Headlines February 2017

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Headlines Journalism Alumni Magazine 2016/2017


F1 writer Ollie Barstow on life in the fast lane - page 11

Well Red: The graduates making their mark on a top mag Model Student: From the newsroom to the catwalk On Screen: Behind the scenes at The One Show


Welcome Welcome to the second edition of Headlines, a magazine which keeps you in touch with the many and varied activities of LJMU Journalism and International Journalism alumni in the UK and around the globe. Along with stories of graduates who have found their way in broadcast, print and online newsrooms, this edition focuses on those working in politics, sport, PR and magazines. We also take a trip Down Under to catch up with one of our alumni who is enjoying life in Australia. The LJMU journalism team takes some pride in having had a small

part in the launch of so many interesting and important careers! Back at the Redmonds Building we’ve had a year of challenging extra-curricular activities such as visits to The Guardian and Sky newsrooms. You can read about our very successful Tim Hetherington exhibition and our encounter with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on the following pages. This magazine has been researched, written, designed and edited by our current final year students. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it and agree it is a testament to their talents.

What’s Inside? 2 Jackie’s Letter 3 Our Year 4 - 5 Life in politics Helen Dodd and Hugh O’Connell 6 - 7 Red all about it Roanna Day and Scarlett Russell 8 Championing free speech 9 Sarah Carson - One life 10 Good sports - Jon Birchall d

Meet the team...

News Editor: Hamish Ellwood

11 Good sports - Ollie Barstow 12 News from Down Under 13 Model student 14 - 15 PR Magic Chris Bradley and Nicola Pink 16 - 17 Looking in the Mirror Sheena and Janine 18 Tune in with Chris Chambers 19 We meet Mark Carney

Design Editor: James Jones

Kriston Murphy


Our year


t has been an action-packed year for the JMU Journalism team, with trips home and abroad and a wide range of engaging and interesting guest speakers making it memorable. In September the Journalism Department hosted the inspiring and humbling ‘Infidel’ exhibition, held in LJMU’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, featuring moving and intimate images of American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The images were shot by award-winning photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in Libya in 2011, and the exhibition was curated by the Tim Hetherington Trust, which has worked to preserve the legacy of Tim’s professional life as a visual storyteller and human rights advocate. Tim’s parents Judith and Alistair joined students and guests at the launch of the exhibition, together with Kieran Etoria-King, who is the winner of this year’s Tim Hetherington Fellowship with Index on Censorship. You can read more about Kieran and Index on Censorship on page 8. LJMU Alumnus Angie Brooks returned to Liverpool to share her advice on launching a successful magazine from scratch – Life with Pets – and then launching an equally successful app. There were awards to be won, as LJMU graduate Eleanor Davies picked up a win at the Broadcast Journalism Training Council 2016 Student Journalism Awards for ‘Best TV News Feature’. Produced in her final year of university, the film looked at exercise in the older generation and whether it is done for enjoyment or health benefits. Eleanor said: “I saw my name was under ‘Best TV Feature’ and I was quite proud actually because I didn’t

Andy Cook

Josh Doherty

expect to be nominated.” 2016 was rounded off in style with a whole host of fun fundraising activities. A sponsored leg wax and a sponsored silence boosted Macmillan Cancer Support. Students also enjoyed the department’s second charity ball, which brought the total fundraising amount up to £1,084, just over £50 more than last year’s total.

Top: Winner Eleanor Davies at the BJTC awards Right: Tim Hetherington Below: Third year students enjoying themselves at the Christmas Ball

Aaliyah Rugg

Josh Hodge



Helen Dodd Constituency Assistant


fter graduating in the summer of 2011 it wasn’t very long before former journalism student Helen Dodd landed on her feet. Helen has worked as Constituency Assistant to Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral South, since then. Although having never previously thought about working for an MP, she has always had an interest in writing, current affairs and being creative. Helen decided to join the Labour Party after graduating, without the idea of getting a job. This is when she decided to interview Alison McGovern as a story for the JMU Journalism website. She said: “I thought it would be a good idea to do an interview with her as I still wanted to be involved with the website and I think Alison had many interesting things to share with local readers as she was born in Merseyside.” Following from this experience, Helen decided to go for an interview with the Labour Party and managed to land herself a job working alongside with Alison. As a Constituency Assistant, Helen’s job entails a wide range of tasks. “I do a lot of work with the local press for Alison and work with her to handle the local communications with the media. I also take a lead on Alison’s constituency

