The tweet that changed my life

Posted 4 April 2018

Our Breaking into News competition run in partnership with ITV News aims to discover budding broadcast journalists from across the UK. When Nicole Goodwin decided to apply, she didn't realise just how much of an impact entering the competition was going to have on her future. Here she shares her experience of reaching the final and creating her own news report for ITV Tyne Tees.

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I stumbled across a tweet that was about to shape my future. The post invited 18-25 year olds who were interested in a career in journalism to apply for the chance to produce their very own news package, with the help of a top broadcasting company, ITV – No experience required!

I had been selected to produce my very own news report with the support and guidance of a professional reporter from my local ITV newsroom.

In the week following my 25th birthday, I received one incredibly surreal phone call from Media Trust, the charity that organises the Breaking into News competition. An enthusiastic Yorkshire lass on the phone broke the news that I had been selected to produce my very own news report with the support and guidance of a professional reporter from my local ITV newsroom.

Visiting ITV studios

Before I even had the time to process the amazing opportunity I had been offered, I was on a train travelling to the ITV studios in Leeds to meet my fellow finalists from across the UK. As well as learning about everyone’s fantastic story ideas, we were treated to a tour of the Emmerdale set and an exclusive showing of the regional lunchtime news programme. Some finalists even braved the hot seat and presented their own show – off air of course.

I left the immersion day feeling so inspired and motivated, not only about the journey ahead, but about life in general. I had become so accustomed to my mundane day-to-day life that I was unaware that these feelings had been absent from my life for a long time.

Meeting my ITV News mentor

With my new found get-up-and-go attitude, I met my mentor, Julia Barthram, at the ITV Tyne Tees newsroom in the North East of England. As well as discussing the plans that would bring my idea to life, I was introduced to the team I had grown up watching on TV. Everyone was extremely welcoming and genuinely interested in my ideas for a news package.

The whole process of creating my own news report and seeing my idea come to life with the help of an experienced reporter was so valuable in helping me take the next steps to pursue a career in the industry.

After establishing that my report would focus on financial education in schools, we quickly set to work on securing interviews and dates for filming. While this concluded the first meeting with my mentor, it marked the beginning of the time that Julia dedicated to making sure I got the best out of the programme. We spent a number of occasions together during the project which included travelling to locations for filming and a full day for editing.

The whole process of creating my own news report and seeing my idea come to life with the help of an experienced reporter was so valuable in helping me take the next steps to pursue a career in the industry. As one of the finalists who had almost no previous journalism experience, Breaking into News has played a significant part in giving me a new direction in life.

I was lucky to have my news package broadcast on the evening news programme.

Appearing on the evening news

Shortly after the competition, I was lucky enough to return to ITV Tyne Tees to complete a week long work placement. During this time I was lucky to have my news package broadcast on the evening news programme, followed by a studio chat about Breaking into News. The placement also allowed me the opportunity to shadow other journalists as well as witness how a newsroom operates when a major news story unfolds.

Since taking part in the competition, I have started a postgraduate course in Journalism at Sunderland University where I am working towards a Masters and an NCTJ (National College of Trainee Journalists) diploma. I would recommend Breaking into News to anyone interested in journalism, as I truly believe it has changed my life!

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