STUDENTS at the University of Worcester gained an insight on the role of a journalist from a Worcester News reporter who was welcomed as a guest speaker in the virtual classroom.

Around 30 students from year two on the BA(Hons) Journalism course attended the virtual talk, where they heard reporter Grace Walton talk about her role as a journalist and what she enjoys most about her job.

Difference aspects of the discussion mentioned how to gain contacts for stories, how to source stories, if reporters have a designated subject they write about, Grace’s favourite story she reported during the coronavirus lockdown and also how she got into the profession.

She also included tips on securing a work placement, and how her work placement experience at the daily paper led to her being offered a full-time job two years ago.

The students had their session online on Thursday due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Therefore, Grace spoke during an interactive session which was based on the broad field of journalism and how she broke into the industry.

The students asked questions about the role and were keen to learn more about what life is generally like as a reporter, being involved in the media and aspects such as how stories are generated, any backlash or hate received from the public and the importance of learning shorthand to cover court cases.

Grace spoke about the interviewing process and where stories can be found, such as from council meetings, the police, social media or in schools, and how stories are formed.

She was impressed with the students' enthusiasm who asked a variety of questions on the spot.

The journalism staff at university had decided to make this week a Journalism Careers Week for the students.

Other speakers included Paul Bromley, a former Sky editor and political journalist, and a range of speakers via zoom to tie in with the Royal Television Society's Career Week. These included BBC journalist, Kath Stanczyszyn, ITV content editor Lucy Kapasi and ITV Central's Rajiv Popat.

Claire Wolfe, principal Lecturer in Journalism, said: "The students have gained an enormous amount from the talks. Grace gave some really useful tips of how to break into newspapers.The University of Worcester is doing everything it can to help students gain employment after this difficult period."

The course at Worcester University has a high employment rate with students going into a range of jobs including print and broadcast journalism, PR and communications and social media management.