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Journalism students work with Nottinghamshire Police on Press Conference training

Students and police officers carried out a mock press conference day to practice their skills

Journalism students with the police officers
Journalism students with guests from Nottinghamshire Police

Students in their third year of the BA (Hons) Journalism course gained useful real life experience of a press conference when Nottinghamshire Police visited the Centre for Broadcasting & Journalism this November. The day centred around a fictional murder that had taken place on the tram network in Nottingham City Centre, involving two mock press conferences as information on the story ‘unfolded’ throughout the day.

The students were taught what information they most needed to extract from police officers Christopher Sullivan and Annie Yates, as well as how to prepare questions, visuals and audio for the day. After each ‘press conference’ the students rushed back to the news room to write up a story, replicating how journalists really work in the industry.

The day was important for both students and the police force, who used the visit to hone their public speaking skills and to practice dealing with the media. Sargent Christopher Sullivan found the experience particularly useful: “It’s a great engagement opportunity for us and a rare opportunity to practice in a safe environment where we are able to make mistakes.”

This activity was the first step in understanding how the media and emergency services intersect; an important relationship which will feature in the careers of all journalists. The group also discussed the potential implications of what is said during a press conference, with the police officers revealing just how nerve-wracking the experience can be for them.

BA (Hons) Journalism students felt the experience was particularly realistic, with Annie Davies commenting: “It was very interesting to be put into a real life situation and understand what the pressure of a press conference can be like.” Fellow student Lynette Siziba enjoyed the practical experience: “It was very useful to be able to put my theory into practice – I felt like a real journalist.”

Journalism students work with Nottinghamshire Police on Press Conference training

Published on 14 November 2017
  • Category: School of Arts and Humanities

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