The Radio Academy Foot in the Door Leeds Event

by George Ward

The Radio Academy is a registered charity that is dedicated to the development, promotion and recognition of excellence in UK radio and audio. As part of its calendar of national, regional and online events for members, it held a ‘Foot In The Door’ event at the Leeds University Student Union on Wednesday 8th November 2023.

The day entailed a selection of Q&A sessions with a range of radio and audio professionals before a speed-networking event, giving a valuable opportunity to meet industry professionals, leaders and employers.

Following registration, the afternoon began with a warm welcome from The Radio Academy’s Managing Director, Aradhna Tayal Leach. She hosted an ‘In Conversation’ interview with BBC Radio London Presenter Claira Hermet who shared her audio journey and how persistence had paid off throughout each chapter of her career. Both Aradhna and Claira emphasised the importance of individuality and how being true to yourself on-air can create relatable content that engages listeners. Claira was very open and honest about the challenges she had faced both personally and professionally and encouraged us to make the most of any opportunities which come our way while also creating our own opportunities.

Following this, attendees had the choice of attending 3 of 6 sessions throughout the afternoon. The first was a choice between ‘Everyone can make a podcast, but how do you create a great one?’ or ‘Is making music radio about the bits in between the tracks?’ I wanted to attend both but opted for the latter which saw Amn Kaur (Producer, BBC Asian Network & Audio Always), Rob Watson (Deputy Content Director, Absolute Radio Network) and Andi Durrant (Founder & Director, This Is Distorted) discuss their career journeys. They all agreed that keeping your audience in mind at all times was vital but you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas.

The next choice was between ‘Making audio – presenting, producing and executing great content’ and ‘Vision of the Future – Without tech there’s no content to broadcast’. I attended the first one which included Katie Tully (Head of Curation, BBC Sounds), Julie Cullen (Managing Editor, BBC 5Live), Mo Ayoub (Broadcast/Voiceover Artist/DJ), Andrew Spence (We Are Unedited), Mike Cass (Content Director, Virgin Radio) and Nick Pitts (Content Director, Jazz FM and Scala Radio and also a Trustee of The Radio Academy.)

Katie encouraged anyone looking to get into the industry to try something different and to challenge yourself. Julie highlighted the importance of student radio and how essential it is to build teams and to treat everyone you work alongside with respect. She also advised us not to pigeonhole ourselves and recognised that ‘ego’ is the enemy of us all. Mo also stressed how presenters should always respect those on the production team and admitted that the presenter career path can be a solitary one at times. Andrew urged us to physically get into the building of a prospective employer if possible and work your way up that way, while not being afraid to make mistakes along the way. Mike identified that there is a fine line between tenacity and annoyance when it comes to reaching out to employers but it’s always worth trying and having faith in your application or enquiry. He believes you have to be truly interested in what you do.

The final choice of sessions was between ‘Getting the most from your speech-based content’ or ‘How to get your voice and brand heard with socials and marketing’. I opted for the first which saw Edward Adoo (Presenter, BBC 5Live and Local Radio) recall some memorable moments from his career while highlighting the need to be relatable and passionate in order to encourage listeners to respond to your output. Perminder Khatkar (Producer and Trustee of The Radio Academy) stressed the importance of authenticity and research and believing in the story you wanted to tell, while Ben Henderson (Presenter & Producer, BBC World Service) advised us to consume as wide a variety of content as possible which could inspire you when creating your own audio.

After these sessions and a brief break, a 90-minute speed-networking session commenced which saw delegates meet a cross section of audio professionals and learn about opportunities and career paths available in different areas of audio. This was an enjoyable yet tad chaotic experience as it became a bit of a free-for-all mingle at times but it was very useful to meet many peers and professionals. One startling remark from an industry professional I met was that, out of 50 people who say they will get in touch with a demo, only around 5 ever do. Following this, there was an informal social event with The Radio Academy’s Yorkshire Branch.

The ’Foot In The Door’ event was exactly as described and very worthwhile. A recurring theme was how crucial networking can be when it comes to progressing your career, but also how vast and varied career paths within the audio industry are. Although the ‘end goal’ may seem impossible to reach, being willing to learn new skills and being in the right place at the right time could see you reach your potential.

The event was sponsored by Audible, with support from The Radio Academy’s partners: Arqiva, BBC Sounds, Broadcast Bionics, dts and aim from Xperi, Markettiers, MusicMaster Scheduling from On Air, Radio News Hub and RCS. The event was £6 for members of The Radio Academy and £12 for non-members. Full details about The Radio Academy can be found online. is an affiliate patron of The Radio Academy, meaning membership is free for those with experience.

Career path with – Shanice Bowrin

My time at

I remember the day I met co-founder of, Camilla Byk, at her residence for a social mixer. It was one of their first mixers since Podium began. That day solidified my trajectory into a career in media and continues to inspire me. But before I get into that, I want to explain how I got to this point and what drove me to media in the first place.

I’ve always been a storyteller. As a kid, my face was buried in books, reading the latest hits on the shelves. I loved books—the smell of them, the feeling of the paper, the crisp sound of a page being turned. You can say I was obsessed. I especially loved anything by my favorite author, Cathy Cassidy, a UK author whose young teen books spoke to me. I decided early on that I wanted to be a storyteller and to visit the country where Mrs. Cassidy lived. Once I hit adulthood, I took the first chance to leave my home and discover the world for myself. Leaving Canada to live in a whole other country was a terrifying task. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have a place to stay, and I barely had any money. But, even with all of that stacked against me, I was so excited. I was still figuring out what exactly I wanted to do. At first, when I graduated from college, I thought that I was going to be a forensic psychologist. To be honest, I think I watched way too many episodes of Criminal Minds and thought I could be Spencer Reid. I was gladly wrong. I never cared for gore, and spending hours at a desk writing reports actually scared me. So, for the first time in a long time, I thought more about my dream of being a storyteller.

Working and living abroad was a whirlwind. I made lifelong friends, traveled to places I thought I would only see on my computer screen, and met people who really changed my life. It was a transformative experience, and I can’t recommend enough for people to just explore and grow outside of your comfort zone. I knew that my time in England was not to be wasted, so I really gave myself a moment to understand what I really wanted now that I wasn’t home. And I just wanted to tell stories. The same bubbly excitement I got making up stories in my head and talking to people rose up from the depths of my mind, like it never left. I wanted to connect with others, and I wanted to do it through storytelling. So, I chose to pursue radio broadcasting and journalism. I scoured the internet looking for opportunities, and in my wormhole of Google searching, I found something. A new organization was looking for audio journalists at So, I sent an email and hoped for the best.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I’m at Camilla’s door. My heart is pounding, both from nervousness and excitement. The door opened, and it was already such an inviting space—there were all types of young people grouped around, talking about podcasting and radio news, some were just having conversations, getting to know each other. One particular moment I remember was speaking to Camilla about giving young people a voice. We spoke about how important it was, given that they would lead the new generation. I remember Camilla pulling out a recorder to capture my words, the words of an impassioned youth, refusing to be silenced. It was a pretty magical moment. I remember walking down the street afterward like I was floating on air. It was the first time I felt listened to, that people took value in what I had to say despite my age. It encouraged me to keep going. And I took that encouragement and started my career in media, which ultimately gave me the confidence to work as a Project Coordinator for a podcast agency and as an actor and writer. Podium gave me the confidence to continue on as a storyteller, and although my method of storytelling has changed over the years, I continuously thank my time at Podium and in England for making me who I am today.

For the future, my goals are to continue making stories not just in the podcast world but also in the world of film, TV, and theater. I love to write, and I’m glad to say that I’ll continue to do so.

Stories that emerge when things don’t go to plan

by Karkiu Tang

My first visit to Wembley

Compared to the situation where everything just goes perfectly, I’d rather face the scenario where things don’t go as planned, because that’s when “stories” emerge.

Last December, I connected with Sumuhan Santhiranesan on LinkedIn via Camilla, then we arranged a “short video call” to get to know each other and discuss the possibility of arranging an interview for a podcast.

I learned that Sumuhan lived in Wembley, Brent, northwest London; whilst I live in Derby, a small city in the Midlands. With technology, we could definitely do the interview remotely, because there would probably be little difference from a face-to-face interview in terms of the content of the interview.

However the “short video call” ended up lasting an hour, and we both jokingly said that it was too bad that we did not record our “pre-interview chat”. In that hour, Sumuhan talked about his family heritage as well as his political ambition, and I was genuinely fascinated by the story behind what he did. So I suggested we meet in person in Wembley for the actual interview, so he could tell me more about himself as well as his neighbourhood. He was more than happy to do it that way as he also felt that talking to each other through the phone and looking at each other through the screen wasn’t the most interesting way to have a conversation.

The interview date was fixed to be just before Christmas. A couple of days before the interview, in a regular Podium working group video meeting, I told Camilla that I wanted to get Sumuhan to show me around his neighbourhood, and she advised me to get a windshield for the voice recorder in case we would be recording outdoors.

My new home town of Derby is a relatively small city, so it was difficult to find a shop that would sell a proper foam windshield; and it was just two days before the interview, I would not have enough time to order it online. So I was left with the only option – to make a windshield myself using whatever was available at home.

I could use some tissue paper, but tissue papers themselves would generate noise if there was wind; or I could use a sock, as another Podium alum tried before, but the sound could be quite muffled. I searched my drawers, and finally I found a pretty useful material – face masks.

My face mask adapted as a windshield

Thanks to Covid I had some leftover unused face masks in my drawer. I just cut a face mask and “upcycled” the filtration layer, and wrapped it around the mic on the voice recorder using a hairband. Voila! It worked a charm, the material was soft so it would not make any noise, and it was thin enough that the voice would not be muffled.

On the day of the interview, I met Sumuhan outside Wembley Central train station. As he was showing me around the neighbourhood, I started recording our conversation – an interview tip: start recording before the actual start of the interview. Apparently, Sumuhan knew a lot about his neighbourhood, he was able to tell me the back story behind many “POIs” in Wembley, and at this point I was already thinking about putting some of these bits into the final feature.

Afte 20 minutes walking around, I suggested we could find a relatively quiet place for our “real interview”, and Sumuhan said “we could go into a park.”

Wembley Park

“Sure that’s a great idea!” Then I showed off to Sumuhan how I had made the windshield, and that briefly became a talking point of our conversation – that itself became a “story”.

As we walked into King Edward VII Park, I noticed that there weren’t many benches, and there weren’t many lamp posts. “This park is a bit sketch” commented Sumuhan, and he said that he would avoid going into this park at night; but as we were there during daytime and the weather was fine with a little bit of winter sun, it was actually quite a pleasant place to be. 

We eventually managed to find an available bench, and sat down. Then the “real interview” started.

The park was not exactly quiet, but compared to other public places in Wembley, it was reasonably quiet, except that there was a man playing some hip-hop-esque music with a loudspeaker. He was about 20-30 metres away from us – not very close, so I managed to position ourselves accordingly so I could point my voice recorder away from him.

Around 10-15 minutes into our interview, the man started rapping along with the attached microphone. Sumuhan and I were trying our best to continue with the interview, and we were hoping that the man would stop soon. But he cranked up the volume instead – and in a split second, Sumuhan said “Ok, let’s move.”

Oops, things again did not go as planned – but another “story” is being developed. Compared to the things I already knew about Sumuhan – i.e. the Young Achiever Award he received as well as his ambition to become an MP, I was actually more interested in his reaction right now as well as the reason behind it.

From this moment onward, my brain had to multi-task:
a) look for another spot for the interview as we grabbed our belongings;
b) continue recording and pointing the voice recorder towards the right direction, so it could still pick up Sumuhan’s voice clearly;
c) continue asking questions;
d) encourage Sumuhan to describe what was happening and how he was feeling, so I could perhaps utilise this bit of recording as well;
e) explain to Sumuhan that this could be an interesting bit to be included in the final feature…

We finally found another available bench. I said to Sumuhan: “You know what, I would definitely put this bit into the final edited feature, I think it would be a powerful segment to show the audience what we actually experienced today, especially we always want to paint a picture in the audience’s brain using audio.”

The end of the day in Wembley

“100%, 100%.” Sumuhan said. We put down our belongings and we continued with the interview.

It was just before Christmas, so the day was very short. As the sun was setting and the temperature dropping, we thought that it would be about time for us to end the interview. We said goodbye, and I took the train down to Brighton to visit some friends for Christmas.

I actually got quite excited about the “accident” we encountered, so that evening I quickly listened to the playback and jotted down notes and timestamps to aid editing afterwards. Although the actual interview lasted around two hours, it didn’t take me as much time to write the notes because I still had fresh memories about the content and I was able to fast-forward the playback in many parts.

After the Christmas vacation, I started editing the feature. I had a pretty quick start, but things did not go to plan afterwards. Another blog post for another “story”.

by Karkiu Tang

My journey at Podium started about a year ago.

(by Giulia Ciccolella)

I began by interning for a couple of months, until I felt the need for Podium to grow its social media presence. I was so impressed by Podium’s mission and I wanted the world to know. This is why I ‘selected myself’ when I approached Camilla to become Podium’s Social Media Manager and created a role for myself that at first didn’t even exist. 

But it wasn’t just social media that I was able to explore with my role. I was given so much freedom and trust that I also started interviewing people in front of a live audience on Instagram, facilitated workshops and sessions for interns and helped plan Podium’s 10th birthday event. 

This freedom and flexibility made me feel empowered to come up with new ideas and try things out – something that in a hierarchical top-down employee-employer relationship would have not been possible. And so with every new project, I was increasingly able to leave my comfort zone and could feel my confidence and expertise grow. 

I also started interning and working for other projects and companies because of my flexible part-time working hours at I gained more experience which Camilla always encouraged me and other young people to do. 

The best thing about my time at Podium was being able to meet so many like-minded people. It’s inspiring to be in a hub with so many passionate young people who want to make their own and other people’s voices heard.

And while Podium has been an established organisation for 10 years now, Camilla really provides the space for young people to take the lead and shape Podium into what it is. From podcasts to audio dramas to short clips, what struck me the most is Podium’s ‘No Rejection, No Selection’ policy – something I will always cherish, no matter where I go.

So thank you to the whole Podium team for this opportunity. It’s been such a formative time for me and I’m going away with so many great memories. Now it’s time for the next person to come in, get creative and make their time at their own. 

PODIUM SAYS A HUGE THANK YOU TO GIULIA FOR ALL HER BRILLIANT INPUT (and for a fabulous handover doc to keep us organised!)

“Be curious and talk to strangers. If we all did it, we would change the world.” 

Last week, our founder Camilla Byk was a guest on The Leadership Enigma podcast. 

Speaking to host Adam Pacifico about her personal journey of founding, Camilla stresses how important it is to have people in your network who believe in you. 

“Growing up, everyone around me believed in me and I think that is the secret to why I want to enable young people to be who they want to be.”

Witnessing journalists speaking to adults but neglecting the opinions of young people during the 2011 Clapham Riots, Camilla felt inspired to take action and make sure that young people from the age of 15 to 25 were represented in the media. 

Using nothing but her phone to record voice memos, has since enabled hundreds of young people to use their voices and speak about topics they really care about.

With Podium’s unique ‘No Selection, No Rejection’ policy, Camilla challenges typical recruitment processes and instead offers an inclusive and welcoming environment for young people.

“I don’t want the best kids, I don’t want the most eloquent kids. I want the people who sign up themselves and that became the blueprint of how we work with young people. We have a no rejection, no selection policy, so anybody who comes to and wants to speak gets a place.”

Being asked by Adam Pacifico about her leadership style, Camilla refers to herself as a ‘lazy leader’ – a leader who doesn’t lead or control, but who lets young people take the reins themselves. 

To find out more about and Camilla’s thoughts on leadership, listen to Episode 109: No Selection, No Rejection on Adam Pacifico’s The Leadership Enigma podcast. 

Interested in creating your own podcast with us or gaining useful work experience? Email for more information.

Blog by Giulia Ciccolella and News-decoder deliver Immersive Podcasting Bootcamp

In an exciting partnership between and News-decoder, a podcasting bootcamp was held over two weeks to teach audio techniques and skills to school and university students eager to learn how to tell compelling and engaging stories. In attendance were participants from diverse areas of the world, including Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Romania. 

We have done numerous podcast series with News Decoder, such a great organisation’s mandate is to create opportunities for those under 25 to bring their young voices to the forefront. The bootcamp was an experience to achieve that internationally, as the communities from which the participants were from each had their own diverse stories to tell. From the beginning of the sessions, ideas emerged around substance abuse, women’s empowerment, street art and more. 

How did the Podcamp work?

Each of the sessions over the two weeks included workshop topics, beginning with how to interview, then how to refine your story idea, how to script your podcast and finally, editing techniques. Throughout the bootcamp, conversation was flowing around the different ways a story can be told, for which audience, how we can diversify language in our international podcasts and finally, how we can utilize all of this to create an engaging end result.

By the end of the workshop, each participant created their own recordings, which will be released on soon. The participants were encouraged to go out into their communities and interview strangers who might have amazing stories to tell. They all mentioned it was a nerve-racking experience, however we’re proud of the work they had done to get out of their comfort zones. 

The bootcamp was received well, with feedback from participants highlighting their favorite parts of the session. One participant said that he was nervous and out of his comfort zone to conduct an interview with a stranger for the first time, but then felt more comfortable as the sessions progressed. He also mentioned that he loved all the information presented, saying all the presentations were useful and engaging, but wishes there was more time to learn about editing a podcast. 

One participant said that he was nervous and out of his comfort zone to conduct an interview with a stranger for the first time, but then felt more comfortable as the sessions progressed. He also mentioned that he loved all the information presented, saying all the presentations were useful and engaging, but wishes there was more time to learn about editing a podcast. 

Workshop participant is excited to offer opportunities to those 16 to 25 years in learning about the unique power of audio storytelling, how the information can change communities and bring a voice to the voiceless. Participants of the bootcamp mentioned they would like to create these podcasts to empower their communities and to bring awareness to certain issues surrounding their regions. They can now utilize the skills learned in the podcasting session helped by and News-decoder and implement it into their own lives and communities, providing a space to tell immersive and important stories. is continuously working to create partnerships and podcast bootcamps/workshops with organizations aimed to empower young people in their journeys to find their voices! The output from bootcamps, such as this one, encourages skills to develop and to flourish within audio storytelling. 

