By JDF recipient Edward Hardy, who is studying at News Associates Manchester.
Last September, I was awarded the Thomas Read bursary which helped me train for my NCTJ at News Associates in Manchester. As part of the bursary, two weeks work experience at Sky Sports News (SSN) was included and I completed my placement there in February.
But full credit to the brilliant team at SSN, they were eager for me to also undertake work outside of those two weeks. In January, I attended the Chris Eubank Jr-Liam Smith press conference with journalist Ben Ransom to gain further insight into the job of a reporter.
A month later, I travelled to London for my two weeks in the office. My first three days were spent with the news desk, who are the team that assign jobs to reporters and organise the diary.
Amid the chaos of everything – news of Manchester City allegedly breaching Financial Fair Play regulations broke on my first day – I organised an interview with Doncaster Belles goalkeeper Georgia Wattam, who launched a GoFundMe page for a career saving surgery, which was broadcast on SSN.
The Thursday and Friday were then spent in production, where I learned how to edit video packages and write news bulletins. On the Friday, I also spent time in the gallery. That part was incredible. The multi-tasking required for that job is next level, and it was also very interesting to hear the producer’s rapport with the presenter both on-air and during the ad break.
The next day, I was then on set for Soccer Saturday to observe how the programme operates, learn about the different roles, as well as meet the brilliant cast.
Into the second week, I was with the team on social media and digital. Firstly, I wrote a few Twitter captions, made YouTube thumbnails and clipped various videos for social media. I then spent three days with the website reporters and published my own articles on Susannah Townsend, Floyd Mayweather and Oscar Piastri.
After an incredible two weeks – which went by far too fast – I then attended a Tottenham Hotspur press conference with Michael Bridge on the final day. After sitting in and watching Michael ask his questions, I was then with him as he prepared to do a post-conference live for SSN. However, that was cancelled at the last minute so it was very interesting to see how much things can change very quickly on live television.
There were also other insightful experiences like attending the editorial meeting every morning, working with the planning team, contributing to the Football Daily YouTube channel and just simply making contact with many reporters I’ve looked up to for years like Craig Slater.
All in all, the two weeks at Osterley were incredible. Without the Thomas Read Bursary, that would not have been possible and I send my eternal gratitude to the Read family for placing their trust in me. A huge thank you also goes out to the JDF and those at SSN for all of their help.
To find out more about the bursary click here, and please donate to ensure future trainees receive the same experiences that I did.