University work experience – First Year

As part of my course at Birmingham City University I am required to complete 70 hours worth of work experience in the media sector to pass, every year.

I have completed this year’s work experience at the Birmingham Mail (Trinity Mirror) and Sunderland Echo (Johnson Press) newspapers since I specialise in Journalism on the media and communications course at BCU. I want to share my experiences at these places with you and give myself an opportunity to reflect on what I have learned from being there.

Birmingham Mail – 5th-10th June 2017

Monday through to Wednesday the work was really independent and I was blitzing through stories despite struggling to find leads due to millions of Twitter posts about the general election. 

I spent Thursday in Birmingham Crown Court shadowing a journalist on stories and follow ups of trials that he needed to do. This was my first time court reporting since I started my course. I did enjoy court but I don’t see that being part of my future specialisms.

I was given the opportunity to do some investigative journalism while on this placement which is what I really wanted to do. It was these articles that I was told will be put in the paper the following week depending on if they could get comments on the issues I covered.

They also gave me the opportunity to speak to award winning investigative journalist, Jeanette Oldham. She was so nice and encouraging. She even asked me to stay in touch incase I needed any help with future stories.

I loved working for a newspaper and was invited back next year. I just wish I was made to feel more welcomed by staff as I was just put in a corner to work on my own and wasn’t involved in conversation. They did say they’d work on this in future.

Sunderland Echo – 9th-14th July 2017

The staff here were much more welcoming than at the Birmingham Mail. I felt so much more welcomed here. Although finding leads were still a struggle because most of the news coverage were reserved for Bradley Lowery’s memorial and funeral (God rest his beautiful soul).

I passed this banner while out chasing a story, the love showed by the whole city was so moving. 

I wrote many stories this week and my first article that I completed was said to be a front page story about Albie Joe Ramshaw’s fight against Luekemia. Although it won’t be published until next week because they didn’t want to confuse readers with reading about two poorly little boys in the same week.

I did get a story in about Natalia Rook’s fundraisers to get her to America for life saving treatment against Ewing Sarcoma.

They spelled my name correctly online but misspelled it in print. I don’t mind though, the article is still there and I’m still proud.

I really hope I can go back next year! I loved every minute of it. 

Read my article on Natalia Rooks here: Sunderland Echo: Natalia Rooks


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