How to make as a broadcast journalist: BBC rugby reporter Sonja McLaughlan

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “I was very, very fortunate that the BBC backed me to the hilt, I’ve got an excellent rugby editor in Richard Hughes and he wants me to ask the tough questions if they are there to be asked and if it’s appropriate. So he was fully behind me as was Philip Bernie the executive producer of BBC Sport. I was due to go back to Wales the very next week and I was thinking were they going to take me off the gig because of what happened, and they were like ‘No, no, you’ll go back next week’. Warren’s got broad shoulders, he’s one of the highest paid coaches in world rugby and it’s his job to answer questions of that nature. His reaction in that moment in my mind was indicative of the fact that he did feel under pressure and to this day I stand by it.”Do you believe your gender was key to that media storm?“That’s a really interesting question and I have often chatted to colleagues about it. If a male reporter had asked the same question, if it had been Martin Bayfield or A.N Other reporter, would there have been the same fuss? I doubt it.“I think it was something to do with the fact that I was a woman, do I know that definitively? Gatland has got form for being grumpy, so I’m not going to say categorically it was because I was a woman, but I do feel it had a part to play. But I have interviewed him since and it has been fine, we move on.Influence: Sonja has had a long-standing working relationship with Ian Robertson“But the fact that one question got as much coverage as it did – what is going on? Is that because in this day and age the people with the microphones are not asking the tough questions?“The broadcast journalists of my ilk, the Alastair Eykyns and the Nick Mullins, are a dying breed because more and more ex-players have a microphone. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, not at all, they bring a different dimension to it. But the trained broadcast journalist, there are not that many of us. I lament that and it’s not the way forward for me – the broadcast journalist has a role to play and should be celebrated.”You now juggle pitch side work with studio programmes for 5 Live?“I was always viewed as a reporter but Mike Carr, my rugby editor at 5 Live, gave me an opportunity a couple of years ago and its developed and grown since then. I was presenting at the World Cup, and now I have this regular programme with Matt Dawson.Partner-in-crime: Sonja now presents on Radio Five Live with World Cup winner Matt Dawson“I love doing the studio stuff because in an hour and a half programme on national radio your personality can come out in a way that it can’t on the touchline where you might just have three questions to make your mark.“In the studio you can be much more creative, you can have much more fun and get more out of your guests. I am just very fortunate to have fantastic variety when it comes to my job”How does it compare with your work covering athletics?“It is similar but very different. Rugby union is of course a team sport and everyone wins and loses together. Track and field is an individual sport and sometimes that post-race emotion is heightened. The post-race reaction is not the same as post-match because the margins between success and failure in track and field are so slender, you are talking hundredths of a second and as a results the emotion is sometimes magnified.“I’ve also been privileged to live and work through a golden era for track and field. I was there in Beijing in 2008 when Usain Bolt burst through in Beijing and there’s also been Mo Farrah, Jess Ennis and Greg Rutherford. Being at the Olympic stadium in London in 2012 when three gold medals were won in 44 minutes for GB, was incredible.”What are your fondest memories covering rugby union?“Until last year I had never worked on a Rugby World Cup as the TV rights were always elsewhere, so last year, to work on a World Cup and have a full a role as I did for 5 Live while also working for host broadcasters ITV was one of my real highlights.“To watch the All Blacks reclaim the World Cup and then be the first person to interview Richie McCaw knowing that I had to ask the question about his future… I knew I had to ask the question, ‘how can you walk away from this?’Crowning moment: Sonja was privileged to interview Richie McCaw after his World Cup win“He’s so eloquent and it was a lovely interview, and he gave such a lovely answer. You never think when you start in this job that you will get to where I currently am and I don’t take it for granted because you do have those ‘Wow!’ moments – when this whistle goes I’m the one who walks onto the pitch and talks to Richie McCaw and Steve Hansen.“There have been plenty of those wet Friday nights but there are also those enormous moments and you know you are there because you have worked so hard to get there. You feel so much pressure as it was going everywhere on the world feed, so you’ve got to get it right, even though I’ve been doing this 27 years now, you still get nervous and have to remind yourself to breathe and that you can do this and that you know what you are doing. You don’t put too much pressure on tour self but you make sure you as the right questions.”Sonja McLaughlan’s top tips:+ Look close to home – “Local radio which is a fantastic training ground and I would always recommend it to anyone who wants to get into broadcasting. So many very good broadcaster that people listen to today like Mark Pougatch, Jonathan Overend, Nick Mullins – they have all come through local radio.”+ Don’t wing it – “Do your homework. Know what you are talking about because if you do that then people are much more amenable to you as a journalist because they know you have that credibility.”The greatest: Bill McLaren was a copious taker of notes+ Safety net – “I never go to a Test match without doing my match notes. I write out the teams and all the salient bullet points relating to that match whether it is the form of the two teams or key players, injured players, a key player coming back. The context of the match is always really important in case you get brain fade on live TV.” The Forward Pass Podcast – Sonja McLaughlanWelcome to The Forward Pass, a series of conversations with leading rugby union journalists, broadcasters, presenters and photographers who will offer the next generation of media professionals – and fans – an insight into how they cover the sport.Sonja McLaughlan has covered many sports for a variety of media outlets in a career spanning more than 25 years. However, it is her work covering rugby union on radio and TV that will be familiar to most having been a pitch side presence for much of her professional career.She joins Graham Jenkins to offer an insight into her career path, her approach to her job and how she deals with the challenges of her role.Where did your journalism career begin?