Reports by students from the Centre for Journalism

Unfortunately one of the new iMac computers in the main undergraduate newsroom now has a shattered screen. This seems to have occured either on Monday evening or sometime on Tuesday.

The combined print news day for years one and two will be held on Friday, February 1.

You will be creating a 20 page evening newspaper in the style of the Daily Mail. It is a regional paper, with an eye on national and international news. Deadline is 5pm.

Editors will be Ian and myself, although some of you will be called upon to deputise. Roles will be sorted out at each team's first conference next week.

So, without further ado, here are the teams...

Congratulations to 10 students who began the new year in fine style with news that they had passed the NCTJ Reporting exam.

It's a notoriously tough test, so we are extremely proud of the 83 per cent pass rate in December's exam. Nine of the 10 were sitting it for the first time, which makes the figures even more impressive.

Huge congratulations to Dean Kilpatrick who will join Kent on Sunday as a trainee reporter on May 23 and also to Sara Malm who has started working shifts at Mail Online, probably the world's most successful newspaper website. It is becoming something of a pattern in the Centre for Journalism that our most determined students secure jobs in journalism before they have graduated. I hope everyone will join me in celebrating Dean's and Sara's achievements in continuing a fine tradition. Dean will be covering the whole of Kent and he tells me that he hopes the opportunity will help him to expand skills he has learned in the Centre and to supply a regular stream of exclusive stories for his paper. He adds: "The course has obviously pushed me in the right direction as the NCTJ preliminary certificates proved essential in getting the job. I think it also benefited my application that I was able to suggest multimedia ideas and had carried out previous work experience." Sara's byline has already appeared on a string of stories for Mail Online. She also tells me that her multimedia skills are proving particularly useful.   

Third year undergraduate Sara Malm's latest iWriter column appears in the Independent's compact edition today (Monday 5 December). It depicts the tough life of a Soho cocktail waitress during the Christmas drinking season. Sara's experience speaks plainly from every sentence and makes me very glad - not for the first time - that I'm not a banker (or 'bawwa' as waitresses apparently call them - you'll have to read the article for a translation of this particular modern insult ). Well done, Sara. This is a superb achievement so early in your career and an excellent advertisement for the Centre for Journalism.  

The postgrads recently conducted an on-campus survey, to discover whether students think their courses are good value for money. Their findings clearly have huge implications for University course providers in the light of proposed rises in tuition fees. They came back with fascinating findings, and a useful lesson in reporting: statistics and surveys don't necesarily paint the full picture and can be highly subjective depending on who you ask.

Newsnight's political editor Michael Crick has admitted that political journalists failed the British public by not being more aware of MPs' expenses before the scandal broke. Giving a masterclass to Centre for Journalism staff and students, Crick said he was concerned that the case might be symptomatic of failings in other areas of journalism too. "In the pursuit of personality-driven journalism perhaps we are overlooking some of the bigger stories," he said. "I think it is a failing of journalists that the collapse of the economy came as such a surprise to us. In the same way I think it's a failing of political journalists that all this expenses stuff has come as such a surprise to so many people, including us."

The Centre for Journalism today welcomes an accreditation panel from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council. Steve Harris from the BJTC, Robin Elias, managing editor of ITV News, and Nick Myers, editorial training manager of ITV News, will spend the day talking to students and staff at the centre, examining the facilities and looking at students' work.

Pictures from the inaugural Sky Bob Friend Memorial Lecture, Monday February 9 2009. Click on any image to view as a slideshow. Pictures by Rebecca Hughes and Mylo Wilkin.

Alan McGuinness receives the Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship from head of Sky News John Ryley

Whilst Britons are enjoying days off frolicking in the snow, our Australian counterparts are suffering in the oppressive heat. Although the weather down under has eased off in the past couple of days, the country has seen its longest heat wave since records began. Areas such as Melbourne in the South-East, normally known for their rapidly changing cooler weather, have been particularly badly hit with temperatures of over forty degrees centigrade during the last week.

Alan McGuinness has been named as the first recipient of the Sky News Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship. He will formally receive the award from head of Sky News John Ryley on February 9 at the inaugural Sky Bob Friend Memorial lecture in the Pilkinton Building. 

With the administrators now sorting out the books, and the fear that this Christmas may be its last, Mylo Willkin conjures up fond memories of Woolworths.

The number of people being admitted to hospital due to dehydration has more than doubled over the last year, according to figures published by the NHS.

Christmas isn’t going to be easy this year. The shoppers may still be thronging the High Street, but their presence belies a tightening of belts taking place across the country.

Recession seems to have arrived in Gillingham High Street on this chilly autumn morning, with a number of shops boarded up and an overall feeling of disheartenment hovering over the shoppers and passers-by.

The first frosts of winter are beginning to bite in the dockside towns of Gillingham and Chatham – and so is the looming recession. Figures out last week confirmed that the UK economy experienced its first quarter of negative economic growth for 16 years. But even closer to home, unemployment has risen to nearly 4,000 in the Medway area and shoppers are beginning to feel the pinch in the run up to Christmas.

Just in case you haven't seen today...

Oasis rocker Noel Gallagher has launched a scathing attack on X Factor judge Danni Minogue, delcaring: "she wouldn't know talent if it kicked her up the a***."

Lewis Hamilton has responded to criticism about his driving style by saying: "I'm only human and every now and then people make mistakes."

George W Bush has announced on behalf of the US government a $250bn (£143bn) plan to purchase stakes in numerous US banks.

After yesterday's (Monday) injection of £37bn of taxpayers money into British banks by Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, President Bush has followed suit, declaring: "This is an essential short term measure to ensure the viability of America's banking system."

A very British look at the weather on the anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987

By Students at the Centre for Journalism

‘It was one of the busiest police nights of the decade,' recalls Nigel Newbury, police sergeant working in Land's End on the night of the Great Storm. ‘The phone didn't stop ringing all night.' Nigel Newbury, now retired, says the most memorable part of the night was, ‘when a telegraph pole came down and set fire to a manor house that had been converted into flats.'

Not only has Britain's own Shaun The Sheep been nominated for an International Emmy award, but Leonardo Di Caprio has seen dogs on film outperform him.

A survey conducted by Journalism students at the Medway Campus yesterday shows that more than half of the students interviewed are worried about their financial situation.

Almost half of students surveyed thought the University's nightlife was bad, but that didn't stop three first-year students from being arrested outside the Medway campus on Monday night - for charging into bollards.

Quick guide to using this site's content management system.

This site was created using Drupal by Ian Reeves as a live publishing environment for the students and staff of the Centre for Journalism, one of the University of Kent's most ambitious new departments.

Watch a slideshow of the how the Centre for Journalism newsroom took shape.

The Centre for Journalism today opened its doors to its first group of students. The 21 students will begin their BA Honours degree in journalism next week, but dropped in to the newsroom this morning to informally meet their teaching staff for the first time.