Dr Erskine: Well, Cressida, that was an interesting presentation you gave yesterday on your placement at the TV news centre.
Cressida: Thank you, Dr Erskine. I did work hard on it.
Dr Erskine: Yes and (21) you did entertain that class, they enjoyed your humour, but you informed them too. But I feel there was a bit of a back story – you know, something you weren’t telling us? So how was it really?
Cressida: Yeah, well, I learnt a lot, as I said. But I think some of the lesson weren’t ones I wanted to share with the whole group. I mean (22) my expectation about what it would be like were too high. I’d been fantasizing a bit about what I’d be doing. I mean, it all worked out OK in the end… but I got off to a bad start.
Dr Erskine: Yes, I heard something similar from (23) the producer – um, Ainsley Webb – who assessed your performance. He was quite negative about some of the things you did, and your initial attitude, I’m afraid. Would you like to give me your version?
Cressida: I didn’t prepare properly is the main thing. On my first morning, I hadn’t check my commuting route properly, and I didn’t notice that it says the buses don’t start till six. I had to run all the way to the studio, but I was still late, and I looked a mess.
Dr Erskine: Well, (24) better at this stage of your career than later. To be honest, I made the same kind of mistakes when I was your age. But anyway, as I say, I think the presentation yesterday when extremely well, and I will bear that in mind when I grade your work experience overall.
Cressida: Thank you for being so understanding.
Dr Erskine: Right. Now, have you completed your diary of what you did there? (25) Professor Jenkins hasn’t received it, he says.
Cressida: Um, yes. I have finished it, but wanted to just tidy it up a bit. Some of it was written in a bit of a hurry. I’ll email it to him this afternoon.
Dr Erskine: OK. But I’m afraid he says this will have to be the last time you submit late. Journalism is all about deadlines and if you can’t manage them on your course he can’t give you a diploma saying you’re competent, can’t he?
Cressida: Oh, yes. I’ll do it straight after this. I didn’t realize.
Dr Erskine: Well, he can be a bit abrupt if he’s kept waiting. It’s the one thing he really doesn’t like. I’m sure everything is going to be fine. You’re getting very good grades on your work, so, as long as you remember that.
Dr Erskine: Now, did you manage OK generally, do you think?
Cressida: Yeah, OK, I think. Well, it took a while to get to grips with all the equipment. Some of it was quite old, not as fast as what we have here in college and at first I kept thinking it was my fault – I none of (26) the TV centre staff asked me if I wanted instructions. If I asked them how to do some particular operation, they were perfectly civil and would show me, and even say thank you for what I did do, but I felt awkward to keep asking.
Dr Erskine: Now, um, well, let’s just review where you are, your write-up, and what you’re going to include going forward to next term. First of all, did you eventually feel you were given enough to do?
Cressida: The first couple of days were manic, the production team was short of staff and (27) I was rushing all over the building taking messages to various people and fetching things. Of course, I didn’t know my way around, so I kept ending up in some store room or somewhere instead of the studio I was meant to be in. Or I mistook some important visitor for a colleague, because I didn’t know who anyone was. Then after that, things sort-of calmed down, so sometimes I was hanging about until someone decided to give me a choice. (28) But I had a piece of luck at the end of the week because they got a new bit of equipment which was the same as we have in the editing suite here and I knew how to use it, which none of them did. So that gave me a bit of status. Unfortunately, it meant that I spent the next three days stuck in the editing suite. But by the end, I’d shown I wasn’t just a silly student, so then, when the senior reporter needed someone to go out with him when he went to interview a junior minister, I got to go along because he knew I could handle the technical side.
Dr Erskine: Well, that’s good.
Cressida: Yes. Well, I know (29) I need to learn from my mistakes, I mean, basically I need to think more about forward planning, but on the other hand I feel much more confident now; I did survive, I didn’t ruin anything, I did actually make a contribution, according to the producer. (30) One thing I want to take forward to my final assignment, though, is some reflections on ethics.
Dr Erskine: Yes?
Cressida: I had a bit of an argument with one of the senior presenters. He was editing part of an interview and he just changed something someone said. When I questioned him he just snubbed me. And I mean, this wasn’t some public relations expert or government professional spokesperson, it was, like, a member of the public, but he said ‘Oh they never remember what they said anyway’.
Dr Erskine: Mm… you want to develop this into part of your final assignment? It would be a very positive line. I can give you some references.
Cressida: Oh, thanks, that would be great.
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