Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 09:25 UK

The journey of a radio news story

The news room at Radio 1's Newsbeat

One way to find out what's in the news is to listen to Radio 1's Newsbeat at 12.45pm and 5.45pm each day.

But the journalists start putting the news together a lot earlier.

Listen to the final report about cyberbullying - receiving abuse on the internet or by mobile phone - by clicking on the button.

Then read the rest of this page, with accompanying audio clips, to find out how the story moved from research to report.


7.30am - Researching

Helen looks through the day's news stories

Newsbeat journalists start researching the news. Helen looks at what other journalists have already written in today's newspapers.

She also checks news wires - a bank of stories to which only journalists have access.


8.15am - The morning meeting

Time for the news meeting

Editor Toby leads an editorial meeting where journalists discuss which stories they should include in the 12.45 bulletin.

He says: "It's really important for me to hear people's ideas of what they want to do, to gauge their interest, how they think the audience will be interested but also about how we should go about bringing those stories alive as a piece of radio.

"That's what the morning meeting is all about - to thrash it all out."


8.45am - Compiling the running order

A list of the news stories in order, called a running order

Having listened to everybody's views, Toby decides which stories the listeners want or need to know about and puts them in a running order.

In its most simple form, the running order is the order the stories appear on the programme. In reality, it contains key details about each of the reports. It is therefore a plan of the whole programme.

Everyone involved in making the news will look at the final running order so they can see how their role or report fits in with everyone else's.

The members of the news team, are a bit like actors in a play. They all have their lines, but unless they know what the other characters are doing, they won't know when to come on stage or when to start speaking.


9.00am - Allocating stories

Editor Toby (left) briefs Iain on a cyber bullying story

Toby gives each reporter a story to work on.

Iain is the technology reporter so Toby briefs him about the government's plans to tackle bullying on the internet and by mobile phone.

Toby starts by asking Iain to make it clear to the listeners what the phrase "cyberbullying" means.

He wants to hear from someone who has been bullied in this way and asks Iain to advise people what do to if find themselves a victim.


9.30am - Interviewing an expert

Iain records an interview with a cyber bullying expert

Iain records a high quality phone interview with an expert about cyberbullying. It is used in Radio 1's short news summary at 10.30am bulletin. He also writes the script for the newsreader.

Iain says: "We spoke to an expert from a charity which helps children and tries to stop the bullying.

"She had ISDN in her office, which is like a very high quality telephone line. It means the audio sounds really clear. We didn't have to go to her, or she to us, so that saved a lot of time."


10.30am - Interviewing a victim

Chris does a vox pop - interviewing 13-year-old Esther

Iain calls people who have texted in with their bullying experiences. However, no-one is willing to talk about it on air.

Another journalist, Chris, steps in to helps him by interviewing people on the street. He speaks to 13-year-old Esther, who was bullied through an instant messaging service.


11.15am - Editing

Iain edits the audio of Esther's interview

Iain selects the best bits of Esther's interview to include in his report.

He says: "We need to edit the clips and pick out the best things that people say. It needs to be quite short and snappy. We cut out all the "erms" and pauses so the person comes across as clearly and concisely as possible."


11.30am - Script writing

This is what the news script looks like

Iain writes the news script. It looks a bit like a play script, with different people reading different lines - some for the newsreader, others for himself. He also decides where he wants to place Esther's interview.

He says: "When we write our scripts we like them to be as conversational as possible. It's really just the way a friend of yours might chat to you if they were explaining a story."


12.30 - Recording a script

Iain records his own lines for the cyber bullying piece

Iain records his own lines and saves them alongside Esther's interview.

This is his opening line: "It was supposed to be a laugh and a way of keeping in touch. Esther and her friends started using instant messaging. They began to get abuse from people they didn't know."


12.45pm - Broadcasting

Newsreader Dom reads Iain's script

The bulletin is broadcast live from the recording studio. After a summary of the headlines, newsreader Dom reads the introductory script which Iain's has written and he has tweaked.

It reads: "It was supposed to be a laugh and a way of keeping in touch. Esther and her friends started using instant messaging. They began to get abuse from people they didn't know."


12.45pm - Broadcasting equipment

Derek plays in the prepared material at the correct time

At the same time, in the adjoining studio, Derek plays in the pre-recorded material.

He says: "It's my job to make sure all the different bits of sound are played in at the right time. I can play in packages or clips.

"They're the different bits and pieces you hear which aren't the newsreader. Most of them are recorded beforehand."


12.45 - Organising a broadcast

Sophie makes sure everything runs according to the scripts

Broadcast Assistant Sophie makes sure everything runs according to the scripts and to time. She warns Dom when he is about to speak "live" and when he is "off air".

She says: "It's also my job to make sure that everybody has the same information about what is being broadcast.

"There was a situation once where there was a big gap on the air because different people had different scripts.

"As long as everybody's got the same script, that has been checked by the editor, you'll be fine."


1.00pm - Feedback

After the bulletin, editor Toby talks to the team

The bulletin is over. Editor Toby tells the team what worked well and what could be improved.

He says: "It's a chance for everyone to make observations about how we could have done something a bit better.

"It's also a time to publicly congratulate somebody who has done a good job of explaining something difficult, so other journalists can put that kind of thing into practise in the future."


3.10pm - The story moves on

Iain at the microphone

The 12.45 news bulletin might be over, but Iain's specialist knowledge is still needed.

That afternoon he is interviewed about bullying via the internet and mobile phones live on BBC Radio 1Xtra.

He brings a script with him but instead of reading it word for word, he refers to now and again as he answers questions from the Radio 1Xtra presenter. That way it sounds more natural.

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