A sound installation, a star-struck brush with Waterloo Road‘s lead man and a seat on the BBC Breakfast sofa were some of the highlights of a field trip to MediaCityUK yesterday.
Second-year undergraduates on the Broadcasting and Journalism BA spend the day exploring the Salford Quays site, visiting BBC North and Salford University, as part of the Media Business module.
They gathered multimedia content, vox pops interviews and insight into the MediaCityUK development for assessed presentations after Easter. Story angles, developed in advance of the visit, ranged from sustainability in media organisations to the impact of the BBC move from London on local employment.
Students questioned local experts about job and freelance opportunities for recent graduates at the expanding MediaCityUK complex.
Paul Broster, Course Leader for Salford University’s MA Journalism programme, said: “There are very few permanent staff jobs available these days but media outlets are still hungry for quality freelancers with skills and enthusiasm.”
He indicated their courses are now increasingly embracing online journalism as the essential skill for next-generation journalists.
Margaret Burgin, Outreach Manager for BBC North, explained that, while all work experience opportunities are advertised on the BBC Careers website, strong applicants will always shine through.
“It’s passion we look for,” she said. “Do you really want this? If you don’t, we can tell just from your application.”
BBC North currently operates an apprenticeship programme for residents of Greater Manchester and paid work experience under its ambassador programme.
Journalism lecturer David Atkinson, who arranged the trip, said: “This was another useful exercise in taking students out of the comfort-zone classroom and engaging in some real-world journalism.”
He added: “I hope the students benefitted from the practical nature of the exercise.”
“Personally, I fulfilled a childhood ambition to visit the Blue Peter garden, while my esteemed colleague came tantalisingly close to an audience with Stuart Maconie.”
- Daniel Lloyd: “I particularly enjoyed having the chance to look around the BBC building. I’d definitely advise doing this trip with future students because overall it was enjoyable and relevant to our future careers.”
Kelton Evans: “MediaCityUK was a good choice of place. It looked to be at the cutting-edge of modern British media, and offered a good insight into how the BBC operates. The BBC security were a bit of a pain too, stopping photos etc. but, other than that, all good.”