Helen Dodd, in the 2015 election campaign diary appointments. As well as this I assist on a daily basis with constituents who need Alison’s assistance with a wide range of issues. Some can be very serious and need a high level of professionalism and understanding. I also attend meetings with Alison to assist her with note taking.” She continued: “Working for an MP is obviously a very interesting job. You get an inside look at the workings of politics and I have met a number of high profile people Alison McGovern MP working within the world of politics. I’d say the whole experience of student journalist with the likes working here has been interesting. of veteran politician Tony Benn, I remember when I first started who sadly passed away a few my job I got star struck if I spoke years ago. I am sure these things to MPs but the longer you work help when applying for a job as it in politics the more you develop a shows your communication skills level of professionalism and realise and professionalism and Tony that people in politics are colBenn was a very impressive inleagues working together and you terviewee for me to be given and need to be professional. showed a level of trust in me from “On my job application I did put my lecturer at the time.” about my interviews when I was a

Politics Hugh O’Connell Political Correspondent


ife as a political journalist in Ireland is never dull as Hugh O’Connell has found out. Hugh finished his journalism degree in 2010 and worked for FIFA, the BBC and as Political Editor for TheJournal.ie. His current role is as a Political Correspondent with the Sunday Business Post, where he has been since April 2016. Covering both Irish and Northern Irish politics, he often appears on Irish TV and radio. He said: “Most of my job entails loitering around the Houses of Parliament in Dublin, digging out stories, talking to politicians, and - as I work for a Sunday newspaper - trying to look at the bigger picture for longer pieces. “Often my job involves trying to figure out where big stories during the week are going to land come Sunday, which means

Hugh O’Connell looking for an angle on a big story that no one else will cover, or the big interview with a newsmaker.” He continued: “Sometimes I’ll be working on off-diary stuff which is usually sifting through obscure documents or Freedom of Information. With the upcoming elections in Northern Ireland I’ll be up and down to Belfast quite a lot in the coming weeks. Above all, my job is about talking to people and trying to get information out of them. Nothing matters more than that particular skill.” Reflecting on his time studying in Liverpool and reporting for JMU Journalism, Hugh said: “Working for the JMU Journalism website


was crucial to my development as a student in that it gave me a solid news outlet for my work to be published and gave me valuable experience of what it’s like to work with a news team to develop stories and content for the site.” When asked about moments in his career that he is proud of or that are exciting, he said: “It’s hard to pinpoint any particular moments but I get a certain buzz now and again from walking into the Houses of Parliament in Dublin and realising this is my place of work, interacting with people who make decisions that have an impact on the entire country. Interviewing major figures like Gerry Adams on a regular basis is also pretty cool, while every so often I’ll write a long feature that’s taken weeks of work that will be well received. I get a great buzz from that.” It’s fair to say not everyone can envisage what they want their future to be. Hugh himself admitted that he was not always sure of his: “I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was 14 but I always thought that it would be sports journalism. “Current affairs didn’t really interest me for a long time, but I began to take a major interest in politics about ten years ago and sort of caught the bug, consuming as much of it as possible which better informed my writing and my ability to seek out stories. It’s served me well ever since and I continue to voraciously consume as much domestic and international politics as possible.”




