Students' skills recognised by daily newspaper

Picture: De Montfort University students Laura Elvin, Luke Dixon and Camilla Goodman receive their certificates of achievement from Leicester Mercury deputy editor Richard Bettsworth. 

One of Britain’s biggest evening newspapers has honoured the off-diary reporting skills of post graduate students at De Montfort University’s Leicester Centre for Journalism.

The Leicester Mercury presented a £100 cheque and framed certificate to the best district reporter on the NCTJ-accredited year-long MA/PgDip Journalism course.

The accolade has already paid dividends for the winner – 23-year-old Laura Elvin. She has been offered a trainee reporter’s job in the Mercury newsroom.

Laura said: “I was really surprised to be chosen as the winner but really chuffed as the award was for real reporting skills, covering a ‘patch’ – finding real stories from real people and then producing a weekly newspaper and website.

 “It was my favourite part of the course because it put into practice all the things we learned throughout the year.”

She added: “I’m really looking forward to starting my career as a journalist but I am really, really nervous – but in a good way.”

John Dilley, journalism lecturer and director of the Leicester Centre for Journalism, said Laura’s accolade was well deserved.

“Laura has star quality written all over her. She works hard and always goes the extra mile. She has a great future ahead of her.”

Also shortlisted for the award were Luke Dixon and Camilla Goodman, who has secured a news room job at the Buckinghamshire Examiner.