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College journalists win scoop as Hague quits

Trainee journalists at Highbury College faced “hold the front page” drama when William Hague announced his decision to step down.

The Portsmouth students were minutes away from their 8am deadline for a 12-page overnight election special when the Tory leader dropped his bombshell.

They immediately revamped their front page and page two editorial to capture the drama of Hague’s defeat… and to scoop local and national newspapers on Friday morning.

“Hague’s timing could not have been better for us,” said Bernie Saunders, Highbury’s head of journalism.

“The subs were literally putting the finishing touches to the front page.

“The local and national papers beat us with the results but our students were first on the streets with Hague’s decision to step down.”

Hundreds of copies of the students’ paper – Highbury Express Election Special – were distributed in Portsmouth and around the college campus.

The students are on Highbury’s 20-week fast-track newspaper journalism course and worked through the night on the election special.

Bernie said: “They were pretty weary by morning but all of them responded professionally and quickly to get Hague’s announcement in. We’re really proud of them.”

The election special gave an overview of the national scene and comprehensive coverage of Hampshire battles for Westminster seats.

Copies have been sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair, the new cabinet, opposition party leaders, local MPs, candidates and party workers.

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