LIVE: Loose Women and Jeremy Kyle still need good journalists

By Alex Smith

Journalists need to celebrate the things which make them unique,  and be mindful of the prejudices they will face, says Emma Morris, acting editor of Loose Women.

She said: “I don’t look like a journalist. I’m blonde, I’m smiley, I’m from Burnley, I didn’t go to a posh school, my dad was a probation officer and my mum worked for the council so I couldn’t get work experience through them – they let me down!”

According to Emma, the greatest challenge young student journalists face is being labelled as part of the ‘snowflake generation.’ [Read more…]

LIVE: Phil Hay – Ken Bates wouldn’t let me record interviews with him


By Tom Connell

The chief football writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post has revealed former Leeds United chairman Ken Bates would not allow him to record interviews with him.

Phil Hay, who has been covering Leeds United for the YEP since 2006, says the controversial former owner told him he had to make a shorthand note of their discussions – insisting “no tapes, notes only”.

Bates, who sold Leeds in 2012, endured a rocky relationship with fans of the Elland Road club.

Phil also discussed how publishers are becoming increasingly predatory in their pursuit of online audiences. He believes newspapers are covering stories way outside of their geographical patch to tap in to big fan bases around the world:

He said: “The Daily Record in Glasgow recently began running increased online coverage of Manchester United, which is obviously outside their area. The content bypasses the local old firm fans and reaches Manchester United’s global fanbase which attracts traffic to their website.”

Phil says the YEP will no longer hold back a story for their print edition, something that was typical a decade ago.

He added: “If we pick up a story about a transfer, a sacking or a new contract that will go online straight away. We wouldn’t dream of holding it back.”

LIVE: Leeds United reporter reflects on changes in the journalism industry


By Matthew Brannen and Tom Connell 

A local football reporter reflected on the changes in the media industry and local journalism over the past 15 years.

Phil is the chief football writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post and is responsible for the daily coverage of Leeds United Football Club.

He said: “The industry has changed beyond all recognition since I graduated in 2001.”

“When I graduated he says there was no online audience at all- there has been a shift in recent years towards online journalism, and it was impossible to envisage this happening eight years ago.

“Newspapers are still making more money at the moment as there is an issue with papers struggling to make money from online content.

“It is difficult to imagine newspapers now surviving without also having a website.”

Phil also reflected that through the internet, traditional  restrictions on reporting have been removed as before newspaper websites, there was no scope for reporting until  printing resumed the next day.

Phil added: “The situation has now changed and the landscape is completely different. Nowadays we are all things to all men.”

As well as the internet creating the possibility of 24 hour reporting, Phil told the audience how it has also created additional job roles, as social media and digital content are posts that can be applied for.

UPDATED: James Tennant challenges students to achieve their goals


Alumnus James Tennant overcomes his stammer and talks to a packed lecture theatre at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week 

By Oliver Lines

A Leeds Trinity University graduate spoke about the challenges of overcoming his stammer to deliver a talk at Journalism Week.

James Tennant, who works at digital marketing company Take That Ltd, encouraged students to set targets and achieve them, whether personal or professional.

“You only get one shot in life, so make the most of it because you are going to have obstacles that you need to overcome,” he said.

“One phrase that has always stuck with me is ‘you wouldn’t ask someone with a broken leg to walk upstairs, so why are you asking a stammerer to speak?’

“I will always have a stammer but it’s up to me how I control it.”

[Read more…]

UPDATED: News journalist Danielle Whitfield’s first job spans murders and celebrity tales


Graduate Danielle Whitfield showcases some of the stories she has covered for national publications

By Anna Riley

Celebrity penis sizes, bestiality, kidnapping and murders are among the variety of stories covered daily by a news agency journalist.

Danielle Whitfield, a Leeds Trinity University alumna, was yet to graduate when she started working at North News and Pictures, a Newcastle-based press agency.

The reporter juggled studying with a full-time job and her success shows how personality and attitude are some of the most important skills to have as a journalist, rather than academic achievement.

