Headlines issue 4 February 2019

Page 1

Head lines Journalism Alumni Magazine 2018/2019


Reporting from Brussels Life on the Daily Mail ‘I launched my own magazine’



Welcome to the fourth edition of Headlines magazine with more tales of our fantastic alumni making their way in the media world. The JMU Journalism family is flourishing, making us proud to have played a part in launching so many brilliant careers – and even a wedding (page 27). The following pages include stories from grad-

uates working in Europe and around the UK as reporters, editors, broadcasters and public relations specialists. There is also news of an important remembrance project our current students are working on with the Police Memorial Trust. We hope you enjoy this edition – written, produced and designed by our talented final year students.

CONTENTS... 3 Memorial honour 4 The Brussels beat 6 Mail order 7 Radio times 8 Island adventure 10 Life in publishing 12 Boxing clever 13 Great move 14 Stage lights 16 Freedom writer 17 Shorthand star 22

Jackie Newton, Head of the Journalism department


18 Good sports 20 Meet the newshounds 22 Charity first 23 Taking on the world 24 Courting success 25 Winning ways 27 Wedding bells



Honouring heroes


Students chosen for police tribute

ournalism students at Liverpool John Moores University have been chosen to work in partnership with the Police Memorial Trust on a lasting tribute to officers and staff who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The new UK Police Memorial will be built at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire and inscribed with the names of more than 1,400 police officers and staff who were killed on duty through violence or protecting the public. There will also be a digital record that tells the story of policing and those behind the badge who tragically paid with their lives and it is this element of the project that journalism students are helping to produce with recorded interviews. Broadcast lecturer Shirley Lewis said: “The students have been working incredibly hard on this project interviewing the families, friends and colleagues of police officers who have lost their lives. We were honoured to be asked to

LJMU journalism student Joe Maude meets Wayne Marques, a police officer involved in the London Bridge attacks. work with the UK Police Memorial and the students’ professionalism has justified their faith in us.” Speaking at the House of Commons launch of the memorial, which was attended by Journalism students, was Sir Hugh Orde, the former president of the Association

of Chief Police officers. He said: “The most important people are the families of those who sacrificed their lives and that has always been a focus of the memorial.” You can see the students’ work at www.ukpolicememorial.com

Headlines is written and produced by Journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University Liam Plumbley Harry Leahey Nick Ware Sean Whelan David Haycocks Chloe Smith Jake O’Neill Emma Fegan


Reporting from Brussels ‘I’ve always enjoyed politics and I’ve always been very interested in it. I generally like the challenge, it’s nice to be out of your comfort zone’

Joe Barnes, Brussels correspondent, Daily Express


eporting from the very heart of the European Union, 2013 graduate Joe Barnes spends his days chasing down senior politicians around the EU parliament and attending press conferences with major party leaders.

As Brussels correspondent for the Daily Express, Joe’s working life is frantic. But when he’s not reporting from the narrow parliamentary corridors in Brussels, Joe enjoys being “native” in the Belgian city, relishing everything the city has to

offer, including the food, drink and culture. He said: “I’ve always enjoyed politics and I’ve always been very interested in it. I generally like the challenge, it’s a good one to have on your CV and it’s nice to be out of your comfort zone.


“Working in London between the office and Westminster, it’s quite easy to do. But to come out here, where I knew nobody apart from the odd reporter who I had worked with before on other papers, I thought it would be a challenge and an opportunity to make some new contacts.” Before the opportunity came about, Joe began living the dream as a sports reporter, writing sports interviews and sport features for various men’s magazines. However, in the background was his awareness of politics and current affairs. Having a keen interest in this area, Joe decided to push himself further and take the job as Brussels correspondent when he later joined the Daily Express. Now judging political reporting to be a more interesting specialism than sport, Joe said: “I’m not too much interested in general news, I like to have a specialism of some sort, and politics and Brexit being my specialism at the moment gives me something to mainly focus on.


