Author Archives: 2016student

Evening Standard and Independent announce apprenticeship scheme

A new bursary scheme is being set up by the London Evening Standard.

Managing Editor Doug Wills announced The Editorial Diversity Bursary Scheme at the Society of Editors annual conference. Four Editorial apprenticeships are to be created that will lead to a diploma in journalism.

Apprentices will be given a two-year contract which will include a fast track NCTJ course, in partnership with the UCFB at Wembley Stadium.

They will complete their training at the Evening Standard and the Independent, where they will be embedded into the Editorial operation.

Applicants cannot already hold degree level qualifications or an Advanced Apprenticeship.

The apprenticeships are supported by organisations outside the media industry. Partners include social housing provider, The Peabody Foundation; The Stationers and Newspapermakers Livery Company; the Journalism Diversity Fund, and Goldman-Sachs.

The aim of the scheme is to give young people from the widest ethnic and social backgrounds a chance to work in the media.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan welcomed the move: “I commend the Evening Standard and Independent’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and I encourage businesses and organisations across London to support this new scheme as much as possible,” he said.

Candidates must have a GCSE in maths and English at a C or above as well as basic PC skills.

The apprenticeship scheme begins in January 2017.

By Emmi Bowles – University of Central Lancashire

Verification is key explains Jenni Sargent

Verification of internet sources is an ever-growing issue of importance for journalists, the Society of Editors conference was told this week.

Speaking at the annual conference in Carlisle, the Managing Director of First Draft News spoke of the new challenges that are being faced with the spread of social technology.

First Draft News works to find the best way to search for eyewitness media when a story breaks and provides tips on verification.

Addressing delegates as part of a panel session on newsroom tools and new technologies, Jenni Sargent told delegates that social media has allowed anybody to post stories making the issue of verification of increasing importance with online sources.

Sargent said: “At no point do we want to sit in judgement and say this is something you need to be careful of and you need to make sure you’re doing it right.”

Instead the organisations wants journalists and editors to ”understand who your sources are, where these images and videos have come from.”

Emmi Bowles – University of Central Lancashire

New Beginnings: How the media can help rebuild a community after an emergency

The vital role played by the media in the aftermath of the 2015 Cumbrian floods was the main focus of the New Beginnings session at the Society of Editors’ annual conference.

David Helliwell, Group Editorial Director of the CN Group, explained how important it was for his team to get to the heart of the crisis, despite many of their own homes having been flooded. “We had to be a conduit of accurate information for those who really really needed it,” he said.

He believes his main responsibility was to keep the floods on the government’s agenda, as attention shifted from the immediate impact on to clearing up and discussion of flood prevention measures. “As well as championing Cumbria’s role with government we were also chief cheerleader,” he added.

Thanks to that cheerleading, the Twitter hashtag #spiritofcumbria quickly went viral, boosting morale and helping to support those directly affected as they tried to rebuild their lives.

Tony Thompson, Chair of the Emergency Planning Society, spoke of the importance of careful planning and preparation for handling disasters.

He advocated the need to ‘Warn and Inform’ members of the public so that they know what to do in an emergency situation.

He also called for the re-establishment of emergency planning working groups to pool resources, experience and knowledge from right across the community, including input from the emergency services and the media.

Sean Robinson, Head of News at United Utilities also expressed the importance of the media during an emergency.

He said: “A part of our job as a ‘category two’ responder under the Civil Contingency Act is that we need to warn and inform the public. One of the quickest and fastest ways to do that is through the local media.”

“We are keen to work with news editors to make sure we can get our messages out – our customers are their readers.”
By Laura Creighton & Emmi Bowles UCLan

The media and the police

The ‘Media and Police’ conference session looked at the role of armed response units, and the thorny question of College of Policing guidelines.

Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, the national lead on Armed Policing, outlined some of the challenges facing modern response teams.

He explained their work, what they were armed with, and how various high profile cases – such as the Hungerford shooting and the Dunblane massacre – continue to shape and refine their approach to a range of extremely difficult situations.

He also touched on the controversial question of ‘shoot to kill’, adding he believes further debate is still needed on the subject because the public does not fully understand the issues.

They hinge on the purpose of firing at suspect – the police intention is to stop the offender in the most effective way. Generally this means aiming for what DCC Chesterman euphemistically described as ‘the central body mass’.

But when officers are confronted with, say, a potential suicide bomber, they are trained to aim at the brain stem. Then, the result is almost certain to be fatal.

DCC Chesterman explained firearms officers are all volunteers. He believes more media support towards them would be helpful: “Their biggest fear is the post incident investigation – that they won’t be treated fairly and will lose their livelihood,” he said.

Alex Marshall, Chief Executive at the College of Policing (COP) also spoke, running through the background to its latest set of media guidelines.

He stressed they were intended to ‘support people at the front end of policing’, letting journalists know what to expect, and guiding officers in how to behave in various situations.

He said: “The principle is to be open and have good relationships with the media, who are one version of holding the police to account.”

“But I think the media have to be careful not to over-rely on the police for information or to confirm information.”

Consultation continues, and a revised draft of media guidelines is expected early in 2017.

By Laura Creighton & Emmi Bowles UCLan