Radio placements for Journalism Graduate Programme candidates

Five newly-qualified journalists have been awarded placements under the radio Journalism Graduate Programme supported by Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Learning Waves.

The paid internship initiative is funded by the BAI and supported by Newstalk, Classic Hits, Clare FM, Galway Bay FM, and Cork’s Red FM. It offers journalism graduates from third level institutions an opportunity to become part of a busy radio newsroom.

Over a five-month period, the graduates will work with an assigned station mentor to complete a series of tasks, participate in tailored Learning Waves courses, and produce content for their radio station’s audience.

The five graduates taking part in the inaugural programme are:

• Emma Hill, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, who will be based in Cork’s Red FM
• Jenny Murphy Byrne, Technological University Dublin, who will be based in Classic Hits
• Niamh O’Reilly, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, who will be based in Newstalk
• Paul Hyland, Technological University Dublin, who will be based in Galway Bay FM
• Robyn Flanagan, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, who will be based in Clare FM

The initiative is funded by the BAI through a €22,000 award to Learning Waves under the BAI’s Sectoral Learning and Development Innovation Scheme.

BAI chief executive, Michael O’Keeffe said: “In a media landscape now offering a variety of digital media platforms, it is more important than ever that our journalists provide audiences with content that is reliable, relevant and trustworthy. The BAI is delighted to support this initiative, which enables educators, broadcasters and trainers to work together, providing practical skills training and experience to journalism graduates.

“Our ambition is that the programme will offer graduates pathways and insights into a career in the broadcasting sector, as well as strengthening links between education providers and industry practitioners: a key area of development identified in both the Crowe Howarth Skills Strategy for the Audiovisual Sector and the SPI Olsberg report.”

The programme is operated by Learning Waves, an industry-led initiative that provides training for those working in the independent commercial radio sector. Project manager, Teresa Hanratty added: “We’re hugely excited about this programme, as the need to develop and grow new talent for the sector is vital to its sustainability and success.

“It provides a novel approach to the recruitment, induction and development of young journalists for the sector and we hope that it will form the basis of a sustainable pathway for the recruitment of young journalists into the industry. Through the programme, graduates will be given the opportunity to become ‘work ready’ in a safe environment and under the guidance of a mentor within their selected station.

“As the training provider for the industry, it is incumbent on Learning Waves to look for new, innovative and tailored approaches to the development of new talent for the industry. The Journalism Graduate Programme provides this approach for new journalists and, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the programme will have a significant impact on the sector.”

The five participating broadcasters and graduates were chosen following an application process which began in May 2019. A total of 14 broadcaster applications and 26 student applications were received. The student applicants were shortlisted and interviewed by a panel of representatives from the BAI, Learning Waves and an external expert.

The placements commenced on 20th September 2019.

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