ou can really get to grips with the knowledge and work out what’s going on, rather than just one minute writing about Brexit and then the next minute writing about a car crash or

Top: Joe Barnes, pictured holding a microphone, asks a question during a press conference ©Joe Barnes

a murder or a court case or something like that. I like to really be able to sink my teeth into a single subject.” Although enjoying what he does, Joe admits to sometimes suffering from ‘Brexit-fatigue’. “It does get tiresome when you’re writing about the same story every day and there’s nothing really new to talk about. But then that does bring its own challenges, because you then have to use your contacts

and sources to get a new angle and a new story.” Once Brexit has come and gone, Joe considers perhaps going on to report from America during elections or be an Asia correspondent. “I would also maybe like to go into war reporting. I’ve always found it fascinating and I’ve heard some cracking stories from people out here who have filed from Bosnia and Afghanistan , Syria and Iraq.”


Mail order

Picture: Amelia Heathman

Leigh McManus, reporter, Mail Online


eigh McManus rarely writes about the same thing twice. As general reporter for Mail Online he puts everything he learned from LJMU into practise, writing about a wide variety of subjects. He said: “One minute I could be doing a super-wide piece about 35,000 Elvis impersonators descending on a town in South Wales, then next minute breaking news about an incident via the latest Brexit news.” The job came about after he was accepted onto the highly competitive Mail Online graduate scheme.

However, what he’s doing now is completely different to what he was doing when he graduated back in 2016. Towards the end of the third-year rush, Leigh was scouted on the streets in London by a modelling agency. Having planned to go into journalism after graduating, it came as an unexpected turn of events. Leigh decided to put that plan on the back-burner for a while and ended up living the life as a professional full-time model for many desirable fashion brands. He said: “The bigger the brand, the less you lift a finger. I workedpredominantly for Gucci, catwalk

and e-commerce. “It was like being plunged into a new world. “One minute I’m petting my dog in Ireland and saying goodbye to my mum and sisters, next minute I’m chatting to Rio Ferdinand and meeting David Beckham.” However, after two years of living the high life, Leigh felt he had reached the pinnacle of his modelling career and eventually decided to return to his original writing ambitions. He admits working for the Mail is hard work, but worth the effort. “It becomes your life, but I’m definitely a lot more skilled for it.”


I’ve been on this patch for 14 years - but it’s always different


Becky Davis, News content editor, Radio City

ecky Davis could not wait to start her career with Radio City, so much so that she started to work full-time before she had even finished her degree. Chester-born Becky began her journalism career from a young age, making a small newspaper for her family at home. Since her graduation in 2004, Becky has become news content editor at Radio City, a station with 350,000 listeners per week. The 35-year-old originally

dreamed of working in the wardrobe department at Granada. Becky told Headlines: “From a young age, I had an interest in news. “What I love the most about journalism is that every day is different. “I have been on this patch for 14 years now so you do see the same kinds of things happening but it is always different.” Becky and her team were recognised in the O2 media awards for their coverage of the murder of Rhys Jones, the 11-year-old who

was shot while riding his bike in a pub car park. She said: “You are never over the moon to win the awards because you wish that these tragedies never happened in the first place. “There is an element of pride in being able to deliver the story in the way that the Jones family want it to be delivered. “The way that we are trusted to do that is a privilege.”

Awards glory turn to Page 25


Island Hopper Making the news for BBC Guernsey

Over to you: Rory, left, busy at work for BBC Guernsey

Rory O’Reilly

In control: Rory in the newsroom


t was a matter of biding his time for Rory O’Reilly after graduating in 2013. While waiting for his first break in the world of journalism, Rory was working full time at a marketing firm, before a friend alerted him to a freelance position at Cool FM, a local radio station in Belfast. Rory said: “I applied and ended up getting the position. “I would usually work at the weekends or evenings as the newsreader, reading two minute live bulletins on the hour, com-

prising all the local and national news as well as sport. “I continued on their freelance rota until I eventually applied for my current job.” In October 2017, Rory made the move to the Channel Islands, landing a journalist role at BBC Guernsey. He said: “My role is extremely varied, which is one of the reasons why I love what I do. It can range from reading the news, reporting, producing shows and deciding what we cover, to presenting programmes.