“I did a sports degree and sport has always been a passion, but I was really hankering after a future in journalism. I worked at the Surrey Comet during my holidays to see if I could cope in a newsroom.“Then midway through my first teaching post I saw an advert in the Media Guardian for a BBC training scheme, it was called the Local Radio Trainee Reporter Scheme, you didn’t have to have a degree or worked in the media they just wanted people with a personality and an interest in their local community.“I applied for a place, and so did about 5,000 others apparently, and they took on 20 of us. That was way back in 1988.”You were the first woman to be appointed the rugby union producer for BBC Radio?“It was a shock to me because a woman hadn’t done it before. This was after the Rugby World Cup in South Africa back in 1995. Nick Mullins had done the job before me and had move to become a broadcaster, they needed a new rugby producer and the senior editor was looking for someone who had the sort of personality who could work with Ian Robertson, who was a well-known character in rugby, and someone who had the strength and presence of mind who could help take the sport to a new level as it went professional…and they said do you want to be the new rugby producer?“I promise you that I knew nothing about rugby union. I went out and found a book that was something like ‘the idiot’s guide to rugby union’, I was looking at all the positions and I was thinking how does this game work? Sonja McLaughlan has had a long and distinguished career as a rugby reporter for the BBC and she hands down some tips for aspiring journalists… Ready for action: Sonja McLaughlan is ready to report for Europe’s rugby hotbeds Predecessor: Sonja took over from Nick Mullins as at the BBC“I thought someone would work out that I was a fraud, but you learn quickly and learn on the job and I was very lucky that I had great support from the BBC who wanted to put me into that position. You are also working in a sport where fellow journalist, coaches and players were all very amenable to this woman turning up. These were the days where you would go to a press conference at Twickenham and you would be the only woman in there who wasn’t serving coffee to the assembled media!”Did you experience any resistance?“I would like to be to regale you about all these stories about sexism in a macho world but it just never happened. I was always going to just get on with it, get the job done, and the bottom line is that every move I’ve made in my career whether it was a rugby union producer for BBC Radio or on the touchline for BBC TV or presenting rugby programmes on BBC Radio 5 Live, it’s because I’m the best person for the job and I think that pretty quickly that was apparent to people with the way I went around my business.“The important thing is to do your homework, if you go into any interview with a player or coach, you don’t wing it, you do your homework, you know what you are talking about. That’s the one thing I would say to anyone who wants to get into this job is do your research, be rigorous with your prep, it’s about creating that credibility and that’s what I have always tried to do by being thorough in my approach to the job.”You have since moved into a pitch side role, what do you see as your primary objective in the immediate aftermath of a game?“Sometimes it is about the human interest. When I talked to Greig Laidlaw after the Argentina game, he’d missed a penalty that might have won the game, then he gets another crack at it and slots it. So your first question is, you must have been nervous in that moment? What was going through your mind?“Then sometimes you have to be more direct and ask the tough questions. Scotland were ahead for 77 minutes of their match against Australia and six points clear with 10 minutes to go but they failed to close the game out just like their World Cup meeting. So you have got to say, have you got a problem with closing close games out?Difference of opinion: Warren Gatland and Sonja had a well-documented post-match exchange“I famously got in a little hot water for asking Warren Gatland whether he felt under pressure after another defeat to a southern hemisphere side and he didn’t take too kindly to the question and a bit of a rumpus blew up for about a week.“But I am not there to be friends with the players and the coaches, that’s not my job, I’m there to ask tough questions if I have to. But that’s not always my objective, it not always about asking tough questions, the game doesn’t lend itself to that every time.“I sometimes get criticised on social media by people saying I don’t respect the players but they have no idea how difficult that 10 minutes is – it is really difficult….but I love being in the heat of the battle. It draws on all your 20 years of experience as a broadcaster to get it right in that moment and it is not easy.“But it’s my job to get it right and I think at the moment too many people with a microphone are too lazy and don’t think about the questions they are asking – they just make statements and expect players and coaches to respond to that and I always think where is the question in that? What were you trying to say? I do pride myself on trying to think very carefully about what I ask.”Did that run-in with Wales and Gatland leave a mark?“That was a really tough week for doing what I thought was my job. To buy a newspaper and find pictures of yourself because Wales have got cross about what I’ve said to Warren Gatland…that’s difficult. You do question your approach and maybe that was why Wales made a fuss because they thought she might not ask that kind of question again. + Think on your feet – “I scribble down some ideas for questions but sometimes but sometimes the situation takes me in a different direction when I am there and can assess the mood in the tunnel.”+ Keep emotion in check – “Be careful with the language you use and the tone you strike. It’s not easy to suddenly wade in and ask tough questions but you’ve got to find a way of saying it so you don’t miss the story.”last_img read more

