Young Journalist of the Year

Emily Koch is 26 and completed her NCTJ training at News Associates in 2008. She’s been a reporter at the Bristol Evening Post since then and has just started a new job as digital publisher on This is Bristol – the website for the Post. In 2009 she won Features of the Year at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence and has just been crowned Young Journalist of the Year at the Regional Press Awards.

Emily shares experiences from her training and career below:

“I decided to train with News Associates in Wimbledon because I wanted to do a fast track course and get on with my career. I loved my training there – it was full on and hard work but I learnt so much and had a huge amount of support from the team there. Since before the course I had been shifting at the Bristol Evening Post having started off as work experience more than five years ago while studying at Bristol University, and while at News Associates I would go back to Bristol every weekend to do a Friday shift there.

“Every time I was sent out on a new type of story – covering court, or an inquest, or doing a death knock – it was nerve-wracking, but exciting. I was lucky to have a great news editor and team of reporters who showed me the ropes.

“I couldn’t have done the job without the grounding from training – the law side of things comes in to play all the time and it gives me so much more confidence standing up in a court and challenging an order. I don’t know where I’d be without my shorthand – and everything I learnt about tightening up my writing style and finding stories I use every day.

young journalist of the year“I’m really proud of the awards that I have won – especially the recent one which was a massive shock. I was gobsmacked to have been shortlisted but even more so to win – it was great to get a pat on the back though and feel like I am doing something right. But probably more than winning the award I am happy to have made myself a useful part of a team full of really talented journalists. And I’m proud to call myself a journalist – no matter what’s going on with Leveson, no matter how many jokes about phone hacking I get, I know it’s a really important profession and I’m glad I’m part of it.

“I got into journalism when I left school – I started writing reviews for a paper at a local literature festival that led to a job writing on the Glastonbury website, which got me thinking that I loved writing and journalism might be a good move. I spent a summer in between my second and final years at uni doing as much work experience as I could – it was about six months in the planning but I worked on three different local papers, staying with friends in different cities; two magazines; and two national papers. It was a steep learning curve but I made sure I knew it was what I wanted to do, and that I could do it. I fell into journalism because I like writing, but now I love it because I enjoy holding authority to account, telling a good tale, helping Joe Bloggs out, providing people with the information they need.”

Image: Emily Koch receives her Regional Press Award from HTFP publisher Paul Linford. 
Photographer: Nick Carter of Magstar