Caption: HSBC UK’s chief executive Ian Stuart with Feng Shui architect Jacques Rosset

Caption: HSBC UK’s chief executive Ian Stuart with Feng Shui architect Jacques Rosset

A traditional feng shui ceremony to formally introduce HSBC’s iconic lions into Birmingham has taken place at the new head office for HSBC UK in Centenary Square, Birmingham.  

The ceremony opens the building to the natural energy flow of ch’i to establish a feeling of harmony, wellness and good destiny, while the lions symbolise success and prosperity.

In line with feng shui tradition, eight lucky coins along with handwritten wishes for the bank’s future will be buried under the lions for protection. 

The bronze guardians, nicknamed “Stephen” and “Stitt” after two HSBC senior managers in the 1920s, have a proud heritage in the bank, standing guard at HSBC head offices around the globe, including Hong Kong and London. Because of the positive feng shui associated with the lions, people often stroke the their noses and paws for luck. 

The new Birmingham head office for HSBC UK – which will be ready for occupation in October - signals a return to its Midlands roots. HSBC acquired Midland Bank in 1992, adopting the HSBC brand globally in 1999. In 2015 the HSBC Group announced it would establish its HSBC UK head office in Birmingham. 

Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which is the overall sponsor of Birmingham Press Club,  said that “Stephen” and “Stitt” had been formally welcomed to their new home in Centenary Square in a ceremony which linked the bank’s  international history with its Birmingham heritage. 

“These iconic lions are not only a significant part of our shared HSBC history, they’re also symbols of good fortune, growth and prosperity – things we hope to bring to the UK, and Birmingham,” he added.

Jacques Rosset, Feng Shui architect, who conducted the ceremony said: “Feng Shui is the Chinese art of geomancy which originated in the Far East and considers that the energy flow of Chi is present everywhere in our environment. The good circulation of Chi is establishing a feeling of harmony and wellness and contributes to good health and good destiny. HSBC’s lions symbolise success and prosperity which protect the family, the entrance of homes and public buildings. I am proud to be able to release this positive energy at HSBC UK’s new headquarters in Birmingham and wish employees, visitors and the surrounding area continued and long-standing prosperity.”

HSBC UK serves around 14.5 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 32,000 people. It offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages. It also provides commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

Death of ex-Black Country newspaper editor

 John Clegg

John Clegg

The funeral of a “well-known and loved” editor who became production director at a family-owned newspaper publisher will take place at Stourbridge Crematorium on Thursday, 20 September at 2.50 pm.

Former Stourbridge County Express editor and editorial director John Clegg, who was also part of the launch team of the Birmingham Daily News, died at home, aged 64

During a career spanning five decades, he also served as production director for Observer Standard Newspapers and later Bullivant Media. He retired from Bullivant due to ill-health in 2012.

He began his career as a trainee reporter at the Smethwick News Telephone in the early 1970s, where he eventually became chief reporter, before moving to the Walsall Observer as sports editor. Later he became editor, then editorial director, of the Stourbridge County Express.

John moved into the production department with the advent of new technologies, which he pioneered as production director at the launch of the UKs first free daily newspaper the Birmingham Daily News in October 1984.

His son Brendan told media website Hold The Front Page:  “He was well-known and loved within the industry and was a real old-school newspaper man. He was also passionate about education and served on the governing bodies of a special school and a secondary school, before serving several terms of office as a member of the corporation at Halesowen College.”

John is survived by his wife, Pam Thomas, his three children and four grandchildren.

Herald’s Amanda calls it a day


A Warwickshire newspaper is looking for a new editor after its current incumbent decided to vacate the position, citing “personal reasons.”

Amanda Chalmers (pictured) took over as editor of the independent Stratford Herald in 2014 – becoming the newspaper’s first new editor for a quarter of a century following the retirement of Chris Towner.

During her time at the Herald, the newspaper produced a commemorative supplement to mark 400 years since the death of Stratford’s most famous son, William Shakespeare,  and also successfully campaigned for the town to be given its own edition of board game Monopoly. The Herald was also highly commended in the Weekly Newspaper of the Year category at the 2017 newsawards.

