Putting single parents in the spotlight with help from my ITV News mentor

Posted 19 July 2018

Shanice-Kay Bolding landed a graduate job with a top bank. Despite this, she’s always harboured an interest in journalism. Our ITV Central Finalist tells us why she applied to Breaking into News, a competition which gives 10 aspiring broadcast journalists across the UK the chance to create their own news stories.

I currently work as a Manager within commercial banking as part of a six-month graduate leadership programme, for a well-known iconic banking group.

I applied for the Breaking into News scheme because I believed the initiative, run by Media Trust in partnership with ITV News, would provide me with the platform and support to take that first step towards a successful career in broadcast journalism. With no previous experience in journalism this was the perfect opportunity.

With no previous experience in journalism this was the perfect opportunity.

Telling the story of single parents

Getting selected as the finalist for the ITV Central region has given me the opportunity to create a news story on an issue I’m passionate about. My report explores the lives of working single parents in my local area of the Midlands. A topic I feel isn’t given much coverage.

Shanice-Kay with her parents at her graduation

Shanice-Kay with her parents at her university graduation.

My report examines the potential stigma single-parent families face from society; the help that’s out there for them which they may not know about; their work-life balance as well as the negative and positive aspects of being a single working parent. I was also keen to gain an insight into what it’s like for a child to grow up in these circumstances.

The number of ‘nuclear family’ units (a family traditionally consisting of a mother, a father and children,) has declined over the last decade. We are now seeing a lot of single-parent families headed by a father, mother or family relative i.e. a grandparent.  This topic reaches my heart because I am from a so-called single-parent family being looked after by my mom predominately, who got back into work after my parents separated. But I was fortunate to also have my father to bring me up in parallel with my mother. Despite this, in society we were still defined as a single-parent family.

Shanice-Kay with mentor ITV Central Reporter, Rajiv Popat

Shanice-Kay with her mentor ITV Central Reporter, Rajiv Popat

ITV News Mentor

My mentor Rajiv is not only a brilliant journalist; he has been a fantastic mentor. He has provided me with a lot of encouragement and advice, helping me to understand what’s needed to become a really good journalist. I also feel I have grown in confidence and have learnt a significant amount about journalism in a relatively short space of time having being mentored by Rajiv.

It feels amazing to have gotten to the final of the competition and I am grateful to have been given this opportunity.

Watch Shanice-Kay’s final report created with support from her mentor ITV Central Reporter, Rajiv Popat and the ITV Central team.

Shanice-Kay will join nine other finalists, each representing a different ITV News region, at the Breaking Into News final on the 25 June where the 2018 winner be announced.

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