All smiles: The BBC Guernsey team “Also, I now produce our threehour flagship Breakfast programme on quite a regular basis. It’s a lot of work but you come away with a great end product that listeners really love.” Speaking of his time at LJMU, Rory told Headlines: “I look back at my three years at John Moores fondly. Liverpool is such a great city and the Journalism course was so instrumental in getting me to where I am at the moment. “The practicality of the course has really helped me. A lot of the software, editing programmes and cameras that we used are industry standard and I’ve come across them quite a bit since working in the media. “It’s a great course with amazing lecturers and I don’t think I’d be where I am without it.” Rory has plans to move into television in the future: “I think presenting is something that suits me. You’re able to inject a lot more personality into it. So maybe one day you might see my face in front of the camera!”

‘My role is extremely varied, which is one of the reasons I love what I do’

On the spot: Rory interviewing for BBC Guernsey


‘The hardest part of my job is fitting everything in but I love it!’


Kate Molyneux, Bloomsbury Publishers Kate with colleagues and, facing page, at work © Bloomsbury


ate Molyneux studied International Journalism at LJMU before graduating in 2013. But she didn’t go straight into her dream job of publishing - she went on her own journey first, which enabled her to build up her CV, gain more experience and learn valuable skills. Shortly after leaving university she launched her own smoothie business called ‘Pip Stop Smoothie’, and says it allowed her to learn “the most amazing things, which I would never have got from working for someone else”. A company from London became interested in her business and asked if they could buy it and relaunch it under a different name. Selling her business meant Kate

was able to take the money and finally set her sights on getting her ideal job. She continued to build up her CV by working at multiple jobs such as transcribing emergency calls and writing reports on incidents for the ambulance service as well as undertaking freelance work. Then suddenly, after working through those jobs, a receptionist role became available at Bloomsbury Publishing, which she successfully applied for. She said: “The receptionist role was the best thing I ever did. I met authors, agents and befriended some amazing and inspiring people.” Kate got the opportunity to perform a variety of tasks, which helped her get where she is today.

After her receptionist role, she applied for the job of assistant to the then-founder and CEO of Bloomsbury Publishing and is still enjoying her new career. She said: “The list of things I do is endless, some simple and many complex, but one of the best things is reading manuscripts and reporting on them, which I do for the CEO. “I love learning something new every day about the publishing industry - I also enjoy meeting and speaking with authors, from academic writers, to children’s book authors and people with PhDs. “And the best part is I love getting the free books!” she added. “I think the hardest part of my job is fitting everything in - but I do love it.”


Lewis, centre, with writer Connor Hutton, left, and designer Ryan Wilson

Knock out! Lewis Phillips-Calvert, Magazine publisher


ewis Phillips-Calvert has been a fan of boxing since the age of ten. It was the heavyweight clash between his namesake Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson in 2002 which first drew him in to the sport. His love for boxing grew and it was readily carried over to university. So when he graduated from LJMU in 2016, Lewis knew straight away what he wanted to do - and that was to write about boxing and report on the biggest fights. Lewis was awarded a grant from the LJMU Centre for Entrepreneurship to kick start the publishing of a boxing magazine. During his studies, Lewis had launched his own blog, Big Write Hook, and his first digital magazine went live in March 2017.

Fifteen digital issues were produced before the launch of his first and second printed editions which sold nationwide. Lewis cares greatly about the personal aspects of his work. He said: “I give every person who gets in touch the chance to write for us, regardless of ability.” The transition from student journalist to self-employed editor and writer was one that Lewis embraced with enthusiasm. He said: “In uni there are a lot of rules, and that’s a great base to learn from, but when it was just me and Ryan Wilson, the magazine designer who came on board, all the rules went out of the window! “Creating content was really fun, I’ve made some good mates and learned a lot of Photoshop and video editing skills.”

