Connect with us


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.

The post trainees cover 2022 local elections appeared first on .

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Continue Reading


How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Continue Reading


10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

Continue Reading