RWC social media continues to win with creative Gareth Davies video

first_imgTuesday Oct 1, 2019 RWC social media continues to win with creative Gareth Davies video One thing that has been a breath of fresh air during this Rugby World Cup is the proactive and entertaining approach from the RWC’s social media team, who always seem to be on point with their creative content. ADVERTISEMENTThe competition is not even two weeks old and the Twitter and Instagram accounts are hugely popular, with Bryan Habana even suggesting a ‘TwitterOff’ between them and the reliably hilarious Barbarians’ account. The channel has been up to its usual tricks today with a new video about the ‘Interception King’ Gareth Davies. The Welsh scrumhalf went over for a try after intercepting a Will Genia pass in the first half in their win over the Wallabies at the weekend, and came very close to securing a second. It has become the Scarlets halfbacks’ trademark over the past few years, as this was not the first time he has rushed out of the line and run in under the posts. In light of that, RWC shared this video of Davies featuring in various films, from Lord of the Rings to Indiana Jones. ADVERTISEMENTThe account is a huge hit and as the tournament goes on, they’ll only get more content to play with.  Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error Funnies Related Articles 29 WEEKS AGO WATCH: American reacts to brilliant Nigel… 29 WEEKS AGO Video of John Kirwan apologising while wearing… 29 WEEKS AGO Simon Zebo reveals how ‘absolute lunatic’… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsWrinkle Remedy Stuns TV Judges: Forget Surgery, Do This Once DailySmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living10 Types of Women You Should Never MarryNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Pack the courtroom Oct. 6: Drop charges against Boston school bus drivers’ leader

first_imgGarry Murchison, Steve Kirschbaum, Andre Francois, Steve GillisThe Boston School Bus Drivers Union fight against heartless union-buster Veolia is being waged on many fronts. It’s now a fight to get the frame-up felony charges on Grievance Chair Steve Kirschbaum dropped; to rehire the four unjustly fired leaders; and to win a just contract, which expired on June 30.On the frame-up charges, members of United Steelworkers Union Local 8751 turned the courtroom in Dorchester District Court into a union hall on Sept. 15, packing it to overflow capacity, and then taking over the steps outside for a rally after the hearing.The next hearing is Monday, Oct. 6. The combined forces of union members and community supporters who came out on Sept. 15 have vowed to make the next court date a repeat performance of solidarity and fightback.Charles Clemons of Touch 106.1, the fighting radio station of Boston’s African American community, declared, “When we come back on Oct. 6, we’re going to have justice!”Having just witnessed the hearing — in which the prosecution appeared unprepared and fumbled for facts to back up its assertions — Clemons called attention to the fact that the so-called case against Kirschbaum was unraveling. “They tried to bring these trumped-up charges with no evidence,” he told the rally.The strength of the membership, with solid community support, is forcing some cracks in both the Boston establishment’s “case” and alliance against the union. And while the union membership stands solidly behind Kirschbaum in opposing the trumped-up charges — and in demanding the reinstatement of the four — they know the ultimate target is their union rights. “Veolia was brought in to destroy this union,” said Local 8751 negotiator Georgia Scott, also on the steps of the courthouse.This is made all the more obvious by the day-in, day-out current struggle against Veolia’s speedups and reductions of workers’ hours — another front the workers are fighting on. Thousands of hours a week of “exception time” are being logged. What that means in plain language is that the company, along with Transdev, an Illinois-based corporation overseeing the four bus yards, is only pledging to pay the workers for sped-up, unrealistically determined bus routes. If the drivers want to get paid for their full shifts, they have to then submit additional time sheets with “exception time.”This bottom-line approach is resulting in thousands of dollars not being included in drivers’ paychecks; hundreds of students being late for school; hundreds of students missing their breakfast programs; and hundreds of unjust disciplines against drivers carried out by Veolia and Transdev.The words on the union’s placards “Safety for the Children, Justice for the Drivers” is no mere slogan. In fighting for their rights on the job, the school bus drivers are also fighting for safe, on-time transportation for students — and, by extension, access to equal, quality ­education.For more information on the Oct. 6 hearing, visit the Facebook page of “Team Solidarity — the Voice of United School Bus Union Workers.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Underage drinking information could lead to rewardLaw enforcement, community unite about safety over graduation…

