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News Associates trainees cover 2022 local elections

Patricia Cruz



This year’s local elections were a key test of the national political mood, and trainees were on the frontline of reporting crucial vote counts in London and Greater Manchester.

The local elections on 5 May were a great chance for our trainees to put their reporting and public affairs lessons into practice, and in London, where every borough council was being contested, we had a trainee covering every single count.

Trainees across undergraduate and postgraduate courses interviewed candidates and wrote articles and social media posts which appeared across online publications South West Londoner, South East Londoner, North East Londoner, North West Londoner and Mancunian Matters.

Fast-track trainee Charlotte Alt and sports journalism trainee Stefan Frost covered the key vote counts in Westminster and Wandsworth, both battlegrounds where the Conservatives lost majority control to Labour.

Charlotte said:The thing I probably enjoyed the most was meeting other journalists and getting a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the biggest British news producers.

“I met someone working for the BBC who produced clips for social media and the live blog as well as Jonathan Swain from ITV’s Good Morning Britain who broadcasted live from the election count.

“It was fascinating to see how they worked and talk to them about the historic night.”

Undergraduate trainee Holly Nichols interviewing a councillor in Kingston

As the results started to stream in, Charlotte was under pressure to relay information back to her editor in the newsroom.

She said: “My NCTJ training helped me especially at the end of the night when I was required to write a piece detailing the reactions to the Westminster results after having been up for around 12 hours.”

Stefan found the elections were a chance to step out of his comfort zone.

He said: “Being a sports journalist trainee, I felt pretty out of place standing amongst political reporters from Good Morning Britain and the BBC, but I tried my best to lean into the experience and chat to as many people as I could.

“Just being in the room with there being such a buzz around the count, was probably the best part of the entire thing.”

While attempting to get reactions from different party members, Stefan said his training came in handy.

He said: “Having gone through interview training during the NCTJ course, where we were taught how to probe without intruding and offending, I was able to connect with a couple of people I spoke to.

“Studying public affairs also helped contextualise what was going on in relation to the count and meant I had a much better grasp of the wider story threads at play during the night.”

First year undergraduate trainee Holly Nichols covered the count in Kingston.

She said: “The opportunity to cover the local elections was one of the best experiences I have had since beginning my course at .

“At the beginning of the day I was a bundle of nerves and excitement, but I soon found my flow when I realised that every journalist in the press room was working together and willing to help each other.

“It was a perfect opportunity for me to gain confidence, network with other members of the press and grow my journalistic skill set. I had an amazing day!”

Holly described how she faced challenges when having to improvise and come up with interview questions on the spot.

Part-time trainee Simran Johal covered the overnight vote count in Hillingdon.

She said: “I enjoyed speaking to the councillors, especially when they won. It just showed me how much local democracy matters, and the passion some of them had for the places they live was really inspiring. 

“The most challenging thing was the speed. One minute you’re sat waiting with nothing coming in and the next, you’re back and forth as the results start pouring in.”

Simran had to juggle live tweeting the results with sharing information with reporters back in the office, but said she enjoyed the experience of having to multitask.

Tom Holmes, deputy editor of South West Londoner and its sister sites, said: “Covering any set of elections, whether local or general, is always a fantastic experience for any trainee.

“They are thrown in the deep end and get to practice a lot of different and valuable skills in a high-pressure environment.

“The trainees did unbelievably well, producing lots of brilliant social media content and written stories and we’ve had fantastic feedback from them on the experience.”

Tom also gave his number one top tip for trainee journalists covering an election.

He said: “Think like a journalist – if you do all the journalistic basics right, be that interviewing, finding the right line or just generally showing off your social skills, then you’ll be absolutely fine.”

The best way to learn how to become a journalist is by doing it. Have a go at being a journalist with our free journalism workshops, which you can sign up for here.

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The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout



Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times ( – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post ( – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian ( – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News ( – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera ( – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters ( – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN ( – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist ( – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic ( – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica ( – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout



Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout



As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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