JournoFest

Every year we host a journalism conference packed with notable journalists from national newspapers and broadcasters and emerging digital platforms.

JournoFest brings together trainees and alumni from all our courses including our BA (Hons) Journalism degree and prospective members of #TeamNA.

See below for highlights from 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

JournoFest 2020

JournoFest 2020 was our biggest to date with 17 speakers in total!

We started with a session all about breaking into broadcast journalism with Sky Sports News presenter Alice Piper, BBC Radio 4 journalist Alex Ritchie, BBC News reporter and producer Rianna Croxford and CNN series researcher at Raw TV Rose Knight.

The panel all stressed the importance of work experience and taking every opportunity that comes your way.

Alex Ritchie, Rianna Croxford, Alice Piper and Rose Knight all sitting in a row on bar stools.L-R: Alex Ritchie, Rianna Croxford, Alice Piper and Rose Knight

Our first keynote speaker, BBC journalist Christian Fraser, had our guests on the edge of their seats as he discussed his compelling career as a foreign correspondent

Andrew Greaves and Christian Fraser standing with big grins and their arms around each other.News Associates head of journalism Andrew Greaves (left) with Christian Fraser

Next, our audience were treated to a talk from BBC royal correspondent Sarah Campbell who discussed why the Royal Family dominated the headlines in 2019.

Graham Dudman standing next to Sarah Campbell. News Associates deputy manager Graham Dudman (left) with Sarah Campbell

Familiar face Dermot Murnaghan told our room of aspiring journalists that the world of journalism they are entering is very different to when he started out

The Sky News presenter also had our audience chuckling with his tales from Eggheads!

Dermot Murnaghan in a burgundy shirt and black jacket on the right standing with his arm around News Associates head of journalism Andrew Greaves in a dark blue shirt and light blue jacket. They both have big grins on their faces. News Associates head of journalism Andrew Greaves (left) with Dermot Murnaghan

The start of the afternoon saw our guests learn all about working for a news agency with Ferrari Press Agency director and journalist Adam Gillham, Triangle News founder and director Benjamin Howe, South West News Service executive editor Euan Stretch, PA Media reporter Jess Glass and Solent News news editor Justin Menhenett.

The panel discussed what it takes to make it in a news agency and where working for a news agency can take you!

A panel of five journalists all sitting on bar stools in a row.L-R: Adam Gillham, Euan Stretch, Justin Menhenett, Jess Glass and Benjamin Howe

Next up our wannabe journalists were in conversation with The Times deputy home editor Lindsay McIntosh who shared her unique insight into what it takes to put together the renowned broadsheet, as well as how she got to where she is today.

Lindsay McIntosh standing next to Graham Dudman. Both of them are looking very smart.News Associates deputy manager Graham Dudman (right) with Lindsay McIntosh

At the end of a mammoth day our trainees and guests got to hear from three recent News Associates graduates. 

PoliticsHome reporter Anahita Hossein-Pour, Metro journalist Basit Mahmood and BBC/Panorama journalist Laura Fitzpatrick shared their top tips for taking your first steps in the industry.

Basit Mahmood, Anahita Hossein-Pour and Laura Fitzpatrick all sitting in a row on bar stools. L-R: Basit Mahmood, Anahita Hossein-Pour and Laura Fitzpatrick

And before they all left we asked them to share their tops for being a successful journalist with you!

JournoFest 2019

We kicked off JournoFest with a twist in 2019 – with a panel all about public relations!

Guto Harri, previously communications director for Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s administration at London City Hall, Funmi Olutoye, an external communications officer for the London Assembly, and Paul Morgan, communications director at Premiership Rugby all spoke about the unique relationship between PRs and journalists. 

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PR – Journalists’ friend or foe?: (L-R) Guto Harri, Funmi Olutoye and Paul Morgan

This year’s keynote speaker was legendary columnist Susie Boniface AKA the Fleet Street Fox.

Boniface’s talk centred around the creation of her anonymous blog and the top ten mistakes young journalists should avoid.

Keynote speaker: Susie Boniface with News Associates deputy managing editor Graham Dudman

Boniface also signed copies of her latest book the Bluffers Guide to Journalism.

Boniface was a tough act to follow but Martin Stabe, the Financial Times’ head of interactive news, wowed our audience with a presentation on data journalism. 

Stabe was later joined by Amy Ashenden, who runs video and social at Pink News, and Full Fact journalist Abbas Panjwani to discuss the future of digital journalism.

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Digital journalism – What’s the future?: (L-R) Martin Stabe, Amy Ashenden and Abbas Panjwani

The panel mulled over the perils of digital journalism, including fake news.

Our final panel was a JournoFest first but definitely a new tradition. We spoke to three News Associates alumni one, two and three years after graduating. 

Ready to share their top tips for breaking into the industry was Jessica Cripps, who is in her first year at news agency Kennedy News and MediaChris Reidy who has been at Sky Sports News for two years and Daily Telegraph lifestyle writer Madeleine Howell who graduated three years ago.

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News Associates graduates – My first steps: (L-R) Jessica Cripps, Chris Reidy and Madeleine Howell

And last on the bill, but by no means least, was The Times chief reporter Sean O’Neill

Our audience listened in awe as O’Neill discussed his investigation exposing Oxfam’s cover-up of sexual exploitation by aid workers in Haiti.

