The News helps to train the journalists of tomorrow at Highbury College

Meet the class of 2018.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 11:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 1:05 pm
Back from left, Christopher Talbot, Alastair Thompson, Daniel Vassie, Ashley Foskett, Isaac Garg, Adam Nixon, Lauren Wise, Lotte Pegler, Amber Westley and Sam Brooke with front, seated from left, Sophie Adler and Stephanie Hankin Picture: Sarah Standing (180776-6592)

These students are the latest to join the One-Year NCTJ Diploma in Journalism run by Highbury College in partnership with The News.

As well as studying in class, they are also getting extensive work experience at our newspaper and website - - covering local communities.

This course is fully accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and is a proven way of getting a job with many going on to great things in all walks of media.

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Last year, student Annie Lewis was taken on by The News at the end of the course, while Joseph Stack and Sam Morton were given jobs at the Chichester Observer.

Tom Bonnett is working at national news agency, Solent News, based in Hamble.

Editor of The News, Mark Waldron, said: '˜Having studied at the college after leaving school, Highbury provided me with the best possible start to my career in journalism.

'˜I'm excited that The News is fully involved in continuing this fine training tradition as we prepare today's students for the exciting multi-media world we operate in.'

Paul Foster, programme leader in journalism at Highbury College, added: '˜It's been great to see so many students gain the experience at The News and then go on to get jobs in the industry. There's no doubt that employers see the course as a fantastic grounding in the art of writing, publishing and broadcasting.' 

Here, the students explain why they joined the course and what they want to achieve



Adam Nixon

I am 18 years old and I have recently finished studying A-levels. After four years of studying media studies, in both school and college, it made me realise it was journalism I wanted to pursue. I decided to do my NCTJ at Highbury College because of the different aspects of journalism you get to study. I really enjoy the video side of the course and would potentially love to go into broadcast journalism in the future. Outside of studying, I am a fan of online, technology and gaming, as well as being a big sports fan.


Ashley Foskett

Like every 22-year -ld ever, I am determined to change the world (or at least the bit around me) and journalism is an important part of doing this. The power of words to motivate change and discussion is something I have always admired about writing - even if the change is merely of one person's mindset, or something on a much larger scale: it is always significant. As journalism is something completely new to anything I have done before, I want to try everything. There is so much to learn/know/experience and I am so keen to leave no stone unturned! In the future I have (distant) dreams of being a documentarist, having my own column and writing feature pieces, specifically covering taboo or diverse subjects which

are rarely at the forefront of discussion. I am also interested in broadcasting and would love to be a radio and/or podcast host. In my free time I love writing angry blog posts about various injustices, listening to music and podcasts and forcing my friends to wear ugly crochet tops I have made just for them.


Isaac Garg 

I became interested in journalism after I realised my love for English when I selected it as one of my A-level options.

My favourite section of journalism is sports journalism as I have a huge passion for sport, especially football. I spend a lot of time playing football and creating videos. After this course I would like to use my experience and this qualification to go into employment and work my though the journalism industry. My eventual goal is to work for BBC Sport.


Alastair Thompson

I am 18 years old and have lived in Portsmouth all my life. I am taking the course because I am very interested in the media field, specifically journalism. I think it's an exciting, fast-moving industry and it's something I'd like to be a part of.

I am particularly interested in sports and political journalism, these being two interests of mine. I have been a fan of Portsmouth Football Club for many years now and I enjoy my football. I also have a huge interest in politics and current affairs which I think has sparked my journalism


I think the two industries go hand in hand with political developments creating stories for journalists to write about. It's something that never stops and a story could change at any moment which for me is what makes journalism exciting.


Christopher Talbot 

I'm 19, from Fareham. I've studied at Crofton Secondary School and Itchen Sixth Form College.

After finishing my A-levels I realised I didn't really want to go to university but I wanted to continue studying.

Having always been interested in current affairs and the media I knew I wanted to study journalism as soon as I left school.

I would preferably like to get into the writing side of journalism but I want to learn and experience as many areas of journalism as possible.

I have a huge passion for sport and my aim is to be able to report and cover global sporting events and to be able to experience the events as a job would be excellent.


Daniel Vassie

Hello, my name is Dan and I am 18. I have just finished taking geography, sociology and psychology A-levels at college, but didn't really

know what to do afterwards. I am very interested in football and film, both of which I enjoy talking and writing about, which is why journalism in these subjects seems to be a good career path to follow.

