What is it like to become a Media Trust Breaking into News finalist?

Posted 21 March 2019

Oliver Youd’s pipe dream turned into a reality as he made it all the way to the 2018 Breaking into News final. He shares his journey through the competition and mentoring programme, which Media Trust runs in partnership with ITV News to discover aspiring broadcast journalists.

By February last year, the words ‘Breaking into News’ had been sitting in the back of my mind for a good few years. I had been lucky enough to speak to many people within the media industry over the past few years, and it seemed as though everybody’s advice involved at least a mention of the Breaking into News programme. However, this always seemed like somewhat of a pipe dream. I knew that an opportunity like it may only come once in a lifetime, and I always found myself thinking “They wouldn’t pick me anyway, there’s nothing special about me”. But it’s only now that I realise how wrong I really was.

The application was simple, I had to think of a story which would captivate audiences and explain why it would do so.

The application was simple, I had to think of a story which would captivate audiences and explain why it would do so. Although I technically live about 10 minutes outside of Wales, I chose to pitch my story to ITV Wales. I wanted my report to explore the people and communities who speak only in Welsh. This is because I had spent the past two years learning the Welsh Language and was both shocked and saddened at the lack of media coverage it had received in recent years, especially on English television. So, I explained this in my application, sent it off and waited patiently to hear back.

Becoming a finalist

After about a month, I got the email – I was a finalist! Before I knew it, I was at ITV Studios in Cardiff to meet my mentor, Paul Davies. Paul had previously been a finalist on Breaking into News and was now an established reporter at ITV, and I found that hugely inspiring. Paul gave me so many sources of information and pointed me in the direction of people I should get in contact with. At first, I’ll admit, it was massively nerve-wracking having to phone people to interview them, but with each phone call it got easier, and I even managed to complete my first ever phone call in Welsh, all thanks to the confidence Paul gave me.

Paul had previously been a finalist on Breaking into News and was now an established reporter at ITV, and I found that hugely inspiring.

Paul was a real credit to my piece. He helped me pick a location, set up camera shots and edit my piece, but it never felt like I was being told what to do. Paul had been in my shoes only three years prior, and I suppose he must’ve known my excitement to make my very own news report, but also understood that there were areas which I of course needed support.

Ollie's ITV News report.

Returning to ITV News for work experience

Since Breaking into News, I have come on leaps and bounds. I later returned to ITV in November of 2018 for work experience, and I like to think that I’ve made a good impression and that I’ve made myself known.

Thanks to Media Trust and ITV, I feel as though a career in journalism is well and truly within my grasp, and I cannot recommend the programme enough.

The report I made for Breaking into News is honestly my pride and joy because I never knew that I was capable of anything so sophisticated and professional, and I am hugely proud of myself for that. Paul still keeps in contact and still mentors me to this day. He always emails me with job opportunities I should apply for and he’s always willing to give me feedback on my applications.

Thanks to Media Trust and ITV, I feel as though a career in journalism is well and truly within my grasp, and I cannot recommend the programme enough.

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