Newsletter: Semester 2, 2015/16

May 10, 2016

What a year it has been! But it’s not quite over…

First years are halfway through their first ever newsday in RB316. Well, the good ones are.

Later this week, second years will be completing their television newsdays, producing bulletins that are a little slicker and smarter than when they began six weeks ago.

It has felt like a long semester, especially with third years completing their Journalism Project module during the Easter break. We’re pretty sure that Isobel Buffin, Lauren Farrow, Leah Senior and Mollie Hammond were sleeping in the newsroom the week before the deadline.

Just a few days ago, the final group of third years finished their last ever magazine newsday – and were predictably gutted about it.

What our students have been up to this semester

As usual, our students have been out and about, doing what it takes to get ahead in the competitive world of journalism.


Fay Khallad and and Anam Azeem interviewed former director of civil rights group Liberty and Question Time stalwart Shami Chakrabarti following a recent guest lecture at Leeds Beckett. Fay and Anam have also managed to land themselves work experience at the Yorkshire Post (though not at the same time).

Catrina Butler did a three week stint with BBC Radio York. WINNING.

Holly Beattie schooled the teams at BBC Radio in Grimsby and Hull while she was on work experience, showing them how real journalists look for news stories.

Then there was Elsie Dineen’s FOUR WEEK stint working on the One Show – acing it in the editing suites.

Mollie Hammond starts work experience on top fashion magazine Grazia, travelling to London on the very last day of the third year – Monday May the 9th.

First year superstar Sophie Okonkwo has begun her freelance career early working for Leeds Hacks alumni Elliot Ryder on the TicketArena website, reviewing events – and doing a really good job of it too.

Students across all three years reported on and took part in social media coverage for Leeds Digital and Tech Fayre, a huge career event held in the First Direct Arena, just across the road from us. Helpers included Isobel Buffin, Lucy Brown, Holly Beattie, Anam Azeem, Fay Khallad and Ayesha Nazmeen.

Speaking of our former Leeds Hacks, class of 2012 alumnus and Newsbeat reporter for BBC 1Xtra Daniel Rosney has earned himself a blue tick verification on Twitter. Verification “is currently used to establish authenticity of identities of key individuals and brands on Twitter” so it’s kind of a big deal. More recent graduate Charles Engwell has just celebrated his first year reading the news at BBC Radio Leeds.

Conor Crozier has managed to bag the ultimate work experience prize for any wannabe broadcast hack. He begins his tenure on Newsnight this month. Yes, we did say Newsnight!

We’re losing first year student Emily Kelly for a while. She’s off to Australia for an entire year abroad. That’s most definitely how you game the higher education system!

If we’ve missed you out and you wanted a shout, let us know!

Henry’s Big Break

Second year Henry Burkinshaw landed one of this year’s biggest work experience opportunities, but it didn’t turn out quite how he expected.

Burkinshaw was picked from hundreds of applicants for a placement at Sky Sports on the Soccer AM team; his dream job.

“The week went well,” said Burkinshaw, “I was shadowing, watching editors and helping find clips for the show…”

It would have ended well too, until a football match mishap between set-ups. A few of the crew were having a crafty kick around.

“I ran up to the ball, ready to give it a good whack and my foot slid from under me…” said Burkinshaw,  “I put my left arm back to try to break my fall and my elbow bent the wrong way.”


A couple of trips to the hospital later and, after a few days in a full cast, he’s now wearing a very fetching sling around his poorly left appendage.

Burkinshaw’s Dad advised him to make sure he was remembered before he began his Sky Sport’s placement. Just not this way!


We told Henry to ’break a leg’ before his placement. He must have misheard us.

Visiting lectures

We do try to bring the industry to you – and that will continue next year with a new, regular program of sessions open to both years 2 and 3.

This year Dave Betts, former Managing Editor at Sky News, held an informal session with students from years 2 and 3 as a pilot for those sessions. It went crackingly well and it was interesting to hear all about our student’s career hopes and ambitions.

We also had Sanjiv Bhutto, Managing Editor at Radio Leeds come in to speak to our first year. He had some solid and realistic advice for anyone wanting to break into broadcasting.

Finally Roger Cutsforth, formerly of Capital Radio, now Managing Director at The Radio Academy spoke to a small group of first year students.

Love is in the air?

A little birdie has told us there are several course romances blooming… It would be indiscreet of us to just blurt out who’s dating who – but see if you can solve these riddles:

Which long distance learner may have finally been noticed by a maid from Merseyside?