Blog piece by Mariam Abdel-Akher

Entertainment content for social impact: A road to collaboration and co-creation

Lessons from the OKRE Summit 2022 by Pooja Chowdhary

Masters student at the University of Sussex and intern at

The OKRE Summit organised on June 15, 2022, in London facilitated a unique platform enabling the creation of entertainment content for a better world environment. It brought together lived experiences and ideas of prominent figures in the entertainment, media, and charity sector. The power of people, ideas and collaborations in creating entertainment content for social impact was a visible highlight of the summit.  

In current times, when most of us are consciously working to challenge social evils, polarisations, political mayhem, and stereotypes, it is eminent for us to come together and co-create narratives that are built on inclusivity, authenticity and lived experiences. The OKRE Summit facilitated this quintessential principle effortlessly. The opening words of Dr Yvonne Thompson, CBE, Chair of OKRE set the tone of the summit for the day, “To be a successful leader, one has to be bold.” In a room full of successful and emerging leaders and change-makers, emphasis was laid to shift mindsets from ‘corporate social responsibility’ to ‘personal social responsibility’. 

The sessions throughout the summit were immensely insightful, informative and well-designed. The anecdotes shared by award-winning filmmaker, writer, director and producer Gurinder Chadha highlighted how entertainment media can be and should be used to stir discussion and debates on serious issues such as racism. Films can have a powerful impact to bring about social and legislative changes. The importance of representation, perspectives, authenticity and collaboration were time and again stressed throughout the summit. There is a serious responsibility of the individuals in both the entertainment and charity sectors to create content that is educational, informative yet entertaining. However, the danger of content fatigue was not underestimated. The summit steered the need to create more innovative content and dissemination approaches through various social media and online streaming platforms. A thought to ponder upon was whether social media influences the production and creative process or if they are still independent of the influence of social media. In the words of Ruby Kuraishe, Commissioning Editor, BBC Entertainment “Social is informing production as it’s there now as part of the process. But we still must focus on making the best products we can”. Ruby was part of the panel ‘Fraggle Rock to Drag Race: Lessons in Social Impact from Entertainment Hits’. It was compelling to listen to how entertainment media including films, podcasts, TV Series, and games to date have been successfully used to talk about serious issues of racism, mental health, and climate change to name a few. A unique step towards this is Greenpeace’s innovative approach of connecting Gen-Z with the climate crisis through the virtual world of GTA Games.

The summit generously facilitated discussions on the evident need to include and involve the youth in creating social impact content. This age group from 13-25 years are both the primary consumer and creator of today’s content and hence their involvement is of utmost importance. The ‘Developing People and Partners’ initiative was another unique facet of the OKRE Summit. It gave a platform to the young generation in voicing their opinions and ideas in conceptualising and creating innovative content. As shared by Timi McEwen, Digital Media Producer, and participant in the ‘Developing People and Partners’ initiative, “The event was an inspirational hub of creatives and change-makers.

It was a wonderful way to connect with peers in and outside of the industry. It gives me great hope for the future of content and the scale of impact we can have in changing the world for the better.” 

We must come together to co-create if we intend to make relevant and impactful content for social change and the OKRE Summit provided this much-needed platform. The summit was a good way of creating a community of like-minded individuals and change-makers who are relentlessly working towards making a more inclusive and diverse society where every opinion matters. It opened doors for cross-sector dialogue in the social development sector. 

Visit for more information.

Taking podcasting to the remote regions of India

by Pooja Chowdhary

As a native of Assam, a state located in India’s remote northeast region, I am driven to work in the development sector to bring about positive societal changes through stories. Through my work, I aim to simplify complex technical messages to bridge the communication gap between policy and practice at the grassroots. 

For me, stories are essential. I value individual anecdotes, community knowledge, and people’s lived experiences the most. As a development communications practitioner, I have worked with several grassroots organisations and marginalised communities in South Asia throughout my professional journey. Here, I documented stories through case studies, photography and video formats on issues covering environment conservation, sustainable agriculture, food security, poverty, malnutrition and hunger. These stories became part of the repository of the organisations I was associated with, such as WWF India and Welthungerhilfe. It also enabled attitudinal and behavioural change in communities. Today, compelling storytelling is a cornerstone of my professional communications approach, and I strive to train others in this art. I am an alumnus of the University of Delhi, India and an Asia-Pacific Leadership Fellow of the East-West Center, Honolulu, USA.

While my work kept me busy and stimulated, my quest to learn more and challenge myself never ceased. Therefore, I came to the UK in 2021 to pursue an MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change from the University of Sussex as a Chevening Scholar awarded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK. I realised the need to upskill myself with the new and one of the most effective mediums of communication i.e. podcasting. Hence, currently I am navigating my journey through the uncharted waters of podcasting, and I firmly believe that Podium. me is the best platform to hone my skills. aims to support the youth from around the world by documenting their stories and opinions and this resonates with my future career goal of working and training the youth in India in podcasting. I aim to closely work with youth from marginalised communities and help them document their issues through audio formats. As an intern at, I will be involved in creating an episode that looks into the unique and interesting solutions taken up by the youth from the global south in solving their backyard environmental crisis. It will also deal with issues such as earth-centric learning for children, environmental educators, and youth-led environmental movements. Coming from Assam, I always found nature in my backyard. Nestled in the Himalayan range, my state and its surrounding regions are home to some of the unique wildlife species and natural wonders, making my interest in our environment inexorable. And I firmly believe that today’s youth have and are playing a crucial role in managing and conserving our environment. Therefore, it is essential to document these youth-led good practices from around the world to serve as an inspiration to many more.

The learnings I seek now at will help me stay relevant to my purpose and allow me to lead and expand the potential of development communications through podcasting in the remote regions of India.

For more information: 

Interning at, following my new passion for audio storytelling

By Mariam Abdel-Akher

Mariam Abdel-Akher

Growing up in Ottawa, Canada, the capital city that the world never seems to know, or
seems to forget, I noticed the rigid nature of politics surrounded my small city life. So,
when I studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University, it was difficult to focus
my writing on topics I was passionate about – which was definitely not politics. By my
final year, I realized multimedia stories were my passion, where visual and audio-based
creativity were at the forefront. I noticed I could invoke emotion with the audio stories I
produced and give a voice to the voiceless, which I found a very powerful form of
storytelling. After I graduated from my undergraduate in December 2020, I pursued
work at the Government of Canada, where I worked in corporate communications. I
found myself underwhelmed by the work I was doing, finding it difficult to understand the
bureaucratic jargon, and eventually realized it may not be the best fit for me. Finally, the
focus then became on pursuing work around development and social issues after I
spent some time in Arusha, Tanzania working with an NGO called Farm Radio
International (FRI). This is where my passion for media development and media for
development flourished and sparked a dedication in me I was lacking when studying my

Photo by Jacob Meissner on Unsplash
This is what brought me here to the United Kingdom, where I’m now studying my
Masters of Media Practice for Social Change and Development at the University of
Sussex, the top school for development studies in the world. Through this, I was given
the opportunity to intern at, a space of audio-based creativity, where social issues are at the forefront. will create a space for me to tell the stories I’ve always wanted to tell.
My goal for the future is to create a space of opportunity through creative storytelling for
marginalized people to tell their stories around the world. I believe communication and
how we disseminate this information is powerful, and can change lives in the process. I
once met a female farmer while working in Tanzania, and despite challenged of being
told she could never own her own farm in her community, utilized targeted radio
communications to gather information about building a successful agricultural business.
She now owns one of the most profitable chicken farms in her community, building the
entire business on her own.

These progressive stories are important to me. As an intern at, I know I will
be given the opportunities to tell these incredible anecdotes through an audio format.
Throughout my placement, I will be working on a podcast episode in relation to financial
literacy for youth in Southern England, specifically focusing on youth in Brighton and
London – two of the most expensive cities in the United Kingdom. I am excited for this
production to be solutions-based, a token of, and providing chances to
young adults to learn more about saving, investing, spending and more. This is an
exciting chance for me to finally produce work I am passionate about and that makes a
difference in other people’s lives with

Joel reports on the challenges facing migrants studying in the UK

Joel Pearman is at the University of Bath studying politics and economics. This was his first assignment for

I wanted to get involved with because of its fundamental aim to provide a digital platform for young people. I have too often found that this age group is underrepresented and also misrepresented in the mainstream media.  Recording a podcast with the team was an absolute pleasure. I was introduced to an interviewee who had been suggested by the organisation Migrant Leaders.  Dhyey was an excellent communicator and very charming too. Interviewing someone so passionate made the recording conversational and genuine. We are both very concerned about people’s stories which are left behind in the public consciousness.  Given that anyone can listen to this podcast, I urge them to do so. There are many migrants in this country in the same position as Dhyey. As a result, it is important to recognise that this is an issue worth fighting, as well as appreciating how lucky we are to have a university education. Before I met Dhyey, I was completely unaware that migrants (without the appropriate visa) can’t get a student loan. This podcast exposes the misconception that everyone in this country has the opportunity to go to university.

A great outcome from a Podium audio drama workshop

Richard Brooks attended our Oxford drama workshop.  He tells us what happened afterwards.

I was pretty surprised to see that Podium.Me was running audio fiction workshops in nearby Oxford and didn’t hang about signing up. I’m glad, because I would have never anticipated it helping me to fulfil a life-time ambition. 

I thought I knew audio drama pretty well. I’ve been lucky enough to have a number of my plays – mostly knock-around comedy-horrors – produced in the past. I even study and comment on the sector as an academic. So, I came with maybe a bit of a chip on my shoulder, there to learn, but not expecting to make any great changes.

I quickly changed my view on that. The sessions were robustly practical and constantly challenged me to think about how I wrote. Moreover, although most other participants didn’t come from an audio fiction background, they did come from other fields, theatre, prose and even graphic novels. It was a great mix of people and perspectives that helped me reconsider my style. I came out, wanting to do something different and maybe take a bit of a risk.

The result was the production A Haunting Beyond the Lake. A ghost story and love story, it was an idea that had been on my mind for more than fifteen years. Normally I would write it up, consider it, and put the script back in my drawer. This time I decided to take a gamble and write a story that was a bit more realistic than normal, more sentimental and a lot more raw. I wanted to do something that would surprise people with the twist, but at the same time make them think back to their own decisions in their lives. 

The story was more successful than I could possibly have hoped. The cast and crew were passionate about it, we received fantastic feedback and it went on to win the Audience Award for the UK International Radio Drama Festival, an incredible result – helped along by votes from the Podium writing group.

For me, it was also a personal story, and though entirely fictional it’s inspired by a friend, Jenna Matlay, who died young and to win it for her was more of a joy than I could have imagined.


Giulia, joining the team

This summer I finished my degree in Media & Communications at Goldsmiths University after having studied half of the three years remotely due to the pandemic. The last few months have been very difficult. I had the pressures of finishing my degree while working part-time and doing other projects on the side, plus the fact that I had just started going to therapy to process traumatic experiences of being a survivor of statutory rape.


It was a lot to go through and as I am not from the UK, living here while not being able to see my friends and family in Germany, made me feel lonely and lost. I felt insecure about myself and where I wanted to go in life. Additionally, I realised that although I specialised in animation at university and illustrated the logo for the News Decoder podcast, creating visuals was just not something I enjoyed as much as writing stories, organising projects or conducting interviews to learn more about other people. 


So, I took a bit of time to self-reflect and to come back to where I am now – at a happier place, still in London, but with energy and hope for life.


I’m now feeling more confident and accepting of myself which is why I put my doubts aside, got in touch with Camilla from and decided: I want to learn more about audio. I enjoy podcasts because you can hear so many different voices and stories from people all over the world. Everyone – no matter where they are from or how old they are – has something interesting to say. Also, by listening to someone else’s experience, I learn so much and feel less alone while living in this uncertain world.


As the founder and editor in chief of eko magazine – a creative platform for migrants, volunteers and activists published in three languages – I have experience working as a producer and providing a space where people can speak for themselves. I am passionate about mixing the art of political journalism with creative essays and testimonies, and I love it when people are able to be vulnerable expressing their inner thoughts, feelings and ideas. 

Two podcasts that I listen to regularly are the Today in Focus podcast by the Guardian which teaches me new things every day and the Just Break Up podcast hosted by Sam Blackwell and Sierra Demulder who, although they’re not licensed health professionals, give such important and compassionate advice.


I’m excited to work with to learn new skills in audio and podcast production. I’m hoping to encourage more people to record themselves and to speak up. By doing that, I think we should (try to) forget the fear of what other people will think of us or if they will listen to our story. Instead, what matters is that we listen to ourselves; and the fact that we have the courage to put our story out there, which in itself makes our voice more than worthy of being heard.


Twitter is banned in Nigeria

On the 5th of June 2021 the Nigerian Government announced they were banning the operations of popular social media platform twitter in Nigeria after the platform deleted a tweet by the president of Nigeria which violated their community rules. Expectedly, the ban was condemned by the international community, and the story gained local and international news coverage, but the vast majority of media reports I monitored about this story focused on analysis about the political ramifications of the ban and the international reactions to it. In filing my own report about the twitter ban story, I decided to put individual voices to the story and highlight the fact that this ban will disproportionately affect the youths of Nigeria who in the midst of one of the highest youth unemployment in the world have deployed their talents and ingenuity on social media platforms like Twitter in a multiplicity of ways to make a living for themselves. Despite being in the United Kingdom, getting to interview people back in Nigeria was not challenging as I have built networks in my community over the years as a local reporter and community organiser. Nigerians are not known to hide their thoughts and feelings about an issue but I was particularly struck by the level of emotion with which some of my interviewees spoke about the ban, with some interviewees going forward to declare that Nigeria is on the cusp of a dictatorship.

From my interviews, I got the sense of a people being pushed to the wall by a government that has done very little to help them and most were going to speak up. Going forward with Podium, I intend to continue telling stories that matter which might be overlooked by mainstream media.

Jewel Atedou Bright

Jewel Atedou Bright intern 2021

Growing up in the Niger Delta, a region in southern Nigeria which has suffered a long history of youth restiveness and environmental degradation resulting from the local oil industry inspired my career choice in journalism. I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to give my people a voice to talk about the challenges we face and which the Nigerian media has long overlooked, while also celebrating and showcasing the ingenuity of our people and the incredible successes we have recorded despite the adversity we face. It was at Rivers State University that I got my first experience on radio volunteering as a student reporter with the campus radio. I graduated in 2018 as the first-ever First-class graduate of Mass Communication and I went on to work with a number of local radio stations in Port Harcourt, the Niger Delta’s largest city. My passion to continue improving myself for greater service to my region caused me to apply for the British Government’s Chevening scholarship, which I was awarded in 2020, and I am now nearing the completion of my masters degree in Media Practice for Development and Social change at the world’s number one university for development studies, the University of Sussex in Brighton.

Following my masters, I look forward to returning to my region to continue using my media skills to showcase the talents, uniqueness, and ingenuity of our people, while seeking solutions to our numerous challenges. Serving an internship with has been a dream come true for me because I have always imagined what a novel platform like Podium can do for my home country of Nigeria, where the massive youth bulge, made up predominately of the under 25s are desperate to showcase their incredible talents, and have their voices heard on the challenges impeding their growth. Hence, I was happy when my first story for Podium offered me the opportunity to foreground one of these most recent challenges, which is the Nigerian Government’s attempt to ban Twitter, a platform most Nigerian youths have employed to make a living for themselves in the midst of massive unemployment and a chronic lack of opportunities. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to commence my internship with Podium than the opportunity to tell this story, and no doubt, it has set the tone for other stories and projects I will be working on. Some of these projects include the fourth edition of the News Decoder podcast where I will be serving as editor and will be working with very talented college students from across the world to tell riveting stories which matter to them.

I will also be working on a multipart podcast series about Shanti Bhavan, a school based in Bangalore, India, which has mentored and educated Indians from difficult backgrounds and moulded them into accomplished professionals. I am incredibly excited about the learning and teaching experience my internship with Podium will be for me and I can’t wait for it to unfold.

Our 3 year partnership with News Decoder

By Savannah Jenkins

I first heard of in January of 2018 after an advisee of the not-for-profit I had recently joined shared the profile of a U.K. charity working with young people to broadcast youth voices. I had just been hired by News Decoder, an organization dedicated to helping young people understand the world through media production and news analysis, and we were brainstorming new ways to decode the news on our public news site.


With the surge in popularity in podcasting, audio seemed a great medium for youth to explore some of the big, global issues in News Decoder’s program with academic institutions, such as Climate Change or Human Rights. So we set up a call to learn more about how we might leverage’s expertise in youth audio production.


Camilla’s enthusiasm for youth media aligned with News Decoder’s desire to help young people be better informed about the world and Podium’s youth-led approach meshed nicely with News Decoder’s bottom-up pedagogy. Like News Decoder, Podium wanted to highlight young voices in areas dominated by experts in order to spark new ways of thinking about old issues.


Since then, and News Decoder have produced three seasons of The Kids Are Alright, a podcast series dedicated to doing just that.


The Kids Are Alright was born out of a brainstorming session between News Decoder’s Student Ambassadors – student leaders at our partner academic institutions – and Podium’s volunteer youth journalists. They agreed that a podcast series on global issues made for and by youth was missing– so they made one!


Since 2018, students in both our networks produced two seasons, with the third about to launch, of this international podcast series, meeting over Zoom to liaise with reporters and sound editors. and News Decoder’s partnership has not only managed to achieve the goals of the student visionaries who launched The Kids Are Alright in 2018 but continues to provide opportunities to work on an international project and give young content creators and journalists a chance to build their portfolios.


Season Three of The Kids Are Alright will launch in Fall 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about The Kids Are Alright, or if you’d like to get involved, click here for further reading.

Podium online ‘Writing audio drama’ course

By Charlotte Cromie

I signed up for a Podium workshop back in February because I wanted to expand my possibilities as a playwright by learning how to write audio drama. I had no idea at that time what a valuable experience this would become in lockdown.

Like many of us, I’ve been feeling anxious and helpless over the last three months about the future of the arts. With theatres closed and no date set for them to open, writing for theatre can feel like chucking scripts into outer space. I wanted to make drama in lockdown, and to feel equipped to keep making it whatever happens next. Thankfully, that’s where Podium came in.

For obvious reasons, the course was taught online for the first time. Our group from around the UK and beyond had twice-weekly sessions on Zoom, and I came away from each one feeling excited, inspired, and wanting to write.

