Journalism students provide live coverage of Leveson report

Posted on Thursday, November 29 2012

Journalism students provide live coverage of Leveson report

Journalism students at BU’s Media School provided ‘live’ coverage of the long–awaited Leveson report into press standards today.

Second years on the BA (Hons) Multi Media Journalism course produced a rolling radio news service as part of the broadcast element of their course.

Their bulletins incorporated coverage from the inquiry itself and reaction from experts on and off campus.

Ryan Burrows acted as Media Correspondent for the day and found “getting involved in something so fast moving challenging, but exciting.” He said that Leveson “related to us, as journalists we have a real stake in it, so it was very interesting to be a part of it.” Meanwhile, down the corridor in Radio Studio 4, Lecturer in Online Journalism, Liisa Rohumaa and two journalism students were providing live comment and analysis down the line for BBC Radio Solent; they appeared throughout the day on the lunchtime and drive time shows.

So what do the journalists of tomorrow make of Lord Justice Leveson’s findings?

Third year student Charlotte Foot, said “it gives us a chance to rebuild trust with the public and think about what public interest really means in terms of fair reporting.”

Oscar Tollast was asked whether he still wanted to be a journalist and he said he still did. He had shadowed local MP Conor Burns at the House of Commons the day before and he was struck by the fact that so many journalists in the press gallery were discussing why freedom of expression mattered.

Oscar added that his studies here “ensure I am legally trained as a journalist, aware of ethics and knowledgeable about current affairs. I am not limited to one medium. In today’s multimedia world, that’s a vital attribute to have and one of the reasons I chose my course.”

Standing in the middle of our buzzing radio newsroom, second year student, Carrie Mok was sceptical: “I think it is interesting that it will affect everyone in this room when we graduate, but I do worry who might be the regulators and will they need regulating?”

For their tutor, Associate Dean of Journalism and Communication, Karen Fowler–Watt, Leveson highlights the importance of good journalism education: “What we teach here in terms of ethics, law, and good practice across all platforms, including the use of social media, provides the students with the confidence and skills to be the great journalists of tomorrow.

“They will seek out the original stories and ask the difficult questions, but I believe that they will do so whilst upholding the highest standards, thanks to the experience that they have had on this course.

“Never was good journalism education more important than it is now.”

Since the Leveson Inquiry already appears to have polarised political opinion, the Dean of the Media School, Stephen Jukes agrees it is down to the the next generation of journalists to uphold standards, whilst facing “an uphill task in rebuilding public trust so that the press can fulfil its vital role of holding authority to account.”

For this reason, in his view: “journalism courses must teach – and practice – the highest possible standards.”