BA Multi-Platform Journalism

BA Multi-Platform Journalism

If you want to be a Multi-Platform Journalist and work in this digital age then the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree at the University Centre Grimsby is perfect for you.

Accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC), and seen as one of the best in the UK, the programme teaches you how to master the many skills that journalists need today – writing and interviewing for different platforms; shooting and editing video for TV and online; recording audio for radio and podcasts; presentation and voiceover skills as well as how to use social media as a source and promotional tool. 

Students embrace not only how to use traditional methods of audio and video capture but also how to use iPods, iPhones and smart devices to create content.


I’m an #igaddict and proud

I’ve become an addict. I can stand here and hold my head up and be proud to say it. I AM ADDICTED, but not to anything narcotic or alcoholic.

No, I am addicted to Instagram. I was introduced it to months ago by a colleague, but never really got into it. Purely because at that point I was addicted to Twitter. Over Easter a friend showed me some of her images she’d posted onto Instagram and showed me how it worked.

Taken with iphone4 and altered in Instagram

That was that. I went home, delved into my app and began posting. My first few images were straightforward shots of my pets; photos I’d taken on my iphone4 and not altered in anyway. Those first few posts contained no hashtags, I wasn’t sure what to do. Then I looked at other people’s images and noticed they’d hashtag them #ig (Instagram), #igaddict (Instagram addict), #iphonegraphy and so on. The lists were endless. Hashtags connected to what the image was, whether it was black and white or colour, beautiful or photo of the day.

These keywords are important to help people locate and follow. See an image you like, then like it or comment on it. Your likes can be seen by your followers and you can engage in dialogue with people around the world.

Some on there are professional photographers, who use more than their iphone to take a snapshot. I only use my iphone and there are many who do the same. It’s amazing what good quality photos can be taken with the phone.

While Instagram offers filters to be able to change your image, if you don’t want it to remain

Guess the film title? Pictures taken on iphone4, altered using Instagram, Snapseed and framed using Frame Maker

‘normal’, there are so many other apps out there to do the job. I’m enjoying Snapseed, Percolator and Frame Maker. Snapseed is great as there are many tools to manipulate your image from its size to filters, colours, structure, contrast, etc. And it’s so easy to use too.

Percolator is interesting as it allows you to convert your images into bubbles and it’s all done as if you’re making a brew. While Frame Maker allows me to import my images and put them into frames. Here I’ve been able to show before and after or a range of shots and how they’ve been tranformed.

I’ve now progressed from snapping my family and animals to looking at things around me and taking a photo and then using Snapseed to recreate the image. I also love on my travels snapping architecture and quirky things.

This is addictive. Because my phone is with me all the time, it’s handy to grab it out my bag and point and shoot. Instant uploads and within seconds it’s there on Instagram. I love looking at what other people are doing too and engaging in dialogue with them.

There are many people taking landscape pictures and street scenes, and there are some very talented people out there too. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a great photographer or not. It’s about, for me anyway, seeing things visually and then taking that image. While it may look great normal, I then love the fact I can change it and enhance it in some way.

The other night I took a picture of a glass purple paperweight and turned it into a photo called ‘The birth of a new star’. As a photo on its

The birth of a star

own it looked bland and boring. Visually not interesting, but chuck it into Snapseed and add filters to it and alter the brightness and you have something unusual and different. You can see the bubbles in the glass, but where the light has caught it I’ve been able to expand and develop that.

It just reminded me of the galaxy and a star exploding, hence its name.

Instagram is a great app and I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’m always looking for something to take a picture of. If you look on my IG profile (lingarde) then you’ll see a variety of images from portraits to abstracts.

It’s the variety I like. I don’t concentrate on one type of image. I seem to go through phases, one week it’s animals, then riding shots, then abstracts. Just lately it’s been shoes and legs. Who knows tomorrow what I may take?

I suggest everyone gets on there and becomes an #igaddict. It’s worth investing that time into creating things. Especially if wanting to go into media. It’s a showcase of your work. Are you one?