Cordelia and Camilla were full of practical help for tackling audio. We looked, realistically, at the pros and cons of audio as an art form. We learnt about the intimacy of audio, and its power to make a listener feel closely involved with the action. We listened to samples from various audio dramas, showing the range of styles and stories open to us. We were given writing exercises that helped us create high-stakes drama that drew our listeners in immediately, made them invest in the characters, and gave away just enough information to keep them hooked. Then we had the chance to share our work, and get feedback from the tutors and each other. Even online, I felt part of a group, and I loved having spaces in my week to connect with others and focus on something positive and constructive.

With the confidence and skills I’d learned, I started writing my own audio dramas as soon as the course was finished. Five weeks later, I won ‘Owdyado Theatre’s Twisted Tales in Lockdown competition for short audio dramas with my play Mouse. And I’m definitely not going to stop there.

Before Podium, I was afraid to engage with audio drama projects – I felt like I’d be walking into a party not knowing anyone and wearing the wrong clothes. Now, I feel like I’ve been let loose on an entirely new type of storytelling!

As a writer in the current climate, it’s such a relief to have another tool on my belt, especially one that can be made even in isolation. But Podium also gave me creative motivation when there wasn’t much to be had, and a group of young people like me, from across the country and even the other side of the world, all learning together in a friendly, nurturing environment, at a time of such uncertainty and loneliness.

International collaboration podcast with News Decoder and a Paris-based organisation called News Decoder have produced two series of international podcasts.  They are a fascinating listen and will give you an independent insight into a huge range of topics. reporters have been involved in editing, presenting and researching the stories.

You will find all the podcasts here

We are keen to involve new people in Season 3 so get in touch if you’d like to contribute your stories or skills.

Hassan Ul-Haq on how sound, music and silence can impact a listener

On the weekend of the 16th and 17th of November, myself and nine other writers from across the country met at the Derby Theatre for an incredible two days of crafting and understanding how to write for the medium of audio drama.

The weekend seminar was taught by Cordelia Galloway, whose expertise and understanding of audio drama was one I found important to crafting a connection between the listener and the creator. On the first day, we were taught how sound, music and silence can impact a listener and how to use those tools respectfully to craft effective stories. 

Throughout the weekend, we were given little tasks from writing character monologues to writing scenes that reveal information to the listener and we also listened to examples of audio dramas and discussed how those dramas tell a story. Everyone chipped in to give their thoughts and perspectives and I found these discussions to be engaging. Learning what others thought made the discussions and tasks fun.

When reflecting on the writing tasks, it proved to be a challenge as because we were learning to craft stories for the ear. It meant considering how various sounds such as voices, music and even silence can impact a listener and its importance to moving a story along. 

One of the standouts of the weekend was meeting an incredibly diverse range of individuals, who all showcased unique perspectives, understanding and craftsmanship of audio drama.  

As someone who always wrote as an interest and I only recently started to create my own audio dramas, I found learning from my peers to be incredibly rewarding. I realised that to become a better writer, I need to learn from others.

Another aspect I took away from the weekend was to continue to listen to all types of audio dramas and to understand how different genres and themes are constructed through the medium of sound and to take inspiration from those stories. 

Those were some of the things I took away from the weekend and the importance of staying in touch with my fellow peers as we inspire and continue to hone and craft our skills as audio drama writers.

Derby writer Sarah Dean, 21 finds out more about audio drama

I was excited and rather nervous when I found the advert for the writing workshop in Derby on BBC Writers Room. 

I had been keeping my eye out for local opportunities in the East Midlands area. I was eager to seek out writing workshops and circles outside my university course so I could develop my writing and reach out to other writers and creatives. 

When I saw the podcast writing workshop, I was surprised because I had struggled to find creative projects for writers in the Derby area. A great deal of workshops were further south, predominantly in London. 

The first day of the workshop was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know what to expect and everyone seemed older than I was and more accomplished. When we entered the room, it felt like a university lecture or writer’s workshop. I was apprehensive about what was going to come next. 

My fears were quickly dispelled after an introduction from Cordelia and Camilla where we went around the table and got to know each other. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of audio drama and podcasts as a medium. This also gave us an excuse to geek out about our favourite podcasts! I came away with a lot of recommendations and inspiration for my own stories. 

Over the course of two days, we were involved in several activities. These were perhaps the scariest elements of the workshop for me—although they needn’t have been. After a few hours of moving around the room to speak to people and reading them my work, I felt completely at home and very confident. This was a huge turning point for me as I often struggle with meeting new people and being confident in my ability as a writer. 

Some of my favourite writing activities included a story written purely in sound. This was interesting from the perspective of a short story writer. The plot was relatively simple—a man breaks in and steals a baby. Considering how this would sound was another beast altogether. We learned that fight and actions sequences are specifically hard to tackle in audio. Together, we came up with possible alternatives and solutions such as a narrator who can guide the fight scene along. 

Another activity I really enjoyed was breaking down popular movies into the formula of “choice + action = consequence.” This idea of consequences spiralling out of control and snowballing is great not only for audio but also for scripts and stories in general. 

It was amazing to network with other young creators from different parts of the UK. I was stunned to see how many people had travelled from various parts of the country—from Wigan to Birmingham to Edinburgh. It highlighted the demand for courses like these.

The workshop not only supplied practical skills for writing audio dramas but also connected people from different mediums—writers, poets, actors and performers—in a way that was accessible and fun. I definitely want to keep in touch with the people who I met at the workshop and possibly work with them again in the future. 


I would recommend the workshops to anyone who has an interest in writing for audio and how it’s produced. It’s also a great chance to network and get feedback while maintaining a relaxed, low-pressure environment. 


Ciara Stagg on ‘Why I signed up for a writing workshop in Belfast?’

Lyric Theatre Belfast

The first in a series of UK workshops took place in Belfast in October with young writers from Ireland, France, and Hungary,

Ciara came from Dublin to take part in the ‘writing for podcast drama’ event.


We asked her why she had come?

Honestly, I signed up originally on a whim. I had always known of radio drama and listened actively to podcasts every day but never thought to write for it. After looking up the website and snooping around their content it sparked an interest in giving this a shot. I had no idea what to expect, but unlike other writing workshops, there wasn’t as much hesitation because it was all free!


What did you get out of it?

Unexpectedly, I found a whole new life of motivation for writing in the workshops. Cordelia has cracked the right balance of discussion to writing exercises, and there were a lot more exercises than I expected, which were obviously welcomed. Each one tested a different aspect of writing for the form without getting bogged down in the technicalities of a story arc, journey, character conflict etc… which I have found hindering to my writing in the past. Cordelia has a great way of putting everything in simple terms which allows you to focus on just being creative. I found the chance to actively write, read aloud and receive feedback all in the space of an afternoon life-giving. It also de-mystified the audio drama world making the medium feel approachable, limitless and imaginative rather than my original thoughts on radio plays before entering the workshop (limiting, boring and for an older generation).

Can you describe the atmosphere and the experience.

Cordelia and Camilla gave such a warm welcome which rippled throughout the group for the two days. The energy was powerfully positive and I have attended multiple workshops which have not achieved the same ‘safe space’ feeling for participants to comfortably share their work without judgement. I didn’t once feel dubious about sharing my work aloud (even if I knew it wasn’t great) and that’s because of the groups constructive, helpful and empathetic feedback.

What you are going to do as a result of attending?

I enjoyed writing for audio drama much more than I imagined I would. Coming out of the workshop it gave me a refreshed motivation to keep writing for myself as the exercises proved to me that I can achieve new ideas, stories and even pages of dialogue when pushed to through Cordelia’s timed writing tasks. This experience also gave me renewed confidence to submit my work more often and I intend to write a short audio drama for submission in the near future.

We’d like to give the theatre a huge thank you for hosting us and helping to make the event such a success. The staff were all phenomenal and made us feel so welcome. We hope to come back one day!

Next workshops are in Oxford, Derby, Edinburgh and London, find out more and sign up here

A big thank you to Ciara Stagg for contributing her feedback for this post.

Recording for Radio 4 with Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding by Cleo Anderson and Katie Bevan

Recording for Radio 4 with Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding by Cleo Anderson and Katie Bevan


Bridget Jones was introduced to us in the ’90s through Helen Fielding’s newspaper column and later novel. Bridget’s funny, insecure and honest diary chronicles her love life, career, parents, friends, interests – a true snapshot of what life was like for women in their early thirties right at the end of the millennium. Yet it still chimes with women today, whether that’s with her disastrous cooking skills, enduring interactions with the ‘smug married’, or disappointing love affairs as a singleton. were lucky enough to be invited to the Radio 4 book club recording at BBC Broadcasting House. We were joined by a diverse range of other readers from all generations, as well as James Naughtie leading the questions and Helen Fielding herself.  

Despite being recorded, we were allowed open questions to the author, covering everything from why she chose the diary format, to how Bridget (and Daniel Cleaver) would fair now in light of the #MeToo movement and why Helen Fielding has no idea what Bridget Jones actually looks like. All of us were struck with how friendly and approachable Helen was; she made sure that she answered everyone’s question thoughtfully and was able to smile and interact in a relaxed way.

Before taking our seats for the recording we all reflected on our love for the book, or our new found ambivalence towards Bridget Jones as a character having re-read the novel in our early twenties. Many of us felt that we could always compare moments in our own lives to those of Bridget Jones – she in many ways is an anti-hero in that all women can (and should be proud to) be themselves.

As a group representing, we were all lucky enough to ask questions based around our own reactions to the book. Gareth asked whether Helen Fielding had always planned to write the book as a diary or whether she had tried other styles. She said that she had tried different styles but had eventually settled on a diary format. Fielding, an English graduate, regularly referenced works of literature none more often than ‘Pride and Prejudice’. She unabashedly described how she had mapped the entire novel to mirror that of the Jane Austen classic.

Alice asked if she ever thought that Bridget Jones would be such an iconic character all these years later. The idea of the novel now passing through time was touched on repeatedly. Whether it can stand the gaze of the #MeToo movement or indeed the obsession about calories and weight throughout the book.

Cleo asked if she felt that Bridget Jones didn’t pass through time as she had little that she cared about unlike the activism that the millennium has become to be defined by. What was interesting is that Helen agreed that whilst Bridget may not be as passionate or outspoken as we are today on certain issues, her goodness and kind heart is always present in her character.

Katie then rounded up the entire event asking how it feels to have created a character that is so well loved by multiple generations; despite the changes in society that we had discussed, be it the #MeToo movement or the introduction of social media pressures with platforms such as Instagram, there will still be people picking up ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ for the first time today and relating to Bridget’s narrative. Helen clearly remains extremely proud to be associated with what is becoming one of the classic chick lit books – she said that people often ask her if she is tired of talking about Bridget, to which she responds, with a huge grin, that she could never feel that way.

A few top ‘networking’ tips that we learned at the event…

  • Approach someone who has come to the event alone – you never know who you may meet and how interesting they could be!
  • If someone says that they’re interested to have a chat – make sure you follow up! They’ll often be busy and may not approach you, so be sure to make the move to initiate that conversation.
  • If you want to speak to someone and they’re already busy, stand in their line of vision but to their side so as not to interrupt. This way they can see you and will come to you next after they have finished their current conversation. 
  • Remember to exchange contact details so that you can speak to them again – asking for their email address (make sure that the spelling and punctuation is correct!) is the key bit of information.
  • Send an email within a few days, reminding them of your meeting and letting them know how you can help each other.



Why do we watch Love Island? Antonia’s story of a week at

Why do we watch Love Island? Antonia’s story of a week at

In essence I wanted to go to for my work experience because I didn’t want to be involved in the monotony of paperwork, filing, photocopying, printing, coffee making, biscuit snapping… the office life. The idea of being free to produce and present my own podcast, on what I wanted to talk about, and be potentially listened to, was like music to my ears. I came prepared with an idea, pen and paper, and an open mind.

Camilla wasted no time in getting us into the nitty-gritty, as we dropped our bags, started speaking, she said, “Hold that thought, let’s record this!”.

From that we learned the first lesson of the day, but also the main principle of this experience: young people are worth listening to. Therefore, once we got into the sea of journalists at the Charles Wheeler Awards Ceremony, it was highly ironic that we were two 17-year-olds, in what another mature journalist termed, “a bunch of dinosaurs”.

Whilst, many journalists acknowledged the lack of diversity as well, they claimed this was not the face of journalism today. However, I can’t deny that it was off-putting to see one demographic that was tasked with the responsibility of relaying the stories of the people for the people. Camilla asked the keynote speaker, “How can you get young people involved in politics and current affairs, who are so disillusioned by it all, that they watch Love Island?” (i.e. Me, guilty as charged). I sensed the eye rolls amongst the laughs, however, whilst the majority of the journalists looked down on my affliction, when I reflected I realized that on Snapchat all of the major news outlets, like the Metro and the Daily Mirror have either the Kardashians, Emily Ratatowski in a bikini or Love Island. So, are we inherently shallow, and frivolous, or is that what is expected of us?

Walking around the room trying to network, I spoke to this woman who was a retired journalist, and she said, ‘Oh, journalism created sexism’. She went onto explain how appearance and age were highly important factors in the longevity of a woman’s career in journalism. Coincidentally, sexism was something Alfie and I, spoke about earlier that day, in which he declared he was not a feminist and explained why (what a shameless promo: check out Alfie’s podcast).

Therefore, in hindsight, I see that working as a journalist, you never really stop working, everywhere you look there are people, and therefore there are stories. 


The next day reaffirmed this to me, as Camilla and I went to a Ted Talk master class, in which a bunch of random strangers from all walks of life amalgamated because they want to tell their stories. From an old age pensioner, referred to as the banana lady as of course she is bananas for bananas, to a man who seemed to be a character out of The Office as he was as enthusiastic about gas boilers as I am about Love Island. Whilst, again I was the youngest amongst them, unlike the previous event I did not feel out of place, nor do I think anyone did. This demonstrates that diversity, in London at least is natural, and journalists should reflect that. 

Therefore, as the week went on these ideas informed how I wanted my podcast to be. I knew from the start that I wanted to do it on Love Island, but because of my embarrassment that I watch the show, I wanted to get to the bottom of why I watch Love Island? As Camilla said, ‘Why does Antonia, an intelligent young person watch something like Love Island?’

Consequently, because Love Island is such a cultural phenomenon, I took to the streets of Islington to see why do people watch it and why people don’t, as I can understand both perspectives being only a new Love Island convert. The idea of approaching strangers on the street was a daunting concept but with the help of Camilla I managed to get a substantial amount of interviews. From a girl vaping to a newsagent, it was the only way to get an insight into public opinion. 

Whilst, my week at Podium has ended, Camilla has assured me that I am now a part of the network of Podium journalists and it is something I am already putting into practice. During the week I was also inspired to interview people I know that are mixed race, because I realized that sometimes I forget that I am. In addition, I found an event on eventbrite about tackling serious youth violence, and as I signed in, one of the organizers asked for my background, and I replied, “I’m going to say I’m a journalist”. With that label I’m more inspired than ever to listen and to relay stories because in the words of George the Poet, “Telling your own story is the secret to survival”.





Alice Fuller pitches her extraordinary doc idea at Podium Training 2019

“I want to make a documentary about poo!” – it wasn’t the opening line I’d intended to give when asked to pitch an idea for a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

But having spent the day hearing from journalists and producers at the #podiumtraining19 day at Google HQ in London, that’s what I came out with – an idea for an in-depth look at food allergies and intolerances.

During the day, myself and 80 other aspiring media professionals heard from journalists, podcast producers, social change campaigners and audio specialists. The topics ranged from the process of producing a BBC Radio 1 documentary, to pitching your ideas to commissioning editors.

Anna Siwecka
Anna Siwecka on how to start your own podcast

Stephen Titherington from the BBC World Service gave an inspiring opening speech about making engaging content. He gave some great examples about how to attract audiences, even when you don’t have the latest and greatest equipment.

Sky News treated us to two speakers. Louise Hastings discussed the different ways to enter journalism, as well as what was happening in the newsroom that day. It was the day Theresa May announced her resignation, so they made a swift exit to get back to duty.

It was great to hear from Kumba Kpakima and her route into the field. She chose a Sky News apprenticeship over university and recently won a Young Journalist Award. She told us how her first ever documentary now has over one million views on YouTube – impressive for someone so young!


Sky News
Sky News stories

Sam Bailey was recently appointed Managing Director of the Audio Content Fund and was interested to hear about the barriers young audio producers face. There was a consensus that a lack of funding, studio space and high-quality equipment are the most significant factors preventing us from producing the content we would like to. I was happy to hear that funding will hopefully soon be available for journalists.

Throughout the day we also heard from: producer and reporter Simona Rata; executive producer Sue Bowerman; Broadcast journalist Josie Verghese from BBC Young Reporter; Safiyyah and Mya from RevolYOUtion; David Prest from Audiotrain; and podcast producer Anna Siwecka.

The highlight of the day was when we were each given the chance to pitch our podcast or documentary ideas to the commissioning editor at BBC Radio 4, Mohit Bakaya. There were some fantastic ideas – everything from a young person’s experience of narcolepsy to the crisis of finding student accommodation.

Mohit Bakaya Radio 4
Mohit Bakaya

It was a wonderfully supportive environment with the audience whooping and clapping after each pitch. I still can’t quite believe I got up on stage and said (to the man I hope to one day be my boss!), I’d like to make a radio documentary all about poo.

I left feeling optimistic and inspired. Anyone who says audio is dying is wrong and that was proven at #podiumtraining19. See you next year!

Blog by Alice Fuller


#podiumtraining19 Photographs by Hardeep Kaur Dhadda

Podium Journalist Gareth has new show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

I first found out about Podium.Me at a Radiocentre networking event up in Leeds, and discovered the fantastic range of opportunities Podium has to offer. I spoke to both the founder Camilla Byk and former Podium participant George about the company and the work they have achieved. Through meeting Camilla, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to create a series for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. The slot on a Wednesday evening offers the local community of the county to talk about their passion.
From a young age I have regularly participated in the exercise phenomenon – Parkrun. The weekly 5km run takes place every Saturday all over the UK and allows anyone to participate for free. Since 2009, Parkrun in Cambridgeshire has taken off with over 2000 runners a week spread across nine different parks. The community aspect of the event is huge and I realised this series was a great opportunity to show off people’s passion for Parkrun. This series has been a great experience, from recording interviews, writing links and editing audio using BBC software. I believe it has certainly assisted my broadcasting career and knowledge.
Airs on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire every Wednesday starting on 3rd April for six weeks.

