Ellie-Louise Style had wanted to be a journalist for as long as she could remember, so once she had her A-Level results under her belt, there was no doubt that she would undertake a Journalism degree – the only decision she had left to make was deciding where to study.
“I knew I wanted to study in London, which narrowed things down to start with,” says Ellie-Louise.
LSBU had the best facilities, including a brand new newsroom, and that made it an easy decision for me.
Having secured a place on the course, Ellie-Louise set out to make the most of the placement options that LSBUs reputation helps it offer.
“I was selected to go to Copenhagen with the university for a Charrette challenge (a global design competition run by KEA). I worked with a group of international students and our team won best visual design. I worked as a reporter for Daily News Service, working under pressure to strict deadlines and I was also an intern for marketing company, Rocketseed (I later went on to work for them for a year). I had workshops at News UK, voice coaching with a Channel 4 continuity artist, visits to the Guardian, CNN and so many guest speakers. I also created an interactive website during my second year, for the union Unite - tackling gender discrimination in schools, which improved my Wordpress skills.''
There were just so many opportunities for us at LSBU outside of lectures and seminars
Ellie-Louise also hosted her own radio news show on Friday mornings from the Journalism department's radio studio, (part of the facilities at the newly opened Elephant Studios. “I learned a lot from that experience, including how to make content sound fresh and different even when you are having to deliver the same news more than once during a programme,” she says.
As part of her degree, Course Director LJ Filotrani gave Ellie-Louise and her classmates the chance to create a live news programme, with students in Canada, Russia and the USA (among others), broadcast from the newsroom at Elephant Studios. “We produced the programme for Global Campus Network, and meant we had to deal with different time zones - we went live at around 3pm (London time) so it was great for us, but the other anchors in the USA ad in Russia had early and late starts! On another show we linked up with students in Australia!'' she says.
“The first programme we produced was covering the American Elections – I presented and produced part of the show. The second time, we produced a show on fake news and I was again one of the presenters. We were live for a full 30 minutes – linking to story packages from all the other students in the different countries taking part. It was a challenge for me as live television can be nerve-wracking, but I gained plenty of confidence from it.”
Working with Sky News
It was during the UK election, however, that Ellie-Louise would enjoy her most high-profile journalistic experience, covering the general election for Sky News. “I found out about the chance to get involved with Sky from course director LJ,” she says. I was assigned to the count in Lowestoft originally, but that changed last minute to Kettering – so I had to drive up with a classmate the night before the election. On the night we set up cameras and interviewed the candidates, then joined the other news teams from the BBC, ITV and lots of other reporters, covering the results. It was very exciting to be part of the press pack and I made lots of contacts”
When the results came in, Ellie-Louise got the chance to interview the winning candidate on television for Sky, and for ITV Anglia. “I thoroughly enjoyed the whole night- the adrenaline was really pumping.” she says of the experience.
Ellie-Louise is keen to continue her journalistic training and is going on to study for a postgraduate MA – a challenge she is looking forward to greatly.
LSBU really helped me to move on to the career path I've always wanted to follow, by giving me access to excellent facilities and training me on all the equipment I need to master.
Ellie continues, ''I’d never have been able to do what I did for Sky without knowing and understanding the cameras, and how to do live TV. It was a great course and I feel it has prepared me for my next step towards achieving my goal of being a journalist.“