or some, the beginning of a fulfilment of a childhood ambition can start at university. That was certainly the case for Roanna Day, above, who graduated in 2011 and is now Social Media and Fashion Editor for one of the UK’s leading women’s magazines, red. She said: “I’ve always loved magazines and it’s every girl’s dream to work for a glossy mag. “I’ve always loved writing too, so the journalism degree just sounded so interesting to me.” Not only did Roanna find her Journalism degree interesting, but she also found it to be vital part of her personal development on her journey towards working in magazines. She said: “One of the things the Journalism course did for me was it made me totally fearless, because from the beginning I had to go and find a story on the streets of Liverpool and at the time I was just a shy and retiring southerner. “Now that I’m older what I’ve noticed is the people who come through a journalism background, compared to someone who has done, say, English Literature, is that they have so much more bottle and you really need that.” Nevertheless, Roanna still places

a great deal of importance on the experience she gained after university too. She’s worked in a wide range of roles that cover everything from marketing positions, which helped her improve the way she uses social media, as well as spending a lot of time freelancing to build her portfolio of lifestyle writing. “Red was looking for someone who was a journalist but had digital skills, someone who understood search engine optimisation and how to drive a successful campaign online. “Because I’d developed all these marketing skills and had a journalism background it was perfect.” Roanna certainly finds her work fulfilling. She is happy at where she is at and thankful for the experiences gained on her journalism degree that helped her get there. She said: “It’s my dream job. The perks are absolutely ridiculous. It’s kind of everything you think the magazine world is going to be and, in fact, a bit more too. “You get to go to exciting places and meet incredible people and write stories about them. If 20-year-old me could see me now she’d probably tell me to stop being so ungrateful and be very happy with myself.”


HEADLINES meets Roanna Day and Scarlett Russell at one of the leading women’s magazines in the UK


he experience of securing a job in a role that you’re passionate about can be both a rewarding and fulfilling one, and for Scarlett Russell, above, a successful freelance journalist who is about to begin work as an acting entertainment editor for Red Magazine, each day brings new opportunities. She said: “I’ve been able to write for so many different titles which has given me so much experience and so many different contacts. I’ve done so much. “You need to be really proactive to be a freelancer, coming up with new ideas and it really does push you and helps to make you organised.” Graduating in Journalism from LJMU in 2006, Scarlett had her sights on a writing career since her early teens and believes her experience gained during her work placements lay solid foundations for a successful career in the magazine industry. She said: “When I was still studying at LJMU, I started doing work experience on Closer magazine during the reading weeks, summers and then in third year when we had to do a

placement. By the time I graduated I’d done loads of work for them and they took me on. I was getting paid and although it wasn’t much it put my foot in the door because Closer’s publisher also published Heat, FHM and Woman magazine. That allowed me to put my name out there.” Having worked on a range of well-known titles, Scarlett has

enjoyed carrying out a wide range of roles in the industry since graduating, however her fondest memories are at the places where she learned the most. She said: “The best job I’ve had was at Glamour, it was amazing. There was such a good atmosphere and I’m still really good friends with my boss there and another one of my bosses gave me the job at Red. “I think I’ll love Red because that will be my most senior role. “I’m going to be in charge of all the covers, booking cover styles, doing cover interviews, which is what I’ve been working to all this time. So that’s really exciting.” Nevertheless, despite attributing much of the knowledge she’s gained from working in journalism, Scarlett was still keen to stress the importance of her university experience. She said: “I think that the university experience definitely made me a more well-rounded person which you sort of have to be to be a journalist. “At the time I didn’t really know how much the degree was worth but on reflection I realise that it was worth a lot, I learned so much from it.”


Speak out

Kieran Etoria-King Winner, The Tim Hetherington Fellowship


ieran Etoria-King always knew that he wanted to be a journalist and as well as achieving his ambition he has also become a champion of media freedom after being chosen as this year’s winner of the Tim Hetherington Fellowship with Index on Censorship. Kieran, who graduated in July 2015, is the Editorial Assistant for Index on Censorship’s awardwinning quarterly magazine. The non-profit organisation campaigns for, and defends, freedom of expression on a national and global scale. The fellowship was established by LJMU and Index on Censorship to honour Tim Hetherington, a photojournalist from Liverpool who was killed in