Parkrun Cambridgeshire
Gareth Lewis is a keen Parkrun participant

Catch up on BBC Sounds

My journey from student radio to BBC and ITN

Katie Bevan represented at the launch of the Young Arias
Read what happened next…
How has Podium helped you in your career so far?
Podium has really helped me to transition from student/hospital radio to projects on a national level, which are helping me to kickstart my professional career for after university. I was given the opportunity to help launch the Young ARIAs (a new awards scheme for young people in radio) at Radiocentre’s ’Tuning In’ conference on behalf of Podium. It was an incredible experience and a great chance for networking with industry professionals too. It allowed me to practice my presenting and interviewing skills on-stage, to chat with individuals that I aspire to be like, and to be a part of launching a really exciting project all at once. This helped me to secure future projects working with the BBC and ITN, all whilst receiving ongoing support and encouragement from Camilla and the team at Podium! I have been given opportunities that I don’t think I would have found otherwise and have had so much fun.

What qualities do you need to make the most of opportunities that come your way?
You most definitely need to have self-belief and confidence, which are two qualities that I am constantly working on. I truly think that it makes a world of difference in this industry; other people are more likely to believe in you if you do, so be your own biggest supporter!
I also think that it is key to be open-minded and flexible, because you never know what one opportunity could lead to in the future. I always try to say ‘yes’ to everything, even if it’s out of my comfort zone or area of expertise. For example, I agreed to work on a piece about classical music when I know next to nothing about the genre, and ended up doing a vlog which ended up on the BBC Proms website!
It seems obvious, but it also goes a long way to be friendly and talkative with those around you. This is the best way to learn about the industry, to find out where you could develop your skills (never be afraid to ask for feedback on things!) and to make a good impression. You’ll also find yourself enjoying everything that little bit more if you create this welcoming environment – even on the days when you might be making cups of tea!

How to get into Radio (tips from those who made it) by George Ward

Last night saw the 34th staging of The Radio Academy’s awards (and the 3rd incarnation as the ARIAS) held at the first direct arena in Leeds. Known as the Oscars of UK radio and audio, our reporter George Ward bobbed down to the red (well, purple!) carpet to interview some of the nominees and attendees.

With 23 categories and well over 100 nominations, there were plenty of familiar faces and voices to meet. I was keen to find out what tips the presenters had for getting into the industry, what radio means to them and, as a final question, what their favourite ‘sound’ is? – be that something someone says or a noise they hear on a daily basis.

BBC Radio 1 and CBBC’s Katie Thistleton talks about the importance of hard graft, creating your own work and… books! Listen to Katie here


Matt Edmondson from BBC Radio 1 talked about transitioning from TV to Radio, building audio air miles and working with his co-host Mollie King who joined us at the end of our chat and went on to win Silver for Best New Presenter.  Hear Matt and Mollie here

Stephanie Hirst from BBC Radio Leeds won Bronze for Best Local Radio Show. She talked about connecting with the audience, the importance of storytellers and vinyl vibes.  Stephanie can be heard here

Amy Irons from Capital Scotland Breakfast talked about the differences between working in television news and breakfast radio and how there’s no set path into the industry. Amy’s interview

Matt Lissack and Polly James from Capital South Wales Breakfast were on red carpet hosting duties before talking about being proactive, listening back to your content and not being afraid to seek feedback. Matt and Polly

As well as the main awards ceremony, LeedsBID and The Radio Academy hosted a new national Radio and Audio expo called Segue which brought together industry figures, world-leading innovators, presenters, podcasters and producers from various audio outlets. I attended the ‘Radiocentre Tuning In Conference’ and ‘David Lloyd in Conversation with Janice Long’ events, both of which delivered top industry insights – past, present and future.

Many congratulations to all the winners, nominees and event organisers. The full list of winners can be found on the Radio Today website here

Remember, Podium are patron members of the Radio Academy. For complimentary membership details, contact


TuningIn Conference

How I was inspired by #TuningIn 

It is 8:20am on Tuesday and usually I would be getting ready for my morning lecture but this morning was completely different. I was at the #TuningIn radio conference during the first ever Radio Audio week. At the time I was really nervous because I was alone and didn’t know anybody. It was half way through my second year doing Psychology that I discovered that that Psychology wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. It took a lot of debating with myself since my family has a long line of graduates, but I realised that my passion was not in that field and that’s when I discovered

The conference started off with the incredible Siobhan Kenny who led the conference. She explained how well radio had done this past year nationally & showed great dedication and effort in bringing this all together, also explaining how to protect the voice of radio for the future. Margot James MP was present and she had a strong standpoint on mental health issues and also recently was appointed Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Politics and radio don’t mesh well together at times but Margot’s position enables the two worlds to blend in a positive way. I really enjoyed Bruce Daily’s segment who was emphasising that communication at the workplace is a positive thing to do, and I could really relate to that because I also think communication is key to so many things and if someone at work is having a bad day a genuine joke or a genuine positive uplifting comment can make a difference.

Since I’m from Germany I was so amused to hear that Michael Hill (who I think is iconic) had just returned from Munich and was in talks with Mercedes Benz on how radio technology within the car can be upgraded and his vision on how technology is advancing. I was astounded by his innovative approach and it made me appreciate the importance of the new way radio is evolving and how important it is within electronics.

The Young Arias segment is where I was feeling like I wished I was sixteen again as Rickie Haywood-Williams, Melvin Odoom, Mollie King and Matt Edmondson explained how much it would’ve been amazing for them when they were younger to have an opportunity like Young Arias. I think that it’s really exciting that the Young Arias has been created for the next generation of upcoming aspiring presenters, to be able to have an equal opportunity from a very young age to get into radio. it’s heart-warming to see that there is a generation that cares about the youth.

Since I was 8 years old I have been inspired by some of the people presenting at the conference. It was inspiring and I loved how genuine they were and it really motivated me and encouraged me.  Other Icons such as Harriet Scott and Dave Berry appeared to my delight. Dave is hilarious and he represents the not so conventional type of ‘presenter’ and I love that because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Whilst he spoke on the different ideas that he has for his new breakfast show he said “I’m just going to take it as it comes” and that’s how I like to live my life at most times and I think it’s a great attitude to have. Another funny comment he made was “I’m beginning to waffle here,” that made me chuckle because I could relate to that as it happens to me too sometimes.

Other members such as Gareth Jones, Charlotte McMullan Jo McCrostie and Nick Pugh brought the perspective forward on how wide radio stretches in aspects that many people such as myself did not have an idea about. The amount of financing, analytical and strategic side of radio is incredibly informative and positive. The most favourable aspect that I gained from the experience is the amount of different people involved in different ways with a lot of talent and knowledge was just mind-blowing and I felt so in awe to be surrounded by them. Everyone involved has so much great knowledge and positivity that inspires radio and that’s what truly inspired and made me more determined to follow my dreams. Thank you, Camilla, for this opportunity. member:  Iman Mayanja

What I learnt at #Podiumtraining18


Blog by Bethan Ashmead Latham, Podium Journalist

What do you get when Podium’s far-reaching community comes together?

We found out when we met in the Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf for a training day which covered every aspect of the audio industry.

Mae- Li Evans

We got lots of ideas on how to engage listeners. We got masterclasses in how to find our niche, how to grow our audience, and how to manage our personal brand across different social media platforms. We got instruction on how to be a good news journalist, and we heard from expert producers, presenters, and editors. We got tips on how to win media awards and advance our careers. We got professional pointers on how to pitch our work, and how to sharpen our skills. Some of us even got the chance to share our own experiences.

But more than this we got to hear lots and lots of stories.

Matt Deegan Folder Media and Louise Kattenhorn Radio 1 listening to live pitches.

Heather Campbell from Somethin’Else and Malak Obaidi from Wired Radio

We heard so many stories because of the range of people attending: the invitation for the free event on Wednesday 7th February 2018, was open to anyone pursuing (or interested in) a career in audio. The audience boasted aspiring and working editors, presenters, producers, journalists, writers, and more. They were joined by experienced speakers from across the industry: BBC, Harper Collins, Bauer Media, Audible, talkSPORT, talkRADIO, and Radio Independents Group. There were speakers early on in their careers but with impressive achievements already – like winning a 30 under 30 award, producing audio documentaries for the BBC, or launching their own sound-editing business. 

The insight on offer was vast and inspiring. And everyone seemed motivated by the practicalities and technicalities on how to produce good work, but it is the content that engages listeners…

…Which brings us back to those stories: There was the ballet dancing, broadcast journalist from Egypt. She was on the ground reporting on the 25th Revolution (among other things). Now in London to study for an MA in journalism, she plans to make a documentary about the under-representation of black women cast in leading ballet roles. Fascinated yet? – How about the young man who live-pitched an idea about a devout Muslim man reckoning with his religion and his identity as a performing drag queen. And if that story doesn’t grab you (I don’t believe you!) then just imagine the sound-rich settings which would help form the tale.

There was the man keen to gather stories of autism in different countries, and the man whose Mum runs the fastest marathon of any woman over 60 in the UK.

And all these stories, all these insights, before we’ve even addressed the conference theme. The theme? Vulnerability and Inclusivity – the vulnerability of any media professional, and indeed podium volunteer, when they set out to create content, seek stories, and approach interviewees. The vulnerability of interviewees when they trust us to tell their story properly.

Hayley Wiltshire and Brenda Salinas

And it might be easy to feel vulnerable and daunted at a conference like this, surrounded by so much talent, so much creativity, so much… competition? Indeed, Rachel Mallender from HarperCollins who spoke on the golden age of audio, said ‘the battle for the ear is fierce’.

And yet, when you looked around the room, when you spoke to other people about what they were doing, what you actually found was a room full of collaborators. It became encouraging to hear so many ideas, and see so many skills and aspiration in one place, and realise there was room for everyone there. To see people who’ve overcome challenges in creating content and want to help you do the same.

The Future of Audio panel, Will Jackson from RIG, Fina Charleson, Steve Carsey from Audible, and Matt Hill from Rethink Audio

Students from Global Academy

And about that battle for the ear. It was affirming to learn of the sheer swathes of listeners engaging with audio content already, that we are in a new golden age in audio. The task seems simple: convince listeners to listen, and grow audiences. To help you do that, you need to find and tell human stories, and if you want to find a community to help you do that – come to


Camilla Byk Co-founder, Bethan Ashmead Latham and Afia Bruce


Article by Bethan Ashmead Latham


A treat for your ears

When I mention the word ‘binaural’ I’m often met with polite silence, I therefore get quite excited when I meet someone who instead greets me with a knowing nod. Binaural sound provides some of the most immersive audio experiences available. Virtual Barber Shop (give it a google!) was my first encounter, and quite probably the closest you can get to having a haircut without scissors. It’s best heard to be understood.

‘Madlove’ Recording for Radio 1

Published here with the permission of Aimee Carney:

When I first received an email about the Madlove workshop, I was very intrigued about the subject matter, so I decided to go along. We were told briefly that the workshop would be based around mental health, and the audio would be recorded for a BBC Radio 1 documentary airing in December – apart from that, we all weren’t too sure what to expect from the day.

I got to the studios at roughly 11.45am, ten minutes after arriving at Liverpool Street Station, with the help of my sat navigation on my phone. I then headed up the huge three flights of stairs to STUDIO 3 – (I have a fear of getting trapped in a lift, funnily enough). We swapped names, with the help of name badges, over lunch, and eased our way into the hours of recording ahead. After switching off our phones, we began the workshop.

At first, we were handed a box with items inside and each one of us had to choose an item that resonated with us. There were seashells, a teaspoon, a corkscrew, and a rock, to name a few. The reasons for choosing a specific item were all very personal. It could have been something that reminded us of a fond memory, an inside joke with our family members, or something as simple as thinking it was interesting or beautiful. As soon as the box came around to me, I took out the candlestick. Candles, no matter where I am in the world, will always remind me of myself and my mum. We both adore different scented candles – especially around the festive period – and there is such a sense of relaxation when I have a candle burning nearby. It reminds me of home, and makes me feel at ease with myself and the world around me. We were each asked around the table why we had chosen that specific item and what it meant to us. After this, we were asked to think about how the item could benefit our mental health.

“To me, a candle represents self-care and taking a time out. I think that’s really important when it comes to looking after our own mental health. We need to take care of ourselves.”

We were paired with someone for a listening test, to see how well we could recite how the other person feels about what good mental health should look, sound, feel, taste and smell like. I said that good mental health looked like a crisp autumn day, sounded like laughter, felt like a fluffy blanket, tasted like chocolate and smelt like LUSH bath bombs. Charlie said she thought good mental health looked like rays of sunshine, sounded like the ocean, felt like stroking your pet, tasted like citrus, and smelt fresh? – think I got that right! Overall, it was quite challenging to pinpoint exactly what things we would associate with for each of the five senses, but was a fun task all the same. It helped us to understand each other a lot better.

Towards the end of the day, we were all asked to write down certain characteristics and qualities we all look for in our closest friends. This was a really interesting exercise and has actually helped me figure out who I enjoy spending my time with. It was an insightful day, and I’m much looking forward to hearing the finished product when it is broadcast in December.

Listen to the doc

Podium Journalists Liza and Kabir attend Film Premiere

Kenyan national; Joel Kioko, who was brought up in a Nairobi Slum is waiting in earnest for news on his ballet future.

Joel’s home was a shack situated in one of nine neighbouring slums that comprise Africa’s largest urban informal settlement. The diseases associated with extreme poverty are rife in the slums outside Nairobi’s city centre. The Kioko family residence is actually a replacement of one recently destroyed by the common occurrence of fire. These are Joel’s origins.

Waiting in earnest; this humble emotion confirms Joel’s mindset after several conversations with the sharers and givers who know him personally. These individuals relocated to Kenya with the intention of nurturing Nairobi communities with hope and nourishment. Between them a series of charities and educational projects are organised; Lunchbowl Network, Anno’s Africa and Artists for Africa to mention a few. They heartily describe the dignified and gracious manner of the recipients to their contributions. So often the victims of poverty they encounter accept their situation and expect little.

A future in ballet; ballet was unknown to Joel just four years ago. Now at age seventeen his natural affinities of agility, strength, discipline and form have been recognised with two full scholarships, awarded by two leading ballet institutes; the Royal Ballet School and the English National Ballet.

Who would have thought such an astonishing accomplishment was possible in such a short period of time?

‘[…] most of the time I was just trying to go back and thinking if this is true or not. Or am I just dreaming because it is crazy. I did not expect that, that I would be here [London], that I would be a dancer.’

Joel Kioko

“Ballet means life to me, it means everything”

What were the chances that this young man’s gift would be realised from amidst the one hundred and seventy thousand to two million inhabitants?

There is no question that the unlikely opportunities are solely attributable to Joel’s natural talent. He has magnetically attracted the supportive reactions of his neighbours whether in the form of ballet training, care and nutrition or in the transportation to England for his RAD auditions last April.

“Arts lift people to new places” is the key message in a seven minute screenplay of Joel’s Story starring Joel and Tom Holland comparing their experiences in the universal language of dance; filmed and produced by Emma Flett and Heidi Gomes. The film presents part one of this epic journey and was created in the hope of generating donations for Joel’s tuition and lodgings in London. Heidi and Emma invite their audiences to contribute towards making talented dancers like Joel a reality and to join them in being a part of the story.

Blog writers, Liza Maddocks and Kabir Hussain at the Premiere with Emma Flett

Our hopes are with Joel overcoming the barriers of poverty to secure a place in the future he deserves. Joel’s Story continues to attract much interest as all watch in hope of dreams being realised, especially when born in unexpected places.

A story to be followed and that indisputably warrants a sequel.

Introduction to Journalism

During the week of the 5th to the 9th of June I was given the opportunity to complete an internship where I had the chance to work with Camilla Byk and learn about her company along with certain work that takes place. While working at I was able to travel to the West End and act as a proper journalist, by doing this I interviewed Nat from the Media Trust (interview above) where I used the technique of recording for a podcast and was able to use interview skills, such as following up with questions after answers and trying to build a calm relationship with the interviewee. After this, Camilla opened my eyes to the Black Culture Archives in Brixton where I was given the task as an interviewee to speak about the topic of Black British History.

I was gladly pushed by Camilla to come out of my comfort zone and approach a member of the public to explore their opinion on the same topic. I was so grateful that I took that opportunity as it taught me that as journalists you’ll have to be able to be confident enough to approach different members of the public to get your story. allowed me to use Adobe Audition where I also acted as an editor and edited the interview to make it into professional audio. One of the best things of being with was appreciating the busy schedule that journalists have. I was able to visit Age UK in Camden where I listened to a real life radio station and experience what most teenagers think happens in a radio interview.

Overall, I believe is an amazing company where it allows one to have a clear idea of how journalism works and determine whether or not that route is particularly for them. They have taught me skills that I will be able to use in the future and I would gladly love to come back.

article by Serena Richards (right)

Podium Film Makers

Louise Schofield and Caroline Hailstone at the Creative Collisions event for

Louise said, ‘At Creative Collisions it was really great to get stuck into and be involved with  a topic that young people feel so strongly about and to be able to openly express what should and needs to change. It was great experience in both journalism and presenting and really opened up a whole new experience for me and I learnt loads of new techniques to go forward in my career with. The team were also ace to work with and it was a fantastic event to be a part of.’ Louise Schofield

Caroline added, ‘Creative Collisions is the biggest Charity event the UK has ever seen, and our job was to collect interviews throughout the day for a follow-up film. It was my first time on camera, but I got used to it by the end with the support of a strong all-female team! Some of the interviews were truly enlightening and a real insight into issues like social mobility and feminism for young people.’ Caroline Hailstone

See what they helped to make 

From Bucharest to Balham

Teodora Agarici writes about her week at Podium

You can’t expect one-week work placements to change your life or completely twist your career path. But you can hope at least to have something to fill your CV under the experience rubric.

My adventure with started a few months ago when I went to the IRN awards, a gala meant to showcase the very best journalism in UK commercial radio. This is where I met Camilla or to be more precise – where Camilla met me. She was the one who approached me and told me about this whole thing that she’s been doing for about five years, creating a platform for young journalists to tell their views upon any topic they like. Plus, by chance, I found out she went to Romania when she was only eighteen.  What a small world, isn’t it?

A few weeks later I wrote an email to her asking whether I could have some work experience. She said yes and all I could think of at that time was – no more waitressing, baby, no more waitressing. Or at least for a while.

Camilla is a home-based journalist and the first thing I learned from the internship is that knowing how to get in time and at the right address in London can be considered a real skill, when not even Citymapper, Google Maps and prayers to God combined could help you find the way.

Some chit-chat, a cup of tea in the classic British way with a splash of milk and no sugar – that by the way, I found surprisingly good compared to each of my attempts in the past – made the not-at-all-Teodora-friendly-Monday-morning more endurable and set the tone for the week ahead.

