My day at Sky

23:10 Leila Gunn 1 Comments

As promised yesterday, here is a post about my experience of the Journalism Insight day at Sky - [spoiler] it didn't disappoint! A lot was crammed into the day, giving a real representation of what the life of a journalist truly entails. As a result, I have an awful lot to write about, so prepare yourself for a marathon post!

The day was held at Sky in Osterley. This is quite a distance from Southend, therefore I was certain that I needed to get on a train at 6:00AM in order to be at Sky by 9:45 AM (leaving sufficient time for getting lost of course.) In hindsight, barely able to keep my eyes open as I write this post, I realise how wrong I was about this. I arrived at Sky a whole 1 hour and 20 minutes early, on completely the wrong side of the building. This may not sound like a big deal, unless you've visited Sky before. In that case you will understand what I'm talking about - the campus is absolutely huge!


I was pretty lost and (looked it apparently) as a nice and very funny man called Daud (a security gate officer and soon-to-be lawyer) offered to help me out. The gate officers were just a couple of the friendly people I had the pleasure of meeting at Sky today, and from the moment I arrived I got a sense of the lively atmosphere that comes with working at one of the leading News Channels and telecommunications companies in the country.

When I finally worked out where I needed to be, I joined the group of 40 aspiring young journos. We were then led into the Careers Lab, a high-tech, swanky room where work experience events are held at Sky. Not only was the room amazing, but so was the breakfast kindly laid out for us - I've never seen so many pastries!


We began the day with a talk from Isabel Webster, a Sky News Presenter on Sunrise (Sky's breakfast show) alongside Eamonn Holmes. It was incredibly kind of Isabel to come and speak to us, as not only had she not slept having only just returned from Canada, but she is also six months pregnant! Isabel is a real life example of what a bit of 'hard graft' and a thirst for knowledge can achieve. She has made the most of any journalistic opportunity available to her, from working at her local hospital radio station to interviewing David Beckham, Isabel has experienced all that Broadcast Journalism has to offer!

We also listened to talks by Laurie Tucker and David Miles who are both Sky Sports Editors. They ran a Sky Sports workshop, where we were instructed to brainstorm how we would cover the unforeseen (and fabricated) story that 'Arsène Wenger has been sacked.' This encouraged us to think about how we would present the story on various different platforms; using the Sky Sports website, Twitter account and Snapchat to gain real life reactions from fans. Although I'm not the biggest sports fan, I found this exercise really worthwhile. Not only did it enable us to work together as a team, but also allowed us to think about who our first ports of call would be in order to get the inside scoop of a breaking news story.


However, I think perhaps my favourite talk of the day was delivered by Jim Cockin who is head of Internal Communications at Sky, after spending many years working as a journalist. Although Communications isn't a field I know much about, I really appreciated Jim's honesty about the highs and lows of being a journalist. Jim also delivered a line which I know I will refer to often when writing in the future -  'you can type it, but can you say it?', which is apparently similar to what Harrison Ford said to his Scriptwriter when filming Star Wars. I learnt that although it is important to be professional in practice when covering news stories, what's even more important is to communicate with the audience in a way which is Right (Accurate), Bright (lively) and Tight (concise) in order to keep the audience engaged. As Jim said, when writing, imagine each word you write is a pound off of your pay!

The day was topped off with a 'Speed networking' session with industry professionals such as Neil Dunwoodie (Sky Executive Producer) and Martin Stanford (News Presenter and Journalist for Sky News) as well as apprentices and interns at Sky who have achieved work placements through the opportunities 'Sky - Starting Out' and 'Sky Academy' regularly offer to young people. Sky even threw in a tour of the Sky News HQ, the Sky Sports HQ, the weather room (who knew the weather bulletin wasn't filmed in front of a Green Screen?!) and the Sky Studios where we came across the actual throne from "Game of Thrones"!

The Sky News Room
The Sky News Room


The 'Iron Throne'

I really enjoyed the Journalism Insight Day at Sky, and I definitely feel more confident now about the next steps I should take in order to gain more work experience in the industry and to eventually become a journalist. I hope that like Isabel, with a bit of 'hard graft', I too will have the opportunity to work for Sky News one day!

1 comment:

  1. wow.. What a fantastic day Leila.

    Amazing that you got such a great experience of the Sky set up and that they had so many fantastic journalists to give you their real life experience and advice!

    P.S I also got totally lost the first time I went to Sky. It's a pretty confusing campus!!