Libya, in 2011. In his demanding role Kieran reports on global issues in a bid to raise awareness of threats against the public’s freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Speaking about how the fellowship has benefitted him. He said: “You have great opportunities to meet new people from all over the world. That pretty much sets you up for whatever you want to do.” Kieran was a schoolboy in London when he first decided what he wanted to do. He said: “I was good at English at school so I thought ‘What job involves lots of writing/’ The more I looked at what a journalist does I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Now he is enjoying his chance

to write and express his views of the world and is committed to defending freedom of expression and the freedom of the media around the world. He said: “We defend that through our magazine, through direct advocacy and through lobbying. “In my first few weeks at Index I spoke to a poet from Brazil who had written a book about indigenous people and he received criticism on the grounds that because he is a white man, he shouldn’t be writing these stories from the point of view of indigenous people.” His experiences have had a lasting impact on Kieran and his attitude to freedom of expression. “I’d like to think that I would do all I could to protect it.,” he said.


Among the Stars: Sarah at the NTA awards in January with TV presenter Eamonn Holmes and Actor James Nesbitt

She’s the ONE! Sarah Carson, Producer, The One Show


arah Carson originally had a love for radio and even specialised in the subject at LJMU, however it was TV which stole her heart as she now works as a producer on the BBC’s popular The One Show. After graduating in 2008 Sarah, above left, was fortunate enough to beat more than 500 people who applied for an internship at Channel 4 working on T4, which eventually led to her becoming a runner.

She said: “I became a runner which is what you have to start out as in TV, so I did some odd running jobs and then I was really lucky that I got to be a researcher on The One Show and sort of worked my way up. “You really do have to start at the bottom and I did do that and it’s just working your way up and getting as much experience as possible.” Working for one of the BBC’s most popular TV shows Sarah has to ensure that the best programme possible is aired With millions of viewers tuning in to watch the star-studded show every day Sarah has to be on top of her game at all times. She said: “It can be intense and it can be hard work. “I was working on a programme about falling asleep at the wheel for junior doctors and that was quite tough as we couldn’t be factually wrong to five million

viewers. You have to be completely on top of things. “You get given some films and you also have to come up with film ideas which someone will then go and make and you have to research the guests and come up with ideas and come up with items on the back of it. “Everything changes because it’s a topical show – you can be working on something one day and spend all day doing it and then something happens and you have to react and change and do something completely different, so every day is really different and what you do is different.” Sarah also talked of the importance of her degree in her work, saying how it taught her the things such as knowledge of copyright, editorial standards and journalism practice which she uses every day. “My degree and training is really vital and I definitely put that all into practice every single day.”


SPORTING Turning a passion into a top career Jon Birchall

Head of Digital Sport at Trinity Mirror Regionals


e may have started out with plans to become a political journalist but Jon Birchall’s career took a very different turn and he hasn’t looked back. While he was studying he freelanced for a football website and after graduating, in 2011, he made his way up to become Deputy Editor for goal.com. From there he embarked on a new adventure, working on the media team at Manchester United a role he says was “really helpful, as it has a lot of recognition as a global brand.” As a Man United fan himself, it was a dream job but after 18 months with the Reds Jon was offered an opportunity to work at Trinity Mirror, to be the Head of Digital Sport on a regional basis.

Jon recently launched an innovative website called football.london, bringing the latest news to fans of Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham, Spurs, Palace and Watford. He said: “I had the idea when I came to Trinity Mirror. I basically looked at our landscape in terms of what we have across the country and the towns and football teams we cover. We acquired (newspaper publisher) Local World last year, which then increased the amount of places we covered. There were only three or four major footballing cities that we didn’t have a handle on, Leeds being one of them. However, London was the biggest and as I lived in London for a few years I felt there was something missing from a local standpoint.” Jon is based in Liverpool but also spends time at Trinity Mirror’s

headquaters in Canary Wharf. His typical day is as busy as you’d expect for someone in such a senior role. He explained: “The first thing I do every morning is review where we are in terms of audience for the previous day. So I’m able to look at all our sites, and we have about 50, from the likes of the Chester Chronicle to Liverpool Echo. I will review the audience data, see how we are doing, check if anything interesting has come our way. “I check my emails for an hour or so then, I will typically liaise with the teams in the morning, checking what they’re doing and then there’s a lot of meetings. For different platforms you meet with different people, including commercial clients. We release our content for free, so have to try and make a way to make money from it.”


