Recently, a group of Year 12 students who take part in the Wyke Media Hub Enrichment had the opportunity to listen and participate in an interactive journalism session, lead by Taylor Umland, the head of the Sports Journalism department at Leeds Beckett University, the leading university in the country for journalists. The students were contacted by Jamie Farrow and invited to W12 to begin their exploration into the world of news reporting.
The session gave the students a first-hand glimpse into the subject from a professional perspective, where they discussed what it means to be a ‘great’ journalist and how to create not just a news piece, but an ‘original’ story. They then put this into practice, creating their own articles in focus groups and ‘pitching’ them to Taylor, and receiving effective feedback which enabled them to consider what else they could include, how their angle should look and how ‘far’ a story could be developed. All stories produced received brilliant feedback – the class was incredible with their knowledge of current affairs and the effort put in was amazing to witness. It provided the students with the key skills and knowledge they need to start independently exploring the field of journalism (which was highly encouraged by Taylor) and see how the world really works from behind the scenes. Questions were asked in detail about how the career works, how it benefits them and how to pursue it, as well as what Leeds Beckett has to offer with the courses of journalism. Overall, the environment of the session was full of energy and aspiration – it was great to see such enthusiasm in the subject!
Following the teaching Taylor provided, the students took notes and were encouraged to send their work to him for feedback and improve the confidence and attitude the students have towards journalism. The students will be taking a trip to Leeds Beckett university after the Christmas break, to see the infamous newsrooms and reporting equipment they have available, and participate in realistic activities that will develop their skills and truly set them on the path of journalism.
A massive thanks goes to Taylor for coming in and giving our students such a fantastic first experience to the subject, and to Jamie Farrow for setting up the session. Well done Y12.
(A big thank you to Wyke student Jessica Hirons for this excellent write up!)