After graduating with a Master’s in Multimedia Journalism in 2005, Chas gradually worked his way up to reading the news on big national brands including Heart, Capital, Radio X and LBC. He first developed a passion for broadcast as a volunteer on student radio. Chas said: “My Master’s from BU was my second postgraduate degree. Having studied German and French as an undergraduate at Warwick, I went on to do a Master’s in Film and Television Studies there. At the same time I began to work on the student newspaper and student radio station and developed my own film music show. I really enjoyed the creative control of writing scripts, mixing promos, as well as presenting the programme, and began to think: ‘I could get used to this’.’’
Having left Warwick, Chas set about securing various work experience placements with a view to breaking into the media industry. He quickly realised that a BJTC-accredited qualification would open doors and was attracted to the reputation of BU’s Media School, as well as the broad skills taught on the MA Multimedia Journalism course. He said: “It was great. I got to flex my writing skills in every area. Plus, being back at university also allowed me to get my name in print again, this time as a writer and sub-editor for Nerve, the student magazine. That said, I particularly enjoyed the writing and performance aspects of radio. Luckily, shortly after leaving BU, I had an email from my tutor telling me about an opening as a drive time broadcast journalist at Vale FM in north Dorset. Astonishingly, I got the job and I was thrown straight into hunting out and broadcasting local news.”
The role at Vale FM kick-started Chas’ career in radio and he went on to take up various full-time and freelance positions (including at Fire Radio in Bournemouth), before joining Europe’s largest commercial radio group, Global, where he broke stories in cities including Bristol, Cardiff and London – and eventually, across the UK.
Having spent more than a decade writing and reading news for multiple stations on breakfast, day and night shifts, he has now swapped the 24-hour newsroom for a freelance career as a voiceover artist and podcast presenter. Among his latest projects, Chas is drawing on his journalistic skills for the newly launched English Heritage podcast. He said: “Podcasts are getting more and more popular these days. Everything I’ve learnt from radio (teasing ahead, creative writing and audio treatments, interview techniques and voicing) I’ve transferred to the English Heritage podcast. Hopefully that comes across in each episode.’’
Chas’s advice for anyone looking to break into the media industry is to gain experience early on. He said: “There are so many opportunities at university to get involved in activities outside of your degree. I would urge any media student to get into the student radio station or write for the student newspaper. It’s unpaid work but hey, it worked for me!’’