Are you a journalist of the future?

Editor Mark Waldron and Stella Mbubaegbu, CEO and Principal of Highbury College
Editor Mark Waldron and Stella Mbubaegbu, CEO and Principal of Highbury College
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Have you got what it takes to be an award-winning journalist?

Today The News and Highbury College are proud to unveil an exciting new partnership to find the brightest young reporters of tomorrow.

In what will be the first venture of its kind in the UK’s local newspaper industry, journalism students will be trained full-time from a classroom within the newsroom of The News’ new offices at 1000 Lakeside.

The unique initiative will combine the best teaching from Highbury College’s renowned journalism centre along with real, hands-on reporting on The News – the region’s biggest local paper and EDF Energy’s Daily Newspaper of the Year for London and the South Coast.

Today, in celebration of Local Newspaper Week, the search starts for trainee journalists aged under 19 to be the first on the year-long course in September.

Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘I am so excited by the launch of this new venture and the opportunity it will provide for the journalists of tomorrow.

‘Growing up as a wannabe reporter in Cowplain I was lucky enough to carry out work experience at The News and then be trained at Highbury. So combining the best of both worlds – quality training and real, work-based learning in our newsroom – is a fantastic prospect.’

Highbury CEO and principal Stella Mbubaegbu added: ‘Highbury has an enviable record of producing some of the finest journalists in the country. Now, in partnership with The News, we want to mould the next generation of top journalists, with a completely new and unique approach to training.

‘This course offers young aspiring reporters a very appealing, cost effective route into the industry. Upon completion, our students will have worked on a real paper, covering real stories, alongside real journalists. The experience they acquire will be invaluable as they progress with their careers.’

The project is being supported by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). The courses and examinations accredited by the NCTJ are recognised industry-wide and ensure aspiring journalists have the skills necessary to find their first job and progress in their chosen media field, in whichever direction this takes them.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: ‘The NCTJ is pleased to be supporting this innovative journalism training partnership between The News and Highbury College. I’m sure the trainees will benefit from the quality NCTJ-accredited training Highbury is renowned for, combined with on-the-job learning at The News.’

Now is an exciting time for journalists. The age-old skills of crafting words, relating to people from all walks of life and an inquisitive mind remain as strong as ever.

But journalism today is fast changing and full of opportunity – with new technology and new platforms across websites, mobile phones, tablet devices and social media.

Today’s journalists are likely to be tweeting, breaking stories on the web, writing for a live blog and shooting video before even considering the story for the next edition of the paper.

So we need talented, versatile and ambitious journalists looking for their first break for an exciting and challenging career.

Your questions answered

What is the partnership between The News and Highbury college offering?

A one-year journalism course in which students will combine industry-backed classroom learning by Highbury lecturers with hands-on training in The News newsroom. The first course starts in September 2013.

Who is it aimed at?

Ambitious, aspiring journalists aged under 19 for whom education is still funded

Do I have to have any qualifications?

Five GCSE A-C grades, including English, and ideally two A-levels at C grade or an equivalent Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC Diploma.

What will you be looking for?

The National Council for the Training of Journalists looks for students with:

An interest in current affairs at all levels

A lively interest in people, places and events

An ability to write in a style which is easy to understand

Good spelling, punctuation and grammar

An appreciation of the role a local newspaper plays in the community

A willingness to accept irregular working hours

An ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines

Determination and persistence.

You can find out more at

How do I apply?

Show us what you’re made of by submitting a story about your life or your community in no more than 250 words under the theme ‘Up My Street’.

This could cover any subject relevant to you, eg something you have done, an event where you live, a story about someone who lives near you, a hobby, interest or club you belong to.

The important thing is that it has to be factual and it has to look and feel like the kind of story you would read in The News.

You will also be asked to let us know what you would put in a Tweet (140 characters) to convince us you are a journalist in the making.

What happens then?

Those selected from the application process will need to pass the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) entry exam and sit before an interview panel which will include editor of The News Mark Waldron and Highbury’s head of media and digital communications Nicola Phipps.

What is the cost?

The course is free if you are aged 18 or under on September 1, 2013. Students aged 19 and over may still be considered but fees are payable.

There is also an alternative 20-week short course available at Highbury College, see

What do I need to do next?

For more details and a copy of the application form log on to or email

Have much time do I have?

Applications will need to be in by June 28.

Good luck!