Taking on the roles of reporters and editors, the students made every minute of the five hours count, gaining an understanding of the process of how to compile the perfect front page. Working in pairs, this involved learning how news stories are structured, how to put together an attention-grabbing heading, how the content for news stories is gathered and, finally, how to put this all together to make the front page stand out.
The students were privileged to be taken on a tour of The Guardian building where they were immersed in the heritage of the highly-regarded newspaper. They saw a wonderful collection of artefacts from The Guardian’s history, including an original printing press and the original Manchester Guardian sign.
The visit was targeted at Media students, who are studying The Guardian as part of their exam topic on News for their A-level in Media Studies. A number of English Literature and English Language students were able to join the workshop and found the creative writing both interesting and valuable
Katie Woods, English Language student, said: "It was quite an eye-opener to learn about how much goes in to creating the front page of a daily newspaper. It was also interesting to appreciate how difficult it is to plan ahead, as the paper depends on events occurring each day so there is no way of predicting what content and news angles you are going to be dealing with, which is really exciting."
Sujan Pariyar, Media student, added: "I really enjoyed the visit to The Guardian, it was a great hands-on experience about what it is like to work in a newsroom environment where everything is fast paced. I learnt and understood the importance of teamwork in the industry to deliver high-quality content within tight deadlines, ensuring the newspapers are on the shelves the next day. ”
The students quickly appreciated how time is very much of the essence in a busy newsroom, becoming aware of the importance of planning whilst being able to critically analyse media and edit a news story, without comprising attention to detail. They also recognised that in the newspaper world a last-minute breaking news feed can suddenly change the content of the front page.
Adam Boulton-Lear, Lead Teacher for Media, said: “This was the college’s first visit to The Guardian and it was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience what it is like to work for a global newspaper brand.”