TRIUMPHS Ollie (right) interviewing British pro racer Jann Mardenborough

Ollie Barstow

Motorsport and F1 Journalist, crash.net


ince graduating in 2008, Ollie Barstow has flown around the world covering Formula One and MotoGP events for the motorsports news website crash.net. From a young age Ollie always had a passion for the world of motorsports racing, he would be taken to national events, watching videos and reading magazines dedicated to his favourite sport in his spare time. “My highlights would be my first grand prix the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix. And the following year that I did it full time, I went out to Australia, it was a massive buzz and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.” Before he arrived at university, he already had his sights on where he would like to be, despite not

specialising in Sports Journalism. He said “When I was a preparing for A levels, doing work experience for my UCAS application, it was by chance the company my dad worked for sponsored British F3. I did a lot of work experience, free work, building contacts and annoying people. It worked to my advantage and I ended up doing what I wanted without expecting it to happen.” “It was like six degrees of separation. I was eventually put in touch with someone at this company, and went for work experience. They let me go to a couple of events and have a feel of the atmosphere. When I was at university I did a little work on the side for them, turning around press releases and doing some F1 weekends.” Ollie was then offered a full-time job after university. And despite leaving the company and dabbling in a few different industries he has been back at the website for the past four years. Ollie’s role at crash. net has always been changing. He said: “When I first joined it was quite an office-based role.

Content production, working on different championships, I’d work a lot of weekends. “My colleague who did Formula One ended up leaving after a year so I took on his role. I was working on the F1 primarily for two years. I was travelling to all of the events, covering everything I could. “A lot of the content was going to media sessions, and you’d arrange your own interviews where you could. The main part of the job was keeping the content flowing to the site during the event. It’s a pretty full on job when you’re running a website. It’s a lot of hours, it’s not easy there’s a lot of transcribing. I’ve moved on from that, taking on a different role, not going to the events but working more as an editor for the site and moving into a more social area as we’re launching a new a site.” He continued: “I’ve covered about 40 Grand Prixs now, over a quite short period of time. It was strange that 15 years later I was going there and standing exactly where I’d watched as a kid and never thinking at the time that would happen.”


Amy in Oz Amy Nelmes-Bissett Travel editor, Ninemsn


my Nelmes-Bissett moved to Australia after four years working on the national papers in

London. Amy said: "At the time, a lot of journalists were heading Down Under and it looked like a lot of fun so I booked a one-way ticket and have never looked back. That was five years ago.” Before moving to Australia she worked as a features writer for the News of the World and as a news editor for Grazia agazine. Her career has seen many highlights, including becoming editor of Australian website TheFIX: “I am most proud of moving from print to digital four years ago. Online media was seen as a little uncool at the time and they had previously only hired content producers, not journalists. I became editor of TheFIX, an entertainment site, and combined my skills from print and my new skills from online and increased hits per month by 50 percent, video streams by 65 percent and worked hard in helping producers gain some journalism skills. “Before I went off to have a baby, I launched a travel site with Nine Digital called Elsewhere. I came up with the concept and design, focusing not only on audience usability but also on how best to monetise the site. I will return back to work in May and then

Amy with actress Nicole Kidman I would like another project. The most amazing thing about journalism, especially in digital, is there is always something more to learn. I'd like to give video editing a go.” Amy currently works as travel editor at Ninemsn: "My day starts with pitching-in conference at 8am, kicking off with the story ideas and then writing them up, a few meetings in between and non-stop emails from journalists around the world. Journalism is definitely a lifestyle, not a profession. The pace is fast, the demand is high and those at the top are there because they've stuck it out. I'd say that was something I saw very early during my time at LJMU. It made me determined to continue and have a resilience, to take the skills that I learned at university and just keep building on them. Ultimately, it's a tough job but it's also the most rewarding.”

