LIVE: Danielle Whitfield on Little Mix, Adam Johnson and learning on the job



Danielle Whitfield

By Sam Brooksbank

Being thrown in at the deep end was exhilarating for Danielle Whitfield as she was sent out on stories involving girl band Little Mix and disgraced footballer Adam Johnson on her first day at work.

A Leeds Trinity University alumna, Danielle Whitfield started working at Newcastle-based press agency North News and Pictures while still completing her undergraduate degree.

Although Danielle dubs herself “too thick” and “not the cleverest”, she got into Leeds Trinity to do English and  Journalism.

On her very first day, she was sent from job to job, including going to court on a story about Little Mix’s Jade Thirwall’s stalker and having to get a copy of Adam Johnson’s birth certificate.

“I went in and I was so scared and so nervous because at North News we have the biggest stories from our patch.  They have had some of the biggest stories on the front pages of the nationals,” she said.

At university in her third year she was at the bottom of the class.  “I  decided to give myself a kick up the arse and do something about it. I had to do a project and had no idea what to do.

“So I knew I like animals so I created a website about them.  I put my heart and soul in to the zoo website and thankfully it paid off.”

She added: “I never thought I would get the job at North News.

“They then offered me a trial day I told my editor to take a chance on me, promising to learn shorthand in three months and said to that within the first three months I would pass my journalism exams and I would learn shorthand.

“I was doing journalism by day, studying by night and shorthand in the middle. I wasn’t really sleeping, I was hallucinating a lot, but I was having the best time.”

She has had work published in a  national news publications such as The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Star, The Telegraph, The Mail online and the Daily Mirror.

She has worked on some of the country’s biggest stories, including the Adam Johnson trial and the EU referendum.




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