Recently I was very fortunate to be shortlisted for The Russell Joslin Award by the BBC, an award in memory of Russell Joslin, ‘a much-loved broadcaster and journalist in the region.’
‘The ambition with this award is to provide an opportunity to gain a stepping-stone into the broadcasting industry to a deserving candidate who shares Russell’s passion for stories and commitment to local journalism.’ (BBC, 2015)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t the final recipient of the award, however I must express how grateful and humbled I was to be shortlisted, along with seven other deserving individuals. The background to the award is heartbreaking, yet is something which really spoke to me. Russell’s story has been widely publicized in the past; after struggling with mental health issues it was reported that sadly Russell lost his battle and took his own life.
Radio for me is a huge part of my life, but so is discussing mental health. And this opportunity presented me with the chance to find new ways to portray stories that add to the positive representation of mental illness.
The concept of the award is to allow for an individual to gain the opportunity to cover local journalistic stories. Spending four weeks at a local BBC Local Radio Station (West Midlands, Coventry and Warwickshire, Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester or Stoke) as well as two weeks in the newsroom of Midlands Today / Inside Out in Birmingham.
Though I am of course gutted that I didn’t receive the award – I know that I already have a wealth of experience within the radio industry, and the offers whom were shortlisted really aspired to gain further insight and hands-on experience! I was also really really impressed with the other candidates – their concepts and passion reminded why I love the creative industries so much! 🙂 I also had an absolute blast at BBC WM, the team were really lovely, and I’ve made some new friends (both candidates and staff – so, pros and cons aye?)
Being true to myself though… radio isn’t the driving force behind my work, its the portrayal of stories, the crafting of peoples’ experiences and being able to present individuals with a way to express their thoughts and adventures. That to me is what makes radio so fun, it’s the foundation in which radio (or TV) is built upon. I am fascinated by stories, but I have already trained in radio – so I’m already armed and ready with the requisite skills – and my intentions for the near future are to continue making and creating texts’ that demonstrate my passion! (Which currently is Dearest Someone, – and let me tell you… I absolutely love managing and running this site!)
This all sounds rather romantic haha, but I really have been inspired by the guys at the BBC.
Find out more about the award here: https://audioboom.com/boos/1962524-the-russell-joslin-award (via. BBC Radio Shropshire).
Discovering and presenting stories to the world is something that I’ve always enjoyed doing. During the process of working on an audio documentary project entitled ‘Boscastle: 10 Years On’ I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, undeniably I have dealt with a lot – however I chose to blog about my experience, in order to make sense of it all and to speak to others. I have been very overwhelmed by the response my blog received, and I continue to blog regularly about my experience with Mental Health and keeping the discussion of Mental Health ‘Human.’ My Blog, Dearest Someone, strives to give a human feel to a topic that is often perceived as a taboo matter – this is something which I really find passion in.
I find passion in uncovering stories, yet presenting them in a way that has feeling, and others are able to relate. I find great comfort and excitement through my Dearest Someone, blog however I also blog personally – about my everyday life (maybe slightly banal compared to the mental health blog!) I like to explore, and document my adventures. In the future I wish to continue working in a role that allows me to explore and uncover stories, and possibly become an advocate for mental health (primarily PTSD – as it’s not just members of the Armed Forces who struggle with this!)