London Met Journalism Diversity Network heads to Paris

Associate Professor in Journalism, Wendy Sloane, discusses student placement scheme.

Date: 21 February 2023

The London Met Journalism Diversity Network has officially kicked off this year, with a variety of exciting work placements for students – and a free trip for 19 students to the French capital for Paris Fashion Week.
Most of the students who will be going to Paris in early March are studying on the BA Fashion Marketing and Journalism course. The trip, which will involve visits to specialist shops, trade shows and museums as well as specialist meetings with Paris-based fashion
journalists, is all thanks to the Diversity Network’s receipt of a generous grant from Drapers.

The Paris trip sounds “super exciting”, said third-year Fashion Marketing and Journalism student Giulia Zanatta. “I think it will be a good opportunity to visit, learn, see and enjoy a new city… and also see so much fashion and style around. I am looking forward to being
there!” The Network took students to Paris Fashion Week once before - in early 2020 - but due to Covid it has been put on hold - until now.

The Diversity Network started in 2018, originally to help our students get a foot in the door by gaining competitive work placements in well-established magazines and news organisations. While that is still its focal point, it has expanded to include a wide range of
diverse guest speakers, trips - both at home and abroad - and site visits.

This year, the scheme secured placements at Black Beauty & Hair magazine, Camden New Journal, Marie Claire and Sky News, while one lucky student will spend several weeks shadowing Omar Mansoor, a London-Based fashion designer who has dressed everyone from actresses to royalty to European aristocracy. 
Previous years have included placements at Whytt magazine, Heat, Bella, Marie Claire and Closer, and several PR companies. Students have also got into the BBC; in two cases, the Diversity Network placements have led to full-time jobs.

Neo Lekhela, a second-year BA Journalism student who wants a career in broadcasting, was thrilled to discover she won a placement to Sky News. Neo already presents a live television show for her church every Sunday.

“My long-held desire to work for Sky News has finally come true. It is surreal for me and a positive step forward because Sky News is one of my favourite news stations,” said Neo. 

Working for her church entails weekly script creation and news gathering in order to produce a live weekly programme. “In addition to needing to memorise numerous scripts, this also includes introducing and interviewing guests, linking segments, and interacting with the online audience,” she said.
“This will go extremely well with the work placement because it will enable me to build on my foundational knowledge and abilities, and advance them by understanding how the journalism industry operates at an even bigger scale.”

Senior Lecturer Simon Cadman, who runs the work placement module, said: “Thank you to all the organisations who share our values of inclusion and fairness of opportunity for all, and have opened their doors to our second year students.

“They come back to uni from these wonderful placements with valuable experience and skills to put on the CVs, and they’re fired up for real thing after graduation.”
Neo Lekhela, a second-year BA Journalism student