Journalism students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) got an inside view of life working for the biggest rugby club in the country.Leicester Tigers’ head of communications Gary Sherrard took the third year Journalism students on a tour of the famous Welford Road ground before taking the hot seat for a grilling as life running the club’s media office.As the UK’s biggest club with international players and European fixtures, Gary and his two staff deal with international media, national press and regional media, as well as briefing players and advising coaches. Leicester Centre for Journalism, part of Leicester Media School, offers unique placements for third year Journalism students with Leicester Tigers press office and Leicester City. Students submit a CV and are invited to interview before being chosen. Two students are working at the Tigers once a week while one is working in the press team at Premier League leaders Leicester City.John Dilley, Director of the NCTJ-accredited Leicester Centre of Journalism, said: “What the placements do is provide an experience and knowledge of the job which you just cannot teach. “Many of our students have gone on to sports journalism or to work for the club’s press offices and we are grateful to people such as Gary, Anthony Herlihy from Leicester City and Dan Nice from Leicestershire County Cricket Club for giving up their time to speak to our students and pass on their expertise.”
Gary said: “I gave the students an insight into how the press office operates, how things have changed and the skills they will need. “In the six years I have been at Leicester Tigers the changes in media have been absolutely enormous.“Six years ago, you used to update the website first thing in the morning and last thing at night, now it’s a 24/7 operation. We’re not just doing match reports and media interviews, we’re doing video, corporate work and advising coaching staff and players on how they should answer and interact with media.”Tom Malloy is one of two students working with Leicester Tigers press office. He said: “I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve had the chance to work on match days, press conferences and be part of the team. It’s something that I definitely want to go into.”Leicetershire County Cricket Club's media manager is DMU alumnus Dan Nice, who studied Journalism here. He joined the club after works on the sports desk at the Leicester Mercury. He will host the students this week to talk about running a press office in a sports club - as well as working with Elton John's press team for the superstar's concert at the cricket ground later this year.
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