They say you have to watch the quiet ones – and we’ve been told that a double barreled Miss from year three has her eye on a certain taciturn chap whose surname sounds very Home Counties.

And finally, we’ve been told there’s a smart Alex in year 3 who’s keen to have a daily dalliance. Or is it the other way around?

If you have any course gossip you’d like us to know – don’t tell Karl. He’ll only put it in the newsletter.

Staff News

It was another good year for BA Journalism at the Golden Robes. Karl Hodge had a nomination for the fourth year running, this time in the “Hidden Hero” category. His long term goal of getting nominated in every category without actually winning the prize is currently on track.

Our team’s studio manager and learning technologist Chian Gatewood was nominated in 2 categories and shortlisted for the “Technology Trailblazer” category. Well done Chian! She was right chuffed.

Class of 2016

And finally, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to the BA Journalism Class of 2016. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with this cohort for the last three years.

Well, most of you.

The teaching team on BA Journalism would like to take one last affectionate look at this very special group of dudes and dudettes before we say goodbye. We hope that everyone reading this newsletter will join us in wishing them all the best in their final assignments, for graduation and beyond.

For the very last time, here’s the class of 2016.


Gerald Asante

Most likely to:

Not bother getting ethical clearance.

James Beaumont

Most likely to:

Become a Leicester City fan.

Sophie Burgess

Most likely to:

Leave it to the last minute, but do OK in the end.

Lucy Brown

Most likely to:

Become leader of the free world.

Connor Crozier

Most likely to:

Find a loophole in your documentation.

Josh Grainger

Most likely to:

Not turn up for work then fluke an exclusive.

Alex Hammond

Most likely to:

Form a boy band.

Mollie Hammond

Most likely to:

Cover London Fashion Week for Grazia.

Sinead Harte

Most likely to:

Be face down on the desk, texting.

Emily Hoyland

Most likely to:

Cross over to the dark side (PR).

Liam Jackson

Most likely to:

Graduate eventually.

Jack Payne

Most likely to:

Be crowned king of the selfies #vivajackpayne

Natasha Pilling

Most likely to:

Be the next Stacey Dooley*
*Tasha wrote this

Sophie Roberts

Most likely to:
Campaign to ban bratwurst on her new campus.

Sophie Thomas

Most likely to:
Appear on Geordie Shore in 2017.

Adam Van Der Veer

Most likely to:
Bombard Football Focus with requests for work experience.

Amy Wilkinson

Most likely to:

Run away and live in a commune where everyone is just, like, really, really chilled out, yeah?

Harriet Barry

Most likely to:

Be confused by Northern accents.

Peter Roberts

Most likely to:

Be “the cute one” in Alex Hammond’s boy band.


Sam Bradley

Most likely to:

Write and direct Rocky 10.

Isobel Buffin

Most likely to:

Work with folks less fortunate than herself.

Abby Cooper

Most likely to:

Confuse Hattie Barry with her accent.

Peri Daley

Most likely to:

Spend three hours getting ready for her passport picture.

Elsie Dineen

Most likely to:

Camp outside Media City until someone gives her a job.

Lauren Farrow

Most likely to:

Become a foreign correspondent.

Esme Eichhorn

Most likely to:

Be found eating spinach for breakfast.

Sarah Hewitt

Most likely to:

Be out celebrating.

Sean Kent

Most likely to:

Be “the quiet one” in Alex Hammond’s boy band.

Catherine Kirk

Most likely to:

Be unrecognisable in her photo.

Josh Lloyd-Maddams

Most likely to:

Leave Alex Hammond’s boy band to start a solo career.

Ameena Lone

Most likely to:

Lead the revolution.

Emma Newman

Most likely to:
Take photos of the revolution.

Clementine Binks

Most likely to:

Sleep through the revolution.

Niall Selman

Most likely to:

Appear at an open mic comedy  night near you.

Leah Senior

Most likely to:

Just get on with it.

Raj Bains

Most likely to:

End up as your boss.

See you all on LinkedIn, former third year. In the words of Alex Hammond: “#emosh”.

All that’s left to say now is – second years, it’s time for you to step up. You’re the new third years. First years, it’s time to cut your partying down to just four nights a week. You’re the new second years. It’s the circle of life.

Until next time, Hakuna Matata.

The BA Journalism Course Team



One thought on “Newsletter: Semester 2, 2015/16

  1. Jenny Kean

    Great newsletter, made me laugh, smile and wipe a tear from my eye all at the same time. Good luck all of you, and keep in touch via Linked In x


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