Channel 4 News chief offers expertise to budding journalists


Shaminder Nahal, front, with some of the students

One of the top editors of television news in Britain offered pearls of advice to Journalism students during a live news day at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Shaminder Nahal, Deputy Editor at Channel 4 News, spent a day giving guidance to students as they hunted out stories, wrote them up and published them.

The News Day brought together first year undergraduates getting their first taste of a live press day with students on DMU’s Investigative Journalism MA course, which is run in collaboration with Channel 4.

“The morning started with the students pitching to Shaminder their ideas for stories which might be worthy of that evening’s Channel 4 News bulletins,” explained Journalism undergraduate course tutor Brian Dodds.

“Two or three ideas came out of that session which small groups then went away and worked on during the day, each news team led by one of the MA students. Other students dug out a range of other stories.

“It was very successful and a lot of creative ideas were floating about, resulting in news items that incorporated various different ways of telling the story – video reports, photos, vox pops and data graphics.

“There was a great newsroom atmosphere and I was delighted to see one team get an exclusive interview on a live breaking news story. They interviewed the mother of X Factor finalist Kieran Alleyne while the crowd waited for her son’s group 5 After Midnight to arrive on a visit to Leicester.”

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The live News Day at the end of term tested the students on all the skills they had learnt about sourcing and researching stories, interviewing techniques, content creation and structuring news reports, as well as harnessing social media and digital technologies.

Brian added: “Shaminder did a fabulous job encouraging the students, giving them invaluable insights into how to develop their work and really useful feedback on their published items. We were all very grateful for the time she spent with us.”

Many of the stories produced by the students were published during the day on the Leicestershire Press website as well as on its Facebook page and tweeted via its @dmujourno1 Twitter account.

Catch Simon on radio about success of wheelchairs at Fenwick store blog

A Journalism student is to be a guest on BBC Radio Leicester today(THUDEC8) after changing the way a major city centre store welcomes people with disabilities during its Boxing Day Sales.
Second year student Simon Sansome, a wheelchair-user, visited Fenwick, the department store in Market Street, during last year’s Boxing Day sales.

He wrote about his experience getting around the store in his wheelchair for Leicestershire Press which was picked up not only by Fenwick but also the local media.

A spokesman for Fenwick said: “We will endeavour to make sure that on Boxing Day we ensure that disabled customers are given priority through the disabled access on Bowling Green Street and Market Street, and hope that any future difficulties are kept to a minimum.”

As a result of his story, Simon has been invited on BBC Radio Leicester at 11.30 this morning to talk about his experience and what Fenwick’s are doing to change the way they operate Boxing Day sales.

In his first year as a Journalism student, Simon won DMU’s Rev Jessie Jackson Prize and a £1,000 grant after he set up a Facebook page called “Ability Access”, which endeavours to break down barriers for people with disabilities and help them access their communities better.


Crowds go crazy for Kieran

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-18-44-23X Factor’s 5 After Midnight greeted a screaming crowd when they pulled into Leicester in their Promotional bus ahead of Saturday’s final this evening.

Leicester lad Kieran Alleyne, one of the trio who are trying to drum up support ahead of the live vote in the final, got the loudest screams from fans.

Leicestershire Press reporters Molly Barham and Alice Warner braved the crowds to sample the atmosphere as the bus pulled up in St Peter’s Square in Leicester city centre.

The pair got an exclusive interview with Kieran’s mum Sue, who was there with other members of his family.

Watch their video produced back at HQ by DMU Investigative Journalism MA student Rachel King and first year Journalism student Tyler Arthur.

Kieran Alleyne one-third of the popular trio 5 After Midnight came home yesterday evening.

The boys, the bus, and Louis Walsh ventured to Leicester for their visit home before the X Factor final.

We, at Leicestershire Press, got a chance to meet his mum Susan and asked her how proud she was of Kieran for getting this far.

Sue said: “I am extremely proud of him, I could not be prouder. He’s worked really hard to get to this position.