Danielle said: “I didn’t do very well in my A-Levels, so I was so pleased that I got in to university to study Journalism and English.

“In my third year I never thought I would get the job at North News, but they took a chance on me.

[Read more…]

LIVE: Cartoons hold politicians to account, says journalist


Sheffield Star cartoonist James Whitworth

By Jack Goodman

The MPs expenses scandal was ‘like Christmas’ for cartoonists, James Whitworth told journalism students.

The prominent cartoonist said the history of cartoon satire and a historical lack of censorship in cartoons dating back to medieval times had given the art social importance.

The 2009 political scandal revealed some MPs were wrongly claiming expenses for personal goods. James said: “Every single day when you thought ‘I can’t possibly draw another cartoon’, someone had claimed for a moat!”

He showed an example cartoon which said: “I went into politics to make my living room a better place.”

[Read more…]

UPDATED: Erwin James says writing gave him a second chance after murder sentence


img_1704By Henry Valantine

Guardian columnist Erwin James shared his message of redemption, as finding a career in journalism helped him ‘massively’ in adjusting to the outside world after his release from prison.

He first started writing the A Life Inside feature for The Guardian while still behind bars in 1995, after they had approached prisoners wanting them to write about life in jail.

Erwin was released in 2004, having served 20 years after being convicted of two murders, and is now also editor of Inside Time, a publication written by and for prisoners that attracts an online audience of 200,000 per month.

On perceptions of him after his release, he said: “When you get out of jail in this country, people don’t want to know you. You get out of prison after 20 years, and people especially don’t want to know you.

[Read more…]

UPDATED: Having a disability is not always the story, says diversity expert Vidar Hjardeng


ITV diversity consultant Vidar Hjardeng discusses the issues around inclusivity at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week.

By Oliver Lines

Diversity is more than just talking to minorities about issues that impact only them, according to a leading expert.

Speaking at Leeds Trinity’s Journalism Week, ITV’s diversity consultant Vidar Hjardeng told students about his concept of incidental diversity and how the media had changed to accommodate it.

“Just because you talk to wheelchair users about access to a building, doesn’t mean that they don’t have as many views about Theresa May or Gareth Southgate,” said Vidar.

[Read more…]

LIVE: Diversity is key to attracting talent into journalism, says Vidar Hjardeng

ITV diversity consultant Vidar Hjardeng discusses the issues around inclusivity at Leeds Trinity Journalism Week.

By Matthew Brannen

News organisations must diversify their TV, radio and written output if they want to connect with the next generation of journalists.

ITV diversity consultant Vidar Hjardeng told Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week journalists’ work had an impact on the industry and must appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

He said: “People who are looking for a career in journalism will either be won over or alienated by a news organisation’s output.”

Vidar, who was awarded his MBE in 2012 for services to visually impaired people and to broadcasting, has spent more than 25 years at ITV as well as working for groups that help the blind and partially sighted.

[Read more…]

Defying authority launched the career of troublemaking journalist Jules Mattsson

By Matthew Brannen 

Fresh from reporting on US Elections for ITN, Jules Mattsson comes to Journalism Week used to holding powerful people to account.

In 2010 he hit the headlines when recordings of his arguments with Metropolitan Police officers over his right to take photos of an Armed Forces Day parade and his subsequent arrest went viral.

He had no idea his arrest would be such a career-defining moment, particularly as he was only 15 years old at the time.

Nigel Green, lecturer in journalism, who invited Jules to speak to students said: “My hope is that he will both inspire students by showing what they can do at a young age and also teach them that they must know their law and, at times, be willing to stand their ground and protest their basic rights.”


Now a freelance journalist at ITN, early in his career Jules had got the attention of Scotland Yard and found his way into their secret files on troublesome journalists.

When in 2014 The Times newspaper gained access to these files through a Freedom of Information request, Jules was one of the six journalists who took the Police to court. [Read more…]