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Test 1 / 30

You will hear an interview in which two journalists called Jenny Langdon and Peter Sharples are talking about their work. Choose the answer which fits best according to what you hear.

What does Jenny say about the story which made her name?
What does Jenny suggest about the editor she worked for on her first national daily newspaper?
When Jenny got her own daily column on the newspaper, she felt
Peter thinks he got a job on Carp Magazine thanks to
Peter and Jenny agree that courses in journalism
When asked about their novels, Peter and Jenny reveal

Int: Today we’re looking at careers in journalism. My guests are Jenny Langdon and Peter Sharples, both regular columnists on major publications. Jenny, you made your name really young, didn’t you?

F: Relatively, yes. I was a raw recruit on the local paper when ascandal broke concerning a celebrity living nearby. Out of the blue I found myself with a scoop on my hands. Basically, I found the guy, interviewed him, then hid him someplace where reporters on rival papers wouldn’t find him. When the story broke next day, the editorial team had actually cobbled the front-page story together from my notes, but it was attributed to me by name. Before I knew what was happening, I’d been headhunted by a national daily. It was a turning point alright – but I can hardly claim it as a shrewd career move or anything!

Int: And the editor at that national daily was a notoriously bad- tempered individual …

F: Well, there’s no denying he deserved that reputation! I mean, having landed a dream job, I was really thrown in at the deep end! My desk was right outside his office, so I was first in the firing line if anything went wrong – even stuff I’d had no hand in! But I knew better than to argue, and was thick-skinned enough not to take it personally. Anyway that’s what the paper was like, always on the edge, and I really flourished in that environment.

Int: Eventually getting your own daily column ..

F:… and that’s where I really came into my own. I mean, I’d done stints on the sports desk, been celebrity correspondent – the works. Actually, I only got offered the column as a stop-gap when my predecessor left under a cloud. But I was desperate tohold on to it. And it came at just the right time – if itd been earlier, I’d never have had the nerve or the experience to make it my own.

Int: Let’s bring Peter in here. You started off on the celebrity magazine called Carp, didn’t you?

M: 1 did. Ostensibly thanks to a speculative letter to the editor when I was still a student. Actually, I’d been doing stuff for a student newspaper all through university. Skills I learnt there stood me in good stead. When Carp Magazine called me for interview, my approach to college news convinced them I was in touch with reality – you know, budgets, deadlines, all that – that’s what swung it in my favour – it wasn’t just having my finger on the pulse as far as youth culture was concerned – important as that was at Carp.

Int: Can I ask you both whether you’d say courses in journalism are worth doing? Jenny?

F: Well, I wanted to write and a journalism course seemed a reasonable enough starting point. Journalism s at least paid up front – unlike some forms of writing, and there’s no denying that was an incentive. So, yes, I did one. And, you know, if I hadn’t, who knows if I’d have been able to handle the stuff thrown at me when I first arrived at the newspaper – it does give you that grounding. But I wouldn’t say it taught me everything I needed. Fortunately a stint on the student newspaper filled in the gaps.

M: .. as is s0 often the case. They’re often criticised for taking too strong a line on issues, but they’re invaluable because they give you that free rein, and you’re generally writing from the heart rather than for the money. I’d say by all means do a course, theorise all you like in the classroom, but just bear in mind that it’s no substitute for getting out there – for developing your own style.

Int: Now you’ve both recently published novels – s this a change of direction?

F: People keep asking that. I like to think that, much as I rate myself as a journalist and feel I have nothing left to prove, I’m still up for the next thing that comes along. Ill never be a prize- winning novelist, but having a go at it keeps me on my toes. It would be easy enough to get stale doing a column like mine, but that does remain my grand passion – I don’t know about you Peter, but I’m hardly thinking of moving on.

