UCLan graduate and feature writer Amanda Killelea returns to Preston
Living proof that print media isn’t dead, Amanda Killelea, a UCLan graduate and feature writer for one of the country’s best-selling national newspapers the Daily Mirror, returned to Preston to give students a glimpse into life as a print journalist and how one can still achieve a fruitful career in this field.
Speaking to UCLan’s budding journalists and aspiring media moguls, Amanda drew upon her experiences from working as a journalist for local newspapers The Rossendale Free Press and Manchester Evening News, to writing celebrity features and columns for the Daily Mirror in a job market where competition is fierce.
She said: “When I started in newspapers, there wasn’t even mobile phones or the internet so there’s been huge changes.
“Obviously, the internet makes life a lot easier, but I think people often rely far too much on this for research, rather than picking up the phone or going out and actually speaking to people.
“News stories don’t fall into your lap, you have to sniff them out.”
"Obviously, the internet makes life a lot easier, but I think people often rely far too much on this for research, rather than picking up the phone or going out and actually speaking to people."
Since joining the Daily Mirror three and a half years ago, Amanda has covered a multitude of stories from an undercover feature exposing Brits abroad in binge drinking chaos at the Spanish holiday resort of Magaluf, to “Rockin’ All Over the World” when she interviewed Status Quo front man Francis Rossi about the night his bandmate Rick Parfitt collapsed on stage.
Other showbiz interviews Amanda has conducted include the stars of Coronation Street and Emmerdale, to Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor.
Reflecting on her career path, Amanda always wanted to work for a national newspaper as opposed to radio and television broadcast. She said: “I really love it! It’s different everyday, it’s very rewarding and you get to meet lots of amazing people.
“I like the fact as well, that in print you can usually get more space and time to craft your work. You can say a lot more in a thousand words, than you can in a couple of minutes on-screen."
"I definitely think that having guest lectures is a big help for us because we get a different voice instead of just our lecturers."
One student, Emmi Bowles, who’s striving for a career in print media enjoys guest lectures and believes they are an asset to the course. She said: “I definitely think that having guest lectures is a big help for us because we get a different voice instead of just our lecturers.
“As somebody who’s a bit nervous about graduation, it’s given me more confidence and it’s reassuring to see that there is actually light at the end of the tunnel when you graduate and whether you start working for a small newspaper or go straight into national newspapers, there is something out there for us.”