An afternoon at Guardian HQ

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of being invited to Guardian HQ by audio producer, Tim Maby. Tim  focuses on producing the Guardian Books podcast. I was actually in awe of the building itself – very modern and brimming with journalists tapping away at their keyboard. Tim gave me a brief guided tour and showed me the main newsroom, dotted with what seemed like 200 computers, filled with various members of the team updating the website, and crucially making preparations for the following day’s print. Tim mentioned that as it was such a huge room, it is often very difficult to find people you are after!

The key purpose of my trip was to see what Tim got up to. I was extremely fortunate to be able to sit in and observe a discussion that was taking place between Baroness Susan Greenfield and Marcel Theroux, hosted by Richard Lea. The discussion was to go in to one of the upcoming podcasts, ahead of the Edinburgh Book Festival, which the team appear extremely excited about. Neuroscientist, Susan Greenfield, has recently released a science fiction novel titled “2121: A Tale From The Next Century”, whilst in May, Marcel’s “Strange Bodies” was published.

This led to an extremely interesting discussion, with the two sharing differing views yet arguing constructively, leading to a productive debate. Meanwhile, Tim was sitting beside me, working away meticulously, fiddling with various buttons and switches to make sure the sound quality and  volume were at an optimal level.

After my brief stint on UCL Rare FM, where Audacity was the closest I came to an audio workstation, Tim gave me an overview of Cubase, which was an incredible bit of kit. In fact he seemed almost appalled that I had been subjected to such an inferior application! I guess this was an example of where student radio differs phenomenally from a brand producing multimedia which is listened to and watched by hundreds of thousands.

However, as my sojourn to Guardian HQ came to an end, I had a brief sit down with Tim who gave me some pieces of advice which were absolutely gold dust. Whilst at this point in time, I felt that I was a fairly competent journalist with a decent blog and satisfactory work experience so far, Tim gave me some vital tips and instructions on how to kick on and become a proper journalist!

At roughly 6pm, we said our farewells and I was welcomed by glorious sunshine as I left the building, with a copy of “The Guardian” under my arm, just for good measure!

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