Amy with Natalie Imbruglia

Amy with model Amber Rose


Campus to catwalk Leigh Kimmins McManus


© Photos by Vogue, Abbie Douglas, Karen Ryska


eigh Kimmins always thought he would land a dream job working for the BBC or The Guardian. However, he never expected to be a model walking the catwalk for the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton. His change of career path happened when he bumped into a fellow passenger on the tube in London who turned out to be a scout for one of the world’s biggest model agencies, Wilhelmina. As a result he has appeared on some of the most famous catwalks in the world, as well as being a part of the first ever fashion show in Westminster Abbey. Talking about it, Leigh said: “It felt very numb for a very long time and I’m still only getting to grips with the actual size of the situation. “I’ve been all over the world so it is really strange.”

However, even in a world of jet setting and working with some of the biggest names in fashion industry, Leigh, who graduated in 2016, still has his sights set on a career in journalism and said: “I’d rather be jet setting around the world writing! “It’s always in my mind. This modelling thing’s amazing and I don’t want to downgrade it but you know from the first moment that it’s going to be over at some stage, and it’s almost like people are readying you for that. “All I want to do is write and interview people and that’s what I love doing. I love talking to people and I want to find out about people. “When I left university the good thing about our course is I felt so ready to go into a job.” Follow Leigh’s blog at: www. themodelcitizenblog.wordpress.com/


PR Chris Bradley Influential


hen it comes to working in PR it’s important to be as influential as you can be, which is exactly what Chris Bradley is for Influential. Working with a wide variety of companies in the region, including Pullman Liverpool, the City of Liverpool College, ChargePoint Technology and Blackpool Tower, Chris is now an account manager at the prestigious PR company. His role involves having to ensure the highest level of services for the clients and includes having their stories told on all forms of media from print to broadcast and online. After graduating in 2011 Chris first worked as a journalist and freelance writer and it was through this that he managed to find his way into PR after making new connections and having a very informal interview. He said: “When I was a journalist I covered National Lottery winners and through that met Jane Woodhead, a PR Director at Influ-

ential, who manages the consumer client department, and we became friends. “I decided a move into PR was the right one to make in 2015 and got in touch with Jane. There was an

account manager vacancy and I was interviewed by Jon Brown, who is also a former journalist – or ‘hack’ as he refers to himself and me – in the pub! It was very informal but I was offered the job.” Chris talked of the importance of his degree from LJMU and how it has helped him with his career. He said: “My Journalism degree was invaluable, as were the years I worked as a journalist and news editor. My role has two very important parts: spotting a story and telling that story. I learned how to do both at LJMU and had I not, I wouldn’t have the career I have now.” Praise was also given to Influential as a company, with Chris saying they’re “really open to creativity.” He added: “The directors listen to new ideas that will tell our clients’ stories well and advance the business and our reputation. That’s hugely important to me, so I don’t feel like another rat in the race, and I, and my colleagues, value the freedom and trust invested in us.”


Perfect Nicola Pink Pink Media


fter going straight from a work placement right into a reporter’s job, Nicola Pink never thought she would work in PR, or run a very successful company in the field, but she has managed to accomplish both of these achievements. As the director of Pink Media, Nicola and her two other members of staff have an enviable client list that includes The Brink, Delifonseca and a special place for Nicola - because it was the venue of her wedding - the Sefton Park Palm House. However, Nicola’s story didn’t start in PR but instead on a local newspaper as a reporter for Trinity Mirror, which eventually led to her own column in the Southport Visiter. The self-confessed workaholic said: “While I was at university, my work experience was at Trinity Mirror working for a local newspaper and I managed to get a two-week placement and just never

left. I did every hour they offered me, every day, and then one day the editor came up and said ‘are you going to ask for a job?’ and they sent me off to Southport.” Nicola landed a PR job after

meeting the owner of a PR company at a leaving party she attended. After three jobs in PR she decided to go it alone and start her own company. She convinced a friend to design her website with the payment of a bottle of rum and set off building her company. She then managed to land Hard Days Night Hotel just four months into her new venture. Nicola said: “I think that for me was like ‘I’ll just go for everything now!’ and it went from there.” Nicola, who has previously been nominated for Liverpool Professional of the Year as well as being up for Communications Person of the Year, thanks her degree for getting her where she is. She said: “Pink Media has a certain style of writing and I definitely believe that it’s come from my degree. I’ve tried to teach my staff how to write, and you can’t underestimate the abilities of a strong writer. That’s definitely come from my degree.”

