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Country’s top journalists bring expertise to UCLan

Country’s top journalists bring expertise to UCLan Banner Image

Students attending the cJAM event

Students pitch to professionals from BBC, Sky and others

Some of the country’s most respected journalists have been sharing their expertise with the next generation of media professionals at a special event organised by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

UCLan’s annual Careers Jamming Session (cJAM) event, where students learn from the best in the business and pitch to senior editors to win work placements, brought in more than 35 journalists from the likes of the BBC, ITV, Sky, Manchester Evening News and the Big Issue.

More than 90 work placement opportunities were offered on the day, including with BBC Breakfast, BBC Sport News, Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Sky News.

Jayne McCubbin from BBC Breakfast, Ana Bates from Sky News and Managing Director of ITV Studios Daytime Emma Gormley were just some of the speakers who shared their career journeys and offered advice to the students.

As Managing Director, UCLan graduate Emma is responsible for Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women. Advising the students she said: “When I came to UCLan in 1993 my dream was to work as a researcher for This Morning, so I knew early on what I wanted to do. We’re in a very competitive business where the currency is ideas. To be successful you need to have passion, know your audience and create compelling content that will make you stand out.”

All of the speakers were very inspirational, particularly Jayne McCubbin from the BBC. Her advice on finding the voice of the public through my work is something I will take with me when I pitch to editors.

Fellow key speaker BBC Sport news editor Gary Keown said: “Finding a human interest angle is just as important in sports news, especially in the era of instant, 24-hour coverage. My advice to those just starting out is to not take no for an answer, know your target audience and always do your research on the organisation you want to work for. Also, don’t be afraid to say what you think – you need to make yourselves memorable.”

One of the editors on hand to speak to students was Kevin Gopal from Big Issue in the North. He is also one of 42 newly appointed Leaders in Residence who will work with the University to contribute to teaching, provide mentoring, host masterclasses and act as a role models for young people from diverse backgrounds.

Kevin said: “We’ve had a variety of UCLan students come to the Big Issue in the North on work placement so I already have a good relationship with the University. It’s a big honour to become a Leader in Residence. UCLan has one of the most prominent journalism schools in the country and if I can help students kick-start their careers with placements or through workshops I am more than happy to do so.”

It’s the fifth time UCLan has hosted cJAM, which this year will spread across four separate events covering journalism, media, performance and law. In total, 137 people attended the journalism gathering.

Second year sports journalism student Adam Salisbury said: “All of the speakers were very inspirational, particularly Jayne McCubbin from the BBC. Her advice on finding the voice of the public through my work is something I will take with me when I pitch to editors.”

To view highlights of the event at UCLan’s Media Factory, follow #UCLancJAM on Twitter. Photos are available on the UCLan Flick gallery.


Managing Director of ITV Studios Daytime Emma Gormley

Lyndsey Boardman | 05 November 2018