My Claire Prosser bursary work placements

Posted: 16 Aug 19
Categories: Blog

In under a year I’ve gone from an unemployed graduate to starting my dream job as a broadcast journalist and the Claire Prosser Bursary has played its part.

Weighted towards those who have a preference for a career in broadcast or digital journalism, it includes the opportunity to complete work experience placements at the BBC, Press Association and Wire Free Productions.

My first was at the BBC. One of the great things about the placement was that the BBC allowed me to choose where I would like to do it. I’ve always been interested in long-form journalism and investigations so I asked if I could go to File on 4 and 5 Live Investigates.

The team is based in Salford near Manchester and they work across the two programmes, which meant I was able to get involved with both. I helped to source contributors for the programmes and pre-interview guests.

Over my two weeks there I worked on a wide range of investigations from where recycling ends up when sent abroad, to dangerous cladding on buildings and problems with Universal Credit. I spent a lot of my free time at university listening to 5 Live Investigates so it was a surreal moment to be asked to help fix guests and conduct interviews for the last ever episode of the programme.

The week after my BBC placement ended I was back down to London to start my work experience at PA Media. PA Media is the UK’s biggest news agency, which means they’ve usually got a reporter covering most things happening across the UK.  

On my first day, I was sent to magistrate’s court to help report on a trial concerning environmental protesters. Whilst in the courtroom I was able to use many of the skills I had learnt on my NCTJ course, from scribbling down the events in shorthand to understanding legal orders made by the judge. Sitting in the court made me realise how well the NCTJ diploma had prepared me for my journalism career.

The next day I was out shadowing a reporter again, this time I was helping to cover the Donald Trump protest in central London. It was an amazing opportunity to get to the heart of the story. I loved being on the ground and speaking to people at the protest, hearing why they were there and telling their stories. Later that night when I got home I saw the copy we filed being used across the media.

Whilst at PA Media I also visited the coroner’s court to cover a celebrity inquest. It was a saddening day but it was an opportunity to see the more sensitive side of journalism and the ethics that all journalists must consider when reporting stories.

Before I did my work experience at PA Media I hadn’t even considered a role in journalism outside of broadcast but reporting and visiting the courts made me realise there is a wide range of journalism roles to try.

I’ve still got to complete my placement at Wire Free Productions and will update this blog when I do but if the other placements are anything to go by then I’m sure I’ll have a great time.

– Olivia Noon.

Olivia completed her NCTJ diploma with PA Training, and now works as a trainee broadcast journalist with BBC World Service.