Channel 4 News chief offers expertise to budding journalists

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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.

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