DMU student union scraps card charges



Tobin Tuson 21 Student and Barman

Students at DMU have won a reprieve from credit and debit card charges in the Union’s bar and shop.

New European Union rules on card charges were introduced in December affecting all businesses in the UK who use card machines to take payments.

The SU charged 40p for a one-off transaction in the Student Union bar and shop.

SU Commercial Manager Chris Hackett said:  “The new EU rules mean there is now a cap on card transaction charges and the Union has taken the decision to effectively stop all card charges, with immediate effect, so we don’t pass any bank charges on to our students.”

Previously, the SU was charged a small fee by the bank every time a consumer paid by card – and the cost was then passed onto the consumer.

The new EU rules state the banks can no longer charge more than 0.20% for a debit card transaction and no more than 0.30% of the value of the transaction for credit card payments.

Chris, who said the SU is a registered charity and continually trying to improve the student experience, added: “This is a positive change for both students and the Students’ Union preventing unnecessary costs being passed onto our members.”

DMU first year journalism student Max Pearson said: “It’s good that they have stopped card payments. The university should be about learning not making a money. Students are hard up as it is without the extra charges.”


DMU gives graduates a helping hand

By Natalie Whitehouse

For graduates, the task of gaining employment immediately after university is a tough one, especially if the industry they wish to get into is fiercely competitive. On leaving university, many people find their vast amount of experience is still not enough to qualify them for their dream job.

That’s where DMU have stepped in: developing a placement scheme entitled DMU Graduate Champions, which seeks to find six-week paid work placements for graduates looking for further experience in industry.

Journalism graduate Conor Davies was more than happy to be involved with this fantastic initiative when he was offered a placement, which began at the start of this year.

Since finishing university, Conor has travelled to California as part of a #DMUglobal trip, as well as having a job in the DMU Accommodation office on his return. The 21-year-old is now employed part time as in Medical Recruitment at his local hospital in Derby, so when he heard about the DMU Graduate Champions Scheme, he was eager to apply:

“I applied for it [the scheme] as soon as I heard about it. There are lots of opportunities out there but, as I currently live in Derby, most of them are unpaid and in London… it’s difficult to make this work realistically. So getting paid and being almost guaranteed a place through DMU’s employability commitments means I went for the scheme almost immediately.”

After applying, Conor, who graduated from De Montfort with a First Class degree, was given the opportunity to work as Communications Officer for the DMU Communications team, which has seen him gain vital workplace experience to add to his CV:

“My skills that had been developed and honed on the journalism course like interviewing and the art of putting a news story together have been tested. I’ve been on the placement for three weeks and I’ve written about audiology, neural networks and successful students. It’s been a whirlwind but it’s refreshing to get back into journalism after a short break.”

Conor (right) at graduation

Conor (right) at graduation

As well as working on honing his talents, the internship has also allowed Conor to add further skills and expertise to his collection:

“I think adding skills like publishing to Content Management Systems, as well as the increased amount of work I can add to my Portfolio and experience in the communications side of things will add to my employability prospects. Especially as so far my work experience had been specifically in the sports side of things in newspapers.”

Ideally, Conor’s dream job would be a sports reporter for a newspaper or a magazine, but he admits it’s a challenge to find your perfect job straight away in such a competitive industry:

“It is a challenge in the current landscape of jobs and opportunities, but I’ll never stop trying, and would definitely grab any job in journalism if offered to me to enable me to start working my way through the ranks.”

And Conor’s current internship is providing him with an extra bit of experience that will, hopefully, make him stand out from the crowd and appeal to prospective employers. But aside from that, the placement is also proving something Conor likes to do – which is often half the battle:

“I’m really enjoying it. It’s very refreshing for it to be my ‘day job’ for a couple of days a week. The Comms. team have been great with me too, treating me like a proper member of staff rather than a work experience kid, and have given me plenty of opportunities to test and challenge myself.

“I definitely would [recommended the internship scheme]. DMU’s employability focus is unique and certainly one of the best attributes the university has had from day one. I remember in my first year of journalism, we were expected to arrange work experience for ourselves at our own local newspapers. This commitment was essential and gave me the newfound confidence to match my journalistic skills, which had been honed in the first term at university.

