Salim Patel, a third year International Journalism student spent the day with ITV Granada Reports presenters as part of an Open Newsroom event, designed to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to think about careers in Journalism. Salim is visually impaired but has already had work experience at BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio 4 You and Yours.
Salim’s visit was arranged by UCLan alumnus Paul Duckworth, content editor and producer at ITV Granada and Deborah Robinson, BA (Hons) Journalism course leader.
Salim took part in several workshops with industry professionals who shared their advice and experiences in their spoken field. He said: “This opportunity was fantastic because it allowed me to speak to everyone related to making a news programme; from camera operators to reporters. Speaking to these individuals allowed me to understand the time and effort which is put into making news.”
He added: “Following the workshops I was given the opportunity to watch the 6pm news go out live from the gallery. Although it seemed like chaos in the gallery, it showed me that there are so many factors that have to be thought of and taken care of when making a programme. Timing is essential and news reading isn’t as simple as it looks.
“Overall, for me as a third year International Journalism student this opportunity allowed me to gain an insight into the world of journalism. I learnt so much and it was great to network with many respectable people who are at the top of their game.”
Deborah Robinson said: “I’m delighted that Salim had the opportunity to meet the Granada Reports team and see for himself what’s involved in producing a regional news programme. Granada Reports has an outstanding reputation for its news coverage, having won many awards, including two BAFTAs, so for Salim to learn from such professionals was a fantastic experience.
“Salim has already spent time at Radio Lancashire and the BBC Radio Four ‘You and Yours’ programme working with the news team and honing his professional skills. This additional experience in a regional television newsroom will further enhance Salim’s employability.
“He is very focused, talented and determined to achieve a career in broadcasting. We hope that the tuition and mentoring Salim has received on our International Journalism course will help him fulfil his potential in a professional environment.”
Paul Duckworth added: “The Open Newsroom event was a nationwide scheme to get young people from a range of backgrounds into network and regional newsrooms.
"Once again, a UCLan student excelled in a newsroom environment. Salim was engaged and engaging, and has already been asked to come back and spend a few days shadowing the Granada Reports team. I was delighted to see a UCLan journalism student showing the drive and passion associated with graduates from the course."
Salim runs his own ‘Blind Journalist’ Twitter and blog. Paul concluded: "Salim has made a strong online brand out of his disability. Despite identifying himself as ‘The Blind Journalist’ he has the vision to go a long way in the industry."