Reach to set up newsrooms inside three universities

(L-R): Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University — Clare Fletcher, Audience and Content Director for Reach’s North East titles — Helen Dalby and Teesside Live Editor — Ian McNeal

Publisher Reach, the larges regional news provider in the UK, has announced new partnerships between three of its regional titles — Lincolnshire Live, Leicestershire Live and Teesside Live and their respective local universities — University of Lincoln, University of Leicester and Teesside University.

The deals will see the universities provide dedicated space for Reach journalists, while senior Reach editors will provide a programme of lectures, job shadowing and mentoring opportunities for journalism students.

Lincolnshire Live / University of Lincoln: Current students will have the opportunity to shadow Lincolnshire Live reporters for the day, pitch their own stories to editors and have their journalism reviewed and published by the Lincolnshire Live team, who will have access to a dedicated room in the university. Senior Lincolnshire Live editors will also give twice yearly guest lectures.

Natalie Fahy and John Cafferkey outside the University of Lincoln.

Natalie Fahy, Senior Editor at Lincolnshire Live, said: “This is a great moment for the Lincolnshire Live team and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with the journalism students and lecturers at the University of Lincoln.

“It is very important to me that journalism students are given real-world experience and by shadowing our team and being able to pitch stories to them face-to-face, I am sure they will be able to go into the world of work more prepared than ever before. We are also delighted to have a new base in Lincoln, bringing two great city institutions closer together.”

John Cafferkey, Deputy Head of the University of Lincoln’s School of Film, Media and Journalism, said: “We are so proud to begin this partnership between journalism at the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Live. The Lincolnshire Echo has been part of journalism in Lincolnshire for almost 130 years and ‘the Echo’ is where most people in Lincolnshire get their local news.

“The partnership will give our students an amazing opportunity to become a part of that and to contribute to what the Lincolnshire Live team now delivers on social media, online and every Thursday in the print edition. I also think it’s important for Lincolnshire Live to have a base at the heart of the community in the city and I am really happy it has agreed to make its home in the Lincoln School of Film, Media and Journalism at the University of Lincoln.”

Leicestershire Live / University of Leicester: Leicester reporters will now have dedicated space in a new nine-desk newsroom in the Astley Clarke Building. They share the building with students from the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, many of whom will be offered real-world practice through work experience and placement opportunities for the region’s largest newsbrand. Reporters and other senior staff from the Reach group will also share their expertise with students in guest lectures and other workshop sessions to help establish a pipeline of reporting talent.

Adam Moss, Leicester, Coventry and Northamptonshire editor for Reach, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have set up this partnership with the University of Leicester as we feel there are huge mutual benefits for both of us. We’re really looking forward to getting to know all the students on the journalism course, doing some guest lectures and giving them some real life vocational experience of real life journalism to go alongside their academic course.

“And we very much hope this trailblazing partnership will help us spot up and coming journalistic talent and identify the best and brightest potential trainee reporters of the future, not just for the Mercury and Leicestershire Live, but the wider Reach network and the industry as a whole.”

Tor Clark, Associate Professor in Journalism and director of Leicester’s BA Journalism programme, said: “This is an excellent arrangement for both the Mercury and University of Leicester Journalism students. We are delighted they are sharing our building.

“Journalism students will benefit from real-world experience alongside Mercury reporters, while working journalists will contribute to our Journalism degree curriculum — without having to leave their building.

“The Mercury is a prestigious news provider and it’s a pleasure to be developing even stronger ties.

“Of course the significance and symmetry of the Mercury becoming based in the building named after the man who suggested our University be founded by writing to the local paper is perfect for this, our University’s Centenary year.”

Teesside Live / Teesside University: Journalists from Teesside Live are now using dedicated hotdesk space in Assembly Hall, Teesside University’s co-working space in Launchpad, which is part of its £5.6 million University Enterprise Zone housed on campus in the Victoria building. The Assembly Hall is a 32-seat modern, commercial workspace and offers access to fast WiFi, large meeting rooms, soundproof booths, a green screen and recording equipment.

Audience and Content Director for Reach’s North East titles, Helen Dalby, said: “From the moment I walked into Launchpad’s bright, modern collaboration zone, I could see it was ideal for our Teesside Live newsroom.

“The central location and hot-desk set-up give our reporters and content editors the flexibility they need to plan effective, face-to-face meetings and work together as a team as stories are developing.

“Teesside University’s journalism course is developing Teesside’s reporters of the future, and being on campus will help us make that talent pipeline work as effectively as possible in terms of the training opportunities and mentoring we can offer.

“We’re proud to have a number of Teesside University alumnae on our newsroom team already, from trainee reporters to our Boro Editor. It shows what can be achieved when a local university and news publisher work closely together.”

Teesside Live Editor Ian McNeal said: “We have been made to feel hugely supported and welcome and this move has already given us the opportunity to write stories on new and developing businesses which are making a difference on Teesside.”

Clare Fletcher, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching in Teesside University’s School of Arts & Creative Industries, said: “Teesside University is committed to enhancing journalism, both with the excellent training we deliver in the School of Arts & Creative Industries, and through key partnerships within industry.

“Our long-standing, collaborative relationship with Reach has contributed to the development of confident, highly skilled graduates who are making their mark as journalists, and we are extremely proud that many have gone on to join the Reach team.

“It is fantastic to welcome reporters from Teesside Live to campus and we look forward to seeing how this developing partnership will progress moving forward.”



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