Students make their own headline news

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STUDENTS put themselves in the picture when they took part in a two-day residential course investigating journalism as a career.

The workshop was held at Villiers Park Education Trust near Cambridge last week and involved students from colleges in Hastings and Bexhill.

It was the latest event in a four-year rolling programme aimed at young people from less advantaged backgrounds in the town, designed to supplement their skills and experiences and help them fulfil their potential.

Students explored everything from interviewing to constructing a news story while also examining some of the current issues affecting the industry, including the increasing impact of Twitter and other social media and the Leveson report.

Highlights included Skype conversations with Observer acting news and content editor Sol Buckner and Dave King, chief examiner for sport for the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

The students quizzed the pair about the challenges facing local newspapers today and the ways in which the Observer represents Hastings.

Sol said: “The question and answer session seemed to go down well.

“The students raised some very interesting points such as how much crime is in the paper and what is the best way to get into journalism.”

Bexhill College student Lewis Todd, 16, said: “Any insight into new professions is really useful for us at this point in our school careers just as we come to make decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives.”

“It was interesting to learn how the world of journalism is changing thanks to the impact of social media,” added 16-year-old Sussex Coast College student Sian Louise Hazelton.

Bexhill college student, Zhané Mayo, said: “I feel the course has broken down some of the pre-determined ideas I had about journalism.

“I had some very negative views but now I have emerged being a bit more open-minded.”