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Tuesday 26 January 2016

Solent students star on ITV

ITV News Meridian were so impressed with our students’ outside broadcast of a recent community celebration that they asked to include some of the footage in a report on the event that ran during the evening news.

Unity 101, the south’s Asian and ethnic radio station, recently held an awards evening and live concert celebrating its tenth anniversary, and a group of final-year students from our media technology programme were asked to record and livestream the event as part of their outside broadcasting (OB) unit.

 ITV News Meridian Presenter Sangeeta Bhabra was impressed with the students’ work at the event, saying: “I had a front seat at the awards and concert so was able to see just how well the coverage was coordinated. The students (and I was pleased to see a mix of men and women) were extremely professional, they were experimental with their camera work and the OB was first-class. What I saw was very impressive – please pass on my congrats to all involved.”

Ram Kalyan (“Kelly”), Station Manager at Unity 101, was thrilled with the work done by the students at the event. He said: “Every time we work with Southampton Solent University students, they never fail to amaze me with the skills they bring to the project. This event was particularly poignant being the tenth anniversary celebrations, and the students excelled beyond my expectations in providing timely professionalism at all levels, even when under pressure.”

Final-year BSc Sound Engineering student Jay Battley, who helped plan and manage the coverage of the event, tells us what was involved, the major challenges and why this kind of work experience is so useful. 

What was the event you got to work on?

It was the tenth anniversary of local ethnic radio station Unity 101. The first part of the event was an award ceremony for people who have been involved with the station, and the second half of the event was a music concert featuring several Asian bands.

What were you asked to do for the event?

We were given the task of recoding the event and streaming it live onto several platforms, including YouTube and their radio station.

What was your role?

I managed the event and planned the whole operation, along with Tom Larbey who is in the final year of his BSc Live and Studio Sound degree.

 What were some of the main challenges of the job?

There were loads of new technical challenges for me working on this event. Although I have been involved with streaming before, I have never managed an event that involved streaming, nor have I streamed live onto FM radio before.

What did you get out of the experience?

I have previously managed the OB on the main stage at Truck Festival, which we go to every year; however I have learnt a lot more from planning this event from scratch – attending meetings with the client, liaising with the venue and their technical supervisor, and organising the crew and kit required.

How useful is this kind of live experience, both for your course and CV?

It’s a real event and therefore, as well as being assessed as part of our course, the process we had to go through is what we would have to go through for any live event we will be working on when we graduate.

As an added bonus, local station ITV News Meridian, who were covering the event, saw what we were producing on screen in the hall and saw the professional job we were doing, and asked if they could have a copy of our footage to go with what they were filming.

Polly Long, Course Leader of Media Technology at Solent, is really proud of the opportunities that come out of the real-world experiences that the University provides: “The practical experience the students take on is challenging but provides excellent real-world learning, which is what employers keep telling us makes our graduates so desirable. The 15-strong student team did an excellent job and it was great to get such positive feedback from the client and industry about their professionalism.”

You can watch ITV News Meridian’s coverage, which includes the students’ footage, on their website.