Tom Richell - Journalism

A supportive steer from his tutor set Tom, who studied BA(Hons) Journalism (now called Broadcast Journalism) on a path that has taken him from reporting for local TV, to managing The Independent’s video desk.

“I was drawn to the practical nature of UWE Bristol’s journalism course. A large part of it involved getting out and reporting. Each semester we were tasked with a project to research and present, and we’d contribute to every aspect of the process. So we’d write scripts, present and report in front of camera, then edit and produce people’s stories. We learnt how to use the equipment, how to organise footage and how to lead a good story with a good script.

“That experience was really helpful in helping me develop the skills that I now use on a daily basis. One of the strengths I feel I bring to a team now is that I can do every job – film the piece, edit it, jump in front of camera, ask the right questions in the interview and nip back to the newsroom to present the programme.

‘You should consider TV

“One day my tutor took me aside and said, ‘I really think you should consider going into TV’. She’d been impressed with my camera work and script writing, and my presence in front of the camera. That conversation represented a turning point for me - having someone tell you that you’re good at something is quite transformative.

“Straight after uni I worked on the launch of Made in Bristol TV, the new local channel for the city, and stayed there for a couple of years as a reporter and newsreader. I would go out in the morning, report on stories all day, then come back to the studio, chuck on a suit jacket and read the news. Then we’d turn the studio around, move all the cameras and direct the evening sports show. It was very varied, with full-on hours, but I loved getting out and about.

“I now manage the video department at The Independent, having made the leap from TV to digital news, and I still draw experience from my course. At the moment we're planning a video series about the future impact of Brexit. I’m finding myself thinking back to how I planned out the 15-minute mini-documentary I created for my dissertation – with post-it notes all over the floor, and a map of how we’re going to tell the story.

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