Oliver Poole (Former War Correspondent)

“When I got there they had kids with AK-47s welcoming you in”, students at University College Falmouth were told.

Oliver Poole, Former war correspondent, told BA (Hons) Journalism students what it is like to be reporting in Iraq and the dangers which the reporters face.

Oliver Poole

“You don’t want to get yourself killed”, Poole told the students when explaining how dangerous it is to be in that part of the world, especially when you’re from England “if you were a westerner in Iraq, you were a target.”.

Poole goes on to tell the students what was happening in Iraq whilst he was out there “they were kidnapping westerners, they were putting them in orange jumpsuits, in a cave in a basement, and making them do videos for their loved ones.” then graphically saying “making them plea for their life and then cutting off their head with a rusty bloody blade, and showing it on the internet as well.”

“When you’re in Iraq all the people are looking at you” he says when explaining how he felt when just walking through a street in Iraq.

He then gives advice on what to do and what not to do when reporting in these war raging countries “you’ve got to be careful and have the assumption that every one you are talking to could kill you” he warns the students “the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself.”

Poole then gives the students some rules to stick by “don’t go out at night, don’t go out walking around by yourself, don’t stay more than 15 minutes anywhere and don’t tell anyone where you are going.” he says “anyone that broke those rules got killed.” However he reassures the students “as long as you kept to those rules you’d be fine.”

Oliver Poole was the former war correspondent for the ‘Guardian’ and is currently the correspondent for ‘The Independent’.

Sandra Laville (Crime Correspondent)

“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.

For more information click the link below…

Sandra Laville