This week we, students from the minor International Journalism, went to London to visit major news organisations and do some reporting on the streets of UK’s capital city.
We started on Monday morning with our first visit, to the Independent. The Independent is a major newspaper that since 2016 has become an online newspaper. Because of that they publish stories throughout the day, as they don’t work with daily deadlines. After we had a tour of the editorial room, it was time for a Q&A session with one of the editors of the Independent. With over 20 years of experience in journalism he taught us a lot about journalism.
After a quick lunchbreak it was time for our next visit, to newspaper City AM. This is free newspaper that focuses on the many people that work in London’s financial district. With about 100.000 copies being distributed every day, it’s one of the bigger newspapers in London. We were greeted by the editor-in-chief who explained how Brexit influenced their reporting. Because City AM is a free newspaper, advertisements and partnerships are very important to them. In their daily newspaper and magazine that goes out six times a year, partnerships and sponsors are crucial to survive. We ended our first day with a tasty dinner at an Indian restaurant and some drinks in the bar of the hostel we were staying in
Our second day started at Russia Today, which is a worldwide broadcaster that focuses on Russians. They are located in a tower near the Thames river, after we finished admiring the views, we got a presentation from one the presenters. We talked about their reporting, Russia’s relation to journalism and how propaganda influences the news. After that we got a tour around the editorial room, where we met several people that were working on that night’s show. We even got to visit one of their studios where we experienced how a TV show looks from behind the scenes.
It turned out that during our visit Extinction Rebellion had blocked off part of the street in front of the office. This was of course a great opportunity to do some reporting and talk to some of the protesters. We had some hours till our next meeting so some of us went to the parliament district to see the Brexit protesters and visit the scenes we all know from TV. Later that afternoon we had an editorial meeting with the entire group, to talk about the stories we want to pursue the next day. After some relaxing it was time for dinner at an Asian restaurant in Soho and some drinks.
The last day started very busy, after a quick breakfast and check-out we had our last meeting with Volkskrant correspondent Patrick van IJzendoorn. He has worked in the UK as a correspondent for fourteen years so he could explain a lot about how Brexit happened. Patrick explained that he writes about Brexit almost all the time, he rarely writes about other topics because every week something happens in London. After his interesting presentation we had the opportunity to ask him some questions about the stories we want to write during our reporting day. This concluded our trip, as everyone went out to get reporting.
It was a very intense and interesting three trip, during which we learned a lot. We have seen protesters and skyscrapers, and spoke to journalists and TV presenters. It was a great experience to be in one of the world’s global cities as journalists!