Top tips for journalism students from BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg

24 February 2023

Laura Kuenssberg was the first female political editor of the BBC and held the position for nearly seven years. Now she is helping young people learn the skills to succeed in journalism.

Laura invited a group of Journalism students for a unique behind-the-scenes visit to Broadcasting House in London. They got the chance to see the studios, newsroom and gallery, take part in a Q&A session with Laura, and quiz her on her experiences, top tips and skills needed for the industry.

Olivia Marshall, a student on the University of Derby BA (Hons) Journalism degree who aspires to follow in Laura’s footsteps, said: “It was a remarkable experience to meet Laura and listen to how she has grown as a journalist over the years. It was an experience that I will take with me throughout my own journalistic career.”

Students from the University of Derby Journalism course will have the opportunity to put these pointers into practice when a selection of them undertake work experience on the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning politics show, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, later on in the year.

Alex Canner, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Journalism at the University of Derby, said: “It’s brilliantly exciting for our Journalism students to be collaborating with one of the UK's best known political presenters. During the visit we heard so many amazing stories and the advice was invaluable.

“Hearing the points that students have debated on our journalism course being discussed openly with an industry professional in such a prestigious setting was fantastic. The whole team at the BBC were so helpful and welcoming and I can't wait to see what stories the students will be working on when they start their shifts with Laura and BBC Politics later this year. I'm very proud of them.”

Students from the University of Derby Journalism course and lecturers smiling with BBC's Laura Kuenssberg
Students and lecturers from the University of Derby with the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.

During the Q&A, students learned more about how news stories are gathered, top interview techniques, how to maintain impartiality during reporting and deal with a variety of interviewees.

Student Tom Scrimshire, who was part of the visit, said: “To have the opportunity to not only meet, but debate with and hear from Laura was an incredible experience. It was particularly exciting for me, as a future journalist with an interest in politics, to hear from someone who has been at the helm of the BBC’s political coverage for several years. Whether it’s covering the twists and turns of Brexit, multiple general elections or the government’s response to Covid-19, Laura has been there asking the questions viewers want the answers to, and it was a real honour to hear her advice.”

Laura Kuenssberg said: “It was such a pleasure to meet the students. They asked some tough questions – very impressive! I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better when they become part of the team later in the year.”

The University of Derby’s BA (Hons) Journalism course focuses on providing students with the opportunity to develop the skills to produce powerful stories for multiple platforms, equipping them to become the next generation of journalists and content creators.  

Students are taught an industry-relevant curriculum using facilities such as radio studios, a fully equipped television studio, video editing suites, and a newsroom featuring the latest software, and have the opportunity to produce work for a special online platform for students.

Find out more about studying Journalism at the University of Derby.

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