Some great news to begin with: we have secured another two years of accreditation from the Periodicals Training Council (PTC). They were very complimentary about you and the course in general. They were particularly impressed by the multi-media newsdays (see below), together with the work our final year students did with Carmen Bruegmann on the magazine project and the Leeds Metropolitan Business Review some of you also produced. This is a great stamp of approval for our course and should also help open doors for all of you. A big thank-you to those who came to meet them.
Just the BJTC to win over now. They’ll be here in around one week’s time.
First the budget, then Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, both liveblogged by us in the last few months. For the uninitiated Liveblogs provide rolling coverage of an ongoing event — similar to live television or radio — in full-colour multimedia. Claire Johnson and Charlotte Hemingway stepped up for our liveblog of the budget. Both claimed to have not a clue about economics in the morning, but were blazing away on the finer points of macroeconomic theory by the afternoon. It was an intense, but rewarding. Jenny organised a great deal of multimedia malarky, including a studio down in the foyer where Charles Engwell and Alex Almond were in charge of filming and all things technical. All good, although perhaps Charlotte needs to look up the word “impartiality” in the dictionary before falling fowl with broadcasting regulations in her future career. All three years were involved in the run-up to this multi-media day, including first year Nassr Adris who did a lively pre-budget vox.
Then, less than a month later, we were at it again, this time for the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Our plucky second years Alice Booth and Alex Almond took up the reporter duties, the former suppressing a pathological loathing for our ex-prime minister, at least for a couple of hours. Maize Cast and Natalie Case stepped in as social media guru and producer respectively. We had learnt a lot from the budget, and this time managed to engage a lot more with social media. Honestly, if Maize worked any harder on the #leedsmetthatcher hashtag, she’d have ended up with it tattooed on her forearm. The ever present Charles Engwell buzzed around Leeds as a roving reporter, while Alice and Alex showed a great deal of decorum, covering the funeral in a very measured, discreet and respectful way. It was very, very good journalism and as cutting edge as razor blade. Quote of the day went to Natalie, though, who tweeted to come and join us for Thatcher’s funeral “not as boring as it sounds”. Quite so.
Well we finally got around to it and published the second edition of the Leeds Metropolitan Business Review (LMBR). The edition is the fruit of the L6 module, Newsdays 1, and again we produced a 32-page magazine catering for the local business community. Highlights include Grace Neal hitting the shops (there’s a surprise) as an insatiable retail correspondent who gives her assessment of Trinity Leeds. Elsewhere Jack Carter sneaked in to the Leeds Arena; Louise Fletcher and Lauren Weldin got under the skin of the cutting edge of the Leeds fashion industry; Sophie Beaumont made herself a nuisance regular down the council planning committee; Molly Dolan found out just how employable you are with her employability quiz; Charlotte Corner visited an office to be made entirely out of cardboard (she was blown-over, boom, boom); Melissa Dyson, a talented reporter, discovered how the revamped East Coast Mainline will make Yorkshire a better place to do business; while Emma Harris checked out the new entrance to Leeds Station’ Danielle Smith wrote about the Leeds Film Festival; Grace O’Farrell covered the legal scene with aplomb; Hannah Curry and Aditi Berri explored the media and creative quarters of the city; Rachel Pringle and Sophie Goodwin tucked into the regional food scene; while Sarah Cox, Jessica Thomas and Rebecca Welfle punched the numbers with their A-Z of finance in Leeds (yeah, that’s right, H was for happy hour) Samantha McGarry and Charlotte Hemingway discovers the social side of enterprise and on the back page, Grant Whalley managed to a big picture of himself into the publication (now where have we seen that before).
One benefit of PTC accreditation is that you are eligible for entry into the Print Futures Awards scheme, which is only open to students on our accredited courses. The Print Futures Award is a bursary scheme — now in its tenth year — gives young people the chance of winning a £1500 award to help fund training for a career. Traditionally the award has only been open to those entering the printing, publishing and graphics arts industries, but its recently been extended to include student journalists.
It is funded by The Printing Charity, Unite the Union and the British Printing Industries Federation. The eligible age group is 16 to 30 and the awards will be presented this year at a special reception in July at the House of Lords. Entries close on May 31.
Full details and the necessary application form are available here: Print Futures Awards.
The PTC has also let us know about the annual Magazine Academy competition, which attempts to “recognise talent and encourage new industry stars”. The annual contest encourages students on PTC accredited courses (that’s us) to “create a brand new magazine, propose an innovative magazine concept, or put forward ideas for a new digital product”. Well, we did plenty of that Entrants must demonstrate their passion and ideas through a compelling business proposal and exciting and engaging editorial. The awards event will be held in October. Sean has the entry forms.
First year students did a radio newsday for the first time under our revamped curriculum and not only rose to the challenge but managed to get a couple of exclusive interviews. Joe Turton was made up after he interviewed Ron Atkinson (“good lad”, said Big Ron) whilst Liam Jackson managed to pin down Moz Dee (recently of Talksport fame) for an interview.
But everyone did really well, with special mentions also for Aimee Robinson, Olivia Newby and Isabella Pulley – plus Nikolai Baker who was a whizz in the studio. BBC Radio York’s Sarah Wakefield was there to help Jenny out on the day, and told us afterwards: “They really were a great bunch and I think you have some future broadcast journalist stars of the future there. Watching Joe do his interview was fantastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had his own sports phone-in one day!” As part of the module, we’ve been out to the Big Wheel in Leeds, and will be at the Bollywood exhibition in Bradford this week. And they call it work …
Our accreditation with the BJTC yielded fruit for several of our final year students, opening doors to a range of BBC placements including Inside Out, Look North, Watchdog and BBC Sheffield. Several of you have already managed to secure paid work in journalism even before you’ve graduated: Lee Thomas Mason’s doing some paid shifts at skysports.com and Molly Dolan has been made the news editor for the upcoming issue of Epilepsy Today after a successful stint with the magazine.
More updates on our graduates from last year: Dan Rosney is now a researcher at Five Live as a direct result of a contact he made during Newsdays 2, while Fiona Gribben has been appointed student communications officer for our own Leeds Met. Here’s her report on our budget day stuff, for example. Jodie Hirst has been promoted to assistant stakeholder manager at NHS Supply Chain and is currently designing the company newsletter and managing their events and training programmes. Jodie was kind enough to say: “I don’t think I would be doing this job now without the boost I was given while at university.”
Amy Soloman is a production assistant at the Jewish Chronicle, Tanya Harris is the lead iGaming copywriter at Blue Claw, Kat Shaw is an account executive at Derwent Housing Association and Matt Scott is marketing associate at Tech Target.
So all all, some great examples for our final years who are being measured up for those gowns even as we speak. We’ll be there on 23rd July to cheer you on.
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We have been tracking our second years (L5) as they progress in their Online Journalism and Design module and corralling them into a league table. As you can see Rachel Flynn has flown into the lead, to take the number one spot. What’s more impressive is that Rachel has garnered 4000 visits in just four weeks. Lydia Taylor, the early runner, still remains in a a very strong position, slipping to #2, but with a very impressive 1982 visits. Third spot is occupied by Henry Arnold, not even registered a month ago, who weighs in with 1904 visits. Anja Swan is in fourth with an increasingly impressive showing, coming from nowhere to register 1761 visits in a single month. The ever dependable Ryan Parrish is still very much in competition with 1021, although like a Leeds Utd’s cup run, he appears to stalling before the summit. Keep an eye out for the final table, which will be published in late May.