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How to get your foot in the door at BBC and ITN

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The BBC and ITN can seem like impenetrable spaceships filled with mythical beings when you are on the outside, but do not despair. This handy guide will tell you where the cracks are so you can firmly wedge your foot in the door. Whether you want to add different shifts to your freelance life, make the move from print or radio, or just to start climbing the greasy pole, this guide is for you.

Phase one: make up your mind

If you want to work at ITN which makes the news for ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5 then the entry-level role is as a freelance assistant news editor (ANE). Do not be deceived by the fancy title, you are at the bottom of the pyramid and some newsrooms will remind you of that more than others. The pay is not bad, somewhere between £16-20 an hour, but the shifts are long at a minimum of ten hours. There are different ANE roles which include planning, logistics and pictures - depending on the channel.

Planning ANE works with the planning team consisting of deputy news editors and the planning editor. They set up interviews, find case studies, get filming locations, research stories, and write job sheets either for the next day’s programme (next day planning ANE) or later in the week (further ahead planning ANE). Very few people want to work on planning so if you say that is what you want to do, they will chew your arm off. It is also an easy fit if you have worked in print.

Logistics ANE works on that day’s programmes and sits next to the news editor who tells them what to do for the entire shift. They will find case studies, filming locations, set up........

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