Student in Focus: Ollie Marsh (Somerset Live)

In the seventh of our series of posts exploring the journalistic work that our students complete alongside their studies, Ollie Marsh reflects on his placement at Somerset Live.

I recently spent two weeks at Somerset Live, a news website that covers the county and is the online home of various print publications such as the Western Gazette.

I worked on a variety of weird and wonderful stories, such as a woman from Frome who made leather boots for Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, a telephone box that might be turned into a mini-library and Val from The Great British Bake-Off walking across the Great Wall of China for charity.

More challenging tasks included interviewing an exercise rider who had just been airlifted to hosptial after falling from a horse on Colin Tizzard’s gallops. The brave woman assured me it was “just part of the job.” I’ll stick to journalism, a generally less dangerous industry!

I also spent time on the sports desk, covering Yeovil Town’s press day and pre-season matches. As a Glovers fan, it was a great experience, although I did find it difficult not to celebrate when they scored!

Ollie Marsh

The most valuable part of the placement was discovering how a real news room works and putting my skills into practice. It was also great to be able to find out the tricks used to engage their online audience.

Being able to gain feedback and advice from a clearly hugely talented news team was incredibly helpful, and the experience has made me even more motivated and eager to break into the journalism world.

Oh, and just because Gill would want me to mention it, shorthand came in very handy during the two weeks!