Media Centre: News


Student takeover makes the headlines at London paper

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Months of hard work has paid off after a group of nine college students produced an edition of the Barking and Dagenham Post direct from their campus.

As part of an Archant London joint editorial and commercial project, the Create Your Future project saw the Post’s news team relocate to Barking & Dagenham College for a student takeover week.

And after the June 4 edition hit the shops, the winners of two paid internships were announced in the paper on June 11 with an additional four-month role for a student columnist also revealed.

It followed months of work mentoring students in every aspect of the Archant London business from editorial, commercial, videography and digital sessions.

Post editor Michael Adkins said: “The project has been a massive task for all involved most notably because we had to relocate to the college.

“But when it came to producing the paper, some of the stories that members of the group were tackling would have been difficult even for a fully-fledged journalist, let alone a student.”

The project builds on previous Archant-led takeover projects which aim to raise the profile of a college, increase enrolment and offer students a fantastic glimpse of life in our industry. The Post’s project was made unique by the relocation of the news team to the POD entrepreneurial area in the college for the entire production week.

News editor Ramzy Alwakeel, reporters Freddy Mayhew and Mark Shales and photographer Ellie Hoskins worked from the college after working alongside the student team at Ilford the previous week. Designer Tommy Morse worked closely with students to make sure they could put their own stamp on the paper.

Students taking part came from a wide range of courses, with one member suffering from autism and another dyslexic.

Michael Adkins added: “It was quite inspiring to see all the student members make new friends, support each other in getting the best out of the experience and choose the subjects they wanted to tackle. They were very committed, with many working weekends, and even attending the local election count the week before and late into the night.”

All team members wrote their own stories, with the student editor Emillie Rix getting a splash about the danger of home tattooists and an interview with friends of a 15-year-old girl who had died suddenly.

Others produced columns based on their own personal struggles, while augmented reality was used to bring pictures to life with video through the Aurasma app.

Project manager Gary Bicker, and Lorna Willis who arranged the link-up and guided the teams and college through the entire process said it was “absolutely fantastic.”

Lorna added: “We always hoped the students would get something from it, I think the surprise is how much we have got from the students.”

Coverage and advertising in the Post, other Archant London titles and will continue to help boost enrolment numbers at Barking & Dagenham College and showcase students’ ongoing good work.

See a short video about the project.

Barking & Dagenham Post

Pictured above, takeover students from the Barking and Dagenham College receiving their awards and newspapers.

© Archant Ltd 2013