In journalism, everything is about storytelling and how to make the audience engage with it.

‘It’s the numbers game,’ Camilla said. ‘Once I managed to secure an internship while I was in a lift.’ Sometimes you just have to meet people, go to events and ask for help. It might seem obvious, but not everyone thinks the same.

We went to the Media Trust organisation to do an interview with Nathaniel Hawley, a 25-year-old guy with dyslexia who dropped school and turned into an autodidact. Now he is coordinating a team that supports community media projects across the country. The podcast will be coming out soon. What is more, Nat invited us to one of the Media Trust upcoming events in partnership with Youtube and Evening Standard in mid July. Promising, isn’t it?

After that, we visited the Wireless radio station. Podium journalists will soon have the chance to get involved in a new radio programme for the pilot edition of a young and old discussion programme.

Already happy with the way opportunities shape around me. I definitely don’t regret spending my holiday in London.

At no one assigns any task for anyone. This is what is so great about it. You have to pitch the story, make your own research, take your smartphone and start recording. This is how I came up with the idea of interviewing Camilla about her time spent in Romania, in the heart of Transylvania, 25 years ago, during the communist regime. Keep an eye on the website to when we are going to post the podcast. It’s worth it.

Some of my plans post-internship include finding another placement for the summer and also helping Camilla to develop and bring it to the next level. It is the voice of the young at the end of the day, so let’s make it heard.

Saida completes a week at

I was always interested in media and getting to know the story behind things, and on the 17th of March I was lucky enough to have got an internship placement with was really excited to see what it was like to be a journalist for a week, on the first day we were taught how to interview each other and record each other’s voice using a voice record app. I found it easy at first then the questions got more complex which were a little harder to answer straight away, I had to think. The next day we were shown and taught how to edit a voice recording using a computer software we edited our own voices and got rid of long breaks and unnecessary sounds.

On Wednesday, we went to visit the BBC and we were shown around the building. What was interesting to me was that for somewhere so big and having so many different programmes going on it was rather quiet. After visiting the BBC, we went exploring London and went to several places, the first place we went was Liverpool street and looked around, and went into some shops and asked the shop owners some questions. This was supposed to show us how to ask people questions. Then we went to Fashion street which is where a lot of fashion schools are, and we asked two girls a couple of questions and their answers were rather interesting. Then we went to Brick lane, this place was the most artistically beautiful place which I have ever seen, everywhere I looked was there were different colours, every shop which was there was different and unique even if it was selling the same thing. We took pictures of things which we liked and stood out to us .

On Thursday, we were told to search for five things we could talk about in a magazine and we had to pitch our ideas and say who we would interview and the questions we would ask and this gave us a little insight to what it is like to be a journalist. Taking up this internship has help me develop some skills and I am very grateful that I have been giving this opportunity.


By Saida Sheik

A day in the life of Nisbah, intern at

Media. The world of technology and fascinating stories to tell across the nations. As an I.T. student, I am fascinated by the news, such as government and politics which draw my attention to the media. Fortunately, I was given an internship with Podium.Me for a week to learn, build and improve my skills.

I learnt how to interview someone with an audio recorder or a phone. Interestingly, I found that being interviewed by my friend was more difficult than being interviewed by a stranger as I felt more comfortable to express how I felt about the arts. I learnt how to use an app called Voice Record and I then found it interesting that I could edit the audio using the software Audition and take out the irrelevant pieces such as the gaps and words like um, and err. It allowed me to change the audio around to make it sound more interesting.  Our interviews will be used for a documentary in Devon for Totnes radio.

I then went to the BBC with my friend and a journalist. Security at the BBC was tight due to a breach recently, as someone gained access to the main room while a reporter was doing the news. Luckily no information or data was lost and no one was harmed. We were still given a tour and saw where all the audio is edited, where the weather report took place as well as seeing the creativity in the BBC. For example, it’s not just offices inside but there is a lot of art there too.

We then went to Brick lane, in East London. The street is full of arts, vintage and graffiti grabbing people’s attention as if you were a tourist. We spotted a fascinating and creative shop called Dark sugar, where they make chocolates in all different shapes and forms. As I took a bite it felt as if i was in a different world, tasting all the different textures. We interviewed the owner and asked how the truffles were made. We then explored the area and interviewed some people which helped me build my confidence more.

The next day I continued editing the audio that me and my friend made and completed it. I then played it back with Camilla Byk to see if the audio made sense and if not, we changed it along the way. On my last day, I decided to join Camilla in the morning to play football. I found it really enjoyable and a great time as I also met new people and heard their perspective about sports.

By Nisbah Arif

Meet the writers at

Frankie: Staring


What made you interested in writing?

I think writing has always come naturally to me. I’ve always liked telling stories and writing them down. Or if something was happening in my life, good or bad I took comfort in writing journals and documenting my feelings. It was after hearing David Sedaris, my favourite writer, and watching Gavin and Stacey that I began considering writing scripts for comedy and drama. 

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

In the past I had always written for performing stand up comedy or for myself. So writing for a character, developing their personality and finding their voice, making sure it was different from my own was quite difficult. To me and my friends I have quite a distinctive way of delivering lines or jokes when performing and I didn’t want people to recognise me in this character. 

What did you learn writing for audio?

The main thing I learnt is you have a lot more freedom. Audio relies on the imagination of the listener for scenery, so you can literally base you story anywhere. I think that’s really exciting. There is no limit. 

How did attending the group help you to develop your work?

Meeting in a group for me really helped. Writing on my own I have found it hard to get started and stay focused. Cordelia set us some writing tasks and without me even knowing she got the creative juices flowing. It was nice to be in a group and really appreciate everyone’s different styles and takes on pieces. 

How did you find the challenge of re-writing and how were you supported in this process?

I tend to overdo it. Sometimes a character does not need to rant or directly tell you about themselves. Cordelia taught me that sometimes it’s about what is not being said. 

Molly:  Compassion Fatigue


What made you interested in writing?

It’s a job you can do in your pyjamas. Also, we all live in own little heads and we can never truly know what it is like to be another human being. Writing from someone else’s perspective is one of the few ways that we can see into another person’s mind – everyone is their own protagonist and we are all as real as each other. But mostly the pyjamas thing.

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

It is hard to create tension and drama in someone talking to themselves. You have to have a strong sense of the internal conflict, especially when there is nothing visual for the audience to focus on.

I love writing for radio/podcasts and am eager to continue in the future. I know how intense the connection you have with something right in your ears. I was once so engrossed in Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate on Radio 4 that I got trapped in a bog and I had to be rescued by some pensioners.

What did you learn writing for audio?

The importance of detail in the language, which creates a picture for the audience, without spoon-feeding them facts.

How did attending the group help you to develop your work?

The writing group was an honest, supportive space to explore ideas and make mistakes. The discipline of a writing group combined with the challenge of using a different medium led me to producing some of my best work.

How did you find the challenge of re-writing and how were you supported in this process?

I am unusual in that I don’t mind rewriting, it’s the writing bit I hate. Re-writing is working with something actually on the page, which is infinitely easier than looking at a screen and pondering maybe writing some words. While re-crafting my work, I felt supported by the writing group and the clear feedback I was given.

Daisy: Who Cares?


What made you interested in writing?

People. People made me interested in making stories. I think for me it all started with a fascination in the way people speak. A lot of that began with listening to family conversations and copying their speech patterns and opinions to create dialogue that felt real. My work is always inspired by the world around me and I think that people, with all their wackiness, are a big part of that.

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

Before embarking on this project I had only written short plays. I had no experience of writing a monologue and I think that I underestimated its craft. I found this project really challenging because it was difficult to explore a story in such a condensed amount of time using just one character’s voice. Whilst developing this monologue and understanding more about writing for radio I completely fell in love with audio drama. It is different from writing scripts for the stage because in audio drama you don’t have a set or any visuals to help you tell the story, but what makes that so fascinating is that it allows you to really unlock your imagination.

What did you learn writing for audio?

With radio you have no limitations. At first it may seem that you have because you don’t have a set and the audience can’t see your character’s traits. But because you are purely relying on the characters and the audience, the who, where and when can be whatever you like – your characters don’t even have to be humans!

How did attending the group help you to develop your work?

I learnt so much from attending the group because I could listen to the work of others and learn from them. We progressed together which was really nice because usually writing can be quite a lonely experience. From this group I learnt that there are just so many ways to write a monologue. I also learnt that choice is the key to developing any story – a character needs to have a choice which they then decide where to take it.

Finally, some thoughts about the challenge of re-writing and how you were supported in this process.

For me the re-writing process was the most important part. I began with a completely different monologue to what I ended up with. I learnt that I had to really think about where my character was in order make the story come to life. I also found that the more I re-wrote the more experimental I became which was a very enjoyable and exciting process. 

Pip Swallow:  Just Joella


Pip is studying at Goldsmiths for a PhD in Theatre. She trained as an actor but does all sorts of things to keep afloat in London. 

What made you interested in writing?

I’ve tried to work as an actor but it’s a tough and over-saturated industry. I wanted to try my hand at writing because the roots are the same. You need to have an interest in character and story-telling to do both. 

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

I’ve never really tried writing before until this year so it’s all a challenge!

How did attending the group help you to develop your work?

I learnt about the need for impact early on and also about writing with the audience in mind. It was great to have constructive critique and bounce ideas off people in a group format.

Finally, some thoughts about the challenge of re-writing and how you were supported in this process.

Cordelia could point out the weak spots which is hard to see for myself. It’s hard to be objective when you’ve been wrapped up in a piece.

Rianna Mitchell Henry: Broken in Two


What made you interested in writing?

Writing gives me freedom to express my feelings, perceptions and thoughts without limitation. I relish the power to shine light on dark subjects and unspeakable truths that are evocative and enlightening to others. My writing can serve as a voice for social issues; potentially stimulate minds; and change lives, just like other writing has done for me.

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

The main challenge was writing a monologue in the active voice and in present tense.

Before the writing group, I had written a full-length play for the Royal Court theatre, and screenplays with the BBC. Writing for audio was more challenging than writing for stage because the story is presented through dialogue and sound effects only. It was difficult to keep the story entertaining, as there are no stage directions to keep the audience visually engaged.

What did you learn writing for audio?

I learnt that to make a monologue as impactful and engaging as possible is to write in the active voice. Listeners are able to understand the characters and story in greater depth and fully immerse themselves in the narrative, as they are experiencing the character’s journey.

How did attending the group help you to develop your work?

I learnt how to produce an effective monologue and its differences in convention and style compared to other writing genres. Attending the group helped with the re-writing process because I was able to gain constructive criticism, and figure out which elements worked.

Finally, some thoughts about the challenge of re-writing and how you were supported in this process.

The re-writing process can be challenging because eliminating or changing parts of your work involves possibly having to make large changes to the narrative. The writing group provided the opportunity to share ideas with others and helped me tell the story I wanted to tell.

Bexie Archer: Second-hand Meringue


What made you interested in writing?

I starting writing monologues out of necessity, as strong young female voices are hard to find in audition pieces, and I didn’t recognise myself or the people I know, in many of the characters I was coming across.

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

I like to write minimal dialogue and leave the actors to express their stories and relationships, so I initially found it very unnatural to be commenting on the surroundings and scene as it happens so the radio audience knows what’s going on, so that was the main challenge. I think we got there in the end though!

What did you learn writing for audio?

It forced me to get across the subtleties using audio alone and taught me I don’t have to rely on visuals to create dialogue and environment that feels realistic

Finally, some thoughts about the challenge of re-writing and how you were supported in this process.

My earlier drafts overcompensated for the lack of visuals by being long and overwritten, so it was liberating to cut it down and play with how little exposition I could still get away with! I’m really chuffed with the piece that Cordelia and I have ended up with, as I couldn’t have done it without her guidance or patience.


Abe Buckoke: Out at Sea


What made you interested in writing?

I’ve been a huge fan of Radio Comedy and Drama since I was young. I used to listen to the then Radio 7 for The Goon Show, Hancock’s Half Hour, and my absolute favourite, Dick Barton. I’ve always felt like the medium has an intimacy and a magic that is unparalleled in any other form. As they say, “the pictures are better in radio” but I really do find that to be a truism. Recent radio favourites of mine have been “The National Theatre of Brent” and anything by John Finnemore. 

What had you written previously and what challenges did you face writing an audio drama monologue?

I found the “mono” bit hard. A lot of my work is very relationship based, I have a penchant for status war between people, and to find myself all alone when writing, “Out At Sea” was quite daunting. In fact the first draft I sent Cordelia, did have a huge gang of other characters because I just couldn’t seem to get the pen moving otherwise, but Cordelia’s guidance gave me confidence in isolating the focus of the story. In terms of the audio aspect, I suppose you don’t naturally think about how to tell the story of the world, when writing, because usually for theatre or film they’re just going to see it. Cordelia explained “you’re creating pictures in sound so think about what the audience will hear and remember if they can’t hear it it doesn’t exist. “. This was a key nugget which really helped me, because then I could translate what I was seeing into sound and it also gave me new ideas as restrictions so often do. 

What did you learn writing for audio?

That you do have to create the world with your ears, and that’s exciting. 

Finally, some thoughts about the challenge of re-writing and how you were supported in this process.

The rewriting was great, Cordelia had a really solid idea of what the piece was trying to do. Her directions where uplifting and helped strengthen and clarify my work, without letting it lose a sense of where it came from. I felt very supported indeed and hope to work with Cordelia and in the future. 

Meet the actor ‘Out at Sea’

Jamie Finn: Out At Sea


What took you into acting?

Seeing lots of theatre as a child. My school took me to the RSC all the time and I remember thinking “I want to do that”. 

Did you do any training?

Yes. I did a foundation in acting at RADA and my BA Acting at Central School of Speech and Drama. 

What advice would you give to young would-be actors?

I’m still a pretty young actor myself, I’ve just graduated. However, I would say it’s great to get a good training under your belt and make the most of those three years. There are some truly extraordinary actors who never trained, however, for me I think training and learning discipline of the craft is vital for a long career.

What did you learn most from recording audio? 

Recording audio is brilliant fun! I’d love to do more of it! I’ve only done a little bit at drama school but from doing this I really took away that you need to really be precise with your voice to really portray where you are and what you’re doing for the listener. 

Meet the actor ‘Broken in Two’

Melanie Gayle: Broken in Two


What took you into acting?

Well I attended Barbara Speake Stage school as a child, but went into the music business first, I didn’t  start acting until 2013. It was something I just felt like pursuing as an adult. I also started stand up comedy the following year.

Did you do any training?

I did acting training many years ago. When I started acting again, I Initially started doing small extra/supporting actor roles to get myself comfortable on set and in front of the camera again. The following year I got bigger speaking roles and now I have lead role experience in films.

What advice would you give to young would-be actors?

Be yourself, never give up and learn from every audition and workshop. If you don’t get a part just move on to the next one. There is a role out there for all of us, patience is key!

What did you learn most from recording audio? 

I think I learnt how to really change a story with just voice control and phrasing. There are no special effects to make the audio drama more interesting, you have to keep the listener engaged with your voice alone and bring the story to life.

Meet the actor ‘Unravel’

Alex Harvey: Unravel


Actor, writer and poet

What took you into acting?

Acting always seemed like a natural progression for me, something I could do and do well. What drew me in were the stories. I remember my Dad telling me how important drama was to the Greeks, how attendance was a necessity as they tried to make sense of the world around them. Even now I believe drama has the same importance in the world no matter how much it has changed. There is a story for every time, every mood and every feeling and each time we hear one, old or new, we learn. That’s why I do this, you never stop learning and you never should.

Did you train?

Yes, first with National Youth Theatre and then at Drama Centre London in 2011 on a foundation course. Later I studied at the Identity School of Acting and finally at Room 1 with James Kemp. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop training, a musician never stops practicing and neither should an actor.


Don’t give up and don’t quit but if life starts taking you in another direction don’t be afraid to try that as well. If you’ve only ever lived as an actor how will you pretend to be all the characters we meet in these stories? Confidence is key but arrogance is ugly. Trust yourself – if you don’t have trust you might as well give up now and go find a nice beach somewhere to sit, read and drink because it won’t get any better if you’ve already started thinking it won’t.

What did you learn most from recording audio?

Intimacy is easily achieved. When working on stage it becomes natural to project. With radio there is no need, the microphone is close and the headphones are in the listener’s ear. If you raise your voice too much it becomes irritating, a shout is full blown aggressive. Instead I found that that dreadful saying, “less is more” is very relevant.

Meet the actor ‘Just Joella’

Ajjaz Awad: Just Joella


What took you into acting?

I always really loved history and visiting castles, pretending I was from another time and imagining myself in a different world. So I think that is what first excited me about acting.

Did you do any training?

Yes, from 14-18yrs I studied theatre at the BRIT School. After that I did a foundation year at RADA and then completed my BA in acting at ALRA.

What advice would you give to young would-be actors?

Be determined and imaginative about how you can get involved with the industry (Write to people ask at theatres etc). Always remember what it is you love about acting. 

What did you learn most from recording audio?

How much you can do using just your voice.

How did it differ from your previous acting experiences like film, theatre an TV?

Unlike TV Film and Theatre, radio allows you to be faceless and without preconceptions. Enabling you to paint the audience’s picture of you with your voice.

Meet the actor ‘Who cares?’

Alex Tenispo Pritchett: Who Cares?


What took you into acting?

I went to watch Oliver in the West End for my 7th birthday and was mesmerised. After it finished my parents bought me the sheet music and soundtrack and I decided from that moment I wanted to act!

Did you do any training?

I trained at Mountview on the 3 year acting course. I loved every moment of it and it exposed me to stage, screen and audio training.

What advice would you give to young would be actors?

My only advice to young would-be actors is dream big and work hard to get there. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else is going to. Stay positive and remember everything happens for a reason!

What did you learn most from recording audio? 

I love recording audio! There is something so freeing just not having to think about your face and body and immerse yourself in the character and story. Also it’s such an intimate process where you feel you can engage with your audience individually and really focus on bringing them in. It’s so easy to do multiple takes and try new things out so you can play play play. With theatre and TV there are so many other factors to consider that a larger part of your performance relies on technique. With audio it feels much more stripped back

Meet the actor ‘Compassion Fatigue’

Amy-Jean Ward: Compassion Fatigue


What took you into acting?

In a nutshell I’m not really sure as none of my family do or have ever acted but from a very small age I was involved drama groups and school productions and I absolutely loved it! I used to save up my pocket money each week and buy a musical CD whenever I could afford one and listen to it on repeat in my bedroom until I knew all the words off by heart

Did you do any training?

