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.


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

To be a published author

After years of working as a journalist and in the academic world I finally have  a book, which will be published sometime after October 2011.

The book has nothing to do with journalism, but is all about how the streets of Grimsby got their names. History is something I am passionately interested in and always have been. My father is, I suppose, a military historian of some sorts. His business makes buildings and accessories for the wargaming market – think tiny soldiers and grown men re-enacting the Battle of Waterloo or some Western epic. I’ve grown up on a diet of Napoleon, Wellington, Blücher, the date of the battle is engrained in my memory (it’s June 18th 1815 if you didn’t know) and it rained.

Every childhood holiday involved going round buildings to look at the architecture and details, so my father could make them. We even visited Waterloo and it saddened him to see the state of disrepair it was in – the buildings that is – Hougoumont being the special one. Anyway, as a result of my upbringing I was fascinated with history – dates, battles, lifestyles, culture. I would digest anything to fulfill my hunger for that subject. If I hadn’t have become a journalist I would have gone into historical research or archaeology (maybe there’s still time!).

As a result of this I decided to write a book about how the streets of my town got their name. Blow me only the other year, Dr Alan Dowling brought one about Cleethorpes, so I had to pursue mine. The publishers agreed to take on the book as a sister companion to Dr Dowling’s. I am 9,000 words short of my target and finishing off the research on the last few streets and writing the introduction.

I am also in the process of photographing some of the streets and looking for old images of others. This project brings together my writing and research skills and means I get a book published. Woohoo! You know what all friends and family will be getting as a presents! My deadline is the end of October and the book will be published anytime after that. Be prepared I may be in a bookshop near you doing a signing, so do pop in and say hello if you see me.

[Street Names of Grimsby to be published later this year]

Industry interviews

I have done other interviews this week with more of our amazing and talented industry guests. Dougal Wilson, is a great guy, who directs short films, commercials and music videos.  He has won numerous awards for his work and was the man who directed the John Lewis, ‘Always a Woman’ commercial. Hear his interview Dougal Wilson interview .

BBC Writers’ Room paid us a visit and I caught up with Jo Combes to find out more about their work and what they look for in a script writer – Jo Combes interview .

And then one of my Year 2 Nat Dip Level 3 Print and Publishing students interviewed Robin Small about the Royal Television Society (RTS). Listen to her interview here Robin Small interview

Look out for an interview with script editor, Susan Everett, coming soon!

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 ( 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!

We would HAVE

In light of my blog yesterday on spelling and being able to write correctly, a colleague has just shown me an e-mail sent by a company director.

While it was well written, there was one huge error. They had written, “we would of” instead of “we would have“. Why do people constantly say or write this ” would of”? I think  they should write the correct version out 100 times until they remember – WE WOULD HAVE, WE WOULD HAVE, WE WOULD HAVE!

I know this sounds like grumpy old grandma, but come on, I’m sure you were not taught to write like that at school.

Writing – why it’s important to spell

if i produced some writing that was poorly composed and had lots of spelling mistakes and errors in it then i am shure many people would think  i cud not do my job properly and it wud b a reflection on me as a person. Do you agree?

So, tell me this. Why do a majority of youngsters think it is acceptable to write e-mails, blogs and occasionally academic work, doing all the things I did wrong in the opening paragraph? It is a real bug bear of mine to read work with lower case i. Are they so lazy that they cannot capitalise that one word? Also why do they not read through their work – not once, but maybe two or three times to ensure it is free from errors? Again it is laziness. Some have a real phobia of doing anything which resembles work.

As I rant and rave over this, my students tend to be good, but there are one or two whose work I have read that resembles laziness. In particular their e-mails and personal blogs. Listen to one who has been there and done it and received the t-shirt: writing correctly and following the rules for grammar and punctuation is a huge reflection on you as a person. If done correctly, it shows you are educated, which tells people you are intelligent and can communicate. Reading through and checking for errors shows you are a stickler and are thorough. If you are unsure then read a dictionary – do not rely on spell check. Sign up for extra classes, anything which helps you improve.

And this is extremely important for anyone intending to go into journalism as a career. If you can not articulate and communicate your thoughts and write coherently, then think about what you need to do to help yourself progress.

Being able to write and speak correctly, is the same as the perceptions people have about us when they first meet us. That first few seconds taking in what you’re wearing and how you shake hands, that is important. I recently read a blog by the Stylish Group about image and profile photographs on people’s social media pages. It’s an interesting read and gives some food for thought if your social media page is also promoting your business.

So image and is important and is key to getting on. It reflects on you as a person: what you say, what you wear, how you behave. Think about it as first impressions count.