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Rebecca Valli, who recently graduated from the JMSC’s Master of Journalism Programme, is currently working at Voice of America in Beijing.
The American international public service broadcaster provides content for radio, TV and the internet.
Valli, an Italian, wanted to pursue her interest in radio while also living in Beijing. With the help of the JMSC’s Director of Broadcasting Programme, Professor Jim Laurie, and Honorary Lecturer, Barry Kalb, who used to run VOA’s bureau in Hong Kong, she made contact with Stephanie Ho, the VOA Bureau Chief in Beijing.
Ho agreed to take Valli on board as an intern because she needed help putting together a documentary in which she’d retraced the path of the Long March during this its 75th anniversary year.
“Stephanie had recorded 16 hours of video tape which needed transcribing, editing and background research,” says Valli.
“Other than that, which was quite exceptional, I also do many different things: I set up and conduct interviews on the phone; edit them afterwards; assist Stephanie when she goes out to shoot video interviews; operate the camera and take pictures to go on the VOA website.”
Valli says that she has learnt a lot in her first six weeks on the job and thinks the experience is giving her an “intense learning experience about modern China”.
“Lots of skills learned at the JMSC have come in very useful,” she says. “In particular the technical skills – how to record an audio-video interview, how to use FCP, and Adobe Audition.”
“The radio production class I took last semester really helped. Of course the learning process never ends, but I feel like I got the basics covered: how to record and edit a piece, what types of contributions radio correspondents can produce and which one works with what news. The first time I listened to the freelancer recording a two-way with the Washington journalist about the floods in China, it reminded me of when we did a two-way in class. I recognized many features of what I’d been taught.”
After a few weeks as an intern, Valli was offered a position as a news assistant, initially until September.
“I accepted because I really like the job and while here I can work on stories to pitch elsewhere as well,” she says. “I am hoping this contract will get extended!”