Yes I did, I did a Foundation Course at Arts Ed and then went on to do an MA The Royal Centre School of Speech & Drama. 

What advice would you give to young would-be actors?

Get involved in anything and everything you can and try to create your own work, it’s a super competitive world now with so many people wanting a career in the arts that it’s important to stay focused and creative. Also reminding yourself now and again what you love about the industry and why you wanted to be part of it in the first place so super helpful. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break!!! Life is hard enough without beating yourself up all the time, a person once said something to me that I found really helpful and hopefully you will to, ‘What’s meant for us will not pass us by.’ Stay in your lane, everyone’s is different. 

What did you learn most from recording audio? 

That I speak too fast!! Haha no seriously I learnt that the voice is an incredible instrument and you can say phrases in so many different ways, sometimes very subtly but it can be very powerful in the story telling process. Also that a lot can be achieved in a cupboard haha! 

How did it differ from your previous acting experiences like film, theatre an TV?

I had to listen to myself a lot more and play the scene out in my head. 

Meet the actor ‘Staring’

Nicholas Oliver: Staring


Actor and Artistic Director of Pint-Sized

Spotlight: 9971-0167-5166

What took you into acting?

Initially it was the idea of exploring and playing other characters, especially as I was very shy when I was growing up. Later on, it became a way of expressing myself and channelling all my creative energy.

Did you do any training?

Yes, I studied Drama at Loughborough University before doing a two-year diploma in Professional Acting at Drama Studio London.

What advice would you give to young would be actors?

Just focus on being creative and finding the best way to express yourself – don’t let the idea of not getting work get you down. Go and see theatre/film, write your own material and do workshops and classes – this means that not only do you feel like a part of the industry but you can also go into auditions having been busy and creative.

What did you learn most from recording audio? 

To take my time and really enjoy the language – I tend to get intimidated by the microphone and rush. As soon as I realised it was all about communicating the words to the mic, I began to relish the experience.

How did it differ from your previous acting experiences like film, theatre and TV?

It’s very intimate and personal – it’s all about the voice. But in many ways you have to treat it like these other mediums – at the end of the day you’re still acting, and you still have to use your body, as well as your voice, to communicate a character’s thoughts. There are unique techniques to audio you have to learn – distance from the mic, reading from a script, etc – but I’d say that as long as you feel what you’re saying then the listener will hear it.

‘Out at Sea’ Credits

Abe, Jamie, Cordelia and other drama team members
Abe, Jamie, Cordelia and other drama team members

Out at Sea was written by Abe Buckoke

Performed by Jamie Finn
Editing, recording and sound design by Cordelia Galloway
Additional sound effects *
Music, Breakfast In New York by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial  (3.0) license. Ft: Javolenus, Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (NiGiD)
Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway

‘Broken in two’ Drama Credits

Broken in Two was written by Rianna Mitchell
Performed by Melanie Gayle
Recorded and edited by Cordelia Galloway
with additional editing by Aidan Judd
music ‘Bucegi Twilight’  and ‘A moment in your eyes by Reuben Batdorff of Dorpheus*
Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway

From Page to Podcast. How to Create Pictures with Sound

So you’ve got a great script and you want to turn it into an effective audio drama. How do you get an actor to lift a piece of writing off the page using their voice alone?

You may not realise it but a smile can be heard on radio. You don’t need to be able to see it in order to hear it. That’s good news for an actor. They can trust that much of what they do in other acting media will translate to radio.

Radio acting isn’t just about standing passively in front of a microphone. At the BBC’s Broadcasting House the radio drama studio consists of a whole set, including a working kitchen, ‘exterior’ and ‘interior’ spaces, and on-set doors for entering and exiting. It’s similar to a stage set but with microphones and the actors move around it much as they would on stage.


Okay, so my cupboard isn’t a professional recording studio, there’s limited space for a start, however the same principle applies – physicalising a performance helps it sound convincing. When Jamie Finn’s character in Abe Buckoke’s piece Out at Sea (out soon) is kicking his way out of a crate, Jamie was doing sit ups and kicking his legs in the air with his head inside a recycling bin! His physical effort can then be heard in his voice. Obviously, it’s not possible to recreate everything physically. Jamie wouldn’t have been too happy when his character jumps in the sea! Some things you just have to act.

Often radio drama studios have someone to do spot effects – ‘live’ sound effects like stirring a cup of tea or pouring a glass of water. They are recorded during the performance. This avoids messing around with fiddly editing in post-production and ensures the effects are timed with and take place in the same acoustic space as the vocals.

If you don’t have the luxury of a spot effect person then the actor can do it. When performer and writer Bexie Archer opens a pack of Mentos in Second-hand Meringue (coming soon) she is actually opening a pack of Mentos. We chomped our way through at least two packs that day! That’s not a reflection of the number of takes it was just pure greed!

Likewise when Ajjaz Awaad’s character in Just Joella is taking out objects from a Herschel bag, Ajjaz is taking things out of a bag. Okay, not a Herschel bag but she does take out an actual pair of knickers! The advantage of an actor doing their own spot effects is that it enables them to commit imaginatively and it sounds more real.

They can also help an actor get their timing right. Bexie’s character is outside a toilet in which her sister has locked herself. Bexie used the cupboard door as a substitute for the toilet door which allowed her time to her responses to, for example, the sound of her sister unlocking the door. The real toilet door sound effects were added later in the same rhythms Bexie had established during the performance.

So acting for audio drama is physical and involves handling objects much in the same way as on stage. But how does an actor pitch their performance correctly? Size matters – too big and you’re affectively shouting in someone’s ear, too small and you’ve lulled the listener to sleep. Performance poet Alex Harvey who created Unravel is used to performing to large crowds, so his challenge was to reign in his performance without losing its energy. Listening to his first recording through headphones helped him to deliver a more intimate performance.

Above all, an engaging performance requires an actor to tell the story, to know who they are telling it to and why. Radio production is fast; there is little time for rehearsal or character analysis. An actor needs to be prepared and know the script well in advance. Good sight reading skills, quick wits and the ability to be spontaneously creative are a must. Many actors love this as there is no time to get bored!

In an industry which employs actors primarily for the way they look, acting for audio drama can be incredibly liberating as it allows actors to take on all sorts of roles they wouldn’t ordinarily be cast in.

At present the BBC produces most of this country’s radio drama, with the Radio Drama Company employing a core team of ten actors who get to do a wonderfully diverse range of work. My hope is Podium will play a part in the audio drama revolution and provide even more actors with the opportunity to create new and exciting work.

Listen here to Alex Harvey’s Unravel:

By Cordelia Galloway

Head of Drama

How I created the Imaging for the Podium Dramas

Mia Lainchbury

Mia Lainchbury, interning at

I found at a networking event called 30Under30, I was here to gain contacts in the media world as I was about to finish university. Here, one of my peers came across Camilla and took a card, knowing that I would be highly interested my friend gave me Camilla’s details.

I loved the concept of, as young people really need more of a voice in the media and this platform is perfect to do so.

Since then I have created four different jingles for and thoroughly enjoyed producing them. I was given complete freedom so I let my creativity flow. Andrew Mercer (fellow student) and I went around Bournemouth University with a Tascam recording voices of students reading aloud a script that I had written; this later went into the imaging. I then edited each 10-12 second jingle on Adobe Audition. As the demographic for the podcasts are typically under 25 I tried to make them as young and interesting as possible, with energy incorporating as many different voices as possible. I have a free account with a copyright free sound effects site so used all sounds and beds from this website. The whole process took less than a day but was spread out over quite a large period of time as I was still finishing university.

I look forward to doing more work with in the future!

Why radio drama?


‘Staring’ can be heard here.

Cordelia Galloway on the reinvention of audio drama in the digital age

When I was asked by to produce drama with the under 25s, I jumped at the chance. Podium had already won awards for its unique peer-to-peer journalism, why not the same for drama?

I’ve been listening to radio for as long as I can remember, everything from Listen with Mother and Afternoon Drama, to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and the comedy genius of the transgender Hinge and Bracket. My facts were from the Today Programme and PM – but then I’m from the generation that grew up with the radio in the kitchen; and the radio was always on.

But why radio drama? Isn’t it a bit old-fashioned? Surely, most young people don’t even own a radio. If the milkman appeared at your door, wouldn’t you think you’d gone back to a post world war Britain, or a 1970’s sitcom land? Isn’t it the same with radio? The days of the wireless are over. What even is a ‘wireless’? Why awaken the next generation of snap chatters, instagrammers and tweeters to audio drama?

There is a world of possibility in audio drama and potential for comedy, too. Radio might be the closest medium to film. Instead of images, pictures are being created in sound and because there is no restriction by the huge budget necessary to recreate the images visually, the story can be located anywhere: from Mars or the North Pole, to a future world dystopia where giant insects rule. Science Fiction and Fantasy have long recognised the benefits of radio drama: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in 1978; Neil Gaiman’s wonderful Neverwhere set in a parallel universe beneath the streets of London; Elvin Quest set in Lower Earth – a satire on Tolkien’s milieu.

Remember the milkman? His disappearance from the modern world was heralded as the end of an era , but it wasn’t. In fact, with advances in technology online shopping evolved and home delivery boomed. This is the case with radio; technology has led to the ability to stream online content anywhere. Now we demand audio material wherever we go.

Online radio is thriving. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the rise of the American Podcast Revolution: the popularity of podcasts like the Mystery Show in which Starlee Kine solves every day mysteries and Serial which although based in fact is shaped in the dramatic form of a thriller.

Audio drama is undergoing a Renaissance, too: The Truth featuring dramatic short stories combining great writing and quality performances with rich sound design; Welcome to Nightvale – a fictional night radio station set in a an American desert town – reaching no 2 in the iTunes chart; Limetown – the mockumentary thriller investigating the disappearance of 300 men, women and children from a small town in Tennessee attaining the no 1 position in the iTunes chart..

The BBC aren’t releasing the next series of Doctor Who until sometime in 2017, but audio drama episodes are being produced by Big Finish Productions online and on Radio 4 extra.

The internet and smartphones have made audio the perfect medium for young writers to cut their teeth: quicker and cheaper than putting on a play or producing a film. My aim is for to be at the start of the audio drama revolution. I want to be a part of encouraging and supporting a new generation of new writers for audio.

For Messrs Seely and Page to listen to the weather forecast, perhaps.
By Gary Knight from London England – Old Radio CCBY 2.0


I hope you enjoy our series of eight monologues – they’re just the start of more things to come!

Location, Location, Location or The Cupboard by Cordelia Galloway

Staring by Francesca Wells was the first audio drama monologue to be written, in the first ever workshop at Podium’s hub in South London. It was also the first audio drama to be recorded.


Compassion Fatigue can be heard here

My background was as a writer, actor and teacher, I had no technical expertise at all and no budget. However, I knew Podium journalists recorded professional sounding audio on their smart phones and I hoped I could do the same for audio drama.

My original idea was raw sounding audio, recorded on location. Molly Sweeney who wrote Compassion Fatigue sent me a mobile phone recording of a friend performing her piece in a cafe. I loved its informal, almost incidental style – like accidentally overhearing a conversation and feeling compelled to keep listening. Although aware that parts of the story got lost in this rough recording I thought with better direction I could capitalise on our lack of budget and turn ‘on location rawness’ into our own unique signature style.

So one weekday afternoon in November 2015, armed with my phone and a Zoom H4N digital recorder, the actor Nicholas Oliver and I set off to the exotic location of Elephant and Castle shopping centre and headed for Tesco.

As we walked through the doors the noise hit like a Tsunami. How could I not have noticed it before? Entering the supermarket we were assaulted by sound; screaming babies, tills beeping and worst of all the constant electric buzzing of fridges and freezers. Nick, standing by the aisle for bottled sauces, valiantly tried to perform the piece, pausing to dodge the squeals of children, the squeak of trolley wheels, and ringing mobiles. Would Poundland be better? What about Superdrug or the top floor of the shopping centre? The noise pollution was so great we couldn’t hear Nick speak. It sounded a mess. To distinguish Nick’s vocals from the background noise around us we would need far more sophisticated recording equipment and … technical knowhow.

So with heavy hearts we trudged back to my house – our on location plan aborted. We’d record there instead, and add the background sounds later. But where was the best place to record in my house? My house is urban, it’s loud, it’s got single glazing and the single most important quality in producing quality vocals is they have to be ‘clean’ free from background noise and disturbance.

My cupboard was our best option; large empty rooms create too much reverb, but small spaces are ideal, especially with clothes to absorb sound and take away the hard edges. So, Nick and I huddled together in the cupboard and with me carefully holding the recorder so it didn’t pick up sounds from my hands, and we recorded Podium’s first ever audio drama monologue. I then recorded the supermarket sounds separately which gave me much more control over the material.

Since then the cupboard has become my preferred place to record and the following seven monologues were all recorded there successfully. I discovered it is actually possible to create high quality audio in there, especially now that I’ve worked out that wedging a jumper under the door stops it rattling! My thanks goes to all the actors who spent an afternoon crammed into the cupboard with me. I only had to press buttons, they had to perform.

 Ajazz in the cupboard, performing Pip Swallow’s ‘Just Joella'
Ajazz in the cupboard, performing Pip Swallow’s ‘Just Joella’

Later I learned that many a brilliant podcast started out in a cupboard – take the wonderful true storytelling podcast Strangers, the award-winning producer Lea Thau used to record it from inside her son’s bedroom closet. So I feel in good company.

And, the advantage of recording in a controlled environment? Rather than getting distracted by the technical difficulties of recording on location it allows me to focus on the storytelling and performance, which is of course the most important thing.

Listen to Amy-Jean Ward perform Molly Sweeney’s Compassion Fatigue our second audio drama monologue.


‘Just Joella’ Drama Credits

Just Joella was written by Pip Swallow
Performed by Ajjaz Awad
Edited and recorded by Cordelia Galloway
Ukelele and music performed and written by Pip Swallow
Music; Sudden Retropia by Martijn de Boer (NiGiD) (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial  (3.0) license. Ft: Javolenus
Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway

How we got onto Talk Radio via Podium

Aidan and I will always be grateful to for the countless opportunities it has given us in the time we have worked with them. We feel that it has been vital for our development as broadcasters and radio producers, and it has enabled us to develop and hone our skills, broaden our contacts, and experience a whole new world of possibilities in audio. From coming up with our own podcast ideas, to editing the work of others, our time with Podium has been both fun and challenging in equal measure. Camilla’s passion for both young people and great audio is truly refreshing, and it is impressive to view first-hand the respect that both she and Podium garner with professionals from across the industry.


Perhaps what we are most indebted to Podium for is the opportunity to regularly appear on national radio with the Jon Holmes’ Show, at Talk Radio thanks to Podium’s ties with assistant producer Cornelius Mendez. Through this work experience, we’ve met many different presenters and producers from the station, and once again managed to gain so much insight into the industry we wouldn’t otherwise have.


Whenever we speak to other young people interested in getting into radio, is the first place we tell them to turn to. It is Podium which has developed our love for educational podcasting, which you can see in our most recent work. Having teamed up with a pair of PhD students from King’s College London, we have created a 15-episode podcast series that explores themes of Global Health and Social Medicine. You can check it out here:

Aidan Judd and Ellie Clifford
Aidan Judd and Ellie Clifford

‘Who Cares?’ Drama Credits

‘Who Cares’ was written by Daisy Watford
Performed by Alexander Pritchett
Edited by Aidan Judd
Recording and additional editing Cordelia Galloway
Sound effects:*

Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway


‘Compassion Fatigue’ Drama credits

‘Compassion Fatigue’

New Drama Short written by Molly Sweeney

Performed by Amy-Jean Ward

Edited by Aidan Judd

Sound recording, design and additional editing by Cordelia Galloway

Sound effects

Music ‘Burning the microwaves’ by Spinmeister

(c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Blue Wave Theory

Special thanks to Darius G and Toby Dean

Directed and produced for by Cordelia Galloway


Beth’s Podium Journey

Feeling sad posting this last blog from our wonderful features editor Beth Young

Beth has moved back to Australia
Beth has moved back to Australia after writing the features brief as an associate editor at Podium

Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a journalist.
But I wasn’t so interested in the news, I was more into talking to real people and discovering what made them tick.
That’s why I was so excited to come across Podium last year.
I’d been in London for a year, working at a bar to earn the cash I needed to travel Europe.
I’d moved from a little town in Australia where I’d worked as a reporter for a local paper.
The break was much needed, but I was starting to feel that itch to tell stories once more.
But to be completely honest, I’d lost a little confidence about my ability to be a journalist.
Print journalism had always been my passion, but I absolutely loved listening to podcasts.
So I went online and searched for work experience and volunteer opportunities.
Rocking up at the Pod that first day, I was so surprised to find that Camilla ran the entire operation out of her home!
I was thrilled when she asked if I’d like to be Podium’s news/feature editor.
It’s been such an honour writing the brief each week since then.
I’ve enjoyed getting to know our amazing team of talented journos. You’ll all go far! I’ve no doubt about that.
I’ll still be a part of the Podium team, but I won’t be writing the brief anymore.
I’ve moved back to Australia and I’ve got a job fas a features writer for a national weekly magazine called That’s Life.
We tell real-life stories about Australian people. Exactly what I love doing!
It’s the Aussie equivalent of Take a Break in the UK.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Camilla for bringing me on board.
You really helped to restore my confidence as a journalist.

The podcast I’m most proud of:

Thank you Beth! A true example of a long-standing and very loyal journalist.  She will go far, lucky Australia

Thinking positive

by Sian Williams  @sianylouu

I’ve actively avoided the news for as long as I can remember. I’m the type of person who averts negativity at all costs – I have ‘positive quote’ boards galore on my Pinterest and preach the power of positivity to my friends so much so they’ve started calling me the ‘positivity fairy’! It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world, it’s just – like so many others – I’m sick to death of hearing about what’s going wrong with the world. So when I was asked to attend Positive News’ Constructive Journalism course on behalf of, I was excited that actions were being taken to shape the news as we know it.

I’d not heard of Positive News before and I won’t go in to too much detail (because we all have Google) but in short, it’s a ‘constructive journalism magazine’ that reports ‘with a focus on progress and possibility’. Imagine a magazine that looks at the amazing progress we are making around the world. Instead of reporting the wholly negative, Positive News might look at solutions to global challenges and how we can move forward from them. Their second quarter (2016) edition contains articles surrounding body positivity, the future of clean energy and alternative approaches to the failed ‘war on drugs’. It’s a complete breath of fresh air.

