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MA students put their journalistic skills to the test with Norwegian photojournalist

MA Journalism students had the opportunity to interview photo journalist Anders Graver Knudsen who visited UCLan from Oslo and Akershus University in Norway.

Thomas Earnshaw, Laura Oneill, Ramla Soni and Louise Busfield sat down with Anders on the back of his visit to different sessions throughout the week covering magazine and sports journalism with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Journalism lecturer David Atkinson invited Anders to advise students on magazine style, design and readability.

As Thomas Earnshaw transcribed the interview, students began by asking Anders about his visit to UCLan.  He said: “This is my second visit to UCLan. I came last year for an international week as part of the Erasmus agreement where I met David Atkinson and are now forming a co-operation between our two universities.”

Anders continued saying that he loves visiting the North West, including Preston, Manchester and especially Liverpool as he grew up supporting Liverpool FC and idolising Kenny Dalglish.

Anders was educated as a photo journalist at the same institution where he now teaches and after his journalistic studies Anders worked for Norway´s leading broadsheet newspaper, Aftenposten. The students were interested in how Anders got into the profession, asking how he started out.

“I started in photo journalism, working as a photo journalist for many years. My dad was a keen photographer, so I have always been interested in photography. I then moved up to editorial and started working in a news magazine.”

Starting as a photo journalist, he later worked at the news desk and as photo editor. After eight years in Aftenposten, he began studies at the University of Oslo, where he completed a master’s degree in media studies. From 2006, Anders worked as head of the photography department of the Norwegian magazine Ny Tid, before moving in his current job as assistant professor at Oslo and Akershus University in 2009.

Towards the end of the interview, students became interested in where Anders is from, Norway. One student claimed that Norway has recently been awarded the ‘World’s Happiest Nation’, which was greeted with a proud smile from Anders. “Scandinavia is generally a happy place,” he said.  “It is very secure and Norway has a very efficient and well run system. We are used to being top of these lists but it does not reflect reality. We are happy in the system that we are safe and secure in but even Norway has its bad days.”

Anders’ visit was one of many organised by lecturer David Atkinson as he has invited experienced personnel from the sector to come in and talk to students this semester. Most notably, students had a visit from alumni Lucy Aspden who now works for the Telegraph.  They saw first-hand how you can go from the MA Journalism course at UCLan to a successful career in the industry.

by Ellis McKeown