Meet Holly

Holly has loved sport for as long as she remembers. After volunteering in her spare time at a local radio station and covering her team Chesterfield FC, she got a taste for it, inspiring her to study Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

When choosing the university that was right for her, Holly was interested in the courses’ industry accreditations, meaning she will graduate with more than just a degree. The BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course at UCLan is accredited by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) with the option to complete the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualification. After meeting with academics from the course and taking a tour around the University, she knew it was the place she wanted to study.

Holly, now in her final year of study, admits the highlight of studying Sports Journalism here has been the wealth of opportunities allowing her to gain real-world experience to boost her employability prospects. These experiences have undoubtedly contributed to Holly securing her first full-time role in industry as a Journalism Researcher at BBC Sport which she will start after graduation. In this role, Holly will be working with the digital team to write stories on the news desk and work with the team responsible for live streaming sport at the BBC.

"The knowledge, expertise and support from my lecturers has undoubtedly helped me secure my first full-time role in the industry. Boosted by, not only my practical skills such as writing and broadcasting but also soft skills like confidence and communication."

Holly Bacon, BA (Hons) Sports Journalism

Find out more about the experiences Holly made the most of whilst studying Sports Journalism at UCLan.

Careers Jamming Session (cJAM)

cJAM is an annual Careers Jamming Session where students learn from the best in the business and pitch to win work placements in the Journalism industry. Holly has been remarkably successful at cJAM achieving six various opportunities throughout the cJAM events. Holly won placement opportunities at Bauer Media, Radio Manchester, Radio Lancashire, Sky Sports News and mentoring opportunities from BBC 5 Live’s Richard Lawson and Anastasia Bates from Sky News. Holly said: “I have made invaluable connections through cJAM.”

Sky Sports News

Holly was very excited to win a placement at Sky Sports News. She shadowed the team at Soccer Saturday which is a show that she has watched for as long as she can remember. Holly expressed that: “it was fascinating to witness how such an iconic show is put together and it was pretty surreal to spend time with the pundits before the show!”. Holly also attended a Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) meeting at Westminster and a press conference at Brentford’s training ground whilst she was working at Sky Sports News.

Gravity Media reporting on Women's Super League (WSL)

Whilst studying Holly was notified of a reporter role at Gravity Media by one of her lecturers. Holly was successful in securing the role and has continued to work at Gravity Media alongside her studies. Holly is a reporter for the FA Player which broadcasts the Women's Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship football league games. Holly explains: “I interview the manager and players from each side after the game and assist my colleges in the gallery with important information such as substitutions and goal scorers.”

Holly commentating with a lip microphone
Holly commentating with a lip microphone

Mentoring

UCLan are members of the John Schofield Trust Mentoring scheme where students are paired with an experienced journalist. Holly participated in this scheme which lasted 12 months. She was paired with correspondent and reporter, Rosie Wright at Times Radio. Students that participate in this scheme can access frequent masterclasses such as “a day at the BBC.” Holly said the scheme “certainly helped my confidence and navigating the freelance world.”

Freelance at BBC Sport and BBC Radio Lancashire

Balancing her freelance roles with her academic studies, Holly has been working with the BBC for the last couple of years. At BBC Sport she works on live football blogs and the news desk. At BBC Radio Lancashire Holly has worked on daytime programmes as a broadcast assistant, an opportunity which arose after meeting BBC Lancashire News Editor David Saville at cJAM. Holly has also had broadcasting opportunities with the sport team at BBC Lancashire including commentary and conducting interviews.

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