“Journalism is the bridge between the public and those in power. It is the duty of a journalist to build a bridge that is honest, informative and accurate” -Gem O’Reilly
A journalist for all platforms, Gem O’Reilly has established her journalism through radio, television, print and online. From interviewing Meatloaf for Global Radio to meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Gem has chased, reported and created a vast variety of stories in the last three years. As a scholarship student at The University of Salford, a thorough teaching of both NCTJ standards and BBC standards has been evident in Gem’s story telling. Her work specifically focuses on presenting news that is politically impartial and representative of real people in the UK; the bridge between the public and those in power.
Throughout her academic years, Gem has covered stories featuring British Red Cross workers involved in the Syrian crisis and large political events such as Donald Trump’s election. Such work has been broadcast on Manchester based radio outlets such as Capital FM, Key 103 and Heart FM. Likewise, after working closely with BBC Radio throughout her music career, Gem utilised her contacts to shadow and learn from reporters, broadcast journalists, editors, and presenters at BBC Radio 4, 3, and BBC Radio Drama.
At the start of 2016, Gem spent her time at BBC Radio Drama, writing scripts and producing plays with production coordinators. Gem’s original play, Alice’s Aria, was then recommended for the Alfred Bradley BBC award after writer and poet, Simon Armitage read the play. The play was also nominated for Best Student Writer at The Royal Exchange Theatre. Gem’s passion for writing drama began at the tender age of 15 whilst she was an actress at The Royal Exchange Theatre. Whilst at The Royal Exchange Theatre, from 15-21 years old, Gem wrote her first play, Alma,which was inspired by the works of Christopher Marlowe and Shakespeare. Alma resulted in Gem winning the Young Writer of the Year award from the theatre and her high school copyrighted the play to use for GCSE Drama students. Despite acting and scriptwriting, Gem discovered a different passion whilst at the theatre; radio journalism. From 19 to 21, Gem reported, presented and wrote for the Royal Exchange radio channel, “Truth About Youth”, which was broadcasted on ALL FM 96.9. In the summer of 2016, Gem spent 6 weeks at a private academy in San Diego, California, teaching children music. Whilst in California however Gem was approached by NBC News in San Diego, to report and screen test as a news caster.
Now finishing her degree in broadcast journalism, Gem both reports and presents on Quays News, reports for Global Radio, and works closely with the Manchester Evening News for any upcoming stories they may need assistance with. As a graduate of 2017, Gem will be aiming to share her journalism not just with Manchester, but the nation.
Gem’s next journalistic project involves a television documentary following Mark King’s fight through UK parliament to pass the law of mandatory defibrillators in all public buildings. The story follows Mr King after the tragic death of his son, Oliver King, who died from the same heart condition that Gem has. Gem plans to develop this journalism into an investigative and informative style, with a personal insight into the condition.
“I don’t just want to tell stories to make news, I want to live the story, feel the story and embrace the story”. -Gem O’Reilly
Whilst reporting for Global Radio, Gem interviewed the Rock Music legend, Meatloaf about his upcoming musical, “Bat out of Hell”, at The Manchester Opera House. With this radio package, Gem wished to extend the perspective on the musical, thus she requested a second interview with the lead character and Broadway actor, Andrew Polec.