Three young people land their first jobs in journalism apprentices as The News expands its team

THREE young people have landed themselves their first jobs in journalism as apprentices as The News expands its team.

By Kimberley Barber
Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:19 pm
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:53 pm
From left, news and features apprentice Elsa Waterfield, Kickstart apprentice Sophie Murray, Editor Mark Waldron and sports apprentice Pepe Lacey Picture: Habibur Rahman
From left, news and features apprentice Elsa Waterfield, Kickstart apprentice Sophie Murray, Editor Mark Waldron and sports apprentice Pepe Lacey Picture: Habibur Rahman

The regional newspaper, which is based at Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth, has taken on two apprentices and one kickstart placement.

Elsa Waterfield, 22, from Southsea, has been hired as a news and features apprentice and Pepe Lacey, 18, from Petersfield has been appointed as a sports apprentice.

Sophie Murray, 22, from Port Solent has been recruited as a business reporter under the government's Kickstarter scheme, which is designed to give job opportunities to people aged between 18 and 24 who are on Universal Credit, in an effort to drive down youth unemployment.

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From left, Editor Mark Waldron, sport apprentice Pepe Lacey, news and features apprentice Elsa Waterfield and Kickstart apprentice Sophie Murray Picture: Habibur Rahman

The trio have all started at The News this week.

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Editor Mark Waldron said he was proud to boost his team - and to invest in young talent.

He said: ‘Part of our role is to train the next generation of journalists. We have always taken great pride in giving opportunities to young people who are looking to get into the profession.

‘We are delighted to have Sophie, Pepe and Elsa join our team and are looking forward to training them.’

Elsa has recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first-class honours degree in Journalism.

She said: ‘I have always wanted to be a journalist. I love chatting to people and listening to their stories. I think there is never too small a story to be told. I love Portsmouth and local news is really important. This is a great place to make a name for myself and to get other people’s stories heard.

‘The apprentice scheme is great as I can earn while I am learning. Being able to get that experience alongside a qualification is invaluable.’

Pepe, who went to The Petersfield School, has recently completed a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media at South Downs College.

He said: ‘I love everything about sport so the job was so appealing. I could watch Pompey play forever and not get bored. Not going to a game for 18 months was torture, it felt like the longest time.

‘I love the buzz of the game and watching football. I also enjoy cricket, darts and Formula 1 so it’s not just all about football.

‘When this job came up, it was like gold dust, it was exactly what I wanted to do. It is the perfect place for me to start. It is so exciting.’

Sophie, who went to Wykeham House School in Fareham, graduated from the University of Reading this summer with a first class degree in English Language and Spanish. She hopes to be able to use her experience at The News as a way to get into broadcast journalism.

She said: ‘I hope to have a career in journalism, and working in local news is the best way to get my foot in the door, make contacts and to get the best training, while getting to know the community and reporting on stories from the area I grew up in.

‘The Kickstart scheme was really great, they were really supportive and it’s great to be at The News.’

This year The News and Shaping Portsmouth ran the 100 in 100 campaign, which aimed to get 100 young people into apprenticeships in and around Portsmouth. Concluding in June, it smashed its target and actually saw 265 youngsters enter employment.

The News has also recently hired Josh Wright as its local democracy reporter covering Portsmouth, trainee sports reporter Sam Cox, Hollie Busby as a trainee features reporter and Charlotte Hawes as a search and trends reporter, and is looking forward to welcoming local democracy reporter Tony Paine, Gosport reporter James Evans and digital reporter Freddie Webb.