College students encouraged to get involved in potentially ‘life-changing’ opportunity at Ham&High

PUBLISHED: 10:11 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:11 24 November 2017

Jacob Ranson has just started as an apprentice reporter at Archant (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Jacob Ranson has just started as an apprentice reporter at Archant (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)


A success story of one of Archant London’s Student Takeover schemes is encouraging students at City of Westminster College and College of North West London to get involved in a potentially “life-changing” opportunity at the Ham&High.

Jacob Ranson receiving his award from Group Editor Michael Adkins after completing the Barking and Dagenham College Student Takeover. Picture: ELLIE HOSKINS. Jacob Ranson receiving his award from Group Editor Michael Adkins after completing the Barking and Dagenham College Student Takeover. Picture: ELLIE HOSKINS.

Those with a passion for journalism at City of Westminster College and the College of North West London have the chance to take the reins at the Ham&High for a week as part of a Student Takeover team – something which Jacob Ranson knows a lot about.

A lot has happened in the three and a half years since Jacob, then studying a business course at Barking and Dagenham College, first heard from his teacher about a Student Takeover project taking place at fellow Archant newspaper the Barking and Dagenham Post (BDP).

The 19-year-old had always been interested in media, and sports journalism in particular, but due to his lack of experience in the field had never seriously considered it as a career option.

During the week-long takeover, Jacob threw himself into the role of reporter, impressing so much that he secured a two-year apprenticeship at Archant – a scheme which also saw him attending Lambeth College for one day a week to study journalism, media law and ethics.

College of North West London. Photo by College of North West London College of North West London. Photo by College of North West London

But the journey wasn’t over for Jacob, now 22, who quickly rose through the ranks to land a role as sports reporter across Archant’s east London titles.

“I would not be here working for Archant if it wasn’t for the student takeover,” said Jacob. “I was quite shy when I started the project, but quickly gained the confidence to interview people thanks to the experience I gained working in a busy news room.

“It was quite daunting at first when you looked around and saw people using shorthand and using the story system, but it was amazing to learn from everyone.

“I would definitely encourage students at both colleges to get involved. It doesn’t matter if you have no experience in journalism – it is such a good project to be a part of.”

City of Westminster College. City of Westminster College.

Any student, enrolled on a full-time course at either college can enter. There is no age restriction and most importantly you do not have to be a media or journalism student to take-part.

Following a judging process, 10 prize-winning students will be given the chance to “takeover” and run the news output of the award-winning Ham&High for one week in the spring of 2018.

Up to two students who have impressed the most will be offered a paid internship during July and August of next year. Runners-up will receive a range of prizes, and everyone who takes part will receive a prize and a certificate.

Group editor Michael Adkins, who oversaw the BDP project and is taking the lead once again with the Ham&High takeover, added: “The fact that Jacob is now following his dream as a sports reporter in east London shows that this project can really open doors to your dream job.”

To enter the competition you – either by yourself or as a team – need to come up with ideas, images, sounds, subjects and stories based upon one of the following themes:

“Where I live and learn”, focusing on the place where you live in London and/or the location of your college.

“My story begins here”, which is very much about you, your friends and the other students at the college, as well as your aspirations, ambitions and hopes.

Your 150-word submission needs to outline your subject and how you want to tackle the story or idea - whether it be visual, music, audio recording, written, performance or a combination.

Send your proposal in an e-mail – including your full name, college and the name of your teacher – with ‘Takeover’ in the subject to takeover@cwc.ac.uk.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on November 30.

To find out more about the takeover visit archantstudenttakeover.co.uk.

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