Students speak out for local TV in Leeds – Made in Leeds.TV Blog

In Leeds and Manchester Local News Contributions on November 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Un-biased. Un-pretentious. Original. Leeds University’s Gabriella Swerling chats with students about Made In Leeds TVand asks what it will take to catch their eyes.

What are the issues that students in Leeds care about? What would motivate them to watch a local channel as opposed to watching Antiques Roadshow in a hung-over state? Or, worse, watching Come Dine With Me whilst sober?

Daniel Magid, a first year Broadcast Journalism student who is keen to break into the media industry, says: “A local channel is a fantastic idea because it is more likely to give people – especially students – more information that they would be interested in.” And of course, it would be great for motivated students like Daniel to gain a work experience placement. Seeing how programmes are made to tight deadlines and on a small budget, and potentially having a huge impact on programming broadcast on the channel, is a fantastic and increasingly rare opportunity. The media industry, in which a tenacious young sprite is trying to permeate the brick wall and numerically-coded doors to gain a placement, is usually only penetrated by ferocious networking and the boss’s mate being mates with their dad. A local channel would provide greater opportunities for students to make their mark.

George Shouler, dreamer and final year Cultural Studies student who plans to spend a year in Madagascar with a wildlife conservation scheme (before hopefully making it as a rock star), thinks that the Leeds music scene does not get enough coverage. “A local TV channel would provide a great opportunity and exposure for young emerging artists. It’s a very exciting scene that doesn’t get enough attention.” It would be a fantastic way for all the media-savvy students and musicians to get involved in learning about the industry, and may help them to raise their profile. As George points out, “It could provide a platform for students who want exposure, either as the subject of a programme, or to dig in behind the scenes in production.”

“I’d watch something that isn’t pretentious or biased
but presents Leeds culture in an original way”

There is the risk, as with any foetal channel, that people won’t watch it. What would make students tune out from their tunes, vomiting, studying, and whatever else we all do – and tune in to a local TV channel? Some are far more dubious as to the value of a local channel. Final year History student Katie Simkins has qualms over how it would be funded: “I just can’t see students caring.” Second year Physics student, Rosa Jesse also thinks that no one would watch it. “Students have enough stuff thrown at them. I don’t see what would be different about a TV channel. People will watch what they want to watch.”

Still, a local channel may not appeal to everyone. But for those like George and Daniel it would provide a great route towards becoming more involved in the local Leeds community and, perhaps, getting a job, or making it big after graduation. “It has to be done in a way that people would watch it. I’d watch something that isn’t pretentious, biased and reflects issues in a way that doesn’t merely say look how cool Leeds is!” George says, “but is concerned with presenting Leeds culture in an original way.”


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