Big Write Hook magazine Visit Lewis’s website at www.bigwritehook.co.uk Twitter @BigWriteHook


Moving on up

Natasha Young, Editor, YM Liverpool


atasha Young graduated from LJMU over a decade ago. It was following this that she got a full-time role as a reporter at the Champion Newspapers series in Southport, where she spent five years in the editorial team. From there, she took the opportunity to move into magazines and she applied for a senior journalist role at Move Publishing, based in Liverpool. She has since worked her way up to deputy editor and now editor of YM Liverpool, which is distributed across the city. It was previously

known as Your Move Magazine but has been rebranded and renamed. The magazine is evolving - and so is a driven Natasha. Her current role means she manages the editorial content for YM Liverpool. Natasha says: “I write news and features and I oversee the work of Move Publishing’s editorial team to ensure that quality content is produced for our audiences across all platforms and that our deadlines are met. “It’s great to work in a creative role, always looking for new ideas to engage with our readers and

‘I’ve had the opportunity to tell a range of stories and interview a diverse mix of people’ provide content which is fresh and interesting. Working in journalism can also be really different from one day to the next, which keeps it interesting. I’ve had the opportunity to tell a range of stories and interview a diverse mix of people.”

Curtain Up! S

ince it first opened its doors in the 1960s, Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre has built a reputation for its ground-breaking productions and has a special place at the heart of the city’s arts scene. Managing that reputation is the job of LJMU Journalism Masters graduate Chris Wardle, 30, who is Press and PR manager for the Everyman and the Liverpool Playhouse. He said: “My job entails writing press releases for specific shows and writing about what we do here at the Everyman, on and off stage with the community. “We do much more than just what’s on stage at the Everyman & Playhouse. One of the best things is working with and supporting our Young Everyman Playhouse programme, which aims to develop the next generation of theatre makers. “Depending on the show, we will get a chance to speak to the actors and directors. “One that sticks in my head is having the musical The Last Ship at the Playhouse in 2018 – a show written by Sting. “At a press launch we held in the

Picture: Phillip Vile


Chris Wardle

Chris Wardle Press and PR manager run-up to the show I ended up interviewing Sting himself. Which was probably the best thing I’ve done in my dad’s eyes!” After his graduation in 2013, Chris went straight into work, landing himself a full-time job at the Royal Liverpool Hospital He said: “I was already working part-time at the Royal when I was studying. I was part of their com-

munications team. “When I graduated I managed to get myself a full-time job there. I was there for about four years until I applied for this job at the Everyman.” Speaking of his time at LJMU, Chris said: “With regard to doing a Masters, it was fantastic. The content of the course itself was great.”


The world is a stage for these LJMU graduates Natalie Townsend Digital Marketing Officer Natalie Townsend, right an interesting platform for our audience to enjoy. “This year The Grand is celebrating 125 years and I’m so excited to be a part of this milestone, a part of history.” Natalie added: “I found my time at university amazing. Liverpool is such an amazing, vibrant city and the opportunities were endless. I enjoyed all the practical work that I was good at, such as sourcing news stories and going out to report.”

Sean Co nboy

Digital Marketing Officer. “I had a little experience in marketing but thankfully a lot of experience in journalism, where the skills were transferable. “I love my job at The Grand, it’s an interesting job where no two days are the same. “Day to day I can be writing digital marketing plans, creating social posts and emails and creating content for both the website, such as our blogs and vlogs. “Attending workshops and conferences around the UK allows me to meet other people in my industry and learn and grow within my career. “And then there are days when I’m running around, photographing an interactive robot dinosaur in the middle of Blackpool to promote a show, or running around the theatre with a Fairy Godmother and a video camera. “I love the content creation side of my job and being free to build



