NCTJ student to recreate adventure

An NCTJ student is marking the start of his journalism career by embarking on a 30,000km adventure, documenting his experiences as he goes.

Jamie Maddison, a student on the NCTJ-accredited course at Cornwall College is organising a trip that includes travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, exploring Xingjiang Province and crossing the Caspian Sea.

In 2013, along with his colleague, Matthew Traver, Jamie is aiming to recreate the journey of British adventurer Charles Howard-Bury to Central Asia a century after he first set off. Prior to this, he will also report from Armenia in February.

Speaking about his plans, Jamie said: "After I finish my course at Cornwall College Camborne I'm pretty much off immediately to Armenia for close to a month to write two articles; one on the country's deforestation problems and another on Lake Sevan.

"The training I received at the college has turned out to be invaluable in my preparation for the trip. Having already completed an academic-centred journalism course at Cardiff University - followed by two years of freelance work for Climber Magazine - I thought I knew everything there was to know about reporting but I was completely wrong.

"Of course learning shorthand has been a great asset, but one of the most important things I have taken away from the fast-track course is the message not to be complacent, not to just sit behind a desk, but to actually get out there to talk and meet people. In my opinion that's the only way to find the most interesting stories.

"We're travelling in the exact same manner that Howard-Bury travelled and will involve 2800km of horse riding, a feat that will gain us entry into the prestigious Long Riders Guild, an organisation who have been a great help in helping us arrange the logistics of the ride thus far."

"From a journalist's point of view, the plan is to produce a documentary film piece about the four month voyage, investigating Howard-Bury's adventurers but also looking at how this largely unheard of region has changed in 100 years."

Mark Benattar, course manager, said: "Jamie is one in a long line of exceptional students we have trained in Cornwall on the NCTJ course over the years. We have students working everywhere from The Telegraph to the BBC, but we also encourage independent-minded students like Jamie who have the ability and creativity to follow their own paths and ambitions."

Anyone interested in supporting Jamie and Matthew can get in touch via the expedition website: www.howard-bury.com or www.punchjournalist.co.uk

For more information on the NCTJ fast-track course at Cornwall College call 01209 616161 or click here.