Working in Deaf Media: My Placement at BBC See Hear

In October last year, I was offered an opportunity which combined two of my biggest passions: media and deaf culture. I had found out that I was chosen to have two weeks’ work experience in Bristol with BBC See Hear – the broadcaster’s deaf magazine programme.

Photo: BBC.
Photo: BBC.
I have been working with the deaf news website, The Limping Chicken, for a while now, but deaf media from a broadcasting perspective is something I’d never experienced before, so I couldn’t wait to start my work experience at BBC Bristol earlier this month.

Straight away, my placement started with an incredible three days. On the first day, I had managed to arrange an interview for See Hear’s next programme, and I would be going down to London with one of the programme’s reporters later in the week to film it. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent watching interviews and reports being filmed – the ability to go behind-the-scenes and see professional reporters work on packages was really insightful and intriguing.

One of the many things I will be thankful for was some of the responsibilities I was given during my placement. From drafting the script for the show’s news segment, to being one of the voiceovers in the final episode, I had never expected to have been handed such amazing opportunities, and so I was immensely grateful for that.

Speaking of voiceovers (or ‘dubs’, to use the correct terminology), another thing which fascinated me was how so many things came together to form the final output.

As well as working with those producing the content, I was also fortunate to help out with research and a variety of other technical details which are all part of the production process. Ringing up contacts to obtain information was something I was used to doing before at university, but to call them on behalf of the BBC was incredible.

img_1680With that in mind, my placement at BBC See Hear was truly an experience which allowed me to explore all of the different workings of such a great group of people. Seeing a show gradually develop over the two weeks I was there was an incredible thing to witness. From raw footage being edited, to it being transcribed (something which I helped with during my time there), to it being dubbed by voiceovers on my last day, the fast progression of the programme was very impressive indeed.

As I handed in my visitor’s pass for the last time, I left the lively and friendly atmosphere of BBC Bristol feeling a little sad that the experience was over. However, that was nothing compared to the extreme sense of gratitude I had for the BBC for an insightful two weeks working on such an incredible programme.

Therefore, I would like to say thank you once again to the BBC See Hear team, the BSL interpreters and everyone at BBC Bristol for being so welcoming during my two weeks’ work experience. The episode I helped out with was aired on BBC Two today at 8am and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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