Latest News | 8 March 2023

BBC’s first female political editor inspires university students

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Journalism students at the University of Derby have entered into a collaboration with the BBC’s first ever female political editor in an effort to help them succeed in the industry.

Recently, Laura Kuenssberg, who was the BBC’s political editor for nearly seven years, invited a group of the university’s journalism students to Broadcasting House, in London, for a unique behind-the-scenes tour.

This was followed by a Q&A with Laura, who currently presents the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning politics show.

Later this year, some of the students from the course, will undertake work experience on the show.

Alex Canner, programme leader for BA (Hons) Journalism at the University of Derby, said: “It’s brilliantly exciting for our Journalism students to be collaborating with one of the UK’s best known political presenters.

“The whole team at the BBC were so helpful and welcoming and I can’t wait to see what stories the students will be working on when they start their shifts with Laura and BBC Politics later this year. I’m very proud of them.”

Laura said: “It was such a pleasure to meet the students. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better when they become part of the team later in the year.”

[Pictures Copyrighted to Beth Walsh] University of Derby// Journalism trip to the BBC

During the Q&A, students learned more about how news stories are gathered, top interview techniques, how to maintain impartiality during reporting and deal with a variety of interviewees.

Olivia Marshall, a student on the University of Derby BA (Hons) Journalism degree who aspires to follow in Laura’s footsteps, said: “It was a remarkable experience to meet Laura and listen to how she has grown as a journalist over the years.

“It was an experience that I will take with me throughout my own journalistic career.”

Student Tom Scrimshire, who was part of the visit, said: “To have the opportunity to not only meet, but debate with and hear from Laura was an incredible experience.

“It was particularly exciting for me, as a future journalist with an interest in politics, to hear from someone who has been at the helm of the BBC’s political coverage for several years.

“Whether it’s covering the twists and turns of Brexit, multiple general elections or the Government’s response to Covid-19, Laura has been there asking the questions viewers want the answers to, and it was a real honour to hear her advice.”

Alex said: “During the visit we heard so many amazing stories and the advice was invaluable.

“Hearing the points that students have debated on our journalism course being discussed openly with an industry professional in such a prestigious setting was fantastic.”

The University of Derby’s BA (Hons) Journalism course focuses on providing students with the opportunity to develop the skills to produce powerful stories for multiple platforms, equipping them to become the next generation of journalists and content creators.

Students are taught an industry-relevant curriculum using facilities such as radio studios, a fully equipped television studio, video editing suites, and a newsroom featuring the latest software, and have the opportunity to produce work for a special online platform for students.

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