Right there, my name is Ryan Watson, I am 20 years old and I am currently part of the “cool choices programme” which is run by “Start360” and “Cool FM”.

I decided to take part in the “cool choices programme” after participating in the “Get started with Radio programme” earlier this year which was run by “Cool FM” and “The Princes Trust” and I decided that the “Cool Choices Programme” seemed like the next step.

My interests/hobbies include gaming, watching TV, listening to music, creating flash animations and hanging out with my friends. My education has been based around IT and that is why I decided to take interest in the “Get started with radio programme”, which has led me to here.

Final Part

2 July 2015

This Final Part is just a thank you to Steve Turnbull(Editor in chief), Rebecca McKinney (the queen of cool) and David Corscadden (The most essential) as without these three fantastic individuals then the programme here at Cool FM wouldn’t have been possible. I’m not entirely sure how to express my gratitude to the three of you, so, thank you for giving up your time and helping us out during our time on the Cool Choices programme and our five weeks that we have spent here at Cool FM under your tutelage it was much appreciated.

Edging closer to the end

1 July 2015

Tuesday started like most days, with a meeting around the table where we talked about what needed done today and what we were planning on doing throughout the day, so naturally for some reason I said that I would work on the newsletter with Aaron as the layout team. For the rest of the day I decided to work on the newsletter and at the end I got to listen to a clip of what we have for the broadcast and it sounded rather awesome.

The beginning of the end

Monday started with the editing for the previous week… so that’s good and so the editing team had to wait for the other interviews so we could get more work and finally start putting the show together. For the rest of the day I helped Steve with editing the voiceovers which were done by Molly, O’connor and Aaron… they sounded rather well and finally sat in on a script reading and suggested tweaks to it.

The penultimate week

29 June 2015

So on Monday this week I spent the majority of the day chatting to Natalie as I had to go with her to the studio whenever she was going to interview Cathy (MD of CMPR) and instead she interviewed a woman called Brigin (Director of Life Therapies clinic). After that I chatted to Catriona and sat in on her interview with Rebecca to round off the day.

Tuesday we went out on location to the Belfast Activity Centre with the Cool FM Media Bus. The morning was fairly laid back. We had organised surveys and interviews with various groups but due to some late arrivals and their morning briefings taking place first, we made sure everything was set up and ready to receive them once they had been briefed. After Lunch we had a surge of people that came for their interviews. We felt the pressure but stuck to our game plan and used the schedule we had put a lot of work into. This meant everybody that came to see us was kept busy and entertained. My role was to teach them the basics of sound editing. I felt it went well as I got great feedback and even got a few people interested in the course.

On Wednesday I ended up meeting Catriona in Caffè Nero (Coincidently we were both in the mood for a cup of Tea (despite the weather hitting 20 degrees). Once I arrived into Cool Academy, I edited the interviews that were done on Monday and that took most of the day. I also shadowed Steve recording voiceovers and editing audio content for the station so that was always cool as those are the highlights of my week. When the day had finished, Natalie’s mum so that was kind enough give me a lift which was really cool… nice car!

So now that it’s Thursday (I updated a week of my blog like a boss) and Miss NI came in so Molly interviewed her and we got a group photo taken with her. After lunch I decided to start time-stamping interviews which while it is a repetitive task it has to be done so I was fine with doing it.

On Friday I continued time-stamping interviews, then got Michael and Melissa to listen to them, tell me what they wanted (cherry pick) and then I started to get them edited and I done this throughout the day so that we had most of what they need and they only need to one more of those and then to get the rest of the interviews and do the same with them.

Who Knows

25 June 2015

So this week I’ve decided to combine Monday and Tuesday into one as on Monday I left at lunch and on Tuesday I only arrived in at lunch. On Monday TJ and I worked on getting clips for the music montage and that went on till lunch where I went home and so on Tuesday, after lunch we started organising a media bus tour schedule for next week and that was about it.

Wednesday was all about reflection and recording a roundup of what we had been working on over the last couple of days. Always good to write it down while it’s fresh in our heads. On Thursday we worked through our OCN booklets and filled those out, during the day I also assisted Mary Nairn (Station Coordinator) as she needed items brought over to her office. I later heard that she was singing my praises for helping out (honestly that was the best part of the day… apart from Lindsey who brought in cookies and doughnuts for the class, Score)!

On Friday, TJ and I edited twenty-three minutes worth of Ballymena interview content down to about fifty seconds, unfortunately that took the entire day and then we went through it with Steve and finally played it for the entire group and that ended that week. It received a great response from the group.

Editing at Breakfast

15 June 2015

So today we got to sit in on the breakfast show with Pete Snodden and Rebecca (Paulo was off) I found that rather interesting. Then after that Pete came up and we got to interview him and were able to get a lot of information from him and his views on certain subjects (so that was nice and informative). After that was Lunch (Natalie left at this point for an appointment), so during lunch Steve took us away one at a time to record our voices that way we would be able to get samples for whoever will be interviewing the band ASH later today (Catriona and Melissa got to interview them) After lunch we did presentations on ourselves in front of everyone and Rebecca gave us advice on each of our presentations and finally we got to get a lift into Belfast in David’s car (that was kinda awesome). (Monday)

