Rema Mukena, Journalism and Production

I'm Rema, and I'm an assistant producer

Describe your job

My job as an Assistant Producer definitely varies on a day to day basis, but mainly it consists of researching, looking through some incredible archive material which we can use for our programme, going on the hunt for the best contributors and presenters who we think would work best for the programme and carrying out interviews. It’s also a lot of watching documentaries, listening to radio programmes and listening to music for inspiration.

It’s really about putting pieces of a puzzle together daily to then hopefully create an ambitious programme as a result.

What are the most important skills you need to do your job?

Being super organised is a crucial skill as an Assistant Producer as you’re spinning a lot of plates and you need to be able to do that efficiently whilst simultaneously deciding which tasks need to be prioritised more than others. You need to be able to think creatively and authentically – focus on bringing in ideas which provide a new narrative. Being curious and intuitive is also a key skill – having the ability to spot the difference between a good story and a lacklustre one.

I left school and...

I left London and went to study Journalism at UWE Bristol for three years. What I didn’t know when leaving London with 100 boxes and my American Apparel skirt, was that six years later I still wouldn’t have returned and I’d be working as a real life Journalist telling people’s stories. During the last six years, I’ve run workshops for Channel 4, sat on various panels to shed a light on my career, narrated an audio book, worked as a Reporter in local news, travelled and hosted award ceremonies. I find it funny that I once watched people who were doing what I do and looked at them in awe and now I find myself doing it too!

I’m most proud of...

Presenting Boomtown last summer with Twisted Time Machine and Kush Khanna.

Channel 4 x Livity: New Material: I sat on a panel for an event designed to advise young people about getting into the media industry. I also ran four journalism workshops throughout the day about how to make online breaking news content.

In 2020, I interviewed Jen Reid, the Black woman who’s statue replaced Colston’s in Bristol.

Before I started my career, I wish I knew…

One thing I wish I knew was that there isn’t one route into Journalism and Journalism isn’t just your standard local news reporting. It comes in so many forms and is completely down to interpretation.

There are also a wide range of jobs within the Journalism industry, which you may not initially be aware of but they are still classed as ‘Journalism’.

A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...

I absolutely loved my university course and would never change it, but one thing I wish was made clear is that there is a clear difference between the BCTJ and NCTJ qualification and both qualifications take you into different avenues of Journalism. Many people will study Journalism courses which don’t offer the NCTJ and they don’t realise that if you’d like to go into local news, this is pretty much essential, so universities need to make that more clear.

So, what’s next?

That’s a secret! But, I have very big plans.

Here's my:

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