atalie Townsend first visited Blackpool’s Grand Theatre to see a panto with her family when she was just seven. Fast forward 18 years and she is back – but this time as the theatre’s Digital Marketing Officer. She said: “It’s always been a family tradition to go to the panto every year, so it was a surreal feeling being on the other side 18 years later, marketing a show I’ve been coming to see for years and years. “Getting to see the whole setup process, from casting, script writing, sets being designed and brought in and rehearsals, truly was a magical moment.” After graduating in 2015, Natalie boarded a plane to New York and worked at a summer camp for three months. Once back in the UK, the keen photographer looked for her next career move. “I then ended up getting a job as a photographer at Blackpool Pleasure Beach for a couple of months and noticed a position come up for Blackpool’s Grand Theatre as a


Above: One of Lewis’s articles in Index on Censorship magazine Right: Lewis Jennings is a man on a mission

Writing for freedom L ewis Jennings is on a mission to give others a voice. After working as a call operator for Pete Price’s famed late night radio show in Liverpool, the 2017 graduate joined Index on Censorship, an award-winning organisation defending freedom of speech across the world. Lewis told Headlines: “Do you remember Ugly Betty? Well, I’m now her. Except swap fashion for freedom of expression. “Usually I will research, commission, and write articles for our magazine or website, interview people and sort out contracts.”

Lewis Jennings, Index on Censorship ‘It’s a rewarding experience to meet inspirational people and hear their stories’

Learning about how people in different walks of life are fighting to overcome their struggles has inspired Lewis. He said: “A highlight is getting to speak to people from around the world who work hard to make a difference. “For the latest issue I spoke to Liwaa Yazji, a phenomenal Syrian playwright who refuses to let an oppressive dictatorship get in the way of her writing. “I also talked to activist Ali Mushaima, who was on hunger strike to protest the inhumane treatment of his 70-year-old father wrongly serving a life sentence in Bahrain. “It’s a rewarding experience to

meet inspirational people and hear their stories,” he said. Lewis believes the realism of the course helped to quickly integrate himself into the world of journalism after his degree. He said: “LJMU really prepared me for a career in the media. “You learn so much about journalism and what it will be like to work in the real world as a journalist. “Newsdays are a good example, they are the closest simulation of a working newspaper environment you can get.” Lewis paid tribute to his lecturers. “Without LJMU I wouldn’t have all the opportunities I do now.”


Shorthand saviour

Picture: David Haycocks

Christy Biggar at work and, below, on Graduation Day

Christy Biggar, Shorthand specialist, Liverpool John Moores University


hen Christy Biggar was a LJMU Journalism student, she simply loved

shorthand. But little did she know that after spending three years learning about it inside the walls of the Redmonds Building, she would walk through the very same doors to begin teaching the subject as a lecturer. She is now on a mission to keep shorthand going strong. Although many journalism students can find it challenging, employers across the industry appreciate the skill, which makes it a useful talent to have. The 24-year-old from the Wirral was the first student in her class to get 80 words per minute in her

first year and 100 words per minute in her second, so it was probably written in advance that she would become a shorthand teacher. “It’s really nice to bring back to life something that people think is going out of style,” she said. Although the majority of students may be unable to picture working with their lecturers, Christy is an example of how things can go full circle. She said: “Those who helped you grow and learn you can lean on for support and it’s great really. “My favourite thing about the Journalism course is the staff, so it’s very nice to be working with them now and the facilities are great as well. It’s a nice place to work.”


Arild Skjæveland, LFC Norway Supporters Club


iverpool FC is synonymous with the city of Liverpool to many football-mad supporters around the globe, and this was no different with Arild Skjæveland. A Red from an early age, Arild travelled from his native Norway to study International Journalism at LJMU in 2010. With his three years on Merseyside further fuelling his love for the club, Arild headed back home, where he mixes his two greatest passions- Liverpool FC and journalism. Arild now works for the Norwegian Liverpool Supporters Club which, at a staggering 47,000 mem-

