Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page
On Location Reporter/Interactive Producer x 2
Do you have a talent for telling people’s stories? Can you get the best out of an interview? Can you get it online in a clip of under three minutes? And then get as many eyeballs on it as possible?
We are looking for 2 reporters/online writers to act as our ‘eyes on the ground’ for a new, ambitious program on Channel 4, tracking the lives of a number of engaging members of the public for 8 or more weekly episodes. The programme, Notting Hill (w/t), will be screened the week it is filmed so characters will be seen discussing the main issues and events of the week. The reporter will be required to shadow/be embedded with the crew for Notting Hill and expand upon the stories that are developing throughout the series to engage the online audience for the show using Twitter updates, a regular blog, photos, flip cam video, etc. – all of which will be uploaded to the central hub on channel4.com for publishing on the site. Reporters will be required to attend daily morning production meetings, liaise very closely with the TV editorial team and will be required to be available throughout the duration of the production schedule for the series, covering a wide range of hours between the team of three (2 reporters and a Channel 4 online producer).
A distinct tone and style is required for both of these roles, and they need to complement one another. The ideal candidates will have these attributes:
- each needs to have a distinct voice on-line and they need to complement one another well
- they must tread that fine line between being energetic and trying too hard – remaining on the right side of that line is a great art and not a common ability
- they need sound editorial judgment and to understand what makes C4 C4 – so they need to have the C4 edge yet know how far they can go
- they need to be super-fluent in social media – how to use it successfully both editorially and technically
- they need a good sense of where a tantalising titbit of content may lie – to be sharp, quick thinking and flexible
- they need to understand the demands of making TV, especially in these pressurised circumstances, so they cannot get in the way of the TV team whilst still staying fully plugged in with them editorially
- they need a good sense of tone and how to move from the fun to the serious without jarring
- they need to have experience in live, real-time reporting
- they need to be able to think on their feet and react to situations as they happen to capture relevant and interesting content
- an active interest in TV, especially reality and entertainment programming, is desirable
- experience of shooting and editing video is preferable
How to apply:
- Please tell us in up to 140 characters why you’re the must-have person for this job
- Send a URL of a social media account/presence you run which you feel is successful
- Send a URL of a longer bit of content which captures your style well (e.g. a blog post, not a massive essay)
- Send a link to a video of up to 2 minutes which captures how well you can interview someone (anyone interesting) – doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a talking head will do provided it captures the interest
- Finish off with up to 300 words only on your relevant experience and skills, and why you’re The Right One
Really enjoying working on this new project (Phase 1 launched yesterday, main site launches 13th September at http://www.4thought.tv) First C4 programme to have URL as a title. It was great to read this initial reaction in The Guardian as they clearly get the idea…
Channel 4 rescues the God slot
The new Channel 4 series of religious and ethical meditations breathes life into a stale format
If last night’s 4thought.tv is indicative of things to come, then there might yet be some hope for the God slots.
The new series of short films to be screened after Channel 4 News feature a single speaker who reflects on religious and ethical issues or aspects of their spiritual lives from their personal experience. Nothing particularly new there is would seem. But despite being considerably shorter, and generally more spacious with its script, it looks like being a lot grittier and down to earth than the platitudes which emerge during other pauses for thought such as Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.
The first offering to kick off the series was by Dr Gill Hicks, who lost her legs in the 7 July London bombings. In just a few powerful sentences, she reflected on her experience of God through those who helped her, but also the choice she felt she faced between life and death.
Usually God contributions are the preserve of the identifiably religious. Clergy, theologians, even thinktankers have been chosen as religious
“representatives”. This has predictably led to the debate about who should be “in” and who should be excluded from delivering their reflection, on the basis of whether their belief system is important, or relevant enough to qualify. With a few notable exceptions, the slots subsequently reflect back – in often bland monologue with a moral pay-off at the end – the values and perspectives of big religion.
It’s not the fault of the contributors so much as the way the slots are structured and the culture that surrounds them. Often devoid of attitude and original experience, the presentations can sound contrived, and meander aimlessly amidst the harder news output. Which is a shame, because space for reflection amongst the 24 hour news churn should be an important contrast to help the listener or viewer refocus and get a sense of perspective in a way that is accessible to all.
And there are many ways to do it if you are prepared to move beyond the old formula – as Channel 4 is now showing. In particular they seem to be reviving the idea of “testimony”. For their slot focuses on people’s lives and experiences as much as philosophical or doctrinal concepts. Gritty, difficult, uncomfortable issues and ideas that haven’t been packaged into a neat formula can emerge more easily when the focus is what has happened to a person, rather than a more abstract tradition of thought.
There is of course huge value in philosophy, theology and the wisdom that has developed over centuries. But there is merit too in stepping away from it, and listening to the experiences to those who would not immediately be identified as religious. In many ways it makes perfect sense. If you want a reflection on exclusion, then listen to the excluded. If you want to hear about poverty, then listen to those who live with it on a day to day basis. And if you want a new angle on the old, tired debate about whether God exists, and if so why there is so much suffering, then listen to someone who has survived the carnage of a bomb blast. They may just have some powerful and thought provoking reflections on whether God was there or not.