Breaking exclusive news stories is all in a day’s work for Holly Hume, an Investigative Journalism MA graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Working as a news reporter at the East Anglian Daily Times, Holly covers a wide range of subjects including court cases, car crashes, murders, charity events and local scandals.
The 23-year-old from Essex said: “I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was about 12 years old. I'm pretty determined and when I set my mind to something I can usually do it.”
Since landing the job last September, four months before officially graduating from DMU, Holly has already had front page bylines.
“It's always satisfying getting an exclusive story and it gives you a buzz to see your name on the front of the paper,” she said.
“When you break the news and everyone else is copying it, that's a good feeling.”
Investigating a medical scandal recently was a particular highlight for Holly. The hospital in question was found to have failings in care in its Care Quality Commission report, despite being previously rated as ‘outstanding’.
She said: “It was downgraded to requiring improvement, which came as a huge shock to everyone.
“I ended up writing a whole spread on it - it was definitely a tough one, but I’m really proud of my work.”
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After graduating from DMU’s Journalism (NCTJ accredited) degree, Holly took advantage of the university’s Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 scholarship scheme, which gives graduates a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on postgraduate courses.
“It was a perfect opportunity. I knew I wanted to be a journalist, but there's so many areas to consider - news, entertainment, magazines, court reporting – and I wasn't sure which to choose,” she said.
“Seeing that the Investigative Journalism MA was run together with Channel 4 certainly endorsed the programme to me.”
Holly’s MA equipped her with industry-specific skills and she benefitted from weekly guest speakers.
She said: “The specialist knowledge that the speakers brought to the course was unparalleled. They were incredible and people pay good money to have the contact time with them that we got.”
The course also gives students the chance to complete a two-week work placement with a production company of their choice. Holly chose to do hers at Hardcash Productions in London.
“Two weeks allows you to really get involved and I got to work on some exciting stuff. I then returned to do some paid work later on in the year. I'm still on good terms with them and would never rule out going back for more,” she said.
Asked if she would recommend the course to others, Holly added: “Absolutely. Journalism is all about connections and the head of Channel 4 News knows my name and has watched one of my films because of this MA.
“Having those kinds of people in your corner is essential because this industry runs on recommendations. Make the connections and then maintain them, because they're priceless.”
Posted on Wednesday 4th March 2020