Arild Skjæveland

bers, is the biggest supporters club in Norway, dwarfing their great rivals Manchester United. Furthermore, their website racks up a staggering 12 million views a month. Arild told Headlines: “I am one of six people working full-time in the supporters club – five of us work as journalists. “We update the website and publish 15 articles daily, so there is enough to do even on days where there is no match on.” It’s not all plain sailing for Arild and his team, though. He said: “There is of course a downside. If Liverpool lose an important game, the last thing you want to deal with is the negativity

Arild and friends in Rome to see LFC in action

Picture © Vergard Grøtt

Driven by passion for the Reds in writing stories about how it happened and what’s gone wrong, as it’s more tempting to forget about it as a fan – but this year there haven’t been that many downs!” But what exactly is the best part of the job? The 2013 graduate said: “I guess it’s that I’m allowed to spend time doing something I would probably do even if it wasn’t my job. I have been travelling over to watch Liverpool quite a lot since my first visit in 2003. “I try to get to eight to 10 games every season. I have been to five this season – the last one was unfortunately the defeat to Manchester City, where it could have been a 10 point lead if we had won! “I try to travel over and stay for a few weeks a couple of times a year.”

‘I’m allowed to spend time doing something I would probably do even if it wasn’t my job’


‘Travelling to watch Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton take on their opponents in Belfast last August was a particular highlight’ A game of Gaelic football in action

© Donegal Daily

Shaun’s goal


Shaun Keenan Reporter, Donegal Daily

haun Keenan was expecting to take a well-earned break after graduating in the summer of 2018, before travelling the world. However, an opportunity arose that proved too hard to turn down. He told Headlines: “In August I saw a job advertisement for a Multimedia Reporter with a small website called Donegal Daily in Ireland. “I jumped at the opportunity and after a short interview process, which lasted two days, I got the call to say I’d got the job!

“My job is basically covering breaking news and sport, mostly, as well as working on my own stories.” Although only in its infancy, Shaun’s job has already seen him report on a range of sports, from Gaelic football to boxing. He said: “Travelling to watch Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton take on their respective opponents in Belfast last August was a particular highlight. It was a last-minute job, but I covered the story for an Australian publication on a freelance basis.” While enjoying his current role at

Shaun at graduation

Donegal Daily, Shaun has big plans for the future, telling Headlines: “The long-term goal in my mind is to work really hard and build my reputation as much as I can before diving into the world of a wellrespected newspaper in the UK or Ireland. I’m hoping to get a job focused on sport.” Shaun believes LJMU set him on the right path. He said: “Everything, from preparing myself for job interviews to ethical court reporting, the course does what it says on the tin - it exports up-and-coming journalists!”


Meet the Danny Moxon, Archant Publishing


fter graduating last summer, Danny Moxon packed his bags and headed to Norfolk to start his career in journalism. Danny began working for the Eastern Daily Press a month after graduating. He said: “My role as a production journalist is essentially a modern take on an old-fashioned sub-editor role. Copy that is going to print in Archant’s four daily and eight weekly newspapers comes through me and I check for spelling and grammar, write headlines and make sure all potential legal issues are eradicated.” It’s a role that requires a lot of responsibility for a fresh graduate and may seem daunting, but gaining that sort of experience can only

Danny Moxon: “I want to go as far in the industry as I can” benefit Danny’s career. Danny said: “LJMU trains you using the exact software you’re going to be using as a journalist and that, for me, is a massive part of the reason I got this job.” However, this is only the beginning for the 21-year-old from

South Yorkshire. He has dreams of taking things even further: “I want to go as far in the industry as I possibly can. “If I were to get the opportunity to be an editor at a local or, dare I say, national level, then that would be the dream for me.”

Abby Nicholson, Norwich Evening News

Pictures: Denise Bradley


Abby Nicholson

bby Nicholson feels as if she is living the dream. Straight after leaving university she landed a job on the Norwich Evening News. She said: “It’s the dream to come out of uni and get a trainee role - it’s really good.” At the start of her journey with Archant Publishing she did not get the first job she applied for. However, the interview went really well and the employers were very impressed with her.

