On Monday 11th April 2016, I reported to the all-powerful Broadcasting House, the home of BBC World Service where I had been offered a three week work experience on the Focus on Africa Desk. It was an amazing experience, the News Hub fully integrated me into the daily news gathering and programming for the Focus on Africa news hour at 18.00 BST.
My first assignment was to call and schedule a skype interview with controversial vice President of South Sudan, Gen. Riek Machar, who was expected to return to his country, two years after fighting broke out and he parted ways with Juba Government. The interview didn’t come through, but I was commended for the effort and given another assignment for the day.
A normal day at the Focus on Africa News hub begins with a planning meeting for the editors, journalists and producers to review the big stories for the day and any other stories that may be covered. Here, journalists are producers and use the Jupiter software to edit stories from different parts of the continent. They also coordinate with regional offices in Africa to on the upcoming stories of the day.
Over the two weeks, I learnt new ways of reporting stories for an international audience. I also got hands-on experience with social media interaction in news reporting, and I spent a day at the Africa Live page which reports stories as they develop. This is a challenging role because the editor in charge has to be fully in control of the events happening around the African continent.
All in all, it was an exceptional opportunity to get exposed to a 21st century advanced multi media news environment. I appreciate The University of Kent because almost everything I have learnt at the university is what takes place at the BBC News Hub in practice and theory. Above all, I have contacts for future prospects, and I have been told to keep my eye on the BBC Careers Hub for any opportunities. I am also allowed to use BBC on my CV and the Editor as my reference.
– Fortunate Ahimbisibwe is undertaking a Masters in International Multimedia.