RTS bursary scholar Georgia Keetch senses optimism in the months ahead – and trades WhatsApp voice notes at 2:00am on a new film.
When I drove to Sussex University to start my BA journalism course in September 2018, in my mind’s eye I saw a heady montage of hypothetical events and experiences that would fill my three years in Brighton. My imagination did not stretch to wondering what it would be like to do half my degree during a pandemic.
But, following the government-mandated daily walks and abundant failed attempts to make satisfactory banana bread (oh, and about 100 Netflix shows), there is light at the end of the Covid tunnel. It is now conceivable that masks and hand sanitiser may one day be routine only for hospital workers, not the rest of us.
I must say that, for the second half of my degree, I have been one of the lucky ones. I’ve been at Sussex University’s newspaper, The Badger, for three years and I’ve almost completed my tenure as online production editor. I’m thrilled to say that I’m applying for the role of editor-in-chief for the next academic year. Wish me luck!
Alongside this aspect of my academic world, I’m putting the finishing touches to my application for a media and cultural studies MA at Sussex. So, to the professional world of TV, I will see you very soon.
This year has been jam-packed with things happening that I still can’t believe came my way. In early January, the Society kindly invited me to be a member of the RTS Television Journalism Awards jury for the Young Talent of the Year prize. Without having the bursary scheme or the Steve Hewlett Scholarship behind me, opportunities such as this would simply not be there for me.
Joining a morning Zoom call with some of the true powerhouses of TV – and having them ask for my opinion – was truly incredible. I was given ample advice by everyone involved and it was a genuine honour to be on the jury.
The RTS bursary scheme constantly comes up on my Zoom calendar. These events not only keep me in the loop and involved in the TV sector, but give me 10 times more knowledge about the industry than I had prior to logging on.
A recent highlight for me and my fellow bursary students was joining an RTS Board of Trustees meeting. There, we were given the time to talk about what we were all up to. As always, we were welcomed with open arms and showered with compliments about our projects.
Talking of these projects, a fellow bursary scholar and close friend of mine gave me the opportunity to be a researcher on her graduate documentary, I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor.
We are halfway through shooting. The film is a love letter to the indie music venues that we risk losing because of the lack of government funding to see them through the pandemic.
Working professionally with Charly really brought it home that the greatest benefit of the RTS bursary scheme is the friendship and camaraderie that comes with it. Nothing says more about friendship in the TV industry than trading WhatsApp voice notes at 2:00am concerning contributors to a programme.
Being asked to write a diary doesn’t half make you a feel a bit pensive. After a year full of Covid, it seems to us RTS scholars that the only way is up.
I have made friends for life with people who look set to be trailblazers and “ones to watch” in the near future. I really do thank the constellation of lucky stars that helped me wind up on this page. Whenever the next in-person RTS event happens, you will see me there, 100%.
Georgia Keetch is RTS bursary scholar studying journalism at Sussex University.