Journalism students make the news at Essex

  • Date

    Fri 7 Jul 17

Two journalism students holding up a newspaper

Students got first-hand experience of producing a newspaper thanks to a partnership project with the Gazette newspaper in Colchester.

The project was made possible thanks to the support of Head of Content Dominic Bowers, Content Manager Gareth Watkins and Chief Reporter Andrea Collitt plus colleagues in the Gazette newsroom.

Professor Jonathan Baker said: “This was part of the Newspaper Production Project for our Year Two students and we are really grateful to the Gazette team for their support.

“The aim of the module is to give students hands-on experience of working for a newspaper and the whole production process - finding and writing stories through to the finished paper.

“These days journalists can be expected to write their stories straight into the page, as well as inserting their own pictures. So it is important our students understand the process end-to-end, and the software that supports it.”

Many of the students have completed work experience with the Gazette or its Newsquest sister-papers as part of their course.

Professor Baker said students have been closely involved in every part of the project: “Because the articles were for the published paper, the Gazette were keen that they should be of interest to their general readership, and not just be campus or student-focused.

“We checked in with the Gazette while the stories were evolving, and then worked more closely with them in the design and layout of individual pages, culminating in a day spent at their offices where the students actually created the pages with the help of Dominic and Gareth.”

Professor Baker is pleased with the range and scope of the content created: “Our general approach was to look for stories with a sort of ‘Town and Gown’ feel - based loosely around the relationship between Colchester and the University.

“This means readers will find stories about the University’s new multi-million pound sports centre – which will be available to the public, the student rental market, the contribution the University to the local economy, and of course the potential impact of Brexit on such an international university.”