first_img WhatsApp TAGS  By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 Tera Crossland speaks with members of the media after a Social Host Ordinance press conference on Wednesday outside the Odessa Police Department. Crossland was standing in front of the trailer which houses her son’s pickup that was involved in a head-on fatal collision with a drunk driver in 2017. With Odessa High School and Permian High School graduations this weekend, local law enforcement agencies and members of the community came together to speak about safety.A press conference Wednesday morning at the Odessa Police Department Classroom addressed combating underage drinking and social host parties.Law enforcement agencies in attendance at Social Host Ordinance press conference were OPD, Ector County Independent School District Police, Ector County Hospital District Police, University of Texas Permian Basin Police, Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Odessa Crime Stoppers and the Permian Basin Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.Odessa mayor David Turner spoke to various media outlets and the press conference also featured two guest speakers, Tera Crossland and Janie Villanueva, who both had sons killed by drunk drivers in 2017. Crossland spoke about her son Nathaniel Silvas, while Villanueva talked about her son Miguel Saenz.“It hurts so much losing a child,” Villanueva said after the press conference. “I would rather take his place. He had the rest of his life. It hurts so much. (Tuesday) was two years since he has been gone.”OPD chief Michael Gerke said local enforcement agencies will increase patrol from Thursday to Sunday.Susan Rogers, Odessa Crime Stoppers spokesperson, said during the press conference anyone with information that leads to an arrest or citation will receive a $500 reward. She added with a smile there is plenty of money available.Turner said adults cited for the Social Host Ordinance can face a $2,000 fine.The Social Host Ordinance was passed on July 25, 2017, and went into effect on Aug. 25, 2017. It was put into place to hold adults accountable who host parties where alcohol is served on property they control. Adults are held responsible for underage drinking parties if underage people are served, regardless of who furnishes the alcohol.“Any type of issue like this, there’s no way the police department can combat that by themselves,” Gerke said. “We have to have the citizens of Odessa help us out. That’s essential.”After the press conference, Crossland fielded questioned in front of the trailer which houses her son’s pickup that was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver.Crossland’s son was driving his girlfriend home from his family residence in Pleasant Farms when a drunk driver crossed the median on U.S. Highway 385 and ran head on into Silvas’ truck.Silvas would have been in Permian’s graduating class of 2019. Crossland said it’s tough to see the mangled truck that her son died in every day, but she knows the sight of the vehicle can warn others of drinking and driving.“His memory is being kept alive and his story could change the lives of so many,” Crossland said. “I put my feelings aside and I think about all of the people that it could impact. I just know it can and will make a difference.”On Saturday, Villanueva said her daughter, Aliyah Saenz, is set to graduate from Permian.Villanueva said her daughter has told her that she won’t be attending any parties with alcohol and she has already urged her friends to not make the mistake of driving while intoxicated.“(Aliyah Saenz) mentioned that she misses her brother,” Villanueva said, fighting back tears. “She doesn’t know how she’s going to do it, but she has been strong. She’s happy to be graduating, but she still misses him.” Local NewsLaw Enforcement Pinterest Pinterest Underage drinking information could lead to rewardLaw enforcement, community unite about safety over graduation weekendcenter_img Twitter Twitter Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Previous articleHIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Third round series set for BronchosNext articleCATES: Falls can be devastatingCarol Cates is the chief nursing officer at Odessa Regional Medical Center. You can reach her via e-mail at [email protected] Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Full citizenship hopes for undocumented Irish receive significant boost