In the future, I would love to have my own podcast or blog, in which I can interview people who have influenced me. I am looking forward to starting the course.


Lauren Wise

I am a budding journalist from Waterlooville. I previously studied at Havant College, taking sociology, English literature and media.

I have always loved being creative, whether that be through words or technology and have always been interested in moving to media based work. I love being up to date with the latest news across the world, from developments in world politics to the latest fashion trend the Kardashians are


My hobbies are pretty mundane, I like to binge watch TV Shows such as The IT Crowd and guilty pleasures like The Real Housewives.

I'm coming onto this course in hopes to gain most of the skills needed to be an informed, well-equipped journalist, who is hopefully able to bring honest and exciting news to the world.


Lotte Pegler 

Why am I doing this course? To be completely honest I want to change the world, and unfortunately science isn't my forte so finding a cure for cancer seems unlikely'¦ informing and changing attitudes is the next best thing.

I am certain that this stems from a campaign that my friends and family took part in during my final years at primary school/ early years of secondary school. It was a fight against Arun District Council to build 3,000 houses in our villages. My friends and I were involved in protests, meetings at Arun District Council with Nick Herbert MP, producing leaflets and flyers and finally ensuring that every household in the

villages was informed and aware.

Last October I went to Rwanda and Uganda for 10 days with my school where we were able to spend time with the street children, single mothers who had been abused, and observe a completely different way of life. Whilst being completely cliche, it really did change my life, and I'm returning again this October as well.

The long term '˜dream' is to make documentary style videos on topics around the world covering different social groups, environmental issues and political diversities.


Sam Brooke 

I'm Sam and I'm taking this course so I can learn the necessary skills for journalism and learn more about the different fields in it.

I'm mainly interested in investigative and sport journalism (especially long reads) but I also like the idea of doing environmental journalism, podcasts/radio, or film/music reviewing.

After the course I'd like to try and get a sports writing job wherever I can in order to get experience, as well as working freelance and building up a portfolio through that - I like the idea of working on longform articles in my own time. In my spare time I play football for a six-a-side team, run, and hike as well as going to gigs and reading up on politics and history.


Sophie Adler 

I'm Sophie and have recently finished A-levels in religious studies, photography and English literature.

During my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family and walking the dog as well as working at my part time job as a barmaid at Four London Road in Horndean.

I am very, very excited to be on the course.


Stephanie Hankin 

Since graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor of Honours in English and Drama I have aspired to become a writer. Writing is my passion whether that is story telling or journaling. I have written a romantic novella, poetry and children's stories but have never had the opportunity to pursue writing

professionally. It was only after I submitted a feature for a competition for the Grazia magazine did I begin researching courses and came across a link for the NCTJ and the journalism course.

People's stories inspire me, becoming a journalist would give me a vehicle to research, interview and write about issues at the heart of people and communities.

In my spare time I enjoy fundraising and recently raised funds for The Uganda project.

Following the course I would like the opportunity to gain some work experience as a feature writer.


Amber Westley

I'm taking this course because ever since I was eight, I've wanted to work in the media industry, and I've been interested in journalism since around then.

Therefore, I want to deepen my knowledge and understanding of this sector, which I believe underpins democracy and the right to freedom of speech.

I would like to work in entertainment, travel or sports journalism, ultimately working as a reporter for the BBC, preferably, on the Olympics (summer, winter and youth), which in my opinion, encompasses all three of the areas of journalism, which I am interested in.

Following the course, I'd like to develop my journalistic skills and work my way to the BBC, so I can become a reporter for the BBC and finally live my dream of going to the Olympics, even if I only get to watch and report on the events.



Are you a great story-teller? Do you or someone you know want the chance to break into the media industry? Then apply for the 2019 One Year Diploma in Journalism in partnership with The News, Portsmouth.

If you would like to apply call (023) 9238 3131, e-mail [email protected] or log on to

What is required to join the course? You will need at least 5 A-C grades at GCSE including English and you should have also achieved either two A-levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC Diploma.

What qualifications will be achieved? You will achieve a Diploma in Journalism, accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

What attendance is required? The programme is due to run over 36 weeks, starting in September.

Cost and payment? You will usually not be expected to pay a fee if you are:

ï‚· Under 19 at the start of the academic year (as of 31st August 2019).

ï‚· Aged 19'“23 at the start of the academic year (as of 31st August 2019) and do not already hold a Full level 3 qualification.

 Students not in the above categories will usually pay the advertised fee of £4,170.