Sophie scores an election scoop

A trainee reporter scored a nationwide election scoop after a Labour parliamentary candidate called Gordon Brown “the worst Prime Minister we have had in this country”.

Sophie Wyllie, a trainee reporter with the Lynn News based in Kings Lynn, set the national news agenda after interviewing Manish Sood, the Labour parliamentary candidate for the North West Norfolk Constituency.

As part of the newspaper’s election coverage Sophie spoke to Mr Sood as part of a general election round-up, asking all the parliamentary candidates of all parties for a 100-word statement which she took down in shorthand.

In the interview Manish Sood said he believed Gordon Brown to be“the worst Prime Minister we have had in this country”.

The comments were reported on the front page of the Lynn News and were followed up by Sky News, ITN, BBC News and other national and international news organisations.

Sophie, who was an NCTJ Student Representative in 2009, said: “When I first spoke to Manish Sood, I was really shocked.

“I rang him back to check he had said that and asked him to elaborate on what he originally told me. He was passionate about everything he said.

“Although other colleagues from the Lynn News had spoken to him before this was the first time I had spoken to him. I was surprised with what he said.

“I did not think the story would get as big as it currently is. It is quite exciting”.

Last year Sophie graduated from the NCTJ-accredited BA Journalism course at the University of Central Lancashire and completed her NCTJ preliminary Certificate in Journalism alongside the degree. She will be sitting the NCE next year.

Sophie added: “My degree was hard work but I had some great teachers and it was worth it. My editor, Jon Buss, and work colleagues at the Lynn News are also extremely supportive and have helped me a lot.”