Geneva is two months into a Fast Forward internship with Sky News. Already she’s broken a story and worked on Sky News’ snapchat.
You can decide which sort of Fast Forward internship you want to do
So it’s for Year 13s from our partner schools and colleges in Hounslow, and you do an internship for 11 months. You can apply for whichever department you want to go to - entertainment, sports, news, production - I’m doing the Sky News one because I’ve always wanted to be a journalist. It’s great because if you have an interest, you can ask to spend time somewhere specifically. I specifically asked for time in radio. The guy before me was more interested in TV production, so he had less time in radio. They want you to get the most out of it.
You start off as a runner
When I started, I was a runner, and helped out with this Brexit First Dates project, like a spin off/spoof of First Dates. One was a leaver and the other a remainer, and I would do whatever odd jobs people needed. We used to be called script assistants, because we’d help with the scripts being printed, but nowadays on the day shifts you have to book meeting rooms, bring in guests, get the coffees, and overnight you print scripts every hour. Newspaper reviews are on Sky News in the morning, and the runner has access to the email where those papers email the front pages and inside pages over. We have to print those and scan them and get enough ready for the papers guests - without us that wouldn’t really happen!
But you’ll end up working on all kinds of things
At the moment I’m helping with the bulletins that go on Twitter, mobile and the website. You’re cutting up video and you’re getting it ready, so you’ll go into studio and do a voiceover (I’m in the process of getting voice approved so I’ll hopefully be able to do some soon!) and put together a package to send out across the platforms
I’ve also been working on the Sky News Snapchat, we get images and articles ready that would work for a younger demographic. It’s fun but you do have to include gloom and doom sometimes if it’s important news!
You might get the chance to break a story
I’ve done quite a few cool things already! One that springs to mind was when it was a slow news day so I was chilling going through my Twitter and I saw there was an important geological conference happening; I said I’d like to interview someone from the group, so got in contact with one of the professors and interviewed him. I put together a piece with some of the media I found from their Twitter, and some stuff Sky News had done at Millbank, and it went out across all their digital platforms, like Sky Q and the news app. That was great! Oh, and I also got to see Rachel Stevens from S Club 7, because she was a guest, and I see Kay Burley a lot too. There are always famous people coming in and out of the studio.
You’ll be working all across the department
After my next few weeks working on snapchat, bulletins, Sky Q, showbiz and Apple catch up TV, I’m going to be moving to online digital downstairs which is Facebook and the website. I’ll be there for a month. Then after that I’ll be in radio, and then it’ll be probably be TV production and working with the Sunrise team (the morning breakfast show on Sky). Near the end, I’ll be shadowing and field producing and also at Millbank, the building by parliament where they produce all the political journalism. I’m really looking forward to that, because it’s what I want to get into doing!
Know your news, and be friendly
You have to be clued up on current affairs - it helps a lot to know what’s going on in the world, and to be able to have your own opinions. Of course, you won’t be acting upon those opinions all the time, but it’s good to show you’re engaged. You have to be able to go with the flow because stuff changes all the time. There are slow days, fast days, days where you have to be able to adjust and give yourself work to do. Sometimes you need to ask if anyone needs help, but at the same time sometimes you have to sit back and listen. Really importantly, though, you have to be friendly. If you’re not bubbly or outgoing you can still be smiley and friendly! It shows you’re interested.