Breaking into News finalist reports on Devon’s Polish community as the Brexit deadline approaches

Posted 24 July 2018

Mum-of-one Malgorzata Bartram, known as Gosia, moved from Poland to the UK 13 years ago. Her dream of becoming a journalist felt like a distant memory until earlier this year when she was selected as a finalist for our Breaking into News competition. Gosia shares her experience of the competition, which gives 10 aspiring journalists the chance to create their own news report with their regional ITV news team.

Before I applied to Breaking into News I was on extended maternity leave, taking care of my 3-year-old little boy Freddie. I was also completing an Open University law degree and trying to re-think my professional career, having worked mostly in catering and hospitality since living in the UK.

Journalism was always a dream job, but not one I thought would ever be possible. Although my first job was reporting for a local newspaper, I drifted into jobs in less competitive industries, having to help my family financially from an early age. After leaving Poland and settling in the UK, I had given up on my dream entirely. I thought that my background and the fact that English is not my first language would be impossible barriers to overcome.

Even now, having finished my news report, I still feel like I am dreaming. And what an amazing dream it is.

When I saw an advert for Breaking into News it was just hours until the deadline but I knew I had to apply so I sent off my entry. I thought I had no hope of ever hearing back so when I was shortlisted, I refused to believe it was true. It wasn’t until I was with the other nine finalists at ITV Calendar in Leeds on an immersion day that it sunk it. Even now, having finished my news report, I still feel like I am dreaming. And what an amazing dream it is.

Devon’s flourishing Polish community

I wanted my news report to be about the Polish community in Devon. Since coming to the UK, I have moved city and married a British man. This has meant that I have lost contact with many of my Polish friends. Some have also returned to Poland. I am now settled and happy in the UK to the point that I would never think of returning to my old life. I was curious to see whether other Polish citizens living and working here felt the same, especially with the Brexit date approaching. Devon seemed like an appropriate place for such a report, having a flourishing Polish community and much older Polish settlement of veteran pilots and sailors, who supported British forces during the WWII.

Gosia in a living room during filming, with ITV News mentor, Nick Smith, a camera man and an interviewee.

Gosia on location while filmimg her report with ITV News mentor, Nick Smith.

Making this report was great from the start. Everyone at Media Trust and ITV West Country was so welcoming. I had the chance to go behind the scenes and see how a newsroom works. The support given to me by my mentor Nick Smith, a reporter from ITV West Country, has been great. He had helped me at every stage, from planning and setting up the interviews to helping me edit my final news report. At times when I’ve doubted myself Nick has thankfully been there to reassure me.

I have learned so much so far. I found some things easy, some harder, but all together so enjoyable! I’m starting to feel like I can really see myself doing this job in the future. I have loved the experience and don’t want it to end. I am hoping my future now lies somewhere within media. I am not going to give up on my dreams again!

Watch Gosia’s final report created with support from her mentor ITV West Country Reporter, Nick Smith and the ITV West Country team.

Gosia 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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