UCAS 240

Anyone applying for the BA Multi-Platform Journalism programme at University Centre Grimsby needs to have 240 UCAS points or above. Applications will be considered from mature applicants. The main things that tutors are looking for are:

  • Passion for journalism
  • Interest in current affairs
  • Wide reading and viewing of news
  • Interest of things going on around you
  • Motivation and hunger for the subject
  • Some prior media experience
  • Interest in technology
  • Ability to write and communicate

Anyone interested then please contact 01472 311222 and ask for Dawn Beales, HE Administrator.


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

BJTC Accreditation

The course has been declared one of the best in the UK offering multi-platform journalism according to the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

The BJTC panel visited us a fortnight ago and were bowled over by the facilities and the work the students were producing on the day.

Year 1 worked alongside Year 3 on a multi-platform news day. There were students producing a radio programme, which went out on livestream (GIFHE Radio). It included bulletins and packages as well as guests dropping by. The TV group were producing 60 second bulletins and then the online group were writing content for the web.

Alongside these were the social media group following each production area and tweeting and podcasting about the news content as well as about the crews.

It was an extremely stressful day. Some students seemed to be like ducks in water and were natural, while others seemed to flounder a bit. The realisation that this is their future career seemed a big factor. Newsrooms work like clockwork when people all pull together and do their bit to contribute. It’s about a work ethic and thinking on your feet. There is no time to sit around in the newsroom watching YouTube or being on Facebook for fun. One cog stopping working has a knock-on effect for the entire team.

It was great to see them work and work hard and let’s hope they go onwards and upwards. The more they practice this, the better they become.

It was a great achievement for all involved!

Students producing the radio programme

Multi-Platform Journalism

Tomorrow is the big day. For tomorrow we begin teaching in the University Centre as it is finally finished.

It looks impressive – it is modern, light and smells new. It also features some great pieces of kit in the media department.

We have a Tricaster studio which can be used for recording the news and creating a virtual set, as well as using for motion capture. There is also a soft news studio and a radio studio.

In the multi-platform production newsroom the students have access to ENPS – essential news production system – used by journalists in most major newsrooms and the PA newswire (Press Association).

Students will be using Nagra, Tascam and ipod touches to create audio content and Sony Z1 and also the latest Sony solid state memory recording cameras – Sony EX3.

Practical application of skills will see journalism students working on a daily video news bulletin for Seven TV and a half hour weekly news roundup as well as producing content for radio programmes.

It’s exciting times for students on the BA Multi-Platform Journalism degree and seeing as it’s UCAS time anyone considering journalism should consider our course.

Call 01472 315550 for more information.

Radio studio

The radio studio

The soft TV news studio with the multi-platform production room behind

The Tricaster TV studio

Another academic year

Last week the first years on the Multi-Platform Journalism degree met each other for the first time.

There are 15 and a mix of ages, abilities, backgrounds and gender – though males tend to outnumber females (for the first time ever).

As part of their induction I set them some tasks. They were to split into two groups and go into Grimsby and do a number of things – find people to interview about their town; find people to interview about their job. They were to take photos of themselves at various locations and find and research other information too.

it was a test of their ability to work as a group, as well as their ability to find things out and go up to strangers and interview them.

The group was nervous but came back all smiles and even managed to get an extra story – a fire at the local Somerfield, which even though it turned out to be nothing, they got interviews and photos. This was fantastic.

So I’d thought I’d share these first writings from them and the photos they took. I’ve not edited a thing but pasted them here  for all to see. Remember these people have not yet had any training on how to be a journalist or how to write like one. I just wanted to get down what they’d done, and follow that progression over the year. In the next blog, you will see the re-written pieces as I get them to work on them and polish them.

1. Interview with Andrew Daniels, Co-ordinator for landscaping Gardening speaks about working and living in Grimsby. By Jake French

Jake French- First of all what is your name?

Andrew Daniels- My name is Andrew Daniels.

Jake French- and what is your job here at Floral Hall?

Andrew Daniels- Well we are actually just, helping out doing some temporary work for them. I am actually from Grimsby Institute like yourself, and I am the Co-ordinator for the department, Landscape gardening

Jake French-So what other places do you work in for your department?

Andrew Daniels- We also work at Nunsthorpe campus and Kenwick in Louth.

Jake French- And do you enjoy what you do?

Andrew Daniels- Yes, the job is always varied we get a lot of different places to work and I like working with the students.

Jake French- Thanks for your time.

2.  By Dan Kemp

Shoppers were evacuated from a store in Grimsby yesterday as local fire services rushed to the scene.

Emergency services were called out to the Somerfield store on Osborne Street in Grimsby town centre at around 12:45pm yesterday lunchtime. Following an evacuation from the store, all staff members as well as all customers were left waiting outside not knowing when they could return inside. One local shopper commented “I paid for parking and now I can’t even go shopping!”

