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University of Worcester Students at the Heart of Politics

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University of Worcester Journalism students played a key part in the general election, providing coverage at counts on the night.

BA (Hons) Journalism second year student Saeed Hussain was paid to cover the Worcester count for ITV and the Press Association.

He said: “It was an incredible experience as I gained an invaluable insight into the media industry and how it operates.”

He had earlier been involved in live streaming the Brexit debates from the Cap ‘n’ Gown in Worcester.

Two first years, Eleanor Price and Matt Dibble, covered the 2017 count as part of a Broadcast Journalism Training Council initiative involving students from some of their industry-backed courses.

The 50-strong team from 13 top BJTC accredited universities produced 32 shared videos, 38 radio two-ways, 293 tweets, 82 photographs and 11 Facebook live videos.

Robin Walker, a Brexit minister, held Worcester for the Conservatives, but, during a gripping night at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, he saw his share of the vote fall dramatically, gaining a majority of 5,646.  Mr Walker got 24,731 votes compared to 22,223 for his Labour rival Cllr Joy Squires.

Eleanor said: “The election night proved to be a brilliant opportunity for us.  Throughout the night we interviewed politicians, worked alongside other journalists and watched the count take place.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the night and it was a real confidence booster in my ability as a journalist.  Meeting others in the profession was also very encouraging as to where we both could be in the future in our careers."

Matt said: “It was a fantastic night and our first opportunity to work in the national media.  I was so excited to be part of a live radio broadcast on the night; I can't wait for the next opportunity."

Journalism course leader, Rachel Ammonds, said: “The students got a real insight into the demands of reporters and broadcasters. We’re incredibly proud of how they performed on the night and this will enhance their CVs and help with their job prospects.”

The BJTC hailed its Election Hub a ‘huge success’.

More about the coverage is available here.