This is our final blog in the series from the interview with BBC news reporter Natalie Lindo who has worked for the BBC in Ballymena. The Youth Team asked her advice on internet safety and a few more questions relating to her job as a reporter.
Q: Have you got any advice which would help people to stay safe on the internet?
A: Don’t put anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandparents, boss or head teacher etc to see. You can’t get rid of it and sometimes these things come back to haunt you. A joke got a girl sacked due to previous Tweets online.
Only do what you would be happy with the whole world seeing. You don’t have to be the same as everyone else: do your own thing, without following others.
Q: At Ballymena.Today, the more people who read like and share our blogs, the greater impact we have and the more helpful we can be to our town. What advice can you give us about what and how we should write our blogs to be more engaging?
A: Think about who you’re writing it for and keep them in mind, e.g. “clinical waste”. Who’s interested in this? Think about how it will appear to the audience, so I followed the journey of a syringe from a hospital. Make it relate to the people, and think about who they are and their interests. For example, if you are talking about school tuition fees, make it appropriate to the people who it would be relative to: in this case it would be students and the parents of students.
Q: How much of yourself do you put into your writing, and what advice do you have for us about knowing where to draw the line?
A: We (the news reporters) are not allowed to include any of our own opinions in News, only opinions of the people who we are interviewing. However, we are allowed our own opinions in “features” – these are pieces that the reporters write themselves but not for news. We can be “ourselves” in features. You should put your opinion in, but make sure to balance it with what others would think.
Q: What do you like about being a news reporter?
A: I’m quite nosy and I like the sound of my own voice, and I get to talk to lots of different people. It’s also nice because no two days are the same – I could be sent anywhere to do anything. Also the more you can do, the move you get moved around, so it doesn’t get boring. Sometimes I help others with doing their stories, and that’s good too. I like being with different age groups too, so that you’re with people more experienced than you, and some less experienced than you. If someone has a story and I can help them share that story then that’s good.
Q: When there are a lot of reporters, and not as many stories, can it be competitive to get on TV or have the Top Story?
A: it can be very competitive as the people there are a lot like me – we all want to be on TV! We are all outgoing, confident and not afraid to knock on doors and ask questions. Everyone wants their story to be on TV, and even be the Top Story ie. the lead story, but unfortunately you don’t get paid more if you do – we would really be fighting over it then! Sometimes you would even speak to your boss and try to convince him that your story is the best story! And because we are all similar, we all want the same thing!
The team at Ballymena Today would like to thank Natalie so much for taking time out to do the interview. Our Youth Team learnt a lot that day and hopefully through this series of blogs have passed on lots of useful information about life as a reporter and especially for all young people reading these blogs, who have been considering education and career choices, we hope this has been particularly helpful to you.