Archant believed she was well-suited to the company and after her details were passed on a month later she found herself on the way to Norwich. Abby has been training to be a journalist from the age of 16 and five years later knows what it takes to make it in the profession. She said: “With journalism, you’ve got to be ready to just drop your bags and go wherever a job is. “If you want the best chance of getting a job, you’ve just got to be ready to go.”


Press gang The 2018 graduates already making their mark in the world of newspapers

Liam Keen taking part in a charity football match

Liam Keen, Express and Star


iam Keen is a reporter at the Wolverhampton Express & Star newspaper, which is still England’s biggest-selling regional evening newspaper, and he loves getting involved in the stories that are not for the faint-hearted. He said: “The best thing about my job is the amount of hard news I do, because of the area we cover.” The Express & Star patch includes the Black Country - Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell - as well as covering parts of Staffordshire. “These areas of the West Midlands see a lot of crime, meaning reporters are regularly attending murder scenes, hit and runs, stabbings, shootings, burglaries etc.” However, he has also come across

Liam Keen: Never a dull day many kind and charitable people who try to better the community. Another aspect of his job is that there is never a dull day and he never expects to live out the same

old routine. “In essence the best thing about my job is not knowing what I will face each day and facing a variety of different challenges each day.” He said: “My job title is trainee reporter, as I’m still in the process of doing NCTJ exams, alongside working full-time which is a tough balancing act.” Liam was fortunate enough to go straight into a job after university. He said: “In the final few months of my studies I started to look at and apply for various roles. “In the end I attended four interviews and was offered three jobs, accepting the Express & Star’s offer. “Within the first week of May I finished university, by mid-May I was being offered jobs and by June 4th I began working!”


‘There’s something different every day’ Jessica Arnell, Communications Officer, Claire House


ven before graduating in 2016, Jessica Arnell went straight into an internship at Claire House Children’s

Hospice. She knew after work experience at university that she liked being involved in charity public relations, and two years later she still loves her job.

Jess with Claire Bear, the Claire House mascot She said: “I got interested in charity PR from my work experience at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer foundation. I loved it there, so from that I knew what I enjoyed.” Her role as Communications Officer at the Wirral charity, which cares for seriously and terminallyill children, involves a wide variety of tasks, including producing the

charity’s magazine twice a year. She explained that one of the reasons she loves her role is because she rarely does the same thing twice. “One day I could be doing a photo shoot with kids, another day I’m working on the website and social media or writing press releases - so it’s something different all the time.”


Taking on the world

ing uba div Jess sc in Belize

Jess in South

Jess Grieveson-Smith Feature Writer, Caters News Agency


ess Grieveson-Smith was bitten by the travel bug when she was a teenager and now she is aiming to take on the world in her role as a features writer with leading international news organisation Caters News Agency. Jess, from Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, started her job just after graduating in 2018. “I was lucky - I’d got some work from my work placement in third year (at LJMU), I did freelance shifts at BBC Radio 4, I applied for a few jobs and waited for the one I liked best. In the end, I had two full-time offers and I chose to go with Caters because I felt I had more potential to climb the ladder and go abroad.” Her career has helped her to enjoy new opportunities and life-changing experiences already, including foreign travel and working with many different organisations and people. Jess said: “I was excited to start

the job. Caters News Agency is international so not only do I write for the national newspapers, I get to make videos for broadcast too and they have offices in America, Australia and South Africa to name a few. “I’ll have the opportunity to travel with work. There are offices in six continents - personally I’m hoping for South Africa as I’ve already worked out there and loved it.” Whilst in univeristy, Jess got to work with a company called Africa Media and said “it was the best thing I’ve ever done.” Jess has already had her work published in the Daily Star, the Daily Mail, the Metro, the Mirror and the Guardian and magazines such as Closer and websites like LADBIBLE. She said her experience in university helped prepare her for what journalism is like in the real world and motivated her to achieve her career goals.


