Guest talk on fight for press freedom

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JMU Journalism graduate Josie Timms returns to LJMU to discuss her Index on Censorship internship. Pic by Rochelle Beighton © JMU Journalism

JMU Journalism graduate Josie Timms returns to LJMU to discuss her Fellowship at Index on Censorship. Pic by Rochelle Beighton © JMU Journalism

Journalism students were treated to a talk this week by Index on Censorship, a magazine and website which campaigns for freedom of expression across the globe.

Editor Rachael Jolley and LJMU journalism graduate Josie Timms also spoke about the Tim Hetherington Fellowship, which is awarded each year in memory of the local photojournalist who was killed in Libya in 2011. Josie was the winner of the 2015 Fellowship, which involves a year-long paid role as Editorial Assistant with Index.

Students were given an insight into the history of Index on Censorship, believed to be the only magazine dedicated to global freedom of expression, before hearing about Josie’s experience.

Editor Rachael Jolley spoke to Josie about some of her most exciting experiences, including her interview with Johanna Schwartz about her new film, ‘They Will Have to Kill Us First’, which showcases the bravery of Malian musicians who were condemned to a life without music.

Josie told JMU Journalism: “Interviewing Johanna Schwarts and getting to go to the film premier after-party are my highlights of the year so far.

“I’m now thinking about going on and doing a Masters degree, but I’ll also be applying for jobs in August to get a bit more experience in journalism and then I’ll see how it goes.

“I’ve been really happy, it’s crazy going from my final project, dissertation and being constantly in the library to graduating with a 2:1, which I already thought was great, to this.

“It’s such a great opportunity, especially as the first Tim Hetherington Fellowship winner, it’s been great.”

Josie gave advice based on her experience of applying for the Fellowship: “Research the company first, the magazine and the website.

Index on Censorship's Rachael Jolley with Josie Timms at LJMU. Pic by Rochelle Beighton © JMU Journalism

Index on Censorship’s Rachael Jolley with Josie Timms at LJMU. Pic by Rochelle Beighton © JMU Journalism

“I think my application stood out because I tried to find an area that I thought hadn’t been covered that much.”

Josie’s Fellowship application included an article about pro-democracy activists who had been illegally detained in the Congo, which hadn’t received much coverage and so she thought it would be a suitable story to cover.

As for her role working on the magazine and website, she said: “It’s a daunting thing to do at first but you just have to go out there and do it and just have confidence in yourself that you can do it.

“Always find new sources and keep your eye out for new stories.

“Don’t be scared to just go out and get an interview because once you do a few you will be fine.”