It was an intimate (around 10 of us), seminar-style day session of brainstorms and discussions. I learnt invaluable lessons about the nature of the news, the media industry and how both of these shape the way we view the world. These lessons aren’t solely useful to journalists alone (I don’t consider myself a journalist at all!) but are widely transferrable and useful to anyone interested in our human potential, progress and the future – so I hope this might benefit you too, in some way.


Constructive Journalism is defined as ‘rigorous, compelling reporting that includes positive and solution-focused elements in order to empower audiences and present a fuller picture of truth, while upholding journalism’s core functions and ethics.’ ( When looking at ‘constructive journalism’, it helps to look at the news as we know it. We watch/read about shocking events in the news day-in and day-out, such events are normalised, we become used to them and de-sensitised, the news is exaggerated/becomes even more shocking, we are de-sensitised further… and the cycle continues.

During the course, Jodie Jackson, a psychologist and associate of the Constructive Journalism Project, gave a presentation about the impact that this kind of negative news has on our mindset. Jodie explained that, not only does negative news affect us psychologically by triggering feelings of anxiety, sadness and helplessness, but behaviourally and socially it encourages feelings of contempt, anger and hostility. If we begin to think of the world as a dangerous, scary place full of risk, we are less likely to be trusting and compassionate towards others, which has a whole host of negative implications.

To fully grasp how the news is shaping our world view, Jodie spoke about a recent episode of the ‘Secret Life of 6 Year Olds’ on Channel 4 (a series that studies how young children interact with each other). In Episode 6, the children can be seen role-playing as news broadcasters. The news stories that they report (though only make-believe) are about international terrorism and violence  – “there was a train attack on a French train to Paris. They got the knife and got the guard and stabbed them.”  We see this kind of news on a daily basis, as do our children. So how is this shaping their view of the world? (Watch the clip here:

One thing the course clarified is that constructive journalism isn’t just positive, happy news stories or ‘fluff’ as they called it. It doesn’t mean ignoring all the terrible things that are happening in the world. Instead, it’s news that focuses on solutions and progress – stories that ask what next? and how can we grow from this? It’s reporting the news in a way that inspires and motivates us to take action, to be more active in our society; a type of journalism that makes us want to engage, instead of disengage with the events around us. This is why constructive journalism is so important and it seems now, more than ever, there is a need for it.

At the beginning of the course, we drew a mind map of ‘how the news makes us feel’. Common key words were powerless, anxious, sad, angry, confused…You get the idea. Constructive journalism aims to leave the reader inspired, motivated, informed and empowered. As the next generation of journalists, creators and leaders, it’s important to remember that the news, the media and the messages we are sending out are shaping our world view, and ultimately our world. If we keep sending out negative messages, our world view and perspective will be negative. If we can begin to inspire feelings of hope, empowerment and change, maybe the next generation of six year olds will have a kinder world to re-enact.




My Week With Podium

My name is Shae Carroll, I have been working at Podium as an intern this week. For the past 2 years, I have aspired to be a journalist so I was very happy when I was given this amazing opportunity. I have been very lucky to have Camilla guide me and to take me places I would never think of going, such as the Houses of Parliament and the BBC.

This opportunity has given me a newfound interest in politics. On my first day I was very busy, we went to BBC Headquarters where I read magazines on politics and became more aware of what is happening around the world and why. While watching the BBC news a rather bizarre report caught my attention. The report was about pigs being tested on, by a scientist who wanted to attempt creating human organs by using the pig’s embryo. I suggested that we put this topic on the weekly brief that goes to the Podium journalists all over the UK.

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I also furthered my knowledge of the EU Referendum, as I was not entirely sure what this was about, and what it would achieve if we left. Later that evening I went to a youth debate about the Referendum, ran by ShoutOut UK who are an organisation that want to encourage young people to have an opinion on politics.

It was hosted by SBTV’s Aaron Roach Bridgewater, On the ‘IN’ youth panel was David McKenzie and Kate Stevenson and on the ‘OUT’ youth panel was Kamail Jaffer and Victoria Kilbane. The two key-note speakers were Luke Springthorpe, Conservative Future Chairman and Stella Creasy, Labour MP.

Both sides had very valid points although I agreed mostly with the ‘IN’ panel. Their points were more powerful than Victoria and Kumail’s, who were also powerful and passionate about their speeches, but didn’t convince me enough to make a decision to leave the EU.

Stella Creasy was very inspirational and motivating, her speech on staying in the EU was so powerful that the whole room applauded her. What made me enjoy her speech so much was her worry for the younger generation and how much she wants to support us and our education.

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As a young person I believe that we should stay in the EU as the younger generation is the future. If we leave they may not be able to have the same opportunities that we have now, such as working and studying abroad.

On Tuesday I was able to explore and learn in-depth radio journalism. Camilla and I got on the tube to Borough, where we prepared to have a meeting with Whistledown, a London production company. At Whistledown  we met David Prest and Kevin, who gave me an insight on how competitive radio journalism is, especially when you’re a freelance worker.

After that we went to Joes Kitchen, where I met one of Podium’s producers Oliver Morris, to discuss future projects for Podium.

On my third day at Podium, it was a lot more relaxed than the past 2 days. I became much more comfortable being interviewed, having my voice recorded, however hearing it back still makes me cringe.

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On Thursday, it was very exciting as I went to BBC Radio 1. Before the meeting I met two Podium journalists Sera Baker and Edgar Maddicott.  When I arrived, I was really surprised with how relaxed the environment was. I met Andy Worrell, an commissioning editor, who has teamed up with Podium to create a 1 hour documentary on Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra relating to smartphones. It was really inspiring to see how enthusiastic Camilla, Sera and Edgar were.

I have now finished my week here at Podium but I will voluntarily submit interviews with young people and continue to be a member of the Podium team.

-Shae Carrol

The Digital Tour Visits The Podium Pod

Visiting The Pod, the beating heart of Podium operations, is a surreal experience at the best of times. Moving through the suburbs of South London until you find yourself in a quiet living room, full of other journalists, almost by accident. But my own bemusement was nothing compared to that of the 22 Danes who shuffled off a bus in front of the pod last Thursday morning. These were the media makers of Denmark who were participating in the Digital Innovation Tour 2016. The tour, which was organised by Henrik Keith Hansen and Klaus Henriksen had the objective of visiting a range of media organisations across Europe with the intent of learning good online media practices. Among them were representatives from Denmark’s public service broadcasters, independent production companies, and even print media, all anxious to learn about the best ways to use the Internet. Enter Podium.Me.

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As I walked up the road to the pod, I saw the tour shambling off the bus and into The Pod, having travelled from Calais that same morning.  The media men were eager to eat and stretch their legs, and soon an impromptu table tennis rally began. After a week of sitting in boardrooms, the open an airy nature of the pod allowed them some freedom.

Camilla Byk kicked off the event with a talk on Podium.Me, explaining the origin and goals of the organisation, and how we intended to expand. She was later joined on stage by Canadian intern Emilee Senchyna who guided the assembled crowd through the web of podcast statistics, and by Nandini Upplori, who detailed her own experiences as a Podium Journalist. After the presentation, the Danes asked open and pertinent questions about various aspects of the business model and engagement, and received frank answers not only from Camilla, but also from the few podium journalists lurking among the group!

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After Camilla, there was a talk by Mark Egan about Mobile Journalism. He described the iPhone as being like a Swiss army knife for journalists, and highlighted the innovation of mobile phone technology compared to more specialised equipment. He then proceeded to put together a minute long news package using only footage from his camera and the iMovie app! Finally, Olivia Cappucini from Scenes of Reason, explained the format and content of her company’s videos. She ended up being quite a hit with the Danes, who all lined up to pass business cards after the event!

After all the talks, a hearty lunch of sandwiches and éclairs, and the presentation of a model bus and a box of marzipan, the tour moved on to another meeting in Covent Garden. What was clear is that all these media professionals appreciated the homeliness and comfort of Podium, without pretension. We hope to repay the visit sometime in the future!

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Oliver Morris 

Does Rap Music Promote Violence?

My names is Reekz and this blog is about rap, its lyrical content, and also the influence of rap on younger generations. This topic is rarely spoken among friends or relatives which makes it a very interesting topic to discuss.

Rap is commonly known as the official genre of the urban rap scenes. Some rappers may use it as a way to express their feelings, say a story that has had an effect on their life, or maybe even talk about topics that relate to them and also their audience. On the other hand, other rappers may use rap to promote violence by mentioning things that they may have done to other people such as hurting them or getting the attention of their rivals.


The influence of rap and its lyrical content can be very negative as young people have access to these violent tracks. By listening to the lyrics of certain songs, it can promote violence and influence young teenagers into thinking that committing crime is allowed, that they can copy the violent actions mentioned in the lyrics of the rappers that they idolize. This results in the increase of  criminal activity, which can be seen recently in the boroughs of south London. For example, in Croydon where I am from, crime activity is slowly increasing, and the age people that commit such crimes are getting younger. For instance, recently there were stabbings and fights in the middle of Croydon town centre and a stabbing at a party in South Croydon by a youth, who is thought to be between year 7 or year 8.

In my opinion, the lyrical content of the UK rap scene is very repetitive which shows that there is no versatility among specific UK rappers who are well known. This may be bad for the UK rap scene, because it does not allow rappers to use their talent to their full potential. This also does not allow the UK rap scene to progress as most of the rappers mention the same things in their tracks, which can become boring for the audience – unless you bring something different to the table.

Examples of UK versatile rappers are Stormzy and Section Boyz originating from south London. Stormzy is one of the very few rappers which change their style of their music, so the audience hears something different from the usual stuff. Section Boyz are a south London boy band which has been showing versatility in their recent track releases.

During a meeting with Jamal Edwards, the CEO of the known youtube channel called SBTV, we were discussing the influence and effect of urban rap lyrics that has on young generations and what can be done to prevent young people from committing crime at such young ages. We were also discussing the percentage of male rappers and female rappers in the rap scene, and what the possible cause may be as there is only a handful of known female rappers.

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Due to my interest in this important topic, I have made my own research by finding the opinions and perspectives of young people and friends which are related to urban rappers and what are their thoughts on the topic, what they would talk about if they were to be part in the rapping scene; and also what might be the reason that there are only a handful of female rappers in the UK rap scene. The podcasts will come out soon and will be also featuring on the SBTV news website.


A Dramatic Edit

Aidan Judd on fact/fiction differences from an editor’s perspective.

Making a radio drama is not easy. You have to compensate for the lack of visuals with a rich, involving, and realistic accompanying soundscape. You have to imagine the scene, with all its little details, in your mind and then recreate that purely through sound.

As the editor working with producer Cordelia Galloway on Podium’s dramatic content, it has been an incredibly steep learning curve.  Although the pieces have all been less than ten minutes long, the presentation has to be absolutely perfect. The leading voice needs to be prominent and even throughout, the background sound effects and ambience needs to be not too loud to obscure the vocals, but not so recessed that it gets completely lost in the mix. The Foley (recreated sound effects that are added after the main vocals are recorded) needs to be realistic and able to slip seamlessly into the drama, adding weight and meaning to the words without distracting the listener from them.

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The differences between the dramatic monologues and Podium’s mini-documentaries extend beyond technicalities however, as you also need to think about what the audience are looking for in a piece of radio drama. When they listen to Podium’s factual content, they are there because they want to be informed. I don’t have to do anything particularly special with the editing, I just need to make sure that all the facts and areas of discussion are covered succinctly, and that the piece flows and is easy to absorb. With drama, my approach to the audio has to change entirely. I am not merely presenting a set of facts and opinions; I am creating a piece of dramatic content. Suddenly timing and space becomes crucial. You have to consider how much silence remains after each statement, and whether the sound effect comes in before, after, or even during the action that is being performed.

In the end however, the goal of the piece remains the same. The audience are there primarily to be entertained. And this is down largely to the content that you work with, which has been absolutely fantastic. What has been most exciting about the project is seeing all the incredible writing talent that Britain’s young people have to offer! Although editing Podium’s dramatic content is a lot more challenging, I can imagine it would be even harder trying to make something of a script that has been poorly executed. Thankfully, the content I’ve been working with has been really quite brilliant. It becomes much more rewarding and exciting when you get to work with something that has been so well written and performed, and I can’t wait for you all to hear it!

– Aidan Judd 

A Bit of Drama

“One day I broke my phone, and I had no internet, and I had this dream and I just started writing and it came out as poetry.”- Alex Harvey will be launching a drama series soon.  Young writers from across England are writing and producing original audio dramas for

On assignment I was sent to speak to some of the writers at the Royal Festival Hall in Southbank to find out a little bit more about what makes them tick.

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After being astounded by the singing elevator in the Royal Festival Hall, I met with 4 young writers from London, and Cordelia Galloway our Podium Drama expert. I’m going to be honest I haven’t listened to a lot of radio drama, or read a lot of plays, but that was one of the reasons why I had an interest in going.

“I’ve been writing since i was around 8 or 9, I wrote a novella, I’m writing two and a half books, so I’m just dabbling in everything. I did an art degree in University, but I always loved to do writing. I had so many interests like music, drama this and that, but I always had my main focus in writing.” -Jannine Smith

All four writers were passionate and attentive but their intentions and inspirations were all completely different.

“I find inspiration from things I am passionate in, or things that I want to educate people in, in a more entertaining way, or my past experiences.”-Anabel Provansal

After being briefed about some of the topics they are working on, I sat and listened to Cordelia talk about what makes a good radio play, the small details in the text that nobody would ever think could make the story that much better. Her excitement was apparent as she talked about the progress of the dramas.

“To go from meeting in a coffee shop to saying we’re going to do this, to actually doing it and having our first audio monologue recorded, that’s been really exciting and it’s just getting more and more exciting and I can see the possibilities of taking this all over the country.”- Cordelia Galloway

Cordelia then goes on to tell me about how most of the young writers had found out about Podium online, except for Alex, one of the writers she had met at a coffee shop in central London. They had got chatting about goldfish of all things, and both had named their fish after Shakespeare characters, and that’s when then she said that she knew that he had to be a writer. She explains how she eventually convinced Alex to come to one of her courses, to grow and improve on his writing skills.

“I take a lot of rhythm, and rhyme, and tempo that all comes from rap hiphop, and grime. That sort of always influenced me,  and i find myself in traps, and in little loops of sounds, and making things sound like a battle MC, when I’m talking about something like chips. I’ve come here because I’ve sort of arced out this story, but then when I go to write it, I don’t have the passion like some of the others, that just come out naturally. I feel like I need some tools on how to make it better, and how to put the same passion into something planned.” – Alex Harvey

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After sitting with them at a table for about an hour, I felt like I had not only learnt more about radio dramas, but also about the writing process. It got me all excited about the growth of, and what is to come in the near future.

-Emilee Senchyna

Why Study International Relations?

The current political climate seems rather hostile and has been for quite some time nationally and globally. You’d think that watching the ‘News at Ten’ is just about being informed on social and political issues making headlines but, the reality is that it affects us, literally and mentally every day!

So how do we make sense of what’s happening around the world? I say study International Relations! It may sound simple and random but had I not studied this degree, then I would have missed out on a chance to understand and learn about a discourse that exposes you to a world which you would have otherwise never come to understand.

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I initially studied Sociology and Criminology however, during the middle of my first year I ended up in the wrong lecture theatre! I thought to myself ‘I may as well stay as it’s too embarrassing to leave with everyone glancing up at the slightest sound of movement’. The lecture was on US Foreign Policy and the War in Iraq. It was rather insightful as it explained and explored the motives behind such tactics. I realised at that point that World events can only be explained and galvanized through profound analysis. International Relations did that and a whole lot more for me!

 It fuelled my passion to know and understand; why we have Wars, the impact of ‘McDdonaldization’ on global society, the benefits of the Liberal economy, the perils and perks of International Security, why Geopolitics matters etc. My inquisitive nature soon led me to change my degree by the end of the year as that one lecture triggered questions in my mind that needed answers.

I find it to be an interesting interdisciplinary subject that can explore a phenomenon such as War and Conflict or Peace which other subjects may not necessarily do so well in. Take the example of 9/11; did you ask yourself what motivated the terrorist attacks? What context was used? How was the world’s perception of Muslims? And what News channel was I watching? All these questions arising from this unique subject-unfortunately not taught in schools- helped me understand and explore the themes around my own Identity, Culture and Religion. It was what shaped my Political views, the career path I aim to take (a News Correspondent for the record) and even the News channels I regularly watch amongst many others factors.

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Whilst I was studying International Relations, I was also thinking about my career prospects and hoped to work for the UN or become a diplomat however, by the end of my degree I developed an interest for News and correspondence work particularly because the Media has a huge impact on us and I want to contribute in telling accurate stories without having an agenda or misusing it to propagandize others. The fact that the careers prospects for this degree are vast appealed to me a great deal so maybe I’ll work for the UN sometime in the future!

I know that no one expects me to have all the answers to conflict, terrorism, poverty or nuclear proliferation however; I came to understand the patterns of behaviour between State actors- from presidents, to Corporations to International actors. This in turn helps me cope better with global issues and more importantly, I learnt to think critically which is a much needed skill in a corrupt world!

Let’s face it, our fate will be decided by what happens globally so I’d rather prepare today and have an impact on many futures than regret tomorrow!

Sharmin Ayman

The Person Behind The story

My name is Ellie Clifford, I’m 20, and I’m from London. Call me biased, but I am a huge advocate for young people getting involved in journalism and telling their story, which is why I knew I had to get involved in the amazing work is doing. I’ve never met a group of friendlier people, all of whom share a motivation and a passion for their work which is incredibly infectious: it was just one week after I emailed them first before I was out on the street collecting voxes!

For me, one of the biggest things I’m curious about at the moment is the impact and popularity of drugs among young people so this is what I set out to investigate. For this, I interviewed a few of my friends about their experiences with drugs, and why they do, or don’t, take them. Despite all of these friends of mine mixing in similar circles, I was interested mostly in why people took drugs rather than the drugs they took, and this ignited a lot of debate in conversation with my friends, sadly some of which wasn’t recorded in audio. Despite my best efforts, one friend refused to be recorded, but something he said really stuck with me. He argued that we should use drugs to understand the higher states our minds can reach, and once we’ve done so, we should aspire to reach those heights whilst sober.


