Newham student journalists win place in academy

Two budding students journalists from Newham landed a place on a media course to be trained by professionals in the industry.

Teenagers Teresa Trim, a 17-year-old pupil at St Angela’s and St Bonaventure’s Sixth Form in Forest Gate, and Georgina Crespi, a 16-year-old pupil at Kingsford Community School in Beckton, attended the Young Journalists’ Academy (YJA) Summer School from August 18 to 25.

Fighting off fierce competition from nearly 200 applicants, Georgina and Teresa were two of just 27 students chosen for the course.

They got to see newsrooms in action during a week of workshops in Canary Wharf, BBC Media Centre, The Times, The Sun and the Wellcome Trust - in total accomplished editors, producers, and frontline reporters.

Writers from The Sun, The Sunday Mirror, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and Livewire Sport taught the students how to write everything from feisty opinion pieces, to fact-packed science writing, as well as celebrity reporting, sports writing, foreign correspondence, and radio production.

Not forgetting digital media, the students blogged throughout their experience and the two best were rewarded with work placements at The Times.

Nathalie Rothschild, YJA coordinator, said: “The YJA challenges the idea that you need to have the ‘right’ education or be lucky enough to have personal connections in order to become a journalist.

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“Our students learn that with enough ambition and drive they can reach their goals - but they also have to be prepared to put in some hard work.

“The YJA hopes to inspire a new generation of reporters to learn the value of freedom of expression, truth-seeking and good grammar.”

YJA was set up in 2006 in response to research by the Sutton Trust revealing a great class imbalance in the UK media industry and charities Informa and Journalism Education partnered up to create a scheme that would combat this injustice.