“With this placement, it almost feels like I’ve come full circle, and DMU is still there to support myself and fellow graduates with these paid placements.”

“I always wanted to do a job that made some sort of difference to people’s lives”

By Natalie Whitehouse

NCTJ qualified journalist Katrina Chilver found herself employed before she graduated from De Montfort last summer, obtaining a fantastic full time position as a trainee reporter at The Slough and Royal Borough Observer and Villager newspapers.

Katrina began her role in June, just before she graduated with a First Class degree in Journalism, after being on the hunt for journalism jobs during her time at university:

“I was looking for trainee reporter jobs based all over the country on the journalism website Hold the Front Page throughout my third year at DMU. I was really lucky because I applied for this job in May just as I was finishing my course and was invited to interview that month too.

Photo by Mike Swift

Katrina interviews Mary Berry.   Photo by Mike Swift

“I think it helped that I was open to moving anywhere as jobs in journalism can be limited and it gives you more options if you’re looking all over the country.”

As well as being open to change, she cites her course as another area that gave her a helping hand in securing the role, as well as her time as News Editor for The Demon, and various other placements she undertook throughout her studies:

“The NCTJ preliminary qualifications that I got while at DMU really helped because I wouldn’t really be able to do my job without Shorthand, Media Law and other things I learnt from those exams.

“I also think that the work experience placements I did on local newspapers while at university played a big part because they really showed me how a newsroom works and gave me the chance to have my work published.”

These factors enabled Katrina to land what she describes as her dream role: “This is definitely my dream job. It sounds really cheesy but I always wanted to do a job that made some sort of difference to people’s lives, and although I’m definitely not changing the world in any way, I do get calls from people I have written stories about thanking me and telling me it has helped them, whether that’s raising awareness of their fundraising or helping them get an apology when they have been wronged in some way.”

The role of a journalist is diverse in its nature. Katrina divides her time between looking for story ideas, interviewing, receiving calls from readers and of course writing. And she notes that this makes sure her job always has an edge of excitement:

“I get to chat with loads of different people every day and hear about their lives and other things. I could be interviewing an elderly couple about their 70th wedding anniversary one minute and be writing about someone being arrested the next, it’s not a job that’s ever really boring.”

And her first day on the job proved to be as exciting and interesting as any – going out to cover a story about the Queen:

“I cover the Windsor area and on my first official day at work I was sent down to Windsor Castle to cover the Order of the Garter ceremony. It was pretty exciting to be able to say that your first day at work involved the Queen. I’m yet to meet her but I have met Mary Berry, which some would say is just as exciting!”

Katrina’s aspirations don’t just end here. She plans to get additional qualifications in the hope of furthering her career, and maybe one day becoming an editor:

“At the moment my goal is to get my NQJ qualification so that I can become a senior reporter and I can take that in about a year’s time. After that I hope to become a news editor and hopefully one day an editor, but those goals are quite a way off at the moment.”

As for graduates still searching for jobs, and indeed current students on the lookout too, Katrina leaves some pearls of wisdom when looking for the job that’s right for you:

“I do think it’s just as important for you to find out if you want the job as it is for the employer to decide it you are the right candidate.”

Foxes’ narrowly beaten in FA Cup replay

By Dan Ableson

Read a full match report of Leicester City’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round replay with Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday 20 January, 2016.

  • Leicester City failed to progress to the next round of the Emirates FA Cup after they were narrowly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday evening
  • Goals from Son Heung-Min and Nacer Chadli either side of half-time were enough to seal the victory for the visitors
  • Youngsters Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray both played 90 minutes in their home debuts for the club
  • Foxes’ defender Richie De Laet was replaced by Danny Simpson after injuring himself in the warm up

Read a full match report of Leicester City’s Emirates FA Cup Third Round replay with Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday 20 January, 2016.

Leicester City narrowly missed out on progressing to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup after going down 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes made eight changes from the side that drew with Aston Villa at the weekend and failed to recover from conceding two goals either side of half-time by Son Heung-Min and Nacer Chadli.

Youngsters Ben Chilwell and Demarai Gray both impressed after notching up 90 minutes in their home debuts for the club.