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In conversation with…: Sean O’Neill (right) with News Associates deputy managing editor Graham Dudman

And of course, in true JournoFest style, we didn’t let any of these incredible journalists leave without sharing their top tips for getting into journalism with Team NA! 

JournoFest 2018

Our first speaker couldn’t have a more topical job title if she tried. The Guardian Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll kicked off JournoFest 2018.

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News Associates deputy managing editor Graham Dudman (left) with Lisa O’Carroll 

O’Carroll discussed how the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years, with Donald Trump and Brexit but also in the way we consume news.

Later she shared her top tips for budding journalists and stressed the importance of shorthand, mobile journalism and court reporting.

Next up we had our inaugural breaking into broadcast journalism panel with BBC News Intake senior broadcast journalist Narinder Kalsi, Sky News presenter Tom Macleod and Sky Sports News head of journalism training Laurie Tucker.

how to become a broadcast journalist
(L-R) News Associates Manchester head of journalism Andrew Greaves with Laurie Tucker, Narinder Kalsi and Tom Macleod

The panel discussed the importance of accuracy over speed and stressed the necessity of having a journalism qualification.

To read more about what our breaking into broadcast panellists discussed, click here.

Next up we were in conversation with Sky News senior correspondent Ian Woods.

Woods had the JournoFest audience on the edge of their seats discussing Richard Glossip and the death penalty in the USA – the subject of his new book ‘Surviving Execution: A miscarriage of justice and the fight to end the death penalty’.

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Andrew Greaves (left) with Ian Woods

Our second panel of the day consisted of The New York Times digital journalist Anna Schaverien, Daily Mail leader writer Neil Darbyshire and columnist Naomi Firsht who were there to discuss the biggest challenges facing newsrooms in 2018.

Our panellists discussed the freedom of the press, diversity and unpaid internships. To see what else they spoke about, click here.

how to become a journalist
(L-R) Chair Graham Dudman with Naomi Firsht, Neil Darbyshire and Anna Schaverien

Staying topical, next up in the hot seat was Financial Times undercover reporter Madison Marriage.

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Graham Dudman (left) with Madison Marriage

Officially an accounting and tax correspondent, Marriage is now more commonly known for exposing the Presidents Club scandal.

On our final panel of 2018 discussing politics and dealing with fake news was Business Insider political reporter Adam Payne, Guido Fawkes chief reporter Ross Kempsell and Sky News political correspondent Lewis Goodall

Our panel agreed that fake news isn’t a new concept, the problem is the platform it now has to spread. 

how to become a political journalist
(L-R) Chair Andrew Greaves with Lewis Goodall, Ross Kempsell and Adam Payne

See what else our panellists had to say (including a Mark Twain quote) by clicking here

But that’s not all, our JournoFest speakers all shared their top tips for making it in such a competitive industry. Click below to hear their wisdom!

JournoFest 2017

Veteran BBC News anchor Maxine Mawhinney got the event underway in 2017. An NCTJ-trained journalist herself, our keynote speaker imparted knowledge from her 35-year career in news broadcasting before answering questions from our inquisitive trainees.

Then it was the turn of BBC sports editor Dan Roan to provide his insight into journalism with our trainees, followed by a Q&A.

Dan discussed his coverage of the alleged scandals at British Cycling, the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.

The rest of the day saw journalists who are experts in their fields sitting on four panels discussing investigative journalism, breaking news journalism, political journalism and social media and the digital age.

Examining why slow news matters on our investigative journalism panel we had BuzzFeed News investigations correspondent Jane Bradley, Matt Burgess of Wired and the FOI Directory and Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigations editor Meirion Jones.

(L-r) Meirion Jones, Jane Bradley and Matt Burgess

To find out more about what our investigative journalism panel said, click here.

Moving from slow news to breaking news, discussing the anatomy of a news story when terrorists strike on our breaking news panel we had Guardian homepage editor Claire Daly, ITV Evening News editor Richard Frediani and national newspaper freelance photographer Jamie Lorriman.

(L-R) Jamie Lorriman, Claire Daly and Richard Frediani

To find out more about what our breaking news panel discussed, click here.

With news and sport ticked off we moved onto politics with The Observer columnist Nick Cohen, Guido Fawkes news editor Alex Wickham, The Spectator associate editor Toby Young and Lord Stewart Wood, former advisor to Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband.

(L-R) Nick Cohen, Toby Young, Lord Stewart Wood and Alex Wickham

To find out more about what our political journalism panel said, click here.

And to end the day we spoke about social media in the digital age. Discussing all things Facebook and SnapChat we had UNILAD editorial manager Ben Hayward, Channel 4 head of digital Jon Laurence, VICE head of social for Europe Olly Osborne and Mike Wright, a freelance social media consultant.

(L-R) Olly Osborne, Mike Wright, Ben Hayward and Jon Laurence

Before they went back to their busy jobs, our JournoFest speakers took the time to share their top tips for getting into journalism. Watch below to see what they said.

And if all that sounds like something you want to be a part of, apply for our full-time or part-time journalism courses or our sports journalism course now.