16 Sheena with Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden of Boyzlife and, below, with magician Dynamo

‘I’ve been here for two years and couldn’t be happier’ Sheena McStravick

Live News Reporter, Belfast Live


wo days are never the same for Live News Reporter Sheena McStravick. After graduating in 2011 Sheena went on to work for her local newspaper in Northern Ireland then saw a new opportunity. “I applied for my current role in Belfast Live and Daily Mirror NI and was offered the role of Live News Reporter for a brand new platform which was incredibly exciting to be part of.” Her role means that Sheena’s day can consist of an array of different tasks: “No two days are

the same – one of the things I love about my job! But on a daily basis, I come into the office, check my emails, go through the news wires and online news websites, and get started. I predominantly work online on our website which means constantly checking for breaking news stories. We pride ourselves on being first with most of the news stories in Northern Ireland so you are constantly making sure you don’t miss anything. “Other than that it’s really a case of expecting the unexpected, one day you could be sent to cover a murder, the next interviewing a

celebrity, it’s a real mixed bag.” Sheena has interviewed a number of celebrities including, Dynamo, John Barnes and Boyzlife duo, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden. “I firmly believe everyone has a niche, so if you work at the stories you know you’re good at, then you will succeed. Never be afraid to take a risk on a story, nine times out of 10 your editor will be glad you did.” In the future, Sheena wants to stay at the Mirror: “I’ve been here for two years and couldn’t be happier.”


That’s showbusiness Janine Yaqoob Showbiz Reporter, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People


ife in the Big Smoke has proved to be an exciting and thrilling adventure for former LJMU student Janine Yaqoob who now works as a Showbiz News Reporter at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday People. After graduating in 2008 she worked for four years as a reporter and leisure editor for a handful of publications across Merseyside, including the Liverpool Echo, Southport Visiter, Crosby Herald and the Ormskirk Advertiser. It was from here that she armed herself with the experience to move to London to try something completely different, the world of show business. She said: “It started off with shifts for the Sunday People, general news shifts. Then the position became available for a TV correspondent. It was a bit of a change going from news to showbiz, but with any national papers you have to accept any role to get your foot in the door. From there I became

a showbiz news reporter for both the Sunday People and the Sunday Mirror and that’s where I currently am.” “I never saw myself going into showbiz, to be honest. I started off at a local paper in Southport after I finished at LJMU. From there I carried on the news side of things, showbiz was never something I wanted to go into. “Although now that I’m in this world, it’s really exciting, very fastpaced. If you look at tabloid newspapers it’s clear that showbiz does sell, so we have a lot of pressure to break the biggest stories.” She continued: “Speaking to the big name celebrities is always fun.” That might be household names such as Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole or Coronation Street legend Bill Roache. “I don’t think I quite have a career-defining story yet but I’m sure there’s plenty of time for that. “I think I’ve found my calling. What’s good about showbiz is

Janine with ex-boxer Frank Bruno MBE (Left), Gold Medalist Max Whitlock (Above) and X Factor Winner Matt Terry (Top right)

there’s a lot of different elements to it, you can do the softer side of it, but I’ve chosen to focus on the harder news element of showbiz. “That will keep me interested for a while and I’ve now progressed to a showbiz news reporter but potentially one day I could become a showbiz editor. “My typical day is different as the week goes on. I’m on a Sunday paper so on a Tuesday we’ll have a meeting in the morning and it’s a lot of coming up with ideas and meeting contacts – generally over lunch or dinner. “As the week progresses, it’s setting up interviews and by around Thursday or Friday there’s a lot of writing involved. “On Saturday we work on a daily newspaper that has a lot of breaking news, we come bursting in on a Saturday morning to see what’s been happening and see what we can follow up from there. “It’s quite hard to say exactly what I do as every day is so different. It’s quite nice that people like Simon Cowell know you on a first name basis, they ask you how are and how’s your family. It’s nice to be accepted into the fold like that, it shows you how far you have come.”


