Kerri Donohoe at CNN London

On Friday 17 November, Kerri Donohoe, a first year undergraduate in Geography was invited to CNN in London following a successful application to CNN’s Diversity Open Day competition. Twenty applicants were selected from approximately eighty applications. After pitching ideas, the group was split into four teams based on the role each individual wished to pursue in the newscast; Kerri was the reporter for a story on Zimbabwe.  Each team had fifteen minutes to plan questions for members of the public, after which they set out for the streets of London to conduct the interviews.  This was done under the expert guidance of a CNN cameraman.  

When the teams returned to the studio, they researched their story in more detail to get the up to date and correct facts.  Since Zimbabwe was a developing story, the team had to regularly update their facts.  At lunch, the group met some of the CNN crew, who shared their knowledge and provided advice on pursuing a career in the TV news industry.  

After lunch, the group had a comprehensive tour of the newsroom and studio; and were even fortunate enough to watch in the main control room as a show went live in the studio next door!  In the afternoon, the teams wrote scripts for the teleprompter and rehearsed for the 4 o’clock deadline.  As a reporter, Kerri was expected to memorise her facts, so the pressure was on when it came to filming the “as-live” show.

Overall, the day was a resounding success that informed Kerri and the other applicants of the wide array of career options available in the TV news industry. Kerri is grateful to Tony Moran (International Communications Manager UoB) and Dr Francis Pope for helping her prepare for the day.