When Fayida met Sarah
As part of Media Trust’s London360 programme each trainee reporter is paired with a media industry mentor. Here, London360 mentee Fayida Jailler and mentor Sarah Sheldon share their experience.
London360 trains young Londoners from diverse backgrounds to create their own weekly television show about London’s hidden communities for London Live and Community Channel.
Funded by City Bridge Trust, John Lyon’s Charity and Mayor’s Fund For London, the six month programme for 18-25 year olds, equips aspiring young journalists with skills in researching, presenting, filming, editing and compliance.
Before joining the programme in 2016, Fayida had undertaken internships and occasional freelance jobs in the UK media industry as well as interning at two newspapers in Colombia where she had her work in print for the first time.
After returning from Colombia she felt she didn’t have the skills needed to progress in the industry: “I came back to London feeling as though I didn’t yet have the skill set to apply for the jobs I wanted.” That’s when she decided to apply for London360.
Our opinions are valuable too and the media industry needs voices like ours; London360 works to make that happen.Fayida Jailler, London360 participant
Taking part in the London360 programme
Fayida spent the next six months developing her journalism skills. As part of the programme she learnt how to research, shoot and edit She also presented her own 30-minute show and was even on BBC London and was interviewed on London Live.
Being matched with a mentor
At the end of the six-month programme we paired Fayida with mentor, Sarah Sheldon. Sarah is an editor for Latin American Newsletters, a publishing company which provides political, economic and security analysis on Latin America and the Caribbean. She was only too happy to share her skills and experience with an aspiring journalist.
Sarah said: “After being made aware of the opportunity by Media Trust, I was keen to be a mentor for various reasons. I have benefited at various points in my own career from the insights of media professionals with more experience and so I know how useful these can be. I also fully support the aims and objectives of Media Trust in providing young people from diverse range of backgrounds with the opportunity to learn new skills and fulfill their potential.”
Our conversations gave me food for thought in terms of reflecting on my own professional experience.Sarah Sheldon, London360 Mentor
Sarah met with Fayida once a month where they would identify different tasks and objectives for her to pursue. Fayida also sent Sarah weekly emails to update her on her progress and Sarah would in turn provide feedback.
Sarah said: “Being a mentor was very rewarding… I was happy to provide a structure for Fayida which would enable her to identify her concrete aims and objectives and to a certain degree hold her accountable for putting them into practice. I also found that our conversations gave me food for thought in terms of reflecting on my own professional experience.
It was great to see Fayida develop confidence particularly in video production as an area to focus on and build up an excellent portfolio which should stand her in very good stead for her future career.”
From Fayida’s point of view, Sarah’s help was invaluable: “Being mentored has increased my confidence and helped me make informed decisions about which steps to take in my career.”
She continued: “I was glad to receive guidance from someone with experience in the industry and specifically in the area I am interested in, current affairs in Latin America. Sarah set me weekly writing tasks centred on politics and security in Latin America. My writing was then used in the publication she works for. The greatest benefit for me has been getting in-depth feedback on my writing, which has helped me improve greatly.”
Within three months of completing the London360 programme Fayida landed a role as a production assistant for a documentary production company.
Life after London360
Reflecting on her experience Fayida said: “The things I have accomplished in the past year would have been unthinkable without London360. For young Londoners, especially those from difficult backgrounds, it can make all the difference in the world having the opportunities that a course like this provides, and I only hope that other young people continue to benefit as I did. Our opinions are valuable too and the media industry needs voices like ours; London360 works to make that happen.”
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