Saturday, 30 August 2008

The morning after the night before

Ah! The simple pleasure of having a keyboard to blog with rather than pounding my disorganised thoughts into a phone keypad before they flit away.

For those who were following along last night you'll notice I've removed the duplicate post and photos, caused in a large part by not getting a 3G connection in the bowels of the ITV building and having the phone stall on the uploads. Mobile blogging's not quite as simple as some would have you believe.

Anyway, to relate the photos to last night's action we first went on a tour of the ITV offices where ITV Local is based.

Then we went across to the other building which hosts the newsroom, studios, and iconic views familiar to many TV watchers

Then it was into the newsroom to see the assorted newsdesks and an explanation of how the various programmes and items are put together.... and also to see where the presenters work when they're not on screen...

If you go follow through to the large image you'll see Alastair Stewart going through the programme items just before going down to the studio. Yes, there is a photo of me with him. No, you can't see it.

Then we were into the bit where cameras weren't allowed. The ITV Local studio was just as you see it on TV, except that without the presenters in place the sofa's decidedly threadbare!! The cameras are all automated and run from the gallery so no people needed to operate them in the studio. The ITN studio was vast by comparison and aside from the desk and chairs it was all green-screened to enable the computer wizardry to do its thing. From there it was back up to the gallery to watch the promos and intros being filmed complete with outtakes and banter and then a quick explanation from the director of everything going on in the gallery before the programme started. As previously posted the show went very smoothly and they handed over to the next programme at precisely the right moment, which is the key thing apparently. They were earlier noting that the previous programme had handed over a second early. "Didn't they do that to us yesterday?". After the show it was into the short debrief meeting and then over to post to the blog and chat with the other bloggers before heading to the pub, passing Alastair who'd gone outside for his post-show ciggie!

The serious point of the exercise was to go some way to exploring the question of how a company like ITV with its regional newsrooms and finite amount of on-screen time (unlike BBC News 24 or Sky News) can provide interesting local news in addition to broadly appealing TV news. They have the ability for people to submit their own news or provide their own videos so if anybody fancies their hand as a roving reporter do get in touch and we'll see if we can find a way to make it work for Worcester Park.

A quick "Hi" to the other bloggers who were there, Ludovic of Richmond Transit, Rob of About Mayfair, Ben Locker of, erm, Ben Locker and a quick "Hoi" to Melinda of Miss Geeky. Many thanks to Lee, Jack, Casey, Jocelyn, Colin and Juliette of ITV Local and 1000 Heads.

If you want to read the ITV Local London blog then the URL is and yes, Alastair does write his own entries and yes, that really is me on their blogroll.

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