LIVE: Phil Hay describes the chaos of covering Leeds United


By Tom Connell 

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s chief football writer has described the “day to day chaos” of covering Leeds United for the last decade.

Phil Hay has seen 700 matches over the last 10 years – including a promotion, a relegation, administration and an unprecedented 15-point penalty from the Football League while reporting on the events at Elland Road.

Phil stated that his access to controversial chairman Massimo Cellino has deteriorated.

He said: “My relationship with Cellino has broken down so much to the point that we don’t speak. I find it difficult to see how the club can progress the way he’s running it.

“Although that opinion has softened slightly this season because of the people he has appointed.

“His methods deserve scrutinizing,  and if the local media aren’t going to do that then who is.”

Phil believes the club will not be promoted under Cellino.

He says he’s had more than his fair share of criticism from people who have been at the club over the years, but believes it is always important to remain impartial. He’s been threatened with being sued and banned from press conferences.

Phil added: “Sometimes people at the club want you to delay articles or not print them – never do that without a good reason.”

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.”

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…]

LIVE: Knowing what’s cool the key to success, says leading YouTuber

Hollie Brooks of giving a talk at Leeds Trinity University for Journalism Week

Hollie Brooks of giving a talk at Leeds Trinity University for Journalism Week

By Sean Gannon 

An editor who runs a website that deals in the YouTube phenomenon told aspiring journalists the value of knowing what young people think.

Hollie Brooks, senior editor at, said journalists needed to know what young people want, because brands and businesses, want to know what is going to be cool.

“Nothing is more valuable than knowing stuff people above 25 don’t understand,” she said.

“Youth culture moves so, so, fast. Knowing what’s cool is such a big advantage in journalism.”

[Read more…]

UPDATED: Charlie Hebdo attack shows importance of making fun of authority, says Star scribbler


By Kelly-Ann Woodward

Being a satirical cartoonist has become a dangerous profession alongside being a journalist, according to a leading cartoonist.

James Whitworth, a daily cartoonist from the Sheffield Star, told students at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week just how dangerous being an artist can be. There have been many circumstances where this has become apparent.

The terrorism attack on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 was primarily because of the controversial satirical content that was published about Mohammed.

James said: “Being a cartoonist becomes a dangerous profession when you are offending someone. Figures in authority hate cartoonists for this reason.”

The terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was a moment that was sad and unfunny – like any terrorist attack is – but being a daily cartoonist means that you have to draw a satirical cartoon on events like these.

James states this as a great problem with being a cartoonist, especially a daily one. [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…]

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.

[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…]