Graduate Danyaal’s road to Fellowship

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LJMU Tim Hetherington Fellow Danyaal Yasin at graduation

LJMU Tim Hetherington Fellow Danyaal Yasin at graduation in 2017. Pic © Danyaal Yasin

During my time as the LJMU Tim Hetherington Fellow and working at Index on Censorship, I have really had the opportunity to develop my skills as a journalist, as a writer and as someone in a professional capacity.

I found out I had been awarded the Fellowship just before my graduation in July 2017, so it was my first job as a graduate. The year-long position is aimed at helping you gain experience as a journalist, so I’ve had many different things to write and work on for each issue of Index on Censorship magazine, as well as the opportunity to pitch outside the quarterly magazine by working on the website.

Through the Fellowship, I was able to travel to Amsterdam to attend the Time to Talk bi-annual meeting, which brings together various free speech organisations across Europe, including Index, to discuss their work and what the most pressing issues are across Europe.

The experience really enabled me to put into practice all I had learnt from my time working with Index and the skills I was taught at Liverpool John Moores, too.

YouTube: Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression awards

Thanks to the variety of tasks I’d undertaken at Index, and the many different people I’ve had to deal with from all around the world, I felt confident in my abilities to speak with people at the conference, interviewing the heads of organisations and confident in my ability to find stories. I was able to speak with members of Red House, an organisation from Bulgaria, and produce a story based on free speech within the country.

I have worked mainly with Rachael Jolley and Jemimah Steinfeld, the editor and deputy editor of the magazine, during the Fellowship. Through working with them on the magazine, I have really been able to understand the different elements you need to work on when producing content and I feel that during my tenure, my skills as a journalist have grown massively in just a few months.

L-R: LJMU Tim Hetherington Fellow Danyaal Yasin, actress Ann Mitchell (Cora Branning from Eastenders), and actor Simon Callow

L-R: Danyaal Yasin, actress Ann Mitchell (Cora Branning from EastEnders), and actor Simon Callow. Pic © Danyaal Yasin

I have been able to develop different areas of my skill set, including working on the podcast alongside every issue, which gives me the opportunity to also work on my interviewing techniques, speaking with journalists, authors and writers from around the world.

This process alone has given me the confidence to present myself professionally and have the work to back me up.

My time as the Tim Hetherington Fellow has really made me aware of what I can do as a journalist, what I bring to the table and how I can grow even further. The entire team at Index made my time worthwhile and my input was really valued, on things ranging from page layouts for the magazine to what type of stories we published, and even speaking at events.

The LJMU Tim Hetherington Fellowship is a perfect start to working in the media and Index really makes sure you are fully prepared for your career ahead.

About Danyaal Yasin, JMU Journalism