Managing Editor
BBC Belfast

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Jane C

00:02 My name is Jane C and I’m managing editor of learning, language and social action here at BBC Northern Ireland.

00:09 It’s a department of about thirty people and it involved looking after all the education content for all ages from cradle to the grave. It involves looking after languages and that was the Irish, Ulster Scots and Cantonese output and also social action which is campaigns, that would be learning campaigns and social action campaigns.

00:30 When I was doing my A levels, if someone had told me that I would end up as an, an on-line producer or as an editor of a multi-platform department, uh no-one would have known what that meant cos it hadn’t even been invented as a job, so uh I’ve had many different chapters in my career, if you like, a lot of different careers along the way.

00:49 I was in a little folk group when I was about fourteen and I would have been the shyest in the group and had the least good voice but I ended up a professional singer. It was just because I loved it, I absolutely loved it. When I was about fourteen or fifteen we went in, we had a little group, uh five girls, and we sang all sorts of lovely things in harmony and we went in for a talent competition and won it, and it was we won forty-five pounds between the five of us, so I had nine pounds but it was the first money I actually ever earned and I earned it by singing, doing the thing I loved to do, so I thought, this is fantastic.

01:24 Uh I would say my mother probably influenced me more. My father was a doctor but he died when I was very young, when I was seven. Uh my mother uh was a teacher, she’s still alive thank goodness, and she was a teacher and a producer of plays, that would have been a big hobby with her. So I think she probably influenced me more and be, would be more like her in terms of what I’m good at, that she’s good at music and writing and all the things that I enjoy as well, so I watched her when I was a young producing plays and operas for different amateur drama groups or school or whatever, so that was influential, I always enjoy that hugely.

02:00 Part of my degree was a year in France, by the way, which was a wonderful experience. I went and taught in a French school and uh you know, improved my French greatly and that was wonderful and during that year I played a lot of folk music, as it’s folk music I’m interested in.

02:12 As soon as I left uh formal education, which was soon as I finished my postgraduate qualification, I said right, now I am a singer, which really, you know, didn’t make any difference to any, it wasn’t as if it was a job you applied for and got, it was a decision I made. Ended up making music the, the priority in my life for about ten years in the end, and but during that time even when I was touring and, and playing folk music, I never earned very much doing that because it is a minority sport. I also would have been um performing on radio and television at the time, so got the chance to see, you know, TV crews and video crews in action um while I and then started to present music programmes and you watched the producer in action or scriptwriter in action and think, oh I could do that. I then worked uh, uh freelancing as a singer and a presenter and wrote a lot of scripts and gradually then, at a certain point in my life, decided to get behind the camera as well as being in front of it and uh became a producer, first of radio, then TV, then on-line and then eventually became an editor, so in other words I lead other producers um doing the creative work and, and manage the department as well as editorialise. That all feeds into the job I do now cos if I’m dealing with a producer, I have been a producer, if I’m dealing with a contributor, he’s a presenter or a writer, I have done all of those things.

03:34 I got my first proper job at the age of forty and it was a part-time job as a part-time producer, half, I worked half a week and uh it was only a three year contract and I lived in fear at the end of that three years, thinking that’ll be it, I’ll be out on the street again. But here I am, I don’t know, thirteen years later and uh you know, I’m the head of the department that I entered at that point, so no, looking back and I’m happy with the way things have gone, very happy with uh the balance I have in my life at the minute.

04:02 End


Jane C is managing editor of learning, language and social action here at BBC Northern Ireland – “It’s a department of about thirty people and it involved looking after all the education content for all ages from cradle to the grave”. She has always loved singing, and has been involved with folk music since winning a talent contest at the age of 14. Jane performed on TV and radio, and then decided to get behind the camera and worked as a producer before eventually becoming an editor and head of department.

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There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

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? Jobholders in this unit group investigate and write up stories and features for broadcasting and for newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, evaluate and manage their style and content and oversee the editorial direction of these types of output and publication.
Entrants usually possess a degree or equivalent qualification. A variety of postgraduate diplomas is available. NVQs/SVQs covering various aspects of journalism are available at Levels 3 and 4.
  • Determines subject matter and undertakes research by interviewing, attending public events, seeking out records, reviewing written work, attending film and stage performances etc.;
  • Writes articles and features and submits draft manuscripts to newspaper, magazine, periodical or programme editor;
  • Selects material for broadcast or publication, checks style, grammar, accuracy and legality of content and arranges for any necessary revisions;
  • Liaises with production staff in checking final proof copies immediately prior to printing.
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