first_img Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Previous articleDonegal Creameries given the go ahead for name changeNext articleReport recommends that cyberbullying be made a criminal offence News Highland News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Full citizenship hopes for undocumented Irish receive significant boost Google+ Twitter Twitter By News Highland – July 11, 2013 The hopes of full citizenship for over 50-thousand undocumented Irish in the United States received a significant boost last night.Republicans in the House of Representatives held a meeting during which they agreed to their own version of an immigration reform bill.It follows the approval of a Bill by the US Senate – and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will visit Washington today in a bid to capitalise on the momentum.Senator Jimmy Harte is hoping the Tanaiste can influence politicians in the White House on his visit:[podcast][/podcast] WhatsAppcenter_img LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Google+ Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Pinterestlast_img read more

100,000 mortgage holders now falling behind on repayments

first_img Google+ 100,000 mortgage holders now falling behind on repayments Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Pinterest Almost 100-thousand mortgage holders are now failing to make repayments.According to figures in today’s Irish Independent, 13 per cent of all mortgage-holders are now in arrears of over three months.That’s despite the Central Bank’s warning that it will penalise banks if they fail to offer a way out to struggling householders. Facebook News WhatsAppcenter_img Pinterest LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton 70% of Cllrs nationwide threatened, harassed and intimidated over past 3 years – Report Minister McConalogue says he is working to improve fishing quota Previous articleUn Secretary-General says use in chemical weapons in Syria constitute crimes against humanityNext articleProposals to alleviate flooding in Raphoe to be in place by January News Highland By News Highland – August 23, 2013 Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week Facebook Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Taoiseach Enda Kenny compares “small Glenties protest” to “Welsh choir”

first_img Previous articleEnda Kenny agrees to meet families of those killed in the Omagh bombNext articleDerry beaten by Bohs as Wexford miss chance to overtake Harps admin Google+ Pinterest Facebook 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Pinterest Twitter Google+ Facebook Homepage BannerNews Taoiseach Enda Kenny compares “small Glenties protest” to “Welsh choir” 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp By admin – July 24, 2015 Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Taoiseach Enda Kenny was greeted by anti-water charge protesters in Co Donegal yesterday evening.There was a heavy Garda presence around the village of Glenties as the protesters gathered around the Highlands Hotel.Crash barriers were erected and the garda helicopter hovered overhead.Speaking after he addressed the MacGill Summer School, Enda Kenny says he wasn’t too concerned by the protest Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan firelast_img read more

A new species of Diaphana from bathyal depths in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica and first record of Diaphana inflata (Strebel, 1908) in the high Antarctic (Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia)

first_imgDiaphana haini n.sp. is described from Antarctica. With a depth range from about 400 to 2100 m, D. haini is the second Antarctic species of this genus to extend into the deep sea, the other being D. inflata (Strebel, 1908). Phylogenetic analysis has allowed D. haini to be incorporated within Schiotte’s (1998) cladogram for this genus and, thereby clarify its historical zoogeography. A record of D. inflata from the Weddell Sea extends its known distribution range. The recorded geographic distribution now ranges from South Georgia to the Antarctic continent, and the depth range is extended considerably, from 252-310 m to 1645 m.last_img

Significant warming of the Antarctic winter troposphere

first_imgWe report an undocumented major warming of the Antarctic winter troposphere that is larger than any previously identified regional tropospheric warming on Earth. This result has come to light through an analysis of recently digitized and rigorously quality controlled Antarctic radiosonde observations. The data show that regional midtropospheric temperatures have increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.5° to 0.7°Celsius per decade over the past 30 years. Analysis of the time series of radiosonde temperatures indicates that the data are temporally homogeneous. The available data do not allow us to unambiguously assign a cause to the tropospheric warming at this stage.last_img

Fair offers hot tips for bakers

first_imgVisitors to the Bakers’ Fair in Manchester will learn survival tips and ways to reduce salt in products.Presentations at the fair include NAMB chairman Mike Holling talking about how craft bakers can survive on the high street during the credit crunch, while NAMB director Anthony Kindred will discuss salt reduction. Software company Red Black will illustrate the benefits of implementing software in bakery.The free show is from 9.30am to 4pm on Sunday 4 October at the Armitage Centre. For tickets, call 01792 365902 or register online at