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Nigel Smith

British

Class of 2000

Current job:
Senior Content Producer of BBC Music Website

 

"I got my first job at the BBC in July 2000. Towards the end of the course, people started contacting Angela with details of jobs that might be suitable for her students so I applied for it. After working there for a year I moved to the BBC FOUR website for four years before moving to BB2, then the Audio Music Division and then recently to my current role.

I manage a team of about six people to aggregate the music content from across all radio and TV networks. At the moment we are expanding what the BBC calls music discovery - it’s a way of trying to help the audiences discover more music that we’re producing - and a lot of my time is making sure that the technical team can deliver something that makes sense to real people.  We have quite a large selection of sections including album reviews and I have to give a lot of editorial feedback on our style and tone.

I chose the course because it was a way of getting the job I wanted, and a Masters degree. I wanted to get a job in journalism and didn’t particularly fancy applying to every regional newspaper in the land and hoping for the best.

The web was still in its infancy when I started the course but the things I learnt - my sub-editing and writing skills - was probably the reason that I got my first job as an Editorial Assistant at the BBC because it is important to have good journalistic training.

I liked the breadth of the course and I think the practical elements gave me quite a lot of confidence to just get on the phone and start asking questions, and it wasn’t a massive learning curve when I started my first job. Even just being able to form straight-forward editorial judgement helped.

The great thing about working on the web is that it is a multi-skilled operation and a lot of web developers don’t have strong editorial background, making it a massive benefit if you do. Editing, interviewing people, subbing; everything I learnt on the course has been of practical use. Even though I’m not doing as much hands-on journalistic work myself, the team I’m managing doesn’t necessarily have those skills and to be able to guide them on those issues has been really valuable."

Interview by Nat Davies

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