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.

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New Semester

I know summer is over as a new semester and academic year is about to start. Autumn is on its way and winter too. But never mind it’s exciting.

Second years have progressed into their final year – how quick that’s flown and we have a new group about to start. They’ll come in all fresh and eager to learn. The group keeps growing too as I’ve been fielding clearing enquiries this morning, so if anyone wants a place there’s a few remaining!

Year 3 group next week will be appearing at the Linc Up Live event organised by Glenn Le Santo and Celia Lacey and their partnership. The students will be involved with live blogging.

Then the newbies will be reviewing a play at the Caxton Theatre  in Grimsby in October and hopefully will have more of a similar ilk. Then there’s all the local TV work to do including daily news bulletins that all year groups will be involved with. This is part of Seven’s bid for the Yorkshire and Humber region for Jeremy Hunt’s national TV schedule.

And then come June/July it’s the Lincolnshire Show and Waddington Airshow for TV, podcasts, social media and then I know it’s the summer and there’s a break before it all starts again!

Waddington Airshow and the power of Twitter

Seven TV recently asked me to present their special from the RAF Waddington Airshow this year. Now I’ve done this job, for at least the last eight years, and for the first time last year was able to tweet from the event.

This year I was tweeting away and again was able to meet up with some fellow tweeters – @RAFBBMF – now they’d organised a tweet meet at their stand and I was then able to go international and interview @Alvarito who had come all the way from Madrid, Spain. Some of the others chickened out from being interviewed (they know who they are!).

Once again it shows the power of Twitter and I’ve been fortunate in the last two weeks to meet more of the people I’ve engaged with on there. It’s a great way to engage with people and even better when you meet them in the flesh.

Here's me interviewing @Alvarito at RAF Waddington

Multi-Platform Journalism team

East Coast Media’s journalism team are industry practitioners, something which is vital to know when deciding what course you wish to take at university.

Programme Leader, Emma Lingard, has worked in journalism for the last 20 years. From newspapers to radio and television to online, she has been there and done it. Alongside running the BA (Hons) Multi-Platform Journalism degree at East Coast Media (GIFHE) she also spends time working in industry as part of continuous professional development. She can be found in the newsroom of the Grimsby Telegraph producing video content for their website, as well as writing articles. Emma is also a keen advocate of social media, especially Twitter (@rosereiki, @eastcoastmedia) and blogging. She was also responsible for helping train the first batch of print journalists into VJs for the Press Association alongside David Dunkley-Gymiah.

She also works on TV programmes,which are broadcast on virginmedia. She recently presented a studio discussion programme called The People’s Jury and has spent the summer covering some of the big events for broadcast later this summer. For many years she fronted a programme about the history of Lincolnshire’s villages called Lingard’s Lincolnshire Rambles and has produced some one-off documentaries, Spotlight on Spurn, To the Manor Reborn.

Also teaching on the degree are Fiona Young, who worked with Emma at the Grimsby Telegraph in the 90s, before moving on to the Press Association. Fiona is our media law tutor. The latest recruits to the team are Ian Barnsley, who came to us from the Lincolnshire Echo and Hugh Riches, who is an ex postgraduate student of ECM and a published journalist. Teaching radio, we have ex-BBC Lincolnshire reporter, Chris Jones and Andy Wilkins delivers our online modules.

We’re always looking for people to add to our teaching list and regularly invite guest lecturers in. In the past we have had people deliver workshops on online writing, video journalism, etc, so get in touch on 01472 315550.

Getting through clearing

It’s that time of year when many youngsters will be awaiting their grades. Will it be enough to get them on to the course of their choice? If not, what will happen and what can they can do about it?

If you haven’t achieved the grades to match the UCAS points for the course, there are various options you can take, so don’t feel it’s the end of the world (I know easy enough for me to say!).

UCAS clearing (http://www.hotcourses.com/clearing-2010/clearing-houses-clearing-help/16180339/news.html) is where you need to go. For those unable to get on their first choice, then clearing offers places on courses who have vacancies.

According to the news release (see link above) there are around 35,000 people every year who go through this system. There is hope for those. Getting on your first choice is competitive, but if it doesn’t happen, know you still have a chance of getting a place.

So once you get to clearing you’ll need to know make a decision about what course you’d like to apply for and where in the country you want to go. If it’s journalism then look no further than East Coast Media. Based at the Grimsby Institute, we are one of 22 Skillset Media Academies in the UK. This is a badge of excellence.

From September 2010 the BA (Hons) Multi-Platform Journalism degree will run. This is exciting, as there are very few programmes in the UK offering this. It has been written with assistance from industry to deliver graduates with the right skills and training.

The world of journalism has changed. Journalists are now expected to take photos, shoot and edit video, create audio packages – not only for traditional platforms but for online. This is bi-media, tri-media, whatever you want to label it and if you want to get a break into journalism, then you need to embrace this now.

At East Coast Media you will get the skills and knowledge to develop. There’ll be opportunities for work placements within the broadcast and newspaper industry. You’ll work alongside industry professionals and create real work for publication/broadcast as opposed to simulations. You’ll be encouraged to be creative and have ideas for 360 degree platforms. Recent students have worked on pilot television programmes with East Coast Pictures, an independent production company led by Julia Thompson,  former Director of Sony Entertainment UK. Those students also had to produce content for online and act as researchers, reporters, etc. It gave them real experience of working on a TV programme.

Tutors on the course are all industry practitioners, so you’re in good hands there and the course has excellent work placement relations with some big companies. You can expect your tutor to get to know you personally, rather than being a face among hundreds. This means that you do get one to one assistance and probably feel more valued.

So if it’s a career in journalism you wish to pursue and you’re passionate about it and motivated to do what you can to go far, then come to East Coast Media.

We will want to talk to you to find out why you want to the course and find out if you have the passion and motivation needed. Remember, ask us questions too. We will interview you and you’ll also have to sit an assessment test on the day and there is a written task to do as well. This thorough application process is to ensure you’re suited for the programme – we don’t just give places out to anyone. We need to know that you are right for the course, as much as we’re right for you. It’s all about quality on both parts.

If you know someone who is in this position and wants to do journalism then tell them about this blog. Follow @eastcoastmedia on Twitter. Maybe we’ll see you soon!

Tips to getting onto a journalism course

Here are some top tips if you’re thinking of applying for a journalism programme. I receive many applications and read through all of them.

Some applications are better than others, but all are invited for 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. 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. I’ll save that for another time.

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.