Leusa Lloyd has succeeded in breaking into the television industry, thanks to an innovative programme developed by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) together with Channel 4.
Graduating from DMU’s Investigative Journalism MA this week, Leusa landed a role as a researcher for BBC Wales last September, while she was still finishing off her dissertation.
“I genuinely believe I wouldn’t have broken into the industry without this MA,” said the 23-year-old from Ruthin in North Wales.
Working on X-Ray, a Welsh consumer affairs programme, Leusa is investigating story leads and talking to contributors, while cross-referencing information with industry, academic and Trading Standards experts. The role has also taken her on location to film.
She said: “Within three weeks of applying for the job I moved to Cardiff to start. It was daunting because I didn’t know anyone there, but it’s been a brilliant decision.
“My absolute highlight has been getting results for people. It’s so satisfying when people get money back or reluctant companies change their tune because we get involved. I feel so privileged to be doing this job, because people let you into their lives and share such sensitive information.”
Leusa had previously studied history at undergraduate level, and after getting involved with her university newspaper, she decided to look into training schemes at the BBC and ITV during her final year.
“Looking into the schemes made me realise that standards are so high with very few spaces on offer, so I knew then that I needed to develop my skills to stand a chance of getting into the industry,” she said.
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That’s when Leusa decided to enrol on Investigative Journalism at DMU, after reading about it on Channel 4’s website. She said: “I was shocked to get onto the programme, as it’s such a competitive field.
“Also, being awarded one of the bursaries applicants can apply for made a big difference. It covered my living costs and it’s the only reason I could afford to do the MA and give it my full focus without having to get another job on the side.”
From learning valuable skills to networking with industry experts, Leusa described the MA as ‘the best training you could get’.
“I use everything I learned about law and ethics every single day. Before the course, I’d never picked up a camera, but you learn how to film and edit from scratch,” she said.
“All of this holds a lot of weight when you’re applying for jobs. Even though I’d never worked in TV before, I now had the skills needed and strong examples to back them up.”
Leusa benefitted from being mentored by Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4, as well as the chance to speak to well-known producers and hear from world-leading journalists.
During her work experience placement at Blakeway Productions, an independent production company based in London, she had a chance to work on an exposé for Channel 4’s investigative documentary series Dispatches.
She said: “Make no mistake, it’s an intensive and challenging MA designed to push you. But that’s why you develop your skills. I would 100 per cent recommend it to anyone wanting to break into the industry.”
Posted on Friday 24th January 2020