So on this Tuesday I was late in as I called to the medical centre so didn’t get in until about 11am (I did get a tea made for me by Nathalie so that was cool) but the first major thing that happened was David McCammond (the deputy programme controller for Cool FM) and then over lunch we listened to the ASH interview (Catriona, Melissa, Molly and O’connor as the technical guy). After lunch Catriona and myself went round and recorded a few people from the (enter department here) it was kinda cool as I got to work the H4 (it’s a recording device) so that was awesome and Catriona controlled the microphone, once all that was done we ended up listening to the voice clips and picking our presenters (Melissa and Michael) and our broadcasters (Catriona, Natalie, Molly and O’Connor) and that ended that day. (Tuesday)

So on Wednesday we started our OCN workbooks and got a tour round the server area led by Richard Hoey (which was cool (O’Connor and myself had a weird bonding moment due to the smell of the room)). After lunch we got to split into teams (my team consisted of Aiden Brennan, Natalie and myself as the team leader) and did some editing of the ASH interview, that was really fun (first time editing but I loved it) and well that finished the day. (Wednesday)

So today we had a visit from Nigel Gould (the head of news at Cool FM) and he chatted about interview techniques and journalism, (it was cool in a sense but overall not of much interest to me). So after lunch Matt (from the princes trust who now works at Cool FM) came in for a chat about his journey and what he does at Cool FM then we had a chat from Amy and Michelle that work for Bauer and they chatted to us about who they were and how they got to where they are. Finally to end the day Steve played us an audio clip that BBC had done on Body Image in order to give us an idea of how it should sound. (Thursday)

So for Today we started creating our storyboard and well that took up most of the day (honestly it was quite a good use of the day) and after that we got split into our teams which were Editing (O’Connor, Aiden and myself), Programming (James, Mick, Mel and Kyla) and finally was the news team (Catriona, Natalie and Molly) and then updated our blogs, finished early and that was basically it. (Friday)

It Truly Begins

11 June 2015

So at the start of this week we went through what the program was about with Rebecca McKinney (with her cheesy PowerPoints, which covered what to expect, the schedule, experience and blogging) and Steve Turnbull. After going over the program of what we will be doing at Cool Choices we then went through the Cool FM show schedule (Rebecca covered the weekdays and Steve covered the Weekends). Finally we got to interview Steve, Rebecca and David Corscadden and that ended the first day of the week. (Monday)

So during the second day of the week I arrived in late (I had to sign on with benefits) so I arrived about 11:45am just in time to get a tour of Cool FM as part of Davids group (the group consisted of Michael O’Connor, Michael Mul, Catriona McDonald, Molly McCausland and Natalie Coffey) during the tour we visited Siobhan McGarry and got to listen to Steve do links and that finished the tour, after lunch we got a tutorial from Steve on Editing using Adobe Audition (which is the standard for Cool FM) and Natalie gave me the run down about what happened in the morning which was a “Health and Safety” talk with Florence Ambrose who is the “Features/Programme co-ordinator” at Cool FM. (Tuesday)

So at the start of Day 3 O’Connor asked me to go into the noise cancelling room with him so we could do some recording for a documentary that TJ and himself are putting together under the direction of David. So slightly later we got a talk from Paulo Ross about social media, how he uses it and how it helps Cool FM (that was decent but so far my favourite has been the editing rundown with Steve) after Paulo talked to us about social media we were asked to come up with ideas of what Cool FM could post on their page in order to get likes, so we spent about 30 minutes doing that with TJ as our appointed leader (he done a fine job as a leader and made sure everyone contributed) then after all that and the three posts were decided, a guy called Darren Fowler from “Cash for kids” came in to talk to us about that, what they do, their history and what not (honestly the talk was informative and well-structured and I feel like he got his point across rather well) and finally once Darren left we were set a task by David to go and research a band called “Ash” and come up with questions for them as a group of five of us are set to go and interview them on Monday (honestly I had never heard of them but apparently they’ve been around for a while)and that ended that day. (Wednesday)

So Natalie thinks that the rabbit Wally looks like a “cuddly duster” (weird start to the day). Once the day properly started we had Simon Mann come in and talk to us about “Sales and Promotions” and what the department does and then he gave away Tennants Vital tickets (Michael won those), once Simon finished his chat with us, he set us a live task to come up with ideas for promotional stuff that can be done at the “Tall ships” event in Belfast (Melissa Riddell was the group leader for it) and we ended up working on that for the majority of the day and pitched the ideas to Simon and Mark (they seemed like they enjoyed the ideas and even mentioned that they did enjoy them) after that we were tasked with typing them up and sending them off and that ended the day. (Thursday)

So today we had Simon (the photographer guy) come in and talk to us about imaging, the programs he uses (Light Room and VSCO), and while this was informative and a good talk it didn’t hold much interest to me as I have never been that interested in photography and this didn’t change that, honestly I prefer the more technical side of IT and the creation of the programs and editing so yeah and he took photos for Natalie, Aidan, Catriona and James (Natalie wanted hers redone without one of her hats this time and for everyone else it was their first time). After lunch we had Wayne Denner call in and talked to us about online reputation and the app that he created called “RepSelfie”, the main purpose of the talk was to make sure we stayed safe online and didn’t cripple ourselves whenever it came to trying to get a job (at the end he gave away two signed copies of his book (Natalie and Melissa won these), overall I quite enjoyed the chat even though most of it was common sense and that was the end of this first week so yeah, eh later. (Friday)