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My work placement at SalfordOnline.com – Amy Walker, Staffordshire University

After just 14 days of work experience I have come to the end of my time here at SalfordOnline.com, and what a journey it has been!

Over the past three months I’ve been working with News Editor Tom Rodgers and Senior Reporter Tony Flynn on SalfordOnline’s newsdesk, producing over 30 news articles.

They have pushed me hard but given me some fantastic opportunities to write my own work, go out and speak to the local community and generally boost my confidence as a writer, reporter and journalist.

I was recommended to try SalfordOnline.com by a contact at Staffordshire University and I don’t regret it one bit.

There are not many of these types of opportunities available, especially for young journalists, so I’m incredibly grateful to the team for taking the time to work with me while I got up to speed (quickly!) and for being so kind and helpful along the way.

See all of Amy’s work here

On my first day I was given the task of two phone interviews, and three stories to write up (much more than my one-a-week at university).

With this in mind, it was crucial that I had to pull my socks up and get stuck in.

Since being with Tom and the team at SalfordOnline.com I learned a number of things about myself and how a news organisation is run.

I have learned how to properly structure a news story to the chosen style of writing, how to ensure the picture(s) are representative of the story, how to conduct proper interviews (phone and face-to-face), how to approach the public in a comfortable way, how to speak to the authorities in a professional manner (something which I had not done before working here) and how to apply my skills I had learned at university to the appropriate situation.

I feel that I have improved my interviewing skills with the numerous amount of people I have met.

My shorthand skills have come into good use with taking down notes (something that I would say is vital if you wish to continue as a journalist).

My knowledge of the area has improved greatly, as the furthest I had been into Salford was MediaCityUK!

I used to struggle with getting a story out quickly, yet now with the practice I have had at SalfordOnline.com I feel my ability to publish quickly and accurately has also improved.

Whilst this experience has been stressful at times, it has also been a huge learning curve for me.

Prior to my time here, I had no idea what to expect, nor what was expected from me, so I went into this with an open mind, ready to learn.

I have fully enjoyed my time here at SalfordOnline.com and urge anybody who is thinking about work experience in a news environment to come and give it a go!

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