Jamie Fletcher

Broadcast journalist Jamie Fletcher, walks us through his week at Real Radio Yorkshire

16.03.06

Since I was a secondary school pupil in the 1990s I had an ambition to work in radio; and another to see my football team, Sheffield United, promoted back to the Premiership.

Today I get the best of both worlds. I’m working on a special news programme that will run if and when United return to the promised land. I’ve already got loads of ideas and people I want to track down. The problem I have today is choosing how to split it up and who to call first.

First up, Dave Bassett. He’s a former manager and a Blades legend. He’s nice as pie when I call him, and we arrange to meet for coffee in London next month. Success number one, and I’m buzzing for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon I speak to various people at the club, former players and past and current journalists. I arrange to meet Alan Biggs, who still does reports on BBC’s Football Focus at his home near Sheffield. It’s the first interview on the subject. Over the next month I’ll be doing dozens more.

17.03.06

Today I’m doing a day desk editor shift. I’m reading the news bulletins from 10am until 6pm, including the two 15-minute news programmes Real News at One and Real News at Five.

I was at a sportsmen’s dinner for amateur side Ossett Albion last night, so thankfully the 10am start means I can have an extra hour in bed.

The first thing I do is to take a bit of time to look at what’s running in our news bulletins — I like to see what’s been covered over breakfast — and in what order it’s run.

It’s quite a good news day. Fifa has announced plans to deduct points from clubs whose supporters make racist chants, while scientists are questioning how safe the Atkins diet is. We’ve an exclusive with a woman who claims two of her friends died while on the diet.

In the afternoon I get the team to chase up fresh stories and prepare Real News at Five.

18.03.06

It’s back to Sheffield United duty today. I drive down to Norwich for the Championship game at Carrow Road. Today I’m working for the special programme and two Blades fans ride down with me.

There are regular stops for interviews and sound bites that we can use at a later date. The Blades start well and go a goal up. I record some of the crowd singing, which will work well.

Somehow United manage to lose.

We wonder what reaction we will get from manager Neil Warnock in the post-match press conference, but he’s fairly upbeat. We start the four-hour journey back up north.

19.03.06

Same theme, different sport today. I’m at Belle Vue for the Engage Super League game between Wakefield Wildcats and Hull. It’s bitterly cold. I manage to survive on a cup of tea in the press box and interview the defeated Wildcats coach after the match.

20.03.06

Transport secretary Alistair Darling is launching Britain’s first car-share motorway lane here in Yorkshire and I’ve been sent to meet him. It’s half past seven in the morning, freezing cold and I’m standing on a motorway bridge near Bradford with the rest of the journalists. As I interview him, I really can’t help but think his pink tie is a poor choice.

After finding out what West Yorkshire Police made of it, and what motorists themselves thought of it, it’s time to package my story for Real News at One.

While my report is on air, John Humble admits to being Wearside Jack, the man who sent police on the Yorkshire Ripper case a hoax tape and letters.

Straight away, I’m pitching in with reports from Leeds Crown Court.

I produce reports for Real News at Five, and then for a 30-minute Real News special programme at 7pm.

21.03.06

After the excitement of the day before, I get a nice long lie-in. Today I’m on a late desk shift. These are quite enjoyable, as the pace isn’t quite as frenetic and you have more time to shape each hourly update. The shift starts at four, and after updating DNN (we provide hourly bulletins for the rolling news channel Digital News Network) my first job is normally to write the showbiz news.

Today, though, is slightly different. Wearside Jack has just been sentenced, so we’re again running special reports at 5pm. The story dominates my bulletins for the rest of the night too.

22.03.06

I’m on another late shift today, and again it’s another busy news day. Gordon Brown has delivered his budget.

Quite good for families, not so good for smokers and 4×4 drivers.

Some smokers we’ve been speaking to in Rotherham say they’re so angry they’ll probably try to give up because of the extra prices. I can’t help but think that’s a good thing in the long term.

Showbiz news is interesting today. From Sharon Osbourne being named celebrity mum of the year to Rainbow being named the best children’s TV show — and naturally an office discussion centres on what really is the best kids’ TV programme of all time.

The main problem with late shifts? I eat far too much.

People tend to bring food in during the day, then when everyone has gone it’s just me and — in tonight’s case — the gingerbread men.

Far too tempting. Tomorrow I’m on forward planning. Like I say — no two days are the same.

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