VJ Rav Vadgama at work

Rav Vadgama: Profile of a Working VJ

Posted February 16, 2016
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In 1994 I went to England to help launch Channel One.

It was going to be London's answer to NY1, which had just started - the first and only 24 hour local news channel for London, a city with a population of 8.6 million people.

We did the project in partnership with Sir David English and the Associated Newspapers.  And since it was being launched by a newspaper (and not a TV station), they understood the potential that the VJ model offered.  Effectively, VJs were print journalists who carried cameras and shot and edited their own stuff.

Amongst the 42 trainees was Rav Vadgama.

Today, he is a Senior Producer on ITV's Good Morning Britain, which is a pretty serious job. But he also still reports, shoots, scripts and edits all his own work.  He is still a working VJ, in a very non-VJ environment.

This morning, ITV changed his title from Senior Producer to Senior Producer and Videojournalist.  

It's official recognition and a major step forward for the profession.

At Channel One he covered the IRA bombing campaign in London, the death of Princess Diana. But that was just the begining. As a self-contained video journalist, Rav was a natural for the more demanding news stories that ITV wanted to cover. It was not long before he was covering wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, on the ground; working under cover in Zimbabwe and evading Mugabe's secret police; and more.

"I'll never forget the rescue of the Chilean miners," he says. "Spending 10 days living in a tent and sleeping two hours a night.  The rollercoaster of a story like that, and the sheer exhaustion at the end of trying to film while being sprayed with champagne from cheering relatives in the Atacama Desert."

Being a working VJ in a conventional network environment has never been easy. "I will never understand producers who have never picked up a camera to make television," he says. A sentiment we all share.

Rav has been a true pioneer, one of the very first VJs in the world, he has now, through years of determination and dedication - and unfailingly producing outstanding product - brought the profession the recognition it so richly deserves.

Great job!



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