1. Always think pictures

    TV studio gallery practice!

    TV studio gallery practice!

  2. When filming, film the same thing from 3 or 4 different angles
  3. Avoid pans, tilts, moving zooms
  4. You can never have too many close-ups
  5. With vox-pops, remember camera right, camera left (the person being voxed will alternate e.g looking to the left/right of the camera)
  6. Close-ups are best when interviewing (they are more important than the background)
  7. Always use headphones when on location (to ensure natural sound and correct levels of sound)
  8. Filming- check white balance, shutter speed, gain, focus, iris- flip to ‘auto’ to see what the camera expects the picture to look like and adjust in ‘manual’ mode to achieve that
  9. Make sure the tripod is level
  10. Write to pictures (when the presenter speaks the pictures should correspond to what’s being said e.g. when reading ‘Sam Warburton’ the picture will be of him and not Warren Gatland!)
  11. ALWAYS use pictures when possible (presenter in view is  last resort)
  12. Pieces to camera- should be about 15 seconds and used when what needs to be said can’t be reflected in the pictures
  13. Two-ways- be natural, know your story, use your script effectively, deliver it with authority, practice, make it
  14. Presenting- be natural, move your script along incase auto-cue fails, adjust your tone so it suits the story (happy if it’s a positive story, serious if it’s a sad story etc,) don’t wear bright or patterned clothing, be plain so that the viewer isn’t looking at your flowery suit but is listening to WHAT you have to say.
  15. Check spelling, capital letters, be clear, accurate and NEVER write anything you don’t understand.

I could probably write hundreds more but these are some that have definitely helped me develop my journalistic skills.

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CJS Breakfast show

Practicing our Breakfast show

Me and Karen, practicing for the Breakfast show!

As a part of our exciting course we have the opportunity to work as a team to produce an hour and a half breakfast show. At the beginning of the week, we’ll have a breakfast meeting where we’ll all share story ideas and then assign a couple of stories to each member of the team.

Last week was my first breakfast show, and so we all spent the week gathering material, phone bashing and getting around our patch to get a range of light and serious stories to have an editorially balanced breakfast show. Myself and my colleague Karen volunteered to be the presenters. We spent some time in Bargoed speaking to people about the history of the town and the plans for its re-development.

We also went to speak to Andy Gorno, a Welsh food producer who has both Italian and Welsh heritage to find out who he’d supporting in the Italy V Wales on the weekend. On Thursday evening we sub-edited the programme to avoid any slip ups when reading through it.

It was one of the most exciting production days as we really got to know our content and worked really well as a team. The programme was recorded in three slots of half an hour, so here’s a sneak preview of our show:

(Team- Geraint Thomas, Tom Lewis, Tim Walsh, Niamh Hannon, Zahra Ullah, Kelly Bradnick (editor,) Karen Lyons, Lavinia Hoyos, Bethan Muxworthy.)

Multimillion pound development Bargoed


(Broadcast 9/03/12.)

Many towns in the valleys of South Wales suffered as a result of the decline of the coal mining industry.

But now one of them, Bargoed near Caerphilly is about to get a multimillion pound makeover.

Work will start on building a new supermarket on Monday and there are more plans for a multiplex cinema and restaurants…

I went to Bargoed to see what this would mean to the community…

(Second treatment for the later bulletin)

Building will start on a new multimillion pound development in Bargoed on Monday.

The town, near Caerphilly has been one of many areas in the valleys to suffer from the decline of the coal industry.

A new supermarket and a multiplex cinema are among the plans to give the town a new lease of life.

I’ve been speaking to Ron Davies, the Councillor for regeneration and planning for Caerphilly about the plans…

Cardiff has top score in Food Hygiene Ratings


(Broadcast 10/02/12)

Over five hundred food businesses in Cardiff now have a top score of five in the capital’s latest food hygiene rating . The scheme which is run by Cardiff Council and the Food Standards Agency rates the hygiene standards of places where people eat or buy food.

Our reporter Bethan Muxworthy has been to find out more.

(Written and produced by Kate Varley and Bethan Muxworthy.)

Valentine’s Day Leisure for Life campaign in Rhondda


(Broadcast 14/02/12)

Leisure centres across South East Wales are encouraging couples to try something different this Valentine’s Day.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council is running a campaign to promote exercise in the community.

Our reporter Kate Varley has been at Tonyrefail Leisure Centre to find out more:


(Written and produced by Kate Varley and Bethan Muxworthy)



(Broadcast, 24/02/2012.)

With two big welsh matches in London this weekend you’ll probably have to set off early to avoid a busy M4.

Three men took it to the extreme and left Cardiff last Sunday, but they are doing it for charity and they’re running the whole way.

They’re hoping to arrive in Twickenham just before the National anthem to watch the match.

I caught up with Mike Hnyda to see how they’re getting on…