‘I’ll have the opportunity to travel with work. There are offices in six continents’

Jess Grieveson-Smith


Legal eagle

‘I would say that the course, and my previous experience in the industry, has provided me with an advantageous skillset’


Helen Turner, Trainee solicitor

ot every journalism student will want to go into the industry after graduating, while others will follow their media dream and then decide to change career. After working as a magzine editor LJMU graduate Helen Turner decided to take a risk and pursue an entirely different career in law, aided by the transferable skills that gave her an edge in a very competitive profession. Helen said: “Having worked as a magazine editor for a well-known retailer for a number of years, in addition to contributing content to various local newspapers, I

felt I had lost the drive that had sent me onto a career path in journalism in the first place. That is when I decided to re-assess my career options.” It was actually a part of the Journalism course that prompted Helen to pursue a career in law. “I had enjoyed the media law aspect of the Journalism course, so much so that I voluntarily completed the associated NCTJ law modules. I would say that this interest largely steered me towards my current career path.” Since completing her studies, Helen hasn’t looked back. “I was fortunate enough to be offered a training contract with

one of the most prestigious law firms in the world prior to commencing my Graduate Diploma in Law and I am due to qualify as a solicitor this year. “Changing career was a big risk because it meant retraining and going back to university, but it is a decision that I do not regret. “I believe it made me work harder because there was more at stake!” Helen cites the skills she gained whilst undergoing her journalism degree as vital to her successful transition into her new career. “I would say that the course, and my previous experience in the industry, has provided me with an advantageous skillset.”

25 2004 graduates Becky Davis, of Radio City, and Chris Chambers, from Capital FM, with their awards © O2 UK Official

Awards glory for LJMU journalists


host of LJMU graduates triumphed alongside other prestigious news organisations and reporters at the 2018 O2 Media Awards North West. Chris Chambers, from Capital FM, won Radio Journalist of the Year award, while fellow 2004 graduate Becky Davis, news editor at Radio City, scooped the Best Radio Programme award with the station’s news team. Reporters Connor Dunn and Lydia Morris, both LJMU graduates, were shortlisted in two categories. Connor said: “I was honestly buzzing at being shortlisted. “Last year I was up for the Young Journalist of the Year award, so to get a nomination in the Emerging

Talent category was really exciting.” He explained how LJMU has helped his career so far: “I can honestly say LJMU prepared me to enter into the media world and helped me get an understanding of what would be required of me dayto-day as a journalist.


hat in itself set me on a path to succeed in this career, as there wasn’t a particularly big jump from the course into the work. “You didn’t feel at all like you were being thrown in to the deep end when you started working. In fact, it was quite the opposite.” The Daily Post’s Lydia Morris, who graduated from LJMU in 2015, was highly commended in the Young Print Journalist category.

‘You didn’t feel at all like you were being thrown in to the deep end when you started work’

Connor Dunn celebrating his nomination © O2 UK Official


Having a ball It’s an annual tradition that brings all the years of study together in a great celebration, and the fourth JMU Journalism Christmas Ball, held at Liverpool’s Holiday Inn, proved to be another success, with a new record fundraising total set. Students and staff managed to bring in £1,271 for Macmillan Cancer


Happily ever after L ove was definitely in the air for LJMU Journalism graduates Sam McDonnell and Jessica Etherington when they met at university. Jess and Sam, who live in Wirral, studied together on the Advanced Journalism Practice (AJP) module, where they got to know one another writing for JMU Journalism’s website and magazine, and then tied the knot on a gloriously sunny day last summer. They both graduated in 2013 and Jess is now a senior

PR account executive at Active Profile in Liverpool, while Sam is the senior Marketing and PR officer at Birkenhead Sixth Form College. Sam told Headlines: “We never had much, if anything, to do with each other for the first two years of university, as it happens. Strange how things work out. “To think, if we’d never had Kate, Steve and John moaning at us in AJP, our eyes would never have met over a joint byline!”

Keep up to date with the latest news from Liverpool at: