Newsletter: Winter 2014

December 12, 2014

Top of the class

We are really proud that the class of 2013-14 gave us 100% satisfaction in the National Student Survey — but it’s even better news for all of you, as you can now say you are studying on the top rated journalism course in the country in terms of student satisfaction. We also have something to shout about in terms of employability, with independent government figures showing around nine out of ten of our graduates (89%) are in work or further study within six months of graduating – and on this, we rate better than our rival university up the road.

Doing the business

Ismail Mulla (left), of The Yorkshire Post, and Gurdev Singh, of The Printing Charity (PICTURE: The Yorkshire Post)

Ismail Mulla (left), of The Yorkshire Post, and Gurdev Singh, of The Printing Charity (PICTURE: The Yorkshire Post)

One of our graduates who’s more than done well is Ismail Mulla, who’s just started a one-year paid internship with the business section of The Yorkshire Post (above), funded by The Printing Charity. The paper itself described Ismail as “up and coming” and who are we to quibble with that? Follow Mr Mulla on Twitter (@IsmailMulla and @YPBiz).

Tweets working

Sam Bradley Notts fire tweetElsewhere, Sam “Hawkeye” Bradley (H5) hit the bullseye when he was the first to tweet pictures (right) of the inferno that engulfed parts of Nottingham University this summer. “I was the first to post anything officially online on my journalism Twitter page,” says the whip-smart young hack, “and Sky, ITV, BBC and many other news corporations used my image officially on their sites.” Well done, Sam, a true journalist in the making. Not to be left behind, Raj “Brains” Bains (H5) continues to write on music and sport for his own website but also the Huffington Post and Sabotage Times, while Natasha Pilling (H5) and Carris Boast (H6) are both contributing audio on a regular basis to the national audio platform Podium.me.  Click on their names to hear their pieces. Hattie Barry (H5) has taken on the Twitter feed on behalf of the Green Party in Headingley, which is a great thing to be doing as we approach next year’s general election.

Our final year students (H6) got stuck straight back in with live coverage of Leeds Business Week. They tweeted from sessions on smart cities and the city summit Q&A, where we even made the Twitter “wall of fame”. Find their stories here on the website, and take a look at the Flipboard magazine they put together.  Best quote from the summit? One that likened the planned trolleybus through Headingley to North Korean propaganda, as reported by Rachel Noon. Ouch. Speaking of the illustrious reporter Ms Noon has been down London to work at the Professional Publisher’s Association (PPA) national conference. We are sure Bedfordshire’s answer to Louise Mensch excelled, she’s one of the course’s most prolific tweeters (6236 and counting).

Big welcome

lee francis tweetA big welcome to our new first years who we hope are settling in now. Some are already making their presence felt, with Lee Prouse scooping some fantastic pictures of the day after the blaze at the Majestic in Leeds. Lee’s been using his considerable knowledge of radio to help out the BeMedia radio at the student union, as has Sinead Harte (H5). We’ve noticed Holly Beattie (H4) getting reviews published by My Beckett Online too (yes, Holly, some of us are indeed old enough to remember The Specials first time round.) BeMedia is a great way to start getting your stuff published; many a journalist has started their career with student media, so get in touch via FacebookTwitter(@BeTVleeds) or email bemedia@leedsbeckettsu.co.uk.. Joseph Jackson quickly turned round a story from the student protest this week into the police tactics against students at Warwick.

A special mention here for Ana Hoyos and company whose presence at all the guest lectures so far has been noticed and much appreciated. Thanks for the lively contributions! Sorry if we’ve missed anyone else but James Billcliffe, one of our new MSc students, also deserves an honorary mention.

We’ve really enjoyed reading the first person interviews by the second year students. Some of you found some cracking stories. Absolutely excellent were those by Hattie Barry, Abby Cooper and Conor Crozier, but also very good were Niall Selman, Sophie Burgess, Lauren FarrowLeah Senior, Josh Lloyd-Maddams, Adam Van der Veer and Sophie Thomas

L’coc up

Third-year student James Keighley has ‘fessed up to something of a “faux pas” (that’s French for cock-up) while out in the field recently. During an interview with David Paterson, one of the charitable souls working with the homeless at St George’s Crypt in the city, the subject of “food poverty” came up. “I know all about that,” piped our hapless hack, “from being a student.” Not quite the same thing, was the look that flashed across Mr Paterson’s face. But what, we wonder, has James “please-sir-can-I-have-some-more” Keighley been dining on these past few years to make him so hungry? We can exclusively reveal a diet of “pasta, olives, cheese and all different kinds of fish” so few visits to the food bank, then. But, wait for it, our galloping gourmet also regularly enjoys “muesli for breakfast”. From which we can infer his personal definition of food poverty? “But nothing posh, like Alpen.”

Separated at Birth

seperated at birth
L6 students have been busy noting the uncanny similarity between the aforementioned Mr Keighley and Shaggy from Scooby Doo. So that’s the source of the previous story — someone else grabbed all his Scooby snacks. And the eagle-eyed among you might have been experiencing a little deja vu on BBC 1 on Wednesday nights lately. Who is that to the left of Lord Sugar every week in the boardroom. It’s not, it can’t be, can it?

Looking up at the stars

Arena-Radio-Academy copy

We had a good evening out at the Radio Academy (Yorkshire) at the Arena. We were all agog to be in Ed Sheeran’s dressing room just a day before he was there. We can now boast we’ve seen the shower and  yes, even the loo used by stars ranging from Beyonce to Gary Barlow. As Oscar Wilde once nearly said: “There’s nothing wrong with being a journalism undergrad, as long as you are looking up at the stars.”

