Leeds Trinity alumnus and Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joseph Keith returned to campus last month, sharing his top tips for breaking into the industry with our current Journalism and Media students. Alumni Relations Officer Brett Arnall went along to meet him.
Joseph studied an MA in print journalism in 2014, and he's one of the many success stories from the postgraduate Journalism programmes. So much so, that he was actually hired during his course; using a news report he wrote during his studies to secure a job at the Wakefield Express.
At the age of 24, Joseph was nominated for the O2 Media Awards Weekly Reporter of the Year. This was a big deal in more ways than one; not only was he nominated early in his career for a prestigious award, but he was seconded to the Yorkshire Evening Post where he has now been for two years. He writes for both the Yorkshire Post and the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"I was given a journalism toolkit which included contacts, friends and the opportunity to be involved in the student newsroom project."
During Joseph's session on campus, he was very honest and open about what his job entailed, which has included, among other things, having to knock on the door of a known terrorist for a story. He stressed that, for any students wanting to go into a similar role to him, that you must care about deadlines - particularly in the printing industry. At the beginning of each day, Joseph is given a news list and he has to follow whatever is on it.
Joseph learned his trade at Leeds Trinity, and as he described: "I was given a journalism toolkit which included contacts, friends and the opportunity to be involved in the Student Newsroom Project." This involved working one day a week at the Yorkshire Evening Post, and part of the reason he got his job there was because of who he knew and the reputation he had been growing on a daily basis. He was able to meet news editors and learn from best practice. He was delighted to tell the students in the room that the Yorkshire Evening Post's Student Newsroom Project would be reopening again soon.
Joseph's session ended with his top tips for students:
"Always make sure you are presentable and never go anywhere empty-handed – always go with the story. Be confident and always expect to work hard and never stop. You must keep practising and get as much work experience as possible."