From growing up in Harlesden to covering the Premier League
Media Trust’s London360 programme 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.
Aspiring sports journalist seeks media industry experience
Mike Walsh joined the programme in 2014. Growing up in Harlesden, North West London, Mike had always wanted to work in the media industry. On joining the programme, he was keen to learn new journalistic skills and make an impression within the industry. Mike’s ultimate aim was to become a well-respected sports journalist. He also has an interest in social issues and felt London360 would enable him to shine a light on society’s ills as well as highlight positive stories.
Mike says: “As a young person proud to be from a disadvantaged part of North West London, London360 gave me the opportunity – and encouraged me – to turn my experiences of the world into TV features.”
Shooting features and interviewing rappers
Mike spent six months learning how to produce, write and edit for television:
“The number of experiences squeezed into six months is truly remarkable. Learning how to film, edit, pitch, interview, record sound and create social media content makes you extremely useful to employers.”
During his time on the programme Mike hosted an episode of London360 as well as shooting countless features on everything from grassroots football to Uber and even interviewed UK rapper Wretch 32. When Mike’s six months came to an end he said:
“Looking back on the last six months of London360, the journey I have embarked on, skills I have learnt and situations I have experienced… it has all been something that I could only have dreamt of.”
My mentoring experience was and still is superb…. Paul is probably the best mentor I could have got in the whole of sports mediaMike Walsh, Previous London360 Young Reporter
Landing his first contract
At the end of every six-month programme, each young person is given a mentor from the media industry. We paired Mike up with Paul McNamara who is Executive Producer of Major Events at ITV. Paul allowed Mike to shadow him during the African Cup of Nations as well as a Champions League match between Manchester City and Barcelona.
Paul also introduced Mike to his industry contacts which resulted in Mike landing a three-month contract with BreatheSport, a mobile-first sports media company. Mentoring was an important part of the programme for Mike:
“My mentoring experience was and still is superb…. Paul is probably the best mentor I could have got in the whole of sports media and I will maintain my relationship with him and the people he has introduced me to. I have learnt the importance of networking and building and maintaining relationships, and it all came about from London360.”
My younger self, growing up in Harlesden, North West London wouldn’t have known that such a job even existedMike Walsh, Previous London360 Young Reporter
Working with Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand
Fast forward two and a half years and Mike is now a freelance journalist and videographer working in TV for sports companies like Sunset & Vine, BT Sport and IMG. He travels around the country covering Premier League football games, working with the likes of Jake Humphrey, Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand. He also works on studio shows producing live television across a range of sports.
Mike says: “My younger self, growing up in Harlesden, North West London wouldn’t have known that such a job even existed, let alone be attainable…That’s where London360 changed things for me.”
Mike feels the London360 programme has helped him to succeed. He also believes the programme provides a unique opportunity for young aspiring journalists:
“Everything I have done has been a ripple effect from London360 and I do not know what I would be doing today had I not completed the course. There is so much talent in inner-city London, among people from working class backgrounds who don’t have access, or the knowledge of how to gain access to this industry, but London360 is one of the most effective programmes I know to negate that inequality.”
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