From the horse’s mouth – Journalism testimonials

You can read testimonials about the Multi-Platform Journalism programme from our industry partners and graduates here.

Here’s the latest one from Cleethorpes Chronicle Editor, Nigel Lowther. He employed student Sam Blake, while she was she in the second year of her journalism degree and she has now graduated.

“I’m pleased to write a few words about Samantha Blake, who has just completed her journalism degree at Grimsby Institute.

Somehow, she has also managed to juggle a full-time role at the Cleethorpes Chronicle, which has, hopefully, complimented what she has been learning on the course.

Sam is a pleasure to manage and a vital part of a small team. Sam is, actually, our only full-time permanent employee in the editorial team. Those who work with her are experienced, part-time staff.

She has a huge amount of responsibility. She has generated news stories off her own back – an important feature of the job – and is hard working and incredibly reliable.

With the college course and jobs during the evening and at the weekend, she has had to be very organised in her time management and flexible.

Sam’s very much a public face of the Chronicle, representing us with great professionalism in the local community. The course has been important to her development and proved most beneficial.”

For more information on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism visit our website or call 01472 315550 and ask to speak to Emma Lingard, Programme Leader.




Preparation for the reality of the newsroom

Lucy Wood, news editor, at the Grimsby Telegraph has written this in support of the BA Multi-Platform Newsroom and it’s refreshing to hear that what we do here at East Coast Media is ground breaking and good for our students. Take a look –

“The Grimsby Telegraph entered into a ground-breaking partnership with the Grimsby Institute last year  – believed to be the first in the country to give media students long-term hands-on experiences of working in a busy newsroom.

Since then, the benefits have worked both ways.

We at the Telegraph have benefited from having a team of keen young people, eager to represent the company – effectively doubling our staff. It has meant we’ve been able to attend some events we would normally have to scrap.

It is also great to be in a position to offer such experience – I certainly could have done with it while I was still in education. It gives you an honest, no-holds-barred introduction to working in a newsroom – and prepares you for the reality of being a regional journalist.

We have seen the students develop – they are certainly braver and less shy than they were initially, and they have produced some interesting features for the Telegraph and our website which, I hope, they have enjoyed.

It’s all well and good learning in an academic environment, but students today need as much hands-on experience as they can get – not only for their course and portfolio, but to secure jobs following graduation.”

Lucy Wood, news editor, Grimsby Telegraph.

Live Assessment Day

Live Assessment Days are going well. The students are incredibly nervous at being observed, but agree it’s the best way to do it. They are being assessed on not only their professionalism in doing the job, but also how they work as a team and the content they produce.

On arriving in the newsroom, Lucy Wood, news editor, gives them their jobs or in some cases, students have generated their own ideas. I watch and make notes on every aspect. For those who have done NVQ, whereby the assessor observes and questions you, it’s the same process. And it works really well, even on a degree.

It’s the only way to really say the students can do the job, by first hand observation and questioning. To back it up they also produce a portfolio of their work from the year and write an evaluation to critically assess themselves and their colleagues. I know they are capable and this proves it to me and once it’s done, that’s it.

Industry Partnership – Grimsby Telegraph

As some of you may know Year 2 students on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree at East Coast Media have been spending a day and a half a week in the newsroom at the Grimsby Telegraph producing content for the web.

It’s been a steep learning curve, going from sitting in class practicing and learning theory to being thrown into a REAL newsroom and expecting to go out in the area and find stories. Some have achieved a lot, while others are taking their time. I’m meeting News Editor, Lucy Wood, next week to discuss what’s worked and what will be done differently this semester. I will post you the verdict!

I think one of the big things for many is confidence. There seems to be a lack of it, in their ability to be able to do things, such as pick up the phone and talk to people or go into a shop and start chatting to strangers about what’s happening. They need encouragement and praise. It’s about nurturing them and making them believe in themselves and their ability to do the work. I have every faith in them and know they are capable, they need to believe it and trust in me! I wouldn’t ask them to do it, if I didn’t think they were capable.

Look out next week for an interview with Lucy Wood and I’ll post an interview with my students too about their experience.

Industry Partnerships

Students at East Coast Media are fortunate that the department has good industry contacts. Over the years journalism students have done work placements at BBC Hull and the Grimsby Telegraph on a regular basis.

The partnership with the local newspaper has now gone one step further. Final year students have always gone in for two to three weeks as part of one of their modules, but for the first time second year students are going in, but they are working in the newsroom for a day and a half for a year.

The reason for this is for them to gain hands-on practical experience of life in a newsroom. To work alongside the professionals and get to understand how the newsroom operates. The students are working as patch reporters. In small groups they have been given three patches. It gives them the confidence and the experience to go and talk to people and find stories at grass roots level and it gives the newsroom extra pairs of hands. And if lucky, their stories will be published, not only in the paper but also online.

The module they are being assessed on is called Multi-Platform Newsroom, so the students have to find stories and then translate them into different formats – online copy, photos, video and audio. They already have a website that they have been working on since October to showcase their work and talents for assessment purposes Any work gathered for the newspaper will be published there first before going on to this site.

This is exciting for all concerned and while some out there may grumble about “working for free”, this is the only way these students are going to be able to get the practical, hands-on experience. It is not just about sitting in the lecture theatre reading books and taking notes. It is about getting into the real world and for someone to let go of your hand and push you forwards.

Their first half day was spent in two groups walking down the length of Freeman Street (once the grand entrance to the fish docks and sadly now a run-down area) talking to traders and shoppers for the sole purpose of making contacts, getting a feel for the place and finding stories.

Somehow the groups had split into male/female. The latter, I have to say, found five stories, while the boys found three. The competitive streak was very evident! They were sent out with notebooks and pads and had 1.5 hours to uncover things. The News Editor, Lucy Wood, already knew of three big stories down there and wanted to see if the groups would come across them (I have to say they did uncover two of them).

I followed the groups to see how they were performing and to prompt when necessary. The boys I lost in Foresight, but I managed to catch up with the girls who were in and out of shops introducing themselves. I had to give one or two prompts with interview techniques, but it probably did not help having your tutor breathing down your neck or knowing she’s hiding in the shop listening to you.

Everyone they met was friendly and approachable, which I think surprised some of them. They’ve made their first contacts and many traders invited them to come back and speak to them next week. Those first tentative outings will form lasting contacts (hopefully).

Then it was back to the newsroom and the story writing process began. They also started to think about pictures to accompany their pieces and how they would cover it for a podcast and video. Deadlines are real and there’s no hoping the story will disappear if you’ve forgotten to ask someone their name – they’ve realised that one. “Phone them up” I’m saying.

I’ll keep you updated on this experience and you can follow their antics on twitter @rosereiki or @eastcoastmedia. We’re lucky that the News Editor is very enthusiastic about this project and she’s also very keen to enhance the opportunities online with audio and video content.