Graduate Joe: Get out there and be confident

Regional News reporter Joe Cooper, a graduate of Leeds Trinity

Regional News reporter Joe Cooper, a graduate of Leeds Trinity

Leeds Trinity graduate Joe Cooper credits the practical experience he gained at university for his success in breaking into the industry.

25-year-old Joe won the NCTJ News Journalist of the Year award in 2012 for a story he wrote while on the postgraduate print journalism course at Trinity.

Joe said: “I found the story on Facebook. It was a story about a baby that had sadly died, but the organs were used to help save others. I got in touch and did an interview and that’s how I won the award.”

In addition to his award, Joe managed to secure a job just eight months into the postgraduate course as a reporter for the Dewsbury Reporter. He emphasised how important work experience is when trying to break into the industry.

Joe said: “It is really important. The best way to learn is by doing the job, it’s the best way to improve. You should always be on the lookout for stories.

“You’ve just got to get out there and be confident. If you can write a good news story, you can go far. Student journalists often have an inferiority complex.”

Whilst the ability to use video and be adept with using social media is becoming increasingly important in Journalism, Joe stressed the importance of getting the basics right.

He said: “It is key. You need to be able to write really well. If you can’t write well you’ll be more of a hindrance than a help. Don’t make editors do all the work – be as helpful as you can.”

Joe described his experience of working at the Dewsbury Reporter as a steep learning curve, but maintains that learning on the job is the best possible way to improve.

He is currently enjoying gaining experience in a variety of different sectors. In the future he has his sights set on breaking into political reporting and penning a breaking news story.

Joe said: “My dream is for a story to go viral.”

Listen to the top tips Leeds Trinity students took from Joe’s talk

Joe’s entire talk:



  1. Reblogged this on Bucks Lyfe.

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