The result ended a spell of three games in ten days between the two sides with City getting the better of last meeting winning 1-0 thanks to a late Robert Huth header.

In a half that provided little efforts on goal the first chance went to Swiss international Gokhan Inler whose free kick failed to beat Spurs keeper Michel Vorm after defender Chilwell was brought down outside the penalty  box.

Demarai Gray showed little nerves after making his home debut for the Foxes providing plenty of energy in both defence and attack and it was he who conjured the next opening with a fearsome effort that went just wide of goal.

But it was the visitors who scored first when a superb strike from Son in the 39th minute proved to be too powerful for keeper Kasper Schmeichel as it sailed past him at his near post.

City’s inexperienced left flank which received praise from manager Claudio Ranieri in the first tie between these two sides once again impressed giving the fans plenty to look forward to in the future.

In scenes similar to the first leg Ranieri brought on inform striker Shinji Okazaki at the interval in order to bring the sides level.

But it was Spurs who extended their lead in the 66nd minute when Son’s through ball found the unmarked Chadli who placed the ball under the on rushing Schmeichel to leave the home side a mountain to climb.

England’s youth international Gray continued to be a thorn in the opposition side forcing Vorm into a fine save with a curling effort inside the area. As was substitute Marc Albrighton whose low cross narrowly evaded Leo Ulloa after making a charging run into the area.

Albrighton nearly opened the scoring once again for the home side with a low drive in the 89th minute but it was denied by the Dutch keeper who performed well to keep a clean sheet.

And when Ulloa’s injury time header was parried away on the line it was clear that the Foxes’ were going to fall to only their second home defeat in all competitions this season.

Leicester will now be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend when Stoke City arrive at the King Power Stadium for a mouth watering clash in the Barclays Premier League.

CITY:  Schmeichel (c), Simpson(Albrighton 63), Wasilewski, Benalouane, Chilwell, Dyer(Vardy 73), King, Inler, Drinkwater(Okazaki 45mins), Gray, Ulloa

SUBS NOT USED: Morgan, Kante, Mahrez, Schwarzer

SPURS: Vorm, Walker, Dier, Wimmer, Davies, Bentaleb, Carroll, Lamela(Kane 59), Eriksen, Chadli(Onomah73), Son(Alli 82)

GOALS: Son (39) Chadli (66)

SUBS NOT USED: LLoris, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance – 30,006

Former DMU student returns to speak to budding sports journalism students

By Ben Clarke

SPORTS Journalism students have been given a behind-the-scenes insight into covering the 2012 Olympic Games Super Saturday by a top reporter from the UK’s premier news agency the Press Association (PA).

Nick Mashiter, who was a postgraduate Journalism student at DMU in 2006, reckoned that reporting on the three gold medals for Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford as one of the highlights of his career.

Nick, 31, who is the Midlands football reporter for PA which supplies stories to national newspapers from The Times to the Daily Express, said: “It was the best three weeks I’ve ever had, but don’t tell my wife! Apart from Super Saturday I even got to cover the 100m final!”

Nick came back to give a wide-ranging guest lecture on his time as a sports journalist in weekly and daily newspapers and more latterly with PA

His first job came as a sports reporter at the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, a post he was offered in the April of his final year at De Montfort, where he covered mainly non-league sides as well as Swindon Town.

After two years, Nick moved to the Express and Star in Wolverhampton, where he learned how to develop close relationship with players in a variety of sports and eventually as the Aston Villa reporter.

Throughout the talk Nick was persistent in the message to the students that they must keep contacts and build relationships as you never know when you may need a favour or them to trust you with information.

Nick said: “It’s a cliché but it’s true, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. I’ve never been the best but I covered my shortcomings by putting in the extra yard.”

Nick, whose patch includes high-flying Leicester, as well as Derby, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest , said: “I write news stories and cover matches but the PA motto is the most important thing to remember: we must be first but first we must be right.”

Sports Journalism module leader John Dilley said: “It has been absolutely fantastic to get Nick back here after 10 years to come along to talk to our aspiring sports journalists.”

The students also have more field trips lined up and in the coming weeks will be going behind the scenes at Leicester City, Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire County Cricket.