During her journalistic career, Amanda served as a sub-editor/production manager at the Northampton Chronicle and Echo. She also spent eight years as deputy editor at the Buckingham Advertiser – a position she later held at the weekly Daventry Express prior to taking on the Herald job.

The Herald editor’s job is currently being advertised on media website, Hold The Front Page.

WIJ members to learn from the best

 Laura Keunssberg

Laura Keunssberg

Journalist Laura Keunssberg, who in July 2015 became the first woman to be appointed as the political editor of BBC News, is to be guest speaker at a Women in Journalism (WIJ) event in London on Monday, 12 November.

The event, to be held at the Geological Society in Piccadilly, is the first in a series of one-to-one interviews with female journalists who are at the top of their game and who may offer invaluable insight to other journalists hoping to emulate their success.

WIJ’s Laura Whitcombe will conduct the interview, questioning Keunssberg (pictured) about her career path, the challenges she faces and how she overcomes them.

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 pm, are priced at £10 for WIJ members and £20 for non-members.

On 27 September, WIJ is holding a discussion on “How to ask for more money – and get what you are worth.” A WIJ spokesperson said: “Negotiating is a vital skill that will get you the pay you deserve and help close the gender gap. We want to empower our members, and our panel will tell you what mistakes women often make in pay negotiations, how to prepare, how to get what you want – and what you are worth.”

The panel will include authors Lisa Unwin and Deb Khan, journalist Monisha Rajesh and Lucy Foster, content director at Shortlist Media, while the event will be chaired by digital journalist and editor Jem Collins.

Tickets for the event, to be held at the offices of Wiggin LLP, 22 Percy Street, London, W1T 2BU, are £10 for members, £20 for non-members.

WIJ is open to women journalists from national and regional newspapers, online media, magazines and wire services, as well as freelance journalists, photo-journalists, sub-editors and women in management positions within the industry. It has a membership of 600. Enquiries to:

Press Clubs European get-together

 Eileen Murphy

Eileen Murphy

Delegates from more than 39 press clubs from around the world including Australia, Namibia, India, Indonesia, Poland and London gathered in Brussels last month to discuss a wide range of issues and share experiences.

Across three days of working sessions and networking Birmingham Press Club took its seat in the debates to learn more about how press clubs operate around the world.

Topics under discussion included the role of media and business in advancing Good Governance, exchanges of views on the development of Press Clubs across the globe and how press clubs in Africa are supporting and promoting the freedom of the press.

Press Club director Eileen Murphy (pictured), who attended the gathering, said: “Utilising BPC’s ‘observer status’, it was inspiring to see the work of such diverse clubs facing shared challenges around attracting younger members, providing a sustainable business model for our clubs and ensuring a safe space for journalists from our home cities/countries and visiting media.”

As host city and holder of the presidency of the International Association of Press Clubs, Press Club Brussels Europe gave an insight into how it works to utilise its space for a wide range of events and acts as a hub for media in the city.

Eileen added: “The way they market these facilities and work with other organisations to maximise impact held valuable lessons and tips given the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

“Outlining our own successful Midlands Media Awards and student awards event we talked through models of how we might build mentoring and training for media colleagues at mid-career and student stages in their career.”

One of the areas the Press Club Brussels Europe will focus on during its presidency will be supporting the creation of press clubs in the Western Balkan region with an overarching ambition to safeguard the freedom of the press.

Visiting delegates were honoured with a gala dinner attended by Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister at the beautiful  and historic Solvay Library.

Next year’s event will be in the UK hosted by our colleagues at the London Press Club and BPC will be involved in organising and supporting the event and welcoming our international colleagues.



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Pertemps, Britain’s top recruitment agency, is to sponsor this year’s Journalists’ Charity Celebrity lunch with Jeremy Paxman at Villa Park, Birmingham, on October 5th.