One of my first Instagram posts - a black and white image of my horse

Social Media

I’m currently exploring  some new apps for journalists to use on the iphone4. I’m a being fan of using my phone in the role of a journalist. It’s great for taking photos, shooting video and recording podcasts.

For podcasts I use audioboo as it’s so simply and easy to use. Recording time is limited, though you can upgrade, but I find it is sufficient. I’ve also experimented with iProRecorder, which was good and easy to use and allows longer recording time.

I use the iphone4 to film in HD and use ReelDirector to edit. While it is simplistic and I don’t find it easy to trim shots down, it is straightforward to use. I’m also looking into Vericorder’s range of apps at the moment for video and audio editing and also at an app called Luci Live, which allows you to live broadcast and link into the studio. Perfect for when  you don’t have an ISDN line. However at a hefty £300 I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy this one!

Of course everything I produce is all interconnected and instantly lists things on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I’ll feed back some more as I experiment further with these apps and if you use or know of any other apps suitable for journalists to use then please share.

#LincUpLive 360 is here next week, so watch/listen/read for more

Study at University Centre Grimsby

One day some undergraduates seem to have a wake up call and realise the degree they chose to commit their life to is not what they expected it to be and so have a dilemma as to what to do next.

Many have chosen their degree, not by its reputation or facilities, but by location. The city/town is known for its excellent clubs/bars or shopping. Or it’s close to where boy/girlfriend is studying. How many actually choose the degree for what it’s worth and where it will take them next?

I’ve written here before about how Grimsby has an image issue. People assume because it’s called Grimsby, that it’s actually grim here or that because it’s at the end of the M180, it’s the road to nowhere. It’s believed to have been named after its founder, a Danish fisherman called Grim who in folklore rescued Prince Havelok from the North Sea. Grimsby, like many places in the UK, has its downside. The upside is, that it is cheap to live, travelling is not an issue as everything is close by and within walking distance. Cleethorpes and its golden beach are down the road, Hull and its nightlife are over the river and the rolling Wolds are a stone’s throw away.

It is a friendly town and people always seem willing to chat and strike up conversations.  Speak to the students and they’ll tell you about the Multi-Platform Journalism programme and the reasons why they chose it.

And so many famous people have come from the town or chosen to live in the vicinity – John Hurt, Julie Peasgood, Chubby Brown, Johnny Leeze to name but a few.

And now the town has its own University Centre, a fantastic new building to house the Institute’s university programmes. It is bright, light and spacious. On the ground floor there is a cafe and coffee lounge/bar. There is a well stocked library which is open 24 hours a day.

On the media floor we have two TV studios – one green screen and a soft studio using Tricaster. There is a radio studio and multi-platform newsroom complete with ENPS, Final Cut Pro and the undergrads learn not only how to audio and video equipment to shoot and edit but also how to use their smart devices.

It’s an exciting course for all things social, digital, media, journalism and iPhone! Plus there are plenty of opportunities for work placements – Grimsby Telegraph, BBC Hull (Look North and Radio Humberside), Seven TV – all of whom have employed ex students too.

As people start to go into clearing then if you have 240 UCAS points then apply for this course. Our external examiner  Chris Walton, Project Editor of the BBC College of Journalism recently said at an exam board that this course prepares students to hit the ground running. As he called them, they’re oven ready! So if you want to learn the skills to become oven ready then give us a call!

Call 01472 311222  for more information and an application form.

The Grimsby Institute, Nuns Corner, GrimsbyLincolnshire Wolds

Riverhead, Grimsby

St James Minster, Grimsby

Test driving

I had an opportunity recently to go on a test drive. To put you in the picture, the snow and chaos surrounding it  in December, made me revisit my aspiration of having a 4×4. One, I need one, having two dogs and a horse. The bad weather proved I did, as anyone owning a horse knows you have to be there day and night, no matter what the weather and my car just wasn’t up to driving through inches of snow.

