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Newsroom event tests students

Journalism students at Edge Hill College of Higher Education have been getting a taste of what life is really like in a busy newsroom.

First year students on the BA (Hons) Journalism degree course in Ormskirk, Lancashire, took part in two “newsdays”, led by lecturer Peter Butterfield, former editor of the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

  • Peter Butterfield
    (Pic: Stuart Rayner)
  • On each day, half the year group produced a newspaper, working under industry-simulated conditions.

    The full working day in a real-life newsroom was recreated, from the morning editorial conference to the afternoon print deadline.

    The students worked in Edge Hill’s own newsroom, which is equipped with industry-standard equipment, and got involved in every aspect of production, from writing stories and selecting photographs to designing pages and writing headlines.

    The newspapers produced at the end of each day covered a broad range of stories, from things happening on the Edge Hill campus to events in the students’ home towns. Motoring, sport and the arts were all featured.

    Peter said: “We wanted it to be as real an experience for the students as possible.

    “Although some of them have had work experience on real newspapers many have not, and it was good for them to find out what happens in a newsroom over the course of a day.

    “They were under a lot of pressure but they are pleased with what they have produced and I am very proud of them.”

    Student Louise Mollart said: “Until now all the news writing exercises we’ve had have been done in our own time so this was interesting because we only had a day to put a whole newspaper together.”

    Her colleague Renee Idris said: “It has been really good because we have been able to try everything, from writing to designing pages. It has given us an idea of what it will be like when we start work and the confidence to realise that we can actually do it.”

    More newsdays are to be held throughout the course.

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    e-mail pastill@nepmidlands.co.uk