Helping CNN move into a new bureau was crazy. Here are my favourite moments
This article focuses on my time at CNN - I've made a similar list for my time at BBC which you can check out here.
The first stand-up
Later on, the stand-ups would move into this posh viewing room.
So, here I was. The first day. Who knew what other surprises I'd face after already having to wear hi-vis on the way in. After being introduced to a few members of the team, we all gathered around the trendy kitchen area for the morning's stand-up - the first of two daily meetings where everyone can come together as the studio build progresses.
As I look around at all these new faces, I start to appreciate the size of the project. Professionals in their respective areas, each person seemed to bring a determined yet friendly energy. A mix of accents would fly across the space as we each introduced ourselves. There must've been about thirty names to learn, and it's harder when there were always new people flying in or out each week. Once introductions were done, it was straight down to business.
I choose this moment because it was where I first realised the magnitude of this opportunity I'd been given. No way did I expect to be in such an exciting environment, with all these incredible people surrounding me. But, nevertheless, I was there. Ready to help bring this brand-new bureau to life.
Pizza delivery duty
This is a fun one. After just going live from Old Street for the first time, JJ thought everyone deserved pizza. So, a group of us would head down to Pizza Union to pick them up and make everyone's day back at the bureau. Lovely stuff.
Seeing myself live on CNN
You ever watch the news and see all those people dashing about in the background? Well, this was the moment I became one of those people. It might've been for less than a second, but you gotta start somewhere.
Wiring the studio desk
For this job, I'd be coming in on the weekend with Alex, who I worked with a lot while at CNN. Together, we'd wire up the electronics under the desk. I learnt how to terminate power cables and correctly install them in a desk that spins around.
Then afterwards we went for a pint. 🍻
This was a cool moment because, well, it's the desk. The centrepiece of the studio - and I helped put it together.
Helping people as they moved into the new building
Having spent two months in the new building prior to opening, I got to know the place pretty well. This put me in a fun position where I could help people and answer their questions, after so long of being the apprentice asking all the questions myself. I'd only really do simple stuff like setting up people's laptops or phones, showing them round the building, that sort of stuff. But, it was great to help and chat to all these different people - and I get to say I set up Cyril Vanier's laptop for him.
It's a shame, really, just as everyone began to move in and things were getting exciting, the pandemic caused everyone to be sent home. But, I have plans to go back to Old Street one day to see it when it's fully come to life as it should have.
Being part of a world-class team of international broadcast experts
Okay, this one isn't a moment. But I just had to show appreciation for everyone I worked with over at CNN. Everyone was so approachable and open to help. The environment of this brand-new building and the infectious energy of everyone working there would produce this amazing atmosphere. Even when I came back for my second placement, behind a screen, everyone was just as friendly.
I'll always remember the Old Street move as exciting, enlightening and inspiring. But, it was the people there that really made my time there as enjoyable and productive as it was.