So through the power of Twitter, after having made a few comments about snow driving and being pulled out of snow drifts by tractors, @jamesbt_uk made contact. He’s the Centre Principal of Listers Toyota (Lincoln) and a lovely chap. He offered me the chance to come drive a Rav 4 and see what I thought of it. The other vehicle I’d considered was the Landrover Freelander, but I had heard too many negative comments about them, which put me off. Sorry Landrover – though I do hear the recent models are not so problematic!

After a few phone calls, I found myself over the Christmas period in Lincoln. I have to say I was nervous. The vehicle was an automatic and I’d not driven one of those for ten years and it was a very expensive vehicle. I’m not used to driving prestige cars that cost around £26,000! I had nothing to fear. The team were fantastic, in particular Charlie, who answered my questions and showed me round the vehicle, before it was my turn. I had this vehicle for the day and what a treat!

I have to say it handled beautifully in the city and in the countryside and was a very quiet, comfortable ride. I was bowled over by it. If I were a motoring journalist I’d be talking about its horse power and how it rolls or whatever. I can tell you I loved the back seats, which moved. So if you had a leggy back passenger or needed more room in the boot it was ideal. Also you had 80 litres of additional stowage under the boot carpet/floor and at a flick of a button, the back seats folded flat. Very handy as I hate having to climb into the back of the car and remove headrests and fiddle about lowering rear seats. In the front there was a nifty glove box, which also acted as a cool box – handy for your lipstick! I don’t like lipstick when it melts. One thing I forgot to mention is its intelligent all wheel drive, which I believe means that it detects what surface you’re on and shifts accordingly into four wheel or “normal” drive. Oh and it had headlights and wipers, which came on automatically and had many other cool features, including heated front seats, which impressed my passenger.

I have to say it is on my wish list – not a new one, but definitely a second-hand one. Now you’re probably wondering what has test driving a Rav 4 got to do with East Coast Media and journalism? It’s all to do with that word “test drive”.

Before signing up for any degree course, you need to get a feel for what it is you’re going into and signing up for. Ensure that the degree is what you want to do. Do you really want to be a journalist? Where do you see yourself in five years time? Who do you aspire to work for?

Talk to tutors, meet current students and if the institution has an open day, go visit and look round. Do you envisage yourself living there for three years? Do you like the place? Do the staff have industry experience? What type of equipment will you be expected to use? Do you get your hands on the equipment? Some places, students don’t actually get to use equipment or very rarely see it. Ask questions, as many as you can. Find out about the course and what they offer to deliver. If there is a chance to do a “test drive”, ie go on a taster day, then do it. Unless you try, you’ll never know whether it is for you.

You don’t want to end up making an expensive mistake and regretting the choice you made later. So look out for taster days at East Coast Media. I’ve been going into schools and working with A level students on multi-platform journalism “test drives”. I’ll blog about these, so you can see the type of things we do.

Don’t forget for more information on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree at East Coast Media contact 01472 315550 or e-mail

The new RAV 4, XTR AWD 2.2D-4D

PS. Here’s the new RAV 4, which I had the opportunity to drive. For more information on the RAV here’s the link and for information on Listers at Lincoln

By the way, just in case you want to know, interesting fact: RAV 4 stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 wheel drive

PPS. I added some extra detail about the vehicle, for those that might, by chance, think this is a motoring blog!

YouTube Channel

Check out my YouTube channel if you get chance on here you will find work I have produced over the years for the Grimsby Telegraph and Seven, broadcast on VirginMedia 879.

You will also find material I have shot on my iPhone as when I’m out and something catches my eye I will capture it. You’ll also find on there other films, which I have not shot. They belong to my son who likes to experiment and make his own films!

I also encourage all my students to set up their own channel as it is a great way of collating and showcasing your work, especially when you can link it to your blog and your social media accounts.


Well I have finally purchased an iphone and am now working it out. This blog will be probably short as the downside to on a small keypad is finger ache! However, so far I am impressed by the iPhone 4. The more I use it the better I get. The multi app tool is great and the camera is great. Have not tried the video yet, but pic quality is impressive. Will try it out later. I can not compare it to previous models as this is my first. Apple have done it again and hope to use the phone to its full potential. Will report back later. So far it has the thumbs up.