Along with two fire engines, the local fire chief was also in attendance to oversee the operation however their response time was hampered by the one way system enforced within the town centre. This meant that the fire engines almost passed the store prior to turning around and heading back for the stores car park. The fire produced no casualties but we still await the cause.

3. By Andrew Parker

Ian, a local fish merchant who used his redundancy payment over twenty years ago to start his mobile business after being laid off unexpectedly, after a career building caravans, insists that the country is still in love with Grimsby fish.

“ It is still rated as the best fish there is, the southerners just can’t get enough of it!”, he said.

Ian, who only sells in the south of England and always has done, went on to say that his business has been the making of him and his family and after the shock of redundancy, was an absolute blessing in disguise. He still enjoys his job and, as he was finished for the week today after picking up his fish load early this week, said that the few days away were more than made up for by the extra quality-time his occupation allowed him to spend with his family.

4. By Andrew Parker

A faulty fluorescent light in a Grimsby store today tested the emergency evacuation procedures of Somerfield supermarket and it’s neighbouring businesses when a smoke detector activated the store’s fire warning alarms.  All staff followed their fire warden’s instructions to leave the premises according to company procedures and were assembled at the relevent rendevous points whilst the fire service attended the incident with two tenders and entered Somerfield with one precautionary firehose.

Later the emergency services advised store management that a qualified industrial electrician would be required to provide advice and possible repair.

Staff at the assembly points reported that there was no panic and the evacuations went according to plan.

Shoppers evacuated from Grimsby's Somerfield store

Humberside Fire Brigade attending the fire at Somerfield, Grimsby

Top Tips to get on a degree

I wrote this blog nearly a year ago and thought I would revisit it. As term nears its end for many about to go into their final year at comprehensive, thoughts will start to turn to life beyond and university and degrees.

2012 will be an interesting year for many universities as course fees will have risen dramatically.

Here are some top tips if you’re thinking of applying for a journalism programme.

I invite all applicants for an interview, as I believe people deserve a chance and it’s a great way to meet them face to face to find out what they’re like and how they respond. Not all, however, get a place on the course and many are rejected for various reasons. For some, it ‘s simply not being able to convey themselves and use English to a high level, for others it’s because they don;t show any interest or passion for the subject. Some can’t even discuss why they like a particular news programme. Most often an answer is “because it’s on”.

Journalism is about writing and being able to tell a story in a variety of ways that actually engages an audience.

You’d be surprised at how many applications I read that are not well written or constructed. Do these people actually read through their work to check for errors and to ensure it flows and reads well?  While I write this blog, I am constantly reading it and re-reading it and changing things. I am never satisfied and take pride in my work. So first tip is to have an idea of what you want to say and construct it so it makes sense. Tip two, check for spelling and grammatical errors. So many applicants use lower case i, instead of I. It’s lazy and sloppy.

Don’t lie on your form. Be honest. You should be demonstrating why you deserve a place on a university programme. Journalism degrees are popular. You will be competing against many people. Look at what you have done while at school or college, which makes you stand out. Have you done work experience at a newspaper or radio station? Have you contributed to a school newspaper? Helped produce a community newsletter? Examples like this show your enthusiasm and passion in the subject. Simply saying you’ve always wanted to be a journalist, without being to able to show some determination, in my opinion, is not good enough. It shows you have commitment and a strong interest in the subject and will stand you out amongst thousands.

Another important thing, is ensure you have the grades to get you on the programme. There is no point in applying to a course that you will not get on to. I have had applicants send in forms and they clearly have not got enough UCAS points. Also ensure that you have met the entry requirements and if it says GSCE English at Grade C or above, don’t apply if you have it at D or not at all. With me these people get a letter recommending what they need to do. Many never come back, as they were not serious about getting on the course in the first place.

Also, if journalism is your subject, then demonstrate you read more than the local newspaper. While the local newspaper is good, demonstrating that you read other papers or magazines shows you take an interest. The same goes for TV and radio. If pressed, could you tell the interviewer why you like one programme or publication above another? Understand what journalism is and find out what a journalist’s role is. So many still come in talking about print journalism. They fail to realise (and this is probably because they’ve never looked) that print journalists use video to produce content for the web. So at least show you have a basic understanding of the career pathway you’re choosing.

These are some of the key issues. The next stage is when you get invited in for an interview and assessment.

So to recap on my top tips:

Tip 1 – Have an idea of what you want to say and construct it so it makes sense

Tip 2 – Check for spelling and grammatical errors

Tip 3 – Get involved with publications or writing while at school or college

Tip 4 – Ensure you have the grades

Tip 5 – Have a strong interest in journalism

Tip 6 – Understand what journalism is about

For more information on courses at East Coast Media call 01472 315550.