M: Well, I expect there’s people who’d say we should stand aside to give up-and-coming writers a chance. But, no, I’m not. I’d go along with the idea of diversification keeping you nimble though, and I’m not making great claims for my novel either. But would take issue with the idea that journalism itself holds no further challenge. I wish I had your confidence Jenny – I’m always telling myself that I’m only as good as my last piece and there’s no room for complacency.

Int: And there we must leave it. Thank you both … [fade]

Test 2 / 30

You will hear an interview with Alex Mustard, an underwater photographer who has just published a successful book featuring his work.

What does Alex say about filming wildlife underwater?
When he was photographing free-diving, Alex
What does Alex say about his favourite shots in the book?
How does Alex feel about photographing dangerous creatures underwater?
Alex says that anyone wanting to take up underwater photography should
For Alex, the main attraction of going to Sardinia is


Women: My guest today is the photographer Alex Mustard who specialises in underwater shots. He is cooperation with the expert diver and writer Nick Hannah resulted in the book entitled “The Art of Diving”

Women: Alex welcome. There is some great shots in the book, but how much is luck and how much judgement

Man: With wildlife shots is not always the case that you can get the animals to behave in the way you want when you spend a lot of time in the ocean that you get to predict behaviours and you’ll get used to knowing when and where you’re going to get particular shots. I was able to plan a great deal, but often there’s only a split second to capture the shot you have in mind. With the photographs of divers, it’s different. You’ve got more control because the Dive is a coordinated effort as well planned even the smallest things are so hard to communicate underwater that absolutely everything has to be organised before.

Women: And did you get any surprises doing the book?

Man: One of the areas have always thought we were going to struggle with was freediving. you know going down to great depths without oxygen or equipment. I didn’t really get free diving until I saw it for myself, but when you watch it in the ocean when you’re sitting there at 15 or so metres in very clear water and you see the divers come down those lines past you disappearing into the blue, it’s incredible. They disappear for several minutes while you watch, realising how much breathing you doing until they come back up again on a single breath. I wanted to get across in the shot just how fragile the freedivers looked framed by the vastness of the ocean.

Woman: What are your favourite shots?

Man: There’s a whole zone of shots the ones of divers having a good time on the water.

For some unknown reason the most sensible, important people from nurses to managing directors, can’t resist mucking about once they’re underwater. I’ve never really seen this in photos before and it soon became a main theme of the book to get across the playful, graceful and fun nature of being underwater when someone sees a turtle while scuba diving they do an impression of a turtle. The amount of times you end up bursting out laughing into your regulator happens every single day.

Women: Did you have any scary moments?

Man: There’s a golden rule underwater you always need to know what’s behind you some wildlife is potentially dangerous, but there are very few things in the ocean that are actively aggressive. We’re not their natural prey. They’ll be curious but the first response is really to attack us. I think the secret is to respect the fact that we’re intruders in their environment. If you go looking for trouble I’m sure you can find it, with sharks or whatever. And some people do just that may be thinking ‘I’ll get good shots’, but that’s not the sort of underwater photography I want to get into.

Women: What advice would you give to budding underwater photographers?

Man: Underwater photography is becoming incredibly accessible, most digital compact cameras are relatively cheap and most canal we used with very good plastic housing. The most important thing is to choose your subjects very carefully, find something colourful that you can get close to that not going to swim away and that’s medium-sized. If it’s not too big or too small you’ll be more likely to get it in the shot. More professional shots require wide-angle lenses to get the best results and you might want to consider using different colour filters, but with most of compacts you will produce great-quality Snaps

Women: So what’s next for you Alex

Man: Well in July I’m planning a trip to Sardinia. It’s where some of the nicest diving in the Mediterranean is to be found all custard within easy reach of the airport at Olbia. There are a few wrecks but that’s not really the draw for me. It’s more the underwater landscapes like the soft corals and the fish life they support and of course, the waters lovely and warm should get some shots.

Women: Well all the best for that Alex and thanks for joining me today.

Man: Thank you.