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Case Study

Callum Hodgson

Gateshead, UK

BA (Hons) Journalism

Callum Hodgson chose to study journalism at Sunderland after hearing about – and seeing – the excellent media facilities. He was also keen to study an NCTJ-accredited course so he could become a newspaper journalist. In 2016, he got a job as a reporter at the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News and has interviewed some high-profile people, including politicians and sportspeople. He is now content editor of the two titles and oversees the running of the papers.

Being from the North East, studying at Sunderland was a great option for me. I had heard about the excellent facilities in the media department and knew it was NCTJ-accredited. That was very important as I wanted to be a newspaper journalist, and NCTJ accreditation is so important to employers. I also knew the area quite well. I attended a campus tour, saw what was on offer and wanted to sign up straight away. 

The journalism lecturers were excellent, they were the best people to learn from. All of them had experience of doing the job I wanted to do. It was great to hear about their experiences and you could ask them about anything. They were so helpful. 

I can honestly say the whole course helped prepare me for the workplace. Two things in particular that will help a journalism student massively are learning media law and shorthand. Both are important skills to have in a newsroom, and both are taught at Sunderland. 

Before graduating in 2016, I got a job as a reporter at the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News ā€“ two weekly newspapers in the Scottish Borders. It was great fun working on such a beautiful patch. As a reporter, I have been fortunate to interview some high-profile people, such as the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and several famous sportspeople such as snooker player, Stephen Hendry. I covered most topics ranging from general news and politics, through to farming and sport. It was really good fun. In July 2021 I was appointed content editor of the two titles, which involves overseeing the day-to-day running of the papers. It was quite a change for me as I had been reporting for the past five years, but I thoroughly enjoy my new role. 

The advice I would give to prospective students is to sign up and enjoy it! I would also say make the most of the facilities that are on offer. There is an incredible radio studio, as well as top filming equipment and computer programs. I can definitely say the facilities at Sunderland are miles ahead of what is on offer in most newsrooms around the country!   

I had an amazing time at university. I wish it could have lasted longer, if Iā€™m honest! I made some great friends, thoroughly enjoyed the BA Journalism course and in the end, it helped me get my dream job as a journalist.ā€

Published 11 November 2021

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