By Holly Harestad
Today has been something planned that I have been looking forward to for the entire trip, it was our chance to go inside and experience what life is like running and operating at the British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as the BBC, in Scotland.
I have been familiarized with the BBC because of certain television shows like MasterChef and Top Gear. (@Justin) I had knowledge of how huge the company was, but going in and seeing how it all got started and how its keeping up with such an evolving world is intriguing.
And intriguing it was, after being fed a couple of yummy croissants and coffee, we were able to sit down and being listening to an employee give us a little more background on the BBC. The BBC was started back in the 1920’s, so it’s coming up on it’s nearly hundredth year anniversary! Since then, the BBC has had many location changes (back and forth from Scotland and Edinburgh due to fear of war bombings), many shows come and go, and have seen many, many employees pass through.
However, what was relayed to us was the importance of consistency and trust that the BBC provides each and every year for their viewers. This is the only thing that sets the network above and beyond its competitors, which by the way have only been getting fiercer over time. Five years ago, the company’s main rivals would’ve been networks that were popular within their country (i.e., ITV), presently, their main competition includes huge names such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix, to name a few.
What came as the most pleasant surprise to me is that the BBC does not discriminate entertainment within the real world. By that I mean, I learned today that the network has channels provided to relate to farming and agriculture, to music that does not included the “Pop” genre, and surprising to me, a section that is devoted to making kids that have potentially lost their parent, have had a sick family member, or mental illness within their family, not feel so alone. To me, it is the small differences like this that sets the BBC apart and really reensures the commitment they have to providing the best quality of care and attention for the viewers.
After our talk, we were taken throughout the huge, spaced out building. At one point we were taken to the studio room in which they film the nightly news and weather, which I just thought to myself must be SO nerve-racking. Having all of these people and cameras watching as you diligently read off a tele-prompter…ahhhh!
As we walked through each floor we were told about the enormous amount of team work that goes on in each different section that makes up the “behind the scenes” at the BBC. One section that I found particularly interesting was investigative journalism. He spoke to us about one case a couple of years ago in which a crew of investigative journalists spent about a year going undercover and into “puppy farms” where puppies were being treated horribly and breeded in order for the owners to make a solid amount of money. After the owner found out and tried to come after the journalists, all evidence and information was turned in and they were successful in having the lots shut down and the police became involved in the mistreatment of animals. It was amazing to hear such an incredible story and the employees that were able to provide that.
Overall, totally successful day! I am so glad that we were able to experience such a huge network and learn way more than I had previously come into this with. And also, leave with a really inspirational piece of advice that I have always believed to be true, and that is whatever your passion is, don’t give up on it, keep working at it, and it truly will all fall into place.
Again, I cannot believe that this all almost over, so crazy! Thanks for reading 🙂