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The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

A Letter From London

A+Letter+From+London
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hi!!!! 

Former Editor-In-Chief Gabrielle here, reporting live from London, United Kingdom! It seems I am going to start writing letters to The Monitor about how it is over here in London and how my life is as an MATVJ (Masters in Television Journalism) student at City University of London.  

First off to start, I LOVE LONDON SO MUCH. The culture, the ease of travel to other countries and just the fact that I am back in Europe in general. One of my favorite things to tell my classmates/new friends is that I lived here in England when I was quite little and I actually learned to speak here. So, yes I used to have a strong English accent. And since I lost my accent over a decade ago, you won’t catch me doing any English accent impressions any time soon around them haha. But I feel so at home here, and I do miss NYC more than anything (I will be back someday soon) but for now, London is such a fantastic home for me.  

So now to my course!! Wow oh wow, am I where I need to be. This course is EXACTLY what I want to be doing with my life in my career. Now, the course may be kicking my butt with how rigorous and intense it is (5-6 days a week, 9-5 PM most days), it is exposing me to the real world of television journalism and how I will be able to succeed through so much hard work. Mondays consist of Journalism ethics and UK Media Law, two very important aspects of journalism that I am still trying to get the hang of for the assessments at the end of this term. Every Tuesday is a newsday, with a newscast streamed for my course at 3:30 PM the day of. What the newsday entails comes down to two groups: blue and red. I am on the blue team and every week the team’s alternate roles. There is the news package side, meaning the weekend before the Tuesday, each team of two on the specific group must go out and film a London story to be edited and compiled into a news package on Tuesday. The other group on the day is on the live studio side. Meaning the presenters for the newscast, all the technical crew, sports, entertainment and news correspondents and even a top story team!! I have so far been a presenter, and a top story director. As the top story director, I went out to a location in London with the top story reporter for a breaking news story we found the day of to report from live for our newscast at 3:30 PM. I was on the phone with the studio getting cued in to tell the reporter when to start talking and when to pause etc during the livestream back to the studio. I have definitely improved my camera and filming skills since being here, given I have had a few times being the director on both the studio and news package sides. Before newsdays started, I was so scared to have them but as we have been getting through them, I definitely feel more comfortable each time the day of, even though I will have a new role each time to figure out (when I am on the studio side). But that’s what makes it all so exciting, I am having so many new experiences within the world of television journalism. I call the weekends when I am not filming for a news package my “off weekends” so I actually have a weekend to myself to do whatever outside of the course. For example, this upcoming weekend I am going to Edinburgh with one of my closest friends for a few days. I am so beyond excited to go back, as it has been quite a few years since I was there last, 2017.  Back to my schedule, on Wednesdays luckily I have a day that breaks up the busy week. I just have a zoom class for 2 hours that has us going over the newscast from the day before and our programme (yep I have to use the English spelling now) head giving us feedback on our news packages. Thursday is pitching day!! When you’re on the news package side, you have to find a few stories that are “new and now”, starting over the weekend, and be a London story, to pitch them. Whichever story works the best with this criteria, ends up being the story that the team that pitched it goes with. After pitching we have our long-form class and this is to prepare us for the 7 minute documentary we have to make over Christmas holiday. Everyone is in a group of three and my group is so wonderful. We have our idea all fleshed out and have actually started working on the logistics of filming. I will be the director for this project so I have to become more acquainted with the camera techniques for long-form filming. I am very much looking forward to this project. And then comes Friday! Friday consists of 3 lectures in a row, one of them being a news test. Each week, starting on Sunday evening all the way up to Friday morning, we are expected to stay up to date with all kinds of news from all kinds of news organizations to then be tested on what we know. We have to write the answers in a certain amount of words, and in a certain news-like copy. At the end of the term, there will be an assessed news test, so I am desperately and quickly trying to figure out my rhythm of consuming all kinds of news within the week and how to adequately write it.  Then comes the last lecture of the day, Copy. We are given news articles and news cues to rewrite into a quick 3-4 sentences that would ideally be read on TV by a presenter. I really enjoy this lecture because I have really been able to get out of my way of academic writing because we are writing it in a way that would be understood by an educated 12 year old.  

Once the clock strikes 3:20, like clockwork, the MATVJ WhatsApp group chat receives the message “Pub?” from any number of people. We have even made it a meme because it’s so iconic at this point. A little group of us always walk across the street from the university to the pub and get pints of beer or cider to decompress from the week. It has become a fun tradition that has helped us get to know each other much more as people outside of the course. The course overall is pretty small anyway, with there only being 34 of us. But that’s what makes it so great because I have come to know each coursemate personally and that’s just really so special to me. London has so far been so good to me and I can’t wait to keep writing letters to The Monitor about my continuous and future experiences!!  

 

Sincerely,  

Gabrielle Fiorella  

 

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About the Contributor
Gabrielle Fiorella, Editor in Chief
My name is Gabrielle Fiorella. I am a senior double majoring in Digital Journalism and Cinema, Television and Emerging Media with a minor in International Studies. This is my third year as Editor-in-Chief of The Monitor and I am so excited once again! With this being my senior year, I am looking to make this the best year yet for the paper.

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