From student to speaker in just a year!


mark kielesz-levine

By Mariah Young

Just a year ago Mark Kielesz-Levine was a Postgraduate student at Leeds Trinity University covering Journalism Week.

Today he was back, but as a speaker passing on his tips for getting into the industry and telling aspiring journalists: “if I can make it, so can you”.

Now working for Made in Leeds TV as a television journalist, newsreader, and camera operator Mark said he felt one of the key qualities was honesty.

He said: “As a journalist, you must always be honest. You can exaggerate, you can sensationalise, you can embellish but you must always be honest.

“If you don’t know, do not blag, do not say you do, when you don’t.

“In this industry, be it regional, local, national, international, if you lie you won’t be trusted. Most places you go to won’t offer second chances.”

Mark also advised the trainees on how to deal with jealousy.

He said: “Part of the reason I’m here is because of jealousy. Some say jealousy is a bad thing, but I don’t think that’s true.

“If you let jealousy drive you, rather than control you I think it can be a good thing. Let it make you say if it’s them, why can’t it be me?”

In an exclusive interview after his talk, Mark gave his top five tips for aspiring television journalists:

  • Never say no.
  • Be prepared to start at the bottom.
  • Know your skills:  basically everything you learn at university is really important, so remember that.
  • Make sure you look good, it’s important to be presentable on TV!
  • Always think about what the viewer wants to see. TV is not necessarily about what you’re interested in but what other people find interesting. So when you’re doing a piece ask yourself, what does the person at home want to see? What’s the most interesting thing here?

He ended the speech with a final piece of advice: “I’ll leave you with something I told myself when I was trying to make it is a footballer – when a door closes find an open window.”


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