Eight students from Liverpool John Moores BA Journalism and Sports Journalism courses have earned the opportunity to work alongside professional journalists at one of the UK’s biggest media titles.
Thanks to a partnership between LJMU and the Liverpool Echo, students will have their work published as well as gaining in-person newsroom experience and guidance from editors.
BA Journalism students Mackenzie Argent, Abigail Ford, Charley Young and Ruby Smith will be joined by Sports Journalism students Ben Jones, Conor McEvoy, Jonny Lambe and Darragh Haughian.
The quality of applicants from across the journalism courses meant supervisors at the Echo decided to increase their offer from six placements to eight.
And they have already made a flying start, with Ruby having work published on her first day.
She said: “I’m really enjoying the Liverpool Echo Community Reporter scheme. Everyone’s really nice and keen to help you improve at what you’re doing.
“They’re really supportive of your ideas and want to encourage you to get better at journalism in general. They recognise that we’re the next generation and want to nurture that.”
Students will receive guidance from Executive Digital Editor Steve Graves and What’s On and Weekend Editor Rebecca Koncienzcy as well as Sports Content Editor Paul Wheelock.
Back at LJMU, they will discuss and develop their ideas in weekly news meetings, modelled on what they would experience in industry.
The Liverpool Echo is owned by Reach PLC, which is the UK and Ireland’s largest commercial news publisher and also boasts national titles in its stable such as the Daily Mirror and Daily Express.
Having submitted CVs and covering letters in an authentic applications process, students were then invited to interviews at The Echo offices.
Mr Graves said: “We’re delighted to work with the university on the placement scheme and to help support the journalists of the future.
“The candidates for the placements were very impressive – so much so that while we had intended to offer three (news) placements, we decided to extend this to four to reflect the extremely strong standard.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming the students into the Echo newsroom and working with them over the coming months.”
Meanwhile, Mr Wheelock was similarly impressed, and is looking forward to seeing how the sports journalism students develop.
He said: “We had the pleasure of interviewing Darragh, Ben, Jonny and Connor at the Echo offices earlier this week about coming on a placement with us – and we were delighted to offer them all one.
“They came bursting with ideas and stories, across a range of different sports, that they’d like to chase, and it’ll be a pleasure to see their work published.”