“Stand your ground”, students at University College Falmouth were told today.
Sandra Laville told BA (Hons) Journalism students how they they should go about working for a media organisation and how they can do the best with their work.
“Never do anything that you feel uncomfortable with” Laville told the students when explaining that you have to stick up for yourself in the Journalism world and not let yourself be pushed around, and also said how hard it is to get started in work “take every opportunity that comes to you, however small, don’t be afraid to start small.”
Laville then went on to give advice on how to work in the business, she offered five points which she thought would help students:
Pick up the phone – “Always go to the person you want to speak to personally” she explained that it is always better to speak to your source yourself, rather than using other people’s quotes.
Move – She told the students that you have to go out and get the stories rather than working only from your office “you’ve got to show your face” she added “If I had wanted to work behind a desk, I could have been an accountant.”
Fresh eyes – It is always better for you to look at an old story because you might see a different perspective and angle on the story “look through old stories, it is a good way of getting a story.”
Be tenacious – She explained that when writing and looking for stories you have to be imaginitive to find the right angle for a story.
Check and re-check – She told the students that you have to make sure that everything in your story is correct; names, dates, places and times. “Check, check and re-check before you send it out.”
She then went on to talk about what she thought about Journalism in today’s society, explaining that you can’t get anywhere without money “you need money to find good investigative journalism”. Laville also told the students how to properly deal with your sources, especially when going to their home address “you have to be respectfull, you have got to be empathetic.”
When describing the role which she thought that she played in Journalism, she thoroughly explained that she is who the public look to for help “I need to shed light on injustice” and went on to say “I think my job is to be the people’s eyes and ears, to hold the authorities to account, to give people voices who don’t usually have voices.”
Sandra Laville has been the Crime Correspondent for ‘The Guardian’ for the past seven years, and recently gave evidence at the Levison enquiry.
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