Students meet Newsbeat editor

A treat was in store for London Met broadcast fans when BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat's Deputy Editor Julian Marshall visited the university.

Date: 11/02/2013

BA Journalism student Ida-Sofia Ääri reports on the latest London Met enhancement week.

A treat was in store for London Met broadcast fans when BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat's Deputy Editor Julian Marshall visited the university. 

Crowds of students filed into the journalism newsroom to spend the afternoon asking questions to Marshall, who did his best to answer all of them. Students had the chance to see what it would be like to be a real radio journalist when they watched a film about the Newsbeat presenters in their everyday work environment. 

Marshall gave the young journalists something to think about when he said that the very iPhones in their hands might be the future of radio journalism. There were also insights into the reality of radio work, and it became obvious that 5am wake-up calls and 8am meetings were the biggest ‘bugbears’ in presenters’ lives!

After the talk, Marshal opened a competition for London Met students – the prize being no less than a work placement at BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. 

It was all part of the second London Met Enhancement Week of the academic year, which has left students with many new experiences. As expected, London Met offered a variety of different activities for undergraduates to choose from, and a few of these even benefitted them in the form of an internship or work placement. 

The Creative Access group spoke to journalism students about the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the media, and gave those from black or other ethnic minority groups a chance to get a paid work placement with some of their impressive media partners, including Sky, Harper Collins, Sony Pictures, Channel 4 and Endemol.

London Met Vice Chancellor Malcom Gillies also attended to show his and the University’s support for the cause.

“It's vital that study is linked in to what a student could go on to do in the outside world,” said Jude Rogers, Lecturer in BA Journalism. “A good journalism course should open up students' minds and teach them vital skills, but also direct them towards interesting job opportunities that they might not hear about elsewhere.

“They also open up access to careers and areas of employment that may have previously seemed very distant to students.”

Among the speakers was The Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera, who shared the rocky road experiences he faced at the beginning of his career. “It was hard at first when my colleagues thought I was there to fix computers, like every other Asian guy,” he said.

“It feels like a walled garden, but when you get in to the industry, it becomes very liberal and approving,” Sanghera assures. 

First-year journalism student Muna Ali was excited about the event and thought it was very useful. “I was interested to hear that many big papers have hardly any Asian or black people working for them,” she said. “But I was also very excited about the fact that London Met students are offered internships and help with our CVs and other work-related issues.” 

The most popular event of the week was a visit by George Galloway MP who gave a press conference for journalism students. Known for his controversial politics and even bolder personality, George Galloway was a hit among students.

He spent an hour answering questions from budding journalists who had prepared their questions with care. From the very first question, it was obvious that the students were not going to go easy on the MP for Bradford West. 

From the current situation in Russia to Julian Assange, Galloway was peppered with questions. As most of the students knew him from the Celebrity Big Brother house, this was also a topic he shared with students, saying: “I don’t regret it, but I would not do it again! The fact that you remember it though means that it was the right thing for me to do.”

Jude Rogers says these events can create all kinds of opportunities for students, such as real, meaningful work experience, and in the case of Creative Access, properly paid work. 

“Importantly, they can also change students’ minds about their own capabilities, and make them think about what they could do in the future in a very positive, constructive light,” she said.

Find out more about studying in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at London Met.