When pitching this idea to the Podium team, they were more than happy to listen to my suggestions which I really appreciated. It made me feel confident in my abilities and also helped excite me about the prospects of going out and recording people. Despite having plenty of experience of being on the radio, I was definitely a little bit apprehensive doing my first interview for Podium but it helped that they were happy to let me have some control over which questions I got to ask.

As the week went on it became much easier to interview people and I was much more confident in asking people to elaborate on what they were saying. Whilst I still wasn’t quite brave enough to approach total strangers this time round, this is something I’m hoping to do next as Podium encourages me to take my podcasting from strength to strength. If I could give some advice to anyone looking to get involved I would say: Do it! Podium is surely only going on to bigger and better things and I ‘m looking forward to being part of it!

Ellie Clifford

Check out Ellie’s podcast: Do we need drugs to have fun?



Ask The Right Questions

Do you ever stop and think about the people around you when you hop on the tube in the morning. If you are like me, you judge an outfit or weird accent, and go ahead with your day. In the month I have been working for I have gained a new perspective. Every single person has a story, but being in London has opened my eyes to the massive amounts of young people that have such amazing stories, that they are willing to share.

We have done interviews with Kitty, the 19 year old stripper, Jack the young Conservative, and Molly a young girl I interviewed who has dedicated her life to God. Every individual is the same age, every story is completely different.

Kitty, and Molly have incredibly different perspectives. Both of these girls are extraordinary in their own ways. When I first read the title for Kitty’s podcast “I’m A Stripper, and I’ve Got Rights“, I’m not going to lie, I immediately judged her without even hearing what she had to say. After listening to the podcast, I had completely changed my perspective on her. The strength it takes for somebody that young to share their story, and not be afraid to face the judgement and stigma that might come with it is incredible.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have Molly a young Christian American that moved to England to spread her faith, and help the less fortunate. She moved across seas, to preach the word of God, a huge step, and a huge risk. Now I’m not a religious person, even though I spent 12 years at a Catholic school, I could never understand how people could have so much faith… After talking to her for about 45 minutes, I wasn’t converted but I was enlightened, it’s so different hearing the perspective of somebody who is the same age as me talk about the reasons why they do what they do. We are so used to hearing older people lecture us on what is right, and why we should do something a certain way, but hearing it from somebody who is in the same boat as you can truly have an impact. Molly is an incredible girl, who is passionate about her faith, and just wants to be heard.

Jack, who is interviewed about his Conservative outlook would never be someone that I would chat with on the street, I am not a political person, but the fact that he is so passionate about what he does, and wants to make a difference in society at such a young age, inspires not only me , but maybe other young people listening.


They all answered the simple question that we all fail to ask, why?  The two girls are polar opposites, with such different stories, but both so incredibly inspiring. That’s what is amazing about, I find myself phoning my friends, and family back home and telling them about the people I have met, and begging them to listen to the podcasts.

My journey at has just begun, and I am learning so much about myself, and the people that surround me. This isn’t just a platform for young people to get their voices heard, it’s a place for them to be confident in who they are, and the listener gets a new insight that they may not have expected.

Emilee Senchyna

Check out the podcasts here: I’m a stripper and I’ve got rights, Praying for cash, Backing the blues

What’s Your Platform?

I’m Emilee, I’m Canadian, and I’m 20.  I use a lot of social media. For me it’s Facebook, then Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, that’s my routine. For the last few weeks I have been exploring social media, in a way that’s more than just checking out the latest pictures the Kardashians have posted on Instagram. On a Podium assignment I went to a secondary school in London to talk to 15 and 16 year olds about the growing social media platforms, and what is “in” right now. Less than 30 minutes later I have never felt so old in my life.

Most kids are using Snapchat, and Instagram as I expected, but there was no mention of Facebook? Most of them didn’t even have a Facebook account, let alone check it every couple of hours. Is Facebook dying? When I think of Facebook I think of it as a way to stay social with my friends and family, and keep up to date on current events… So how are these kids staying relevant?

More than half of the students all check Youtube on a daily basis and it’s one of the first things they open in the morning, they  spend a lot of their time watching their favourite YouTubers talk about specific topics. Maybe it’s because I have never understood Youtubers, and I don’t quite understand how people can sit and watch 10 mins of somebody putting makeup on, or describing their morning routines.


YouTubers are becoming celebrities, I listened to these kids name these channels, and YouTubers that they idolize, and I had no idea who they were… I know Youtube, I occasionally spend time watching band interviews, or funny videos of people falling down the stairs, but I have never thought Youtube would become one of the main social media platforms for young people. Their explanations were simple, they are visual people, and they enjoy watching something instead of reading.

So how are young people staying in contact with each another? I usually Facebook message, text, or iMessage… Whatsapp is something that has astounded me during my time here, old and young people are using this messaging app all the time, and are surprised to know that I don’t have it or, even know what it is… I have come to the conclusion it’s not just me that doesn’t use it, my fellow Canadians back home don’t use it either… Skype was another popular use of communication, a easy and free way to call, or message your friends. These kids don’t need a data plan, they just need a smart phone and wifi.

I like to think that I am still quite young and up to date with most things, but this experience totally changed my perspective. Every generation seems to bring in a new wave of social media. How are people supposed to keep up, and stay ahead? Social media has turned into more of a popularity game, the more platforms you have, the more hip you are. It’s like getting a new stylish handbag that you love, and then 4 months later it’s gone out of style, and you are on to the next one. It’s already a chore keeping all your platforms up to date, making sure you are posting every couple days on Instagram, or updating your Snapchat story, but keeping up with all the new apps, that’s another challenge.

It all seems overwhelming really, I had thought I was hip, and cool until I was schooled by kids not much younger than me… My journey with social media has just begun, and I am looking to the kids at local secondary schools across London to help me along the way, to keep me hip and cool.

Emilee Senchyna

Our Brixton Boy

Four days, 96 hours, that’s the amount of time I have been in London. After a draining 10 hour flight from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a place I have realised 99 percent of people here have no idea about… I have arrived in the city of my dreams, to work for Podium, and pursue my dreams.

My first Sunday afternoon was spent walking through Brick Lane, salivating over the best looking curry, pasta, and tacos, seeing the cutest vintage shops, and of course drooling over all the records. As I’m looking at the most beautiful gold East Indian inspired handmade jewellery I have ever seen in my life, I hear David Bowie’s “Starman” blasting from the vinyl shop next door, I turn to my friend, and say “I love this song, what an album, what a legend..”

Less than 24 hours later, the world was hit with the news that David Bowie had died. I didn’t think it was real at first, two days before that he just released “Blackstar“? My Dad introduced me to Bowie at a young age, and “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” was one of our favourite records. We would sit in my room, put on the vinyl, and my dad would describe what he thought a song was about, and then I would tell him what I got from the song. There aren’t many records that you can listen to over and over again, and feel a different emotion every time you listen to it.

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Brixton, the place where Bowie grew up was the first thing on my mind, I kept seeing these pictures, and videos of people paying tribute to him.. “I’m in London, I could be there.” Within the next hour I hopped on the tube, and brought my Canadian, and Aussie flatmates with me to pay our respects.

We hopped off the tube, and less than 10 steps away hundreds of people were lying flowers, candles, and notes down in front of this mural. People filled the streets, I could hear stories of people describing the first time they had heard Bowie, or what their favourite song or album was. One lady stood out to me, I heard her describing her feelings towards the media, and how she thought the media was ruining the mourning process for fans. Of course my instincts were to talk to her, and pick her brain about what she was feeling. Knowing I was a member of the media she was a little hesitant to tell me her feelings, but after about 5 minutes she warmed up to me.

“Without music, life would be intolerable, and it would be pretty damn dull.”  A simple thought that must go through every music lover’s mind.  “My granddad is in his sixties, and I’m 22, and we love him equally.” as she describes the legacy he has left behind.

“I was a bit of a punk, I was bisexual, and a bit working class, and David Bowie helped me to be myself, because he himself was always changing and transforming, and I hated Madonna and people like that because all of their transformations were all surface, but all his transformations were real, he was always thinking of new innovative ways to make music.”

The passion from her voice was apparent, and you can tell that Bowie wasn’t just another musician, but a role model, and somebody that helped her be the person she is today and be proud of herself.

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“He didn’t just make it okay to be different, he made it cool.”

No less than 5 minutes after my interview, people began to crowd around a man with a guitar, soon after you could hear “Changes” being belted through the streets. I have never experienced something like that in my life, the passion, and glow from people’s faces showed the huge impact Bowie had on so many people’s lives. We stood in the cold, passed around beers, and ciders, and sang our hearts out to songs we love, with people I had never met before. I had to stop, and take a minute to remember that this was a sad time, we have lost one of the most iconic artists of all time, but then I stopped and looked around, and thought I could be sad, or I could look around me, and focus on the amazing impact he has left, and created a unity that only music can create.

“He taught you to explore, not only artistically, but in life.”

Bowie was more than just a musician, he was an innovator, and his work will never be forgotten.

Emilee Senchyna

Salford Training Day 2015

Following my internship with last year, I landed my dream job in radio. The only downside of the dream job is that it’s located in a small semi-underground, cave-like studio with no windows. So, when I got the opportunity to get out for the day, all the way up to Manchester for’s furthest-ever-from-home training day at BBC North, Media City UK, naturally I jumped at it.

Coming back into, I see how hugely it continues to grow since I finished interning last summer: there are 100 more journalists from around the country, original radio drama is high on the agenda, and the very top names in radio and broadcast journalism are still coming to impart their wisdom to our innovative young generation of journalists at training days.

The day started, for example, with Controller of Radio 5 Live Jonathan Wall explaining to us the challenges of running a national network with 70 per cent news output.

Radio 5 Live’s Head of News Steve Mawhinney followed him to the stage, pointing out that in the social media age, journalists no longer feel the same sense of ownership over the news; the news belongs to us all, and is a more exciting landscape for it. As he put it: “news is what connects us – as a community, as a world.”

We’ve never run live pitching sessions in a training day before, but former Commissioning Editor at Radio 4 Caroline Raphael encouraged journalists to come up on stage and show her their ideas for radio documentaries, comedies and dramas. I was impressed by not only the ideas journalists have been brewing in their incredible brains, but by the long queue of people brave enough to share and develop those ideas. If we can continue to be so tenacious, the BBC will be overrun with journalists’ programmes before long.

Amy Voce, half of Gem 106’s award-winning breakfast duo Sam and Amy, explained how important it is for us to develop a personal brand that is true to ourselves: and, importantly, that we should never tweet anything we wouldn’t want our mums to see.

For me, a highlight was running a workshop in the afternoon with students from Oldham. Although they were new to what does, they brainstormed the mission statement of’s music channel with passion and huge creativity. If these are the kind of people that continues to recruit as journalists, then we are lucky, and it’s no surprise whatsoever that we continue to set the agenda in what matters to young people, every day.

And yes: I loved BBC North’s big glass walls, looking out onto Salford Quays. One day, I will work somewhere with windows.

George Ward’s Blog: Training Day

From the Inside of the Freedom of the Press Conference

Our journalist Rebecca Juster reported from the UNESCO conference about the future of the press. I got ready for the UNESCO conference feeling incredibly excited but also stuck for what to wear. I went for the smart option, grabbed my camera and my notepad and took the metro to Segur where the UNESCO building was. On the way, I followed the suited-up folk to reassure myself that I was headed in the right direction. I entered this modern building and received the official UNESCO pass, before heading through the airport-style security. There were tables scattered about a large room on which were many leaflets about the freedom of the press, including some about Article 19 (freedom of opinion and expression) which was the focal point to the current talks about the post-2015 agenda.

I entered the first room not knowing what to expect. The auditorium was huge and full of wooden benches, on which were microphones for asking questions. I also grew a fixation for the front benches which had the signs ‘Member States’ on them for all the different countries that were represented at the event. It felt very official. I had wondered how they would translate the talks given that many countries were represented there – I had expected perhaps an individual translator for each person to translate after the speaker. But, along the sides of the auditorium were language booths where people were sat translating the talks on the spot and their voices came through headpieces on the desks. I was impressed.


The first lecture I attended was on the question of the impunity of those who commit crime against journalists. It discussed measures to be taken to combat the dangers that journalists face worldwide in reporting. What really struck a chord with me was the fact that it is local journalists who bear the brunt of the discoveries made by foreign journalists, who often go on to win prizes for their bravery. For many journalists, the realities are harsh and depressing – on the 3rd May, Al Jazeera journalists in jail were ironically wished a happy Freedom of the Press day before being returned to their cells. Not only the government, but also a large section of the public hold very negative opinions of journalists, believing their discoveries pose a threat to the security of their country. Both the public and legal enforcement need to play a role in the protection of journalists.

One of the most engaging debates was about what should be done to encourage press freedom. It was established that a framework was needed, but the question remaining was to what degree this would be a constitutional one or another framework. Some of the speakers talked about creating questionnaires for the public on their beliefs on press freedom, and also about the importance of media development and the training of journalists. It was concluded that the need for a ‘healthy tension’ between government media and other media was paramount, and this all had to exist in the context of worldwide corruption and poverty.

Tuesday’s talks intended to more largely conclude what had been discussed, and were about how to evade the barrier of repressive governments. Influencing culture and the youth was one key suggestion to challenge this problem. Speaker Ying Chan really held the room when she talked about needing to reach out to the ground to make them aware of the importance of freedom of the press, and ‘spend less time talking to the converted.’ The ‘data revolution’ has given citizens a much louder voice, something highlighted at the talk, but there is a long way to go. There may be more outlets for free press, but states must do yet more to change policy.

What did I learn from UNESCO about the issue of the Freedom of the Press? I learnt that we take it for granted in Britain that journalists do not face imprisonment, physical attacks or even murder for doing their job. It really highlighted the barrier that some governments create around the truth. It is something we all profess to know, but something we do not think about enough. Maybe George Orwell was not too far off, but we are now 30 years beyond his predictions and people’s voices still aren’t being heard. I also appreciated that while there are these enforced bulwarks to press freedom, regardless of the country, it is almost impossible to have a completely objective press. We may have plurality, in that one government machine does not control all the output, but plurality can always be improved. Do we really seek out our news material? Or do we take what is given to us? These were questions I was asking myself.

I was talking to a journalist who said that in countries where the freedom of expression is repressed, people tend to be much more aware of it than those in democracies. They tend to be the ones fighting and fighting for plurality and hunting out corruption. We can patronise those whose voices cannot be heard and who live under tyranny as if they do not realise it, but they are the ones fighting on the frontline for their freedom. Maybe in the West, we do not truly realise our freedom to choose and to speak.

-Rebecca Juster

Radio Academy Award winners 2014

2 years of persuading teenagers to give their opinions on politics, awkwardly grilling people at the bus stop on body hair and asking repeatedly if they can answer “in a full sentence” has finally paid off, We won a bronze award for Creative Innovation at last night’s Radio Academy Awards.


To thank for that we have our brilliant journalists. These guys send in top interviews and vox pops week after week on every topic you could think of. Everyone that’s ever featured on our podcasts, you’re what makes us get out of bed in the morning. We also have our great team in the office, Camilla, Penny, Annabel and myself and of course, the people that listen.


The night started off well with Annabel asking Ricky from the Kaiser Chiefs “are you in a band then?”. We chatted to famous people, spotted some alumni up for other awards, ate fancy food and threw some shapes on the dance floor.

Well done to everybody that won awards last night. It was a pretty proud night to be part of and thank you thank you thank you to everyone that’s helped us in any way.

What Happens at a Training Day?

On Friday, journalists from around the country came together for what was arguably our most important training day yet. I’m the intern at, and I was there six months earlier at our last training day, which we held in founder Camilla’s kitchen. Now, here we were in Canary Wharf, with a hundred young journalists, and a Radio Academy Award nomination under our belts.

Thomson Reuters very kindly lent us space in their Canary Wharf office, and we spent the day in their capacious auditorium with glowing orange walls. 120 Podium journalists came from around the country, many of them getting up valiantly early to travel to London; it was such a brilliant opportunity to get all of’s talented journalists in the same room.

After a great welcome from Camilla and the team, we heard from some very wise and inspirational speakers. Alex Dalton was first; she had risen up through the BBC as a sports producer, working on the Sydney Olympics and with such prolific broadcasters as Clare Balding. She gave us brilliant advice, applicable not only to our future careers but to life more generally: she encouraged us to keep a diary of our interests, to help guide us in making our aims, and to never get our phones out in important meetings.

Rosie Bartlett, who began her career at BBC World Service before moving into different roles including launching and managing the BBC’s Production Trainee Scheme, told us about the key qualities a journalist should have: curiosity and nerdiness about the stories that interest you. Both Alex and Rosie stressed that much important journalism is being done now outside of traditional institutions, on blogs and, of course, YouTube.

Shanique Joseph then took to the, err, podium, to speak with Camilla about her experiences of being a journalist from the very beginning two years ago, and making her own podcasts for, Views on the News.

Reuters Picture Editor Simon Newman explained how the global flow of Reuters pictures get from the ground to the papers, and enlightened us on so many things, from how he edits pictures to how Reuters handles issues of copyright.

We also heard from Dan Whitworth of BBC Radio 1 and 1xtra’s Newsbeat. He talked us through a typical day at Newsbeat; it turns out that no day is ever typical at Newsbeat. The team all keep overnight bags and passports in their lockers, and might find themselves anywhere from the streets of Stoke to up in the sky in a Chinook helicopter.

All of the day’s events were filmed by one of our own journalists, Karkiu, for a very exciting film for our website. I’ve had a sneaky look at the footage, and the film promises to be brilliant (so watch this space!).

After lunch we came back for three half-hour workshops. I’m sad I didn’t get to sit in on Cheeka and Penny and Annabel’s workshops, but I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to run one of my very own. I chose to work on interview skills, and use press freedom as a discussion topic. I was so impressed at how passionately everybody talked about this issue, and was pleased to see it at the top of the minds of the journalists. We asked the question why do you want to be a journalist? Based on the interviews they did with each other, this is why our journalists chose their vocation:

I got a chance to take to the stage myself with Imogen Eason, who interned at before me, to speak about our experiences of working at the Pod. The other event of the day which deserves a special honourable mention is, of course…Penny’s cake! It was so delicious and fuelled us through this extremely busy and exciting day. I ended up with so many things running through my head: how professional everybody was, how much information there was to think about, how different people looked than the version of them I have in my head when I edit their audio…

I think congratulations are in order to Camilla, Annabel, Penny, Cheeka, and everybody else who worked hard to make the day so special. I wish a very special and prosperous next few months to all the amazing people I met on Friday. Where on earth will we when we meet again for the next training day?

Journalist: Catherine Brinkworth