Frontline training for student journalists

Graduates of the first intake of a journalism course are celebrating securing jobs at some of the world’s top news organisations.

Out of eight students on University College Falmouth’s year-long international journalism MA, which ended in August, seven are now working in newsrooms for the likes of Reuters, Sky News, BBC, CNN and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

George Matheson, the course leader and a journalist with more 25 years’ experience around the world, said: ‘It’s not bad for a first year of the course. All but one are now in employment. The idea is they can set themselves up as a freelance in a country and have the skills to make the cash… or they go into international newsdesks around the world. It’s very gratifying to see they’ve done just that. They can step into these newsrooms and be useful.”

The course, which teaches print, radio and online news skills and is expected to receive accreditation from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council, takes students on a three-day hostile environment course run by former military personnel from specialist training firm EBO Protect.

‘I did the hostile journalism course at the BBC and we thought:’Why should we not be teaching students that?’,’said Matheson. ‘I say this is not a macho thing. For me it’s more of a wimp thing… We train them not to panic, and above all keep safe.”

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