On the right wavelength

Chris Chambers News Editor, Capital FM


fter graduating in 2004, Wirral-born Chris Chambers has had an enviable career in commercial radio. Now News Editor at Capital FM he formerly plied his trade at Juice FM, UTV Media, talkSPORT, Kerrang!, Rock FM and Radio City. Chris, above, said: “I went into university with the idea of wanting to work in radio but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. Journalism seemed like a sound base for education, good sort of learning, good skills to learn. “I love the whole face of radio and being able to plant images in people’s heads and all that and just how quick it is because radio is a fast medium, well it was back then. There was no Twitter or that kind of stuff, so radio news was the first way of hearing a story that broke.

“Often with the newspaper it would land on your mat the following day, TV would be your sort of lunchtime and teatime bulletins but radio filled in all those gaps so it felt like the flowing water [of media].” Chris has picked up numerous awards for his journalism, including the ‘Radio Journalist of the Year’ at the O2 North West Media Awards. It’s not down to fate that he’s ended up as News Editor at Liverpool’s Capital FM (formerly Juice, a time he remembers fondly), but down to hard work as he grafted his way to a permanent position. “There’s a lot of travelling involved,” he said. “I went travelling to Birmingham at 3 o’clock on a Saturday morning for £50, it barely covered my fuel. Then you might go and work an afternoon shift up at Preston on the same day, so you’re doing like 200 miles just be-

‘The best people to speak to are the ones who have done mad things’ cause someone’s offered you some work [experience] and you daren’t say no. As you go on, I don’t want to say it gets easier, but you become more confident in the things that are bread and butter.” In his position he gets to meet all sorts of famous faces, including the likes of Little Mix, Lady Gaga and a plethora of footballers, but he doesn’t get too carried away. He said: “I’ll be honest with you, famous people are the least interesting people you’ll ever meet. They’re normally surrounded by agents or PR people who get in the way. “The best people you’ll ever speak to are the people who have done mad things, like the people within your city or in the area.”


JMU Journalism’s Nathan Archer meets the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney

Meeting the Governor


ot many Journalism students have the chance to interview one of the most powerful people in the United Kingdom. Yet that is exactly what happened to JMU Journalism students when Mark Carney, The Governor of the Bank of England, arrived in Liverpool to deliver the Roscoe Lecture and visited Redmonds Building first to speak to our reporters. Broadcast student Nathan Archer had the honour of interviewing the Canadian, whilst Paige Freshwater reported his visit for the JMU Journalism website. Nathan said: “It was an enormous privilege to be asked to host the interview with Mr Carney. As a journalist, researching was key to finding local connections to bring the interview into context with him being here in Liverpool. “When he arrived and started

Mark Carney meets JMU Journalism Students © LJMU recording I found him incredibly charming, he even poured me a glass of water - I’ve never known an interviewee to do that for me! “There was a lot of pressure on everyone in the studio while the interview took place, but it was an experience I think we all enjoyed.” Paige had a similar experience of the day. She said: “When I first found out I would be involved in the Mark Carney interview. I was excited, but also anxious. I wanted everything to run smoothly and I believe everything did.

“Everyone involved in the event did a wonderful job and helped to make the day a success. My role was to take photographs of Mr Carney when entering the Redmonds Building, in the TV studio and meeting the broadcast students. Meeting him was an amazing experience and something I will never forget.” You can read Paige’s piece here and watch our TV package at http://jmu-journalism.org.uk/ mark-carney-talks-to-jmu-journalism/

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