Agent Adris

Another day, another assignment for the hardest-working-man-in-student-journalism: Nassr Adris. Rochdale’s-finest blagged himself a ticket to London and was away interviewing the likes of Mehdi Hassan (the possessor of one of the best scowls in journalism), Owen Jones and Alex Crawford. The latter showed him around Sky News’s sprawling corporate HQ at Osterley where he must have made a good impression. Not only did Sky’s special correspondent offer our Nassr some professional assignments, but one senior executive extolled the virtues of going undercover in his own community. “Get infiltrating” the let’s-not-name-him executive barked over a crowded room, leaving our Nassr wondering how exactly one might “infiltrate” one’s own neighbourhood. Donning a disguise in the Post Office? Bugging the butcher’s? Hiding in the bushes? Pray tell? Suggestions on an email please.

Champion news

Fontaine Chapman, Leeds Beckett's journalism course's resident champion

Fontaine Chapman, Leeds Beckett’s journalism course’s resident champion

One of Leeds Beckett’s finest postgraduate scholars, and international badminton ace, Fontaine Chapman, has won the Hungarian Open winning her first international title. Fontaine wupped Denmark’s second-seeded Sandra-Maria Jensen in straight sets. Elsewhere, third-year Charles “Charlie Charles” Baker has completed his first proper marathon. He completed event in York the respectable time of three hours and thirty-five minutes. Some going for a first-go: a respectable time in a marathon is less than four hours. Now, if only he was so quick at shorthand.

We need you

You can never have too much exposure to good journalism. Just look at the staff, decades exposure to the trade has never done them any harm, right? Which is why we’ve pooled our resources to create a magazine archive to give you the opportunity to access high quality journalism, without having to shell out. So please see the copies of GQ, Vogue, The Spectator, Private Eye, The New Statesman, Vanity Fair, Esquire and a range of splendid cutting edge periodical courtesy of our subscription to Stack Magazines) and so on that have been laid on for you in the newsroom.

Many thanks to James Billcliffe, Joe Emmett, Nikolai Baker, and the irrepressible Aimee Robinson who have been kind enough to contribute titles of their own. Please don’t throw away magazines, but share them via the archive. If you don’t buy any magazines, then it’s time to start. You are in journalism school.

Bromance of the year

manev cover[1]The spirit of brotherly love runs free on our masters course. Here’s James Billcliffe’s paean to fellow student Manvendra “Mr Fixer” Shekhawat AKA the “walrus of luuuurve”.

Alumni news

From the class of 2014, we can report that Ryan Parrish  is now working as media assistant at Leeds United FC (that’s got to be his dream job) whilst David Bowers is also sticking with his love of the beautiful game as football editor at SJ Wilkes Media Ltd. Alice Booth is in London with the comms office at the Ministry of Justice, and Charles Engwell is also in the big smoke studying for his MA at City University. Charles has already worked on The Agenda programme hosted by Tom Brady on ITV, and tells us:  “I am very proud of the Journalism course up at Leeds Met after having been here for a few months.”

The class of 2014

The class of 2014

Chris Hitchings and Anja Swan have both been freelancing at Radio Cumbria and Border TV respectively – Chris even had his Halloween package played on network radio, creaky doors and all. Rachel Flynn is studying for her NCTJ qualifications, and Darius Taylor-McCall is doing postgraduate study. Lydia Taylor is running the website for a gifts and homeware company near her Dorset home, and has invited our current students to write blogs for the site.

Jenny Gibbon is Adidas account executive at Savvy Marketing here in Leeds, whilst Ciamhne Boakye is social media administrator at Comvergent Ltd and posts regularly on Linked In. Ciara Mahoney is on the other side of the world teaching English in China. Anyone else – let us know what you’re up to.

Going back a year to the class of 2013 – and Jack Carter asked to borrow our office to do an interview for his magazine as he was up visiting Leeds, so we got a chance to hear him at work and were well impressed with his technique. He’s been off to Australia and reviewing the best restaurants in Sydney – all in the name of work. Jack tipped us off to his mag (C&IT) advertising for staff – proof that university can be a vital network for you even after you’ve left (as Robyn Vinter and Jake Davies proved in previous years). Charlie Clark (2014) got down to the very last two, but was just pipped at the post, but well done Charlie, that’s a real achievement.

Charlotte Corner‘s Cheerleader magazine continues to do well. Clare Johnson is social media and web editor at Ticketmaster, and organised their first summer internship, so watch this space, as maybe one of you could apply in future? Molly Dolan is editorial assistant at Sleeper magazine; Arandeep Dhillon is a trainee reporter at Warrington Guardian after doing his NCTJ sports qualification; Emily-Jane Smith did a summer internship with the International Organisation for Migration in Geneva, helping to research the tragic but important stories about migrants from Syria and elsewhere who take to rickety boats in the hope of finding a better life but sadly never make it.

A brief mention for Dan Rosney (2012) who has just moved from Five Live to Newsbeat, and featured on this report for the BBC on how to find stories. Haigh Simpson (2012) has gone on to set up his second magazine – The Saltaire Review, which has gone down very well and looks classy. Follow them on Twitter: @SaltaireReview.

We always love to hear what you all get up to once you’ve left, so please do send us your news.

Finally, before you all shoot off for a well earned break, just to say that Futures Fest takes place from Monday 26 January to Friday 30 Jan, with all kinds of useful workshops ranging from writing a CV, assessment centres, job interviews and language tasters. Click here for details and to register.

To all students, past and present, Happy Christmas from all of us.

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