Real Radio, Guardian Media Group’s Yorkshire-based station, is setting up a media school to give students experience of the industry, as the county’s broadcasting sector embarks on a campaign to retain talent.
Launching in September, the station will form a partnership with Yorkshire’s four main university media centres and schools and colleges across the county to support and develop new talent.
Broadcaster and journalism lecturer Richard Horsman has been appointed as the first director of the Real Media School and will work closely with the partners.
“There is excellent teaching in many institutions across the Yorkshire region,” said Horsman.
“The Real Radio Media School will provide an extensive programme of practical experience not undertaken by any commercial radio broadcaster in the past.
“The initiative will also give children an early understanding of what radio is about.”
As part of the project, Real Radio will fully sponsor a postgraduate journalism student. Every year from January 2004, a student from one of the partner establishments will receive a work attachment at the station and have their tuition fees paid by Real Radio.
The school will focus on four main areas. In higher education – working with Leeds University Institute of Communication, TAS Centre for Journalism in Leeds, Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University – it will establish a programme of attachments for postgraduate and final-year undergraduates.
The school will also invite guest speakers for each course, arrange newsroom and station visits and run the Real Radio sponsorship scheme.
In further education, the media school will work with Keighley College and Rotherham College of Arts & Technology. It will provide evening masterclasses, individual coaching from presenters and management at the station, plus ad hoc placements for promising students.
Real Radio Experience, a schools outreach programme, will offer practical experience to pupils in the classroom.
School visits will consist of twohour sessions with a trainer in which pupils read news bulletins, weather forecasts and presenter scripts.
Finally, the school will run a staff development programme, with courses on media law for journalists and presenters, voice training and the development of freelance employees.
Tony Blackburn will give the first masterclass on 24 September, talking about his career and offering advice on how to enter the industry.
By Wale Azeez