“Leicester are so proud to have my boy in the final of X Factor.”

We also asked her about Kieran’s baby to be, with girlfriend of 11 months Sophie, she said: “I am very excited to have a new baby in the family, I love children. I’ve got lots of grandchildren already, so this is a new one to add to my little pack”

Kieran’s family were all there to support him and were ecstatic for him to come home, if only for half a day.

Leicester are extremely excited to see Kieran in the final on Saturday night and are all backing the boys to win.

Beef fat in £5 note angers temples

By Olivia Mumby, Yousuf Ali, Ollie Churm, Gideon Umunna and Liam Connell

Two Hindu temples in Leicester have taken a stance against the new £5 note on religious grounds.

The Shree Hindu Temple and Community Centre, in St Barnabas Road, and the Shree Sanatan Mandir Temple, in Weymouth Street, are urging people not to make donations using the new note.

Nor do they want worshippers to use it inside their buildings as it may contain cow products, an animal seen as being holy.

The new £5 note has been revealed to contain tallow, an animal product, which has caused widespread controversy.

The furore began with vegetarians and vegans complaining about the unnecessary use of tallow and saying they do not want to carry money containing animal fat.

Kiranbhai Padhva, a priest at the Shree Hindu Temple, said: “Because we are vegetarian and we put vegetarian food in front of God in these ceremonies, we don’t want any sort of animal fat to go in front of God.”

He added: “I strongly believe that there should be no use of animal fat or animal meats [in places of worship].”

Shri Satish K Sharma, General Secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK, said: “Hindu temples do not want animal fat inside their temples. We believe in non-violence, so when you think about animal fat being put in money, that is against our principles of non-violence.”


Barclays Bank, on its website, said: “We are aware of some people’s concerns about traces of tallow in our new £5 note.

“We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness.

“This issue has only just come to light, and the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed.”

The Bank added there is only a trace of tallow in each note and it has not been specified what animals the tallow is derived from.

Tallow is a hard fatty substance made from rendered animal fat, used to make many common products such as candles and soap.

It is used as a “slip agent” which is essentially a grease, that stops the plastic from sticking to other things during production and also gives the material its final consistency and appearance.

Many say it is not necessary as vegetable oil can be used, and during the BSE crisis of the 1990s and early 2000s, manufacturers sought to replace beef tallow with other products.

The Bank of England said its supplier is working on “potential solutions” after more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling on them to remove a derivative of animal fat.

In the meantime, both Shree Sanatan Mandir temple and Shree Hindu temple said they would reluctantly agree to accept the new £5 note in donations.

Leicester hate crime rises after Brexit but still below national average

By Conor de Smith, Ruairi O’Connor, Sophie Sandberg, Luke Smith, Danial Nash and Matthew Knight

Race related hate crime in the Leicestershire area has risen by 22% following the Summer Brexit vote, however this figure is still well below the national average.

Statistics have shown a nationwide rise in race related hate crime of 41% in the immediate aftermath of the vote, where the United Kingdom elected to leave the European Union (EU).

Despite the upward trend throughout the country, Leicester’s figures, although increased, still show the accepting nature of the city.


As shown in the graph, the outcome of Brexit did affect the amount of racial hate crime in Leicester quite significantly, with 22 more offences recorded in the month following the crucial vote (July).

 However, it does not appear that the local community feels as much of an affect as the stats would suggest.

Ajaib Singh, main spokesperson of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple in Leicester, stated:

“Leicester is a very multicultural city. The people are very integrated in most areas – apart from some specific areas between specific religions.

He continued to say, “I have not seen any hate crimes for a long time.”


Although, on the surface multiculturalism seems to be thriving in the area, there are some people who are uncertain how it could develop in the near future.

Kamaron Mostapha, 40, said that “I think the hate between the Brits and the foreigners will grow and create safety problems in the city. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, but I hope that nothing will change.”