Seven, or as it used to be called Channel Seven, is a local community TV station based in North East Lincolnshire. It started out in 1998 and I joined it in that year. I’d left my job as a newspaper reporter to help come in and set up the news operation. For a while I worked on reception, before moving over to set the team up. There was a small team of us – Chris McRae, Rob Dabb, Andrew Redfearn, Tony Whiley (*he went to Sky News), Lee Byatt (*who went to Sky) and Dave Ward, plus volunteers like Stuart Hall and Del, who all went out filming features and producing content for a magazine programme called Scene On Seven plus others. We worked a lot with volunteers too.

There were our regular presenters, Michelle Portess and Gary Williams amongst many others including Dave Otter (GTFC Supporters’ Club) who presented a sports slot. It relied on their goodwill to do such a thing.

There was no budget and everything was done cheaply. Staff were happy to give their time to produce the programmes as they enjoyed it and cared

Emma Lingard presenting the evening news bulletin on Channel Seven, circa 1999

passionately about the channel and its relationship with the community.

The programmes included an evening bulletin, News on 7, magazine show Scene on Seven, which went out three times a week, a music programme and a live breakfast show presented daily by Chris. Alongside these shows, other producers made a variety of programmes including a watercolour art show.

And then there were the one off specials we produced. These were usually live. I can recall a 24 hour broadcast for some charity in which I interviewed someone in a bath of beans and during the full solar eclipse we did a half hour live show with studio guests and a phone link-up with a member of staff in Cornwall.

As well as the volunteers, this was the first time students from the NVQ 4 Broadcast Journalism and NVQ 3 Camera and Edit course based at Grimsby Institute joined us. The station was their base for work experience and what an experience they got. When I left the station in 2000 to have a baby, I ended going to work for the Institute and eventually took over the running of the NVQ programme and came full circle. Students to have graced the doors of the Immingham station include Chris Nundy, Robin Small, Keeley Donovan (who now presents the weather on BBC), Leanne Brown (BBC Look North), Minna Pisto (Finnish TV), Louise Adamou, Claire Muckart, Rowan Campbell, Lisa Crawford (all BBC) and many, many more who went on to great successes thanks to the experience they gained.

Seven is broadcast on VirginMedia 879 and is the longest running community television station. What made it great is that the people who worked there cared deeply about it. They were local people. The catchphrase was “The place to go to see people you know.” And it was. We had a presence each year at the Carnival and made sure we engaged with communities and covered the news in their area. Let’s hope some more students get the opportunity to produce programmes for it and get the experience needed to get jobs.


Industry Week – East Coast Media

Before Christmas planning began for East Coast Media’s industry week, which takes place every year at the end of January. The talks feature people from a range of subjects who come in and talk about their career and their job.

This year the event is bigger and better. It starts on Monday January 24th and the key speaker on that day is John Hare who will be talking about concepts to consoles. John is a computer games designer, as well as a game artist and musician. He was one of the founder members of Sensible Software and co-designer and artist on Parallax, SEUCK and Wizkid. He is also a voting member of BAFTA and works for them as a juror and mentor.

Also on that day there will be a talk from Julie Woolley on graduate teaching training opportunities. Julie has worked in education since 1974 and has been an OfSted inspector as well as working as a headteacher.

On Tuesday, the highlight will be digital marketeer, Lee Smallwood, who will deliver two talks. One to the students on how to use social media to develop their career prospects and in the evening for business and industry as part of Creative Humber. The evening talk will be on creating visibility for their brand using social media.

Lee has worked on projects and campaigns ranging from large scale SEO projects to using social media platforms for product launches. Clients include Vodafone, Sarah Beeny, Orange, Huggies and Hitachi.

Other talks include BBC multi-media journalist Tarah Welsh, who has recently taken on the job in Grimsby covering the region for BBC Look North and Radio Humberside. Before coming to the area, she worked for BBC East Midlands.

Steve Lycett from Sumo Digital will give a talk about routes into the games industry.He is currently Development Producer but also acts as a designer.

This is just a taste of what to expect. Monday to Friday will see different guest speakers from all areas of the creative media industry talking to East Coast Media students.

For further information on industry week call 01472 315550. Look out for interviews with some of the speakers posted here.