Brighton journalist works: an obituary

Class of April 2012

A brilliant, funny, intelligent, diverse and incredibly outrageous group. Widely regarded as one of the greatest BJW classes of its generation.


Nearly five score days ago, 14 journalism students began a course that would impact their lives in so many ways. Little did we know what was in store for us.

My time at BJW has been one of the best experiences of my life. Not only have I further expanded my knowledge – bringing me one step closer to world domination – but also being introduced to some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet and, I sincerely hope, to remain friends with for a long time – I can only hope the feeling is mutual.


Trying to pick out some highlights of our 14 week course is proving somewhat challenging, there are so many to choose from.

Every Shorthand lesson would degenerate into some giant form of in-your-end-o while drilling Marie’s passages. (Chortle) This was made even more hilarious by our brilliant teacher, Roxanne, and her interactions with Neil, our non-Cornish Cornishman. It’s a testament to Neil’s character that he didn’t snap after being asked to repeat himself on numerous occasions.

At the start of the course many of us, myself included, thought reaching 100 words a minute was an impossible task; requiring assembling a team of mighty heroes, legendary weapons and a stash of energy drinks and doughnuts to tackle this Herculean task.

We have a lot to thank Roxanne for. Not only for getting us to respectable speed in shorthand, but for being able to sleep easy knowing Caroline got an eye test – something she tells me she revised hard for – and as a result, now has to wear glasses.

I’m sure I didn’t help Peoples’ concentration in many situations, but some opportunities can’t be passed up.


Roxanne- “How do you write arrange?”

Ben – “I think backwards.”

Me – “I always worried about you.”


The air conditioning battles waged by Natalie – who strangely managed to position herself near the air-con controls in every classroom.  These battles made the atmosphere so tense you could cut it like butter – provided it hadn’t melted first.

Christie’s endless noise. This isn’t a bad thing, I have to thank Christie for keeping me insane throughout reporting lessons. If I’d actually gotten into some kind of normality who knows what might have happened. If I see or hear the name Radston ever again I’m going to commandeer something big and dangerous and wipe it from the face of the Earth. Although at the rate the town is going, it seems inevitable.

Spending my 25th birthday in a Magistrates Court was another memorable experience as was buying tasty snacks for the group in celebration. Having Richard Lindfield, our charming Public Affairs tutor with a voice for radio, present me with a cake added to the pomp and ceremony of reaching quarter of a century. The fact that some people towards the end of the course asked when my birthday was ripped this feeling of grandeur from me faster than Catholic rabbits reproduce.

I’ll miss my daily pool games with Philip and the unstoppable Jimmy ‘the saint’ Cutler. I’ll also miss trying to solve the cryptic crossword with Phil. I have him to thank for giving me a starting point on these, though I fear I’ll never be able to solve a whole puzzle without his Kiwi accent to navigate me through this intellectual labyrinth.

Media Law was great was it not? Media Matt and his fantasies of what could occur over in ASDA car park.I’ll never forget: the three tests of public interest, three criteria for libel, four criteria for defamation, five for contempt of court and the partridge in a pear tree of numerous defenses to each aspect of media law. Any legal situation I come across in my journalism career – provided I get one – will be subjected to the ASDA car park test:

“Look, look. If you go over to ASDA car park and see two politicians performing a blouse busting, skirt rumpus act behind the recycling bins, what are you going to do? You’re going to take a picture are you not? And who owns the copyright of said picture?”

All this, of course, after the alarm bells have stopped ringing in my ears.

Closing statements

I am loath to close. There are many memories  that will be preserved in the dusty museum that is my mind – free admittance on Sundays. I’d like to say I have a photographic memory but I fear it needs developing. Perhaps I should write more while I can still remember but I’d rather continue the journey with my class mates and everyone’s favourite friend, alcohol.

Now I must don my safari hat and elephant gun and begin the job hunt once again. In the meantime, I intend to practice for the sofa jumping Olympics, something I feel isn’t getting enough coverage. I suppose I could continue giving Frisbee lessons to gypsy kids. On second thought no, just no.

“Look, look. All I can say is it’s been an absolute privilege”


It most certainly was. All the best folks. You all deserve it.


P.S. When is the reunion?


About herring35
I'm currently being forged into a journalist so I thought I'd start this blog to try and hone my writing skills (if any). I have a 2:1 degree in International Politics and Military History from Aberystwyth University. I'm interested in history, particularly military and American, as well as foreign affairs and any issues that cause us to ponder on the greater aspects of the world.

8 Responses to Brighton journalist works: an obituary

  1. Hahahahahaha this is brilliant! I love how awkward we all look in those first-week photos too. I miss it all so much already, merely days after our emotional parting of ways!

  2. Christie says:

    Ah this was such a hilarious/emotional read – I miss everything already! Air con, sausages (tailforth), and passages will never be the same again!!

    I miss you all loads x x

  3. Pingback: What is it like to study on an NCTJ Fast-track Diploma in Journalism course at Brighton Journalist Works? «

  4. Pingback: Another student bags a job…. «

  5. Pingback: What is it like studying with us? The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth |

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  7. Pingback: What is it like studying with us? The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth | Journalist Works Blog

  8. Pingback: What is it like to study on an NCTJ Fast-track Diploma in Journalism course at Brighton Journalist Works? | Journalist Works Blog

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