The Meriden-based company, whose life president Dr Tim Watts is also a life vice president of the Journalists’ Charity, has a strong record of supporting local organisations and foundations.  Pertemps was the main sponsor of the Charity’s 150thanniversary celebrations in 2014, attended by the Queen, who is the charity’s patron.

The lunch with Jeremy Paxman marks the 25thanniversary of the first Midland Celebrity lunch when the special guest speaker was pioneering newspaper editor Eve Pollard, known as the “first lady of Fleet Street”. Eve has accepted the charity’s invitation to return to the Midlands to attend the event at Villa Park.

For Jeremy it is also a return to the Midlands where he spent much of his childhood, living at Peopleton near Pershore and Bromsgrove and educated at Malvern College. He read English at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he edited the student newspaper Varsity.

The multi-award-winning broadcaster and writer will talk about his career spanning five decades in radio and television. Best known for his 25-year stint as the anchor of BBC Newsnight, Jeremy has also presented University Challengesince 1994. In a switch of roles, he will answer questions from lunch guests.

Tim Watts, said: “Our business has a long association with the Journalist’s Charity and we are delighted to once again show support for what is always a memorable event, on what is an extra special anniversary. I sincerely hope guests dig deep to make a contribution to such a worthwhile cause and the fantastic work it does in supporting journalists across the country.”

The charity’s celebrity lunch has now become one of the highlights of the region’s social calendar attended by many the Midlands top media and business leaders.  Previous guest speakers have included Sir Trevor McDonald, Lord (Lew) Grade, Kate Adie, Chris Tarrant, Sir Michael Parkinson, Richard Branson, Fern Britton, Jon Snow, John Sergeant, Nick Robinson and Robert Peston. Together they have helped to raise nearly £400,000 for the charity in the Midlands.

Derek Inman. Chairman of the Charity’s West Midlands District, said: “We are very grateful to Tim Watts and Pertemps for continuing their long standing and generous support for our Midlands Celebrity lunches, especially in this special anniversary year. 

“As we expected, there had been great interest in this year’s lunch and we are now releasing additional tickets to make sure more people will be able to join us at Villa Park for what we know will be an enjoyable and entertaining event.”

Tickets are £55 per person with tables for 10 at £525. For booking information contact Val Deeley . 

Debit/Credit card bookings are available at

For further information contact Laurie Upshon at, Derek Inman at derek.inman@btopenworld.comor Val Deeley at

Edgbaston Stadium setting for Midlands Media Awards

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One of Birmingham’s premier leisure venues is to host this year’s prestigious Midlands Media Awards.

The HSBC-sponsored event, organised by Birmingham Press Club to celebrate the achievements of the region’s journalists, photographers, broadcasters and bloggers, will take place on 14 November at Edgbaston Stadium, the award-winning home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

Press Club chairman Llewela Bailey said: “The awards, now in their 17th year, showcase the tremendous professionalism of media specialists throughout the East and West Midlands and clearly demonstrate that their talents are amongst the best in the country.”

Kate Epworth, HSBC UK’s Head of Communications, said:  “We are delighted to again be sponsoring the Midlands Media Awards – a much-anticipated and highly-contested highlight of the Press Club calendar, celebrating the region’s continued high quality of journalism.”

HSBC, which later this year officially opens its new national head office at Arena Central in Birmingham, is the overall sponsor of the Press Club – the oldest organisation of its kind in the world.

Bareface, the award-winning Digbeth-based digital marketing and web design agency, is providing additional sponsorship support.

Entries for the award’s 16 categories will initially be scrutinised by a panel of professionals who will then submit a shortlist to the final judging panel. Deadline for entries is 28 September.

Details on how to enter the awards are on

Ticket prices for the event are £85 (including VAT) for individuals, while tables of ten are available at £800.

For further information regarding the awards, sponsorship opportunities and tickets please contact event organiser Jo Jeffries at 7LOCO event management either on or 07984 319692




Llewela Bailey – Chairman, Birmingham Press Club

E-mail: -

Smallpox tragedy recalled in newspaper-university collaboration


A tragic story of death, disease and a city in panic 40 years ago has been brought to life in a new four-part podcast produced by BirminghamLive and the Birmingham Mail.

In The Lonely Death of Janet Parker, veteran Mail journalist Andy Richards re-examines the remarkable story of how a young medical photographer caught smallpox in the University of Birmingham, becoming the last person in the world to die of the disease.

The four half-hour episodes were produced in collaboration with the staff and a student at Birmingham City University's broadcast radio course, and the project was three years in the making. All four episodes are published on podcast platform Acast in the run-up to the 40th anniversary of her death.

It will also be available on iTunes, and will be accompanied by a seven-part series in the Birmingham Mail's print edition, as well as a 'Shorthand' multimedia storytelling platform accessed via the BirminghamLive website.

BirminghamLive editor Marc Reeves said: "This is possibly the most ambitious and largest multi-platform media projects we've ever undertaken. This is such an important story that deserves re-telling, especially given the new perspectives and information uncovered by Andy through his dogged pursuit of this investigation."

Richards is the journalist behind the Mail's long-running campaign in support of the families of the victims of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. His research uncovered vital information that allowed the inquests to be re-opened last year and he has received several industry awards for his work.

The podcast tells the story of how Mrs Parker fell suddenly ill, but smallpox was only diagnosed after several days had elapsed. In the days that followed, thousands of people were given the smallpox vaccine, and dozens were tracked down and put in quarantine after being tracked down by police. 

Richards interviewed several of the people affected, including the ambulanceman who took her to hospital.

In a shocking twist, the podcast recounts how a person central to the case killed themselves in circumstances that raised serious questions about the behaviour of the media.

Richards said: "Use the word 'smallpox' in medical circles and you soon realise there is an abiding sensitivity over the virus even though it was banished 40 years ago. For instance, with social media and the issue of fake news in mind, we wanted to ask how health authorities would cope with a real outbreak of something equally nasty nowadays. They weren't keen to talk. 

Reeves said: "This has been a fascinating project, with many many challenges that Andy and the team have had to overcome. It would be nothing without the work of the amazing team at BCU and we've learned a great deal from the process. BirminghamLive is all about finding new ways to tell the stories of the city, and this is a great example of this."

The podcast can be accessed here.

Prepare to become a Jailbird!

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We’re off to a different venue for our September drop-in event – sampling the classy delights of the latest venue from the award-winning Lasan Group.

This time, members will be meeting at Jailbird, the recently opened New York seafood & steak dining experience at 130 Colmore Row, B3 3AP, which fronts Victoria Square close to the Council House.

So come along and enjoy the Press Club’s popular networking event on Thursday, 6 September. Usual time:  6 pm until 8.

Lasan Group’s Jabbar Khan said: “Expect a cosmopolitan vibe where you can escape from the humdrum and get the New York state of mind.”

Come and hear what Birmingham can offer Channel 4

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Will Birmingham’s creative talent pool, thriving business community and unrivalled accessibility be enough of an incentive to attract Channel 4 to the city?

That’s the question a panel of experts will be discussing at a city centre debate  - just days before the broadcaster is expected to reveal whether Birmingham. Manchester or Leeds will be the focus of its relocation plans.

Llewela Bailey, chairman of Birmingham Press Club, which is co-hosting the event in conjunction with event management company 7LOCO, said:  “Plans by Channel 4 to create a new national headquarters and creative hub outside of London present genuine opportunities for Birmingham to convince those who are about to make the relocation decision that our city must be the number one choice.

“Birmingham has the most diverse population, range of business and unique arts scene of any of the shortlisted cities – and the eventual arrival of HS2 will cement its position as the most accessible city in the country.

“We also know that there is a huge talent pool in the city, not just in broadcasting but right across the broad spectrum of media, the arts and the creative sector. But we want to find out from people just what they think about the potential relocation – and listen to their ideas, initiatives and what they think we can offer Channel 4 if it chooses Birmingham as its new base,” added Llewela.

The discussion will take place on 27 September (6 pm – 8.30pm) at Fazeley Studios, the Digbeth-based location for creative and digital companies positioned just a couple of minutes away from the Custard Factory.

Jo Jeffries, director of 7LOCO, said: “We are delighted that Lord Digby Jones (pictured), the former minister for UK Trade & Industry, has agreed to chair the discussion and that leading personalities from the city’s media sector will be on the panel.”

She added:  “The debate will be a great opportunity to showcase just what Birmingham has to offer – not just for now but in terms of it being one of the UK’s most dynamic cities of the future.”

Those taking part will include Marc Reeves, editor of the Birmingham Mail and editor-in-chief of Reachplc’s publications in the West Midlands; Oli Hills, a social media guru and managing director of news website Birmingham Updates; Chris James, group head of news and production at MADE TV, Sarah Jones, former ITV Central journalist and now head of the School of Media at Birmingham City University and Indi Deol, advertising director of DESIblitz, the award-winning Birmingham-based web magazine aimed primarily at British Asians.

Entry to the debate is free but those wishing to attend are asked to register at Eventbrite to ensure their place.

In a special Birmingham Post supplement, outlining the case for Channel 4 to move to the city, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says: “We are at a critical stage in the campaign. We’re at the point where the issues like sites and attracting staff to our region are becoming key.”

Future newsroom to “reflect”diversity of population make-up


A daily newspaper in one of Britain’s most diverse cities is offering an opportunity for reporters from ethnic minority backgrounds to fill more of its current vacancies

The Birmingham Mail and its Birmingham Live sister website have confirmed they will be adopting the policy when recruiting new journalists in a bid to make their newsroom more representative of the communities they serve.

It means 50 per cent of those shortlisted for such roles will come from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

The Mail’s initiative was announced in a Twitter post by editor Marc Reeves, who said:“I’ve been posting a lot about our reporter vacancies at Birmingham Live, and thought it worth mentioning that each shortlist will comprise 50 per cent BAME candidates.”

He told media website Hold The Front Page “I doubt there’s an editor in the regions – or the nationals for that matter – who can say with hand on heart that the composition of their newsroom is as diverse as they would want it to be. In Birmingham, this is even more acute. We serve the most diverse city in the UK, yet our newsroom does not fully reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. We’ve known this for a long time, and I know journalism colleges are working hard on their own recruitment policies, but we have to take action on this directly.

“With the expansion of Birmingham Live and the creation of four new reporting roles, we have an opportunity to take control of the process and to try to affect something of a step change. We will ensure that at least 50 per cent of the candidates we shortlist for interview have black or minority ethnic backgrounds.”

Marc added: “Furthermore, we are also working with a Reach plc project to create opportunities for journalism apprentices, and we want to fill two of the four new roles in this way. That’s the really exciting bit – to work with candidates as young as 18 who have grown up in the heart of our communities and help them get on the first rung on the journalism ladder.”

His announcement comes after Mike Norton, editor of the Mail’s Reach plc sister daily the Bristol Post, admitted last year that his newspaper has “too few” ethnic minority journalists on its staff. Mike said neither black writers or black communities were “well represented” on the Post, adding that the paper had contributed to a “cultural divide” in Bristol in the past.

Former mobile print room is now an exhibition piece

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 Caption: Francis Ranford (left) and Catherine Bailey, of Coventry Transport Museum, pictured by the former Post & Mail mobile print room

Caption: Francis Ranford (left) and Catherine Bailey, of Coventry Transport Museum, pictured by the former Post & Mail mobile print room

Who can remember when the Birmingham Post & Mail had a mobile print room – a feature at big sporting events and agricultural shows around the Midlands? Well, if you can you might be interested in a new, free exhibition celebrating the role of the humble bus on people’s lives.

Ticket to Ride is open now and will run at Coventry Transport Museum until October 28 2018. The exhibition showcases both historical buses with connections to the city and new and emerging technologies in this exciting temporary exhibition.

The buses on display complement the existing vehicles which can be seen within the museum, including the famed bus that took Coventry City on their open-top ride in 1987.

Ticket to Ride includes a 1950s double decker Daimler – Bus 333 – which shuttled Coventrians across the city for many years and a 1950 Daimler CVD6 model, better known as Mabel, which began its life as a mobile print room for the Birmingham Post & Mail.

As well as offering a peek into the city’s vehicle-making past and bus travel culture, there’s also a great deal of family activities available, as well as a glimpse into the future with a Midlands made driverless pod.

Francis Ranford, Cultural and Creative Director of Coventry Transport Museum, said Ticket to Ride is all about telling the stories of this much-loved form of transport and creating an interactive and fun environment to learn more about buses and their impact on the city.

Francis said: “This is the first time all of the buses in our collection have been on display at the same time; both in this exhibition and in our work days and holidays permanent gallery, so it really is a fantastic opportunity for families and bus-lovers to visit.

“There’s also plenty of fun activities taking place within the exhibition itself, including dress up and imaginative play opportunities on Mabel, which was once a camper van which toured across Afghanistan.

“As well as that, there are daily activities taking place in the exhibition, chances to see the transport of the future and hear and share stories on the impact that buses have had.

“We’ve just added the Vectus – a TDI, Midlands-made driverless pod – which may well be a feature of public transport in the future.”

Francis added: “Of course, there’s also so much to see and do throughout the museum. We have the world’s largest collection of British Road Transport, all of which has connections to Coventry and the city’s automotive heritage.

“From the earliest vehicles right through to the world’s two fastest land vehicles and everything in between, there is plenty for all of the family to see, experience and learn from.

“Not only that, we’ve got a huge collection of toy cars and vehicles on display – so if you’ve enjoyed Play at the Herbert this summer, you’ll love this!”

Coventry Transport Museum is open seven days a week and entrance is free. For more information on Ticket to Ride, go to


“Unrealistic” payment demands, says editor-in-chief

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A West Midlands newspaper editor has claimed hyperlocals’ calls for payment from other outlets which follow up their stories are “unrealistic” – but says he is open to other forms of collaboration with such titles.


Birmingham Press Club director Marc Reeves (pictured), who edits the Birmingham Mail and its sister website Birmingham Live, says he does not believe larger news organisations “should seek permission or make payments” to pursue stories initially published by hyperlocals.

In an interview with former South Wales Evening Post and Nottingham Post journalist Jane Haynes, who runs Worcestershire-based site Wyre Life, Marc added he could not foresee a scenario where he was “going to sack a reporter” to pay hyperlocals to provide copy for him.

Media website Hold The Front Page reports that Marc’s comments come after Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism last month secured funding from Google to develop tools aimed at helping hyperlocal titles make money from stories they publish, as well as enabling them to track other organisations picking up their content online.

Earlier this year Emma Meese, director of Cardiff-based hyperlocal trade body the Independent Community News Network, also raised concerns from members that their content was being “stolen” by bigger publishers.

But Marr told Jane: “I don’t get the idea that we should seek permission or make payments to pursue a story published by a hyperlocal. Once it’s in the public domain it’s out there, isn’t it?

“Expecting other publishers to ignore a story because Wyre Life, or whoever, has done it first, or to pay to carry the story once it’s been published is, I think, unrealistic.

“My reporters dig out stories all the time that are picked up by [an agency] and sold on without us or them benefiting.”

But Marc also expressed an interest in collaborating with hyperlocals in other ways, admitting there had been a past “arrogance” in the way mainstream media outlets had treated the hyperlocal sector.

He said: “I am definitely open to the idea of working together. That might involve exchanging resources, sharing information and expertise, working together on stories or campaigns – I can see merit in that type of holistic approach, one in which we are spreading our wings a bit more into the edges around Birmingham.

“It would be great for campaigns like BrumFeeds [Birmingham Live’s campaign to collect food donations and cash for homeless and vulnerable people] to be shared across as many media as possible. We could pre-arrange joint coverage, have collection points in outlying communities where hyperlocals operate, and so on.

“But we are massively constrained financially. So if I wanted to, say, pay a hyperlocal or group of hyperlocals to provide copy to us, am I going to sack a reporter to do so? I can’t see that happening.”

From newspaper competition winner to barrister

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A criminal barrister, who now works in Chambers in Birmingham, has thanked a regional daily newspaper after it helped set her on the path to achieving her ambition of starting a career in the legal profession.


Jeanette Stevenson (pictured) won a £9,500 scholarship to study for a three-year degree at the University of Derby through a Derby Telegraph competition 2008.

Jeanette’s application to the Telegraph “stood out” because she was fostered from the age of nine due to the death of both of her parents and, at 16, left to find her own accommodation and full-time employment in place of further education.

The 34-year-old subsequently graduated with a degree in law and criminology in 2011, but was unable to pursue her preferred career due to “complications in her personal life, including the breakdown of her marriage”. Now she started work at Cornwall Street Chambers, in Birmingham.

Jeanette said: “I cannot thank the Derby Telegraph and the University of Derby enough for giving me the start to my career.”

Telegraph editor Steve Hall said: “When we interviewed Jeanette, she came across as someone who would do extremely well if she was given the chance to undertake a degree. I think the judging panel was unanimous in selecting her for one of the scholarships and I am delighted that the newspaper was able to give her the opportunity to fulfill her ambition. We wish her well for the future.”


Worcester Five Head Off to Radio

 Emma Trim, left, and Kathryn Emerson

Emma Trim, left, and Kathryn Emerson


Five journalism students at the University of Worcester – including Kathryn Emerson, a winner at last year’s Midlands Media Awards (MMA)  - have landed jobs with the BBC.

The successful journalism degree course students had all undertaken placements on a scheme the university runs in association with the Corporation.

Three of the five were in paid work while still studying - Kathryn as a broadcast assistant at BBC Shropshire, while Max Banner and Emma Trim were at BBC Hereford-Worcester.

Emma was snapped up as a reporter by BBC Gloucestershire and Kathryn, who continued working as a freelancer at the Shropshire radio station, has now joined the Gloucestershire station as a social media producer, creating videos for Facebook.

Kathryn, 22, originally from Bishops Castle, Shropshire, said: “The course was hugely beneficial to me and I’m grateful for all the help and support from my lecturers.”

Emma, 24, who is from Christchurch, Dorset, said: “I now work alongside the very people at the BBC who came in as guest speakers to my lectures. Sometimes I forget how far I’ve come since leaving university, but it really was the best decision I ever made.”

Graduate Hayden Atkins, from Birmingham, has just moved from Made in Birmingham TV to BBC Channel Isles as a senior broadcast journalist. He said: “To get a BBC job at 22 is a dream come true and something I hoped would happen when I started the course at Worcester in 2013.”

Charlotte Broadbent, who has worked at BBC Hereford-Worcester as a freelancer since graduating, has just secured a broadcast journalist contract with them She said: “The skills I developed during news days on the university course have been directly transferred to my current job at the radio station – skills such as newsgathering, building contacts and being able to make editorial decisions about the different treatment of news stories have played an integral prole in the work I do now.”

Max Banner, who went straight into work as Online Editor at Koru Media Limited, contributes to the BBC’s football and horse racing coverage after completing a one-month placement with BBC Sport England at the Mailbox, Birmingham.

He said: “The BBC Placements helped me to establish some footing with the radio station.”

The students follow in the footsteps of other graduates, including Justyn Surrall at BBC Hereford-Worcester and Will Fyfe at BBC Wales.

Claire Wolfe, principal lecturer in journalism, who oversees the BBC partnership, said: “The BBC is a great employer and the placements offer our students an opportunity to become truly professional journalists. The staff on the course are all dedicated to giving our students the very best start to their careers and we stay in touch, letting them know of potential contacts and opportunities after they have left. We never forget them and are as delighted as they are when they achieve success.”

The university’s journalism course has received Broadcast Journalism Training Council accreditation until 2021, while Official Unistats